Using Minolta manual lenses on Sony Alpha 6000

Sony Alpha 6000 with Minolta Rokkor manual lense using a K&F Concept converter

After testing the manual Minolta lense collection on a Nikon D7200, I purchased a converter to use them on Sony E-Mount bodies like the Sony Alpha 6000 I could borrow from a friend.

Sony Alpha 6000 | Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4 @ 28mm f8

After the Nikon D7200 results were unsatisfactory, I have to admit that the set works pretty well with Sony. You can definitely create some beautiful pictures with this combination. It looks fantastic, and handling of the lense and the balance with the Alpha 6000 body is very pleasing.

Sony Alpha 6000 | Minolta 50mm f1.7 @ f1.7 (missed the focal point a bit, but I wanted to test bokeh as well)

I struggled a while with the settings and I am still not sure if I was able to use the camera to its full extend, but I ended up using manual mode and shutter priority a lot. Yet, it always appeared that the camera is really not meant to be used like that – might be due to my lack of ability and/or the fact that I shoot with a DSLR for almost a year now and got used to it. So I missed some shots to that circumstance.

Sony Alpha 6000 | Minolta 50mm f1.7 @ f4

The focus peaking, to my great relief, is absolutely helpful (when set to high) and supports manual focusing effectively. I did miss sometimes, but not that frequent. And I believe with more experience this isn’t an issue anymore. What is actually more tedious is the fiddling with the camera buttons until I was able to check if the image actually ended up sharp. On Nikon, I push one button, on Sony I could not figure out how to fasten up the process. You have to push the Zoom button and then use the big dial – with no indication at which scaling the picture is shown. I hope this can be fixed in the settings, but I did not find anything.

Sony Alpha 6000 | Minolta 50mm f1.7 @ f1.7

However, it’s truely a joy to revive these old lenses – and when fate brings the opportunity to get hands on a cheap Sony Alpha 6000 (or even better, the 6500 with image stablilizer for the sensor) I will definitely consider it. Current 400€ price at the big stores is a little too much for me right now, as I would only use it as a secondary camera (yet this is a killer price for a high quality APS-C sensor, I don’t think the Nikon D7200 sensor is much better).

Interesting alternatives are the full frame Sony Alpha 7 body and its sucessors (like the one with image stabalized sensor) as well as any of the Fuji APS-C cameras. It is reported that they work well with Minolta lenses and have more interesting features like better manual mode handling and nice film simulations. But both alternatives come at higher prices and would make more sense when switching completely – which I don’t feel comfortable with to be honest.

If you are a Sony or Fuji owner I think buying a second hand 50€ Minolta lense, like the 50mm f1.7 or f1.4 is a cheap way to get interesting portrait pictures for more than a reasonable price, as the adapters are not more then 20€.

Here some sample images how Minolta lenses combine with the Sony Alpha 6000.

Minolta 50mm f1.7 on Sony Alpha 6000
Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4 on Sony Alpha 6000 (next to Minolta 50mm f1.7)
Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4 on Sony Alpha 6000 (next to Minolta 50mm f1.7)
Minolta 50mm f1.7 on Sony Alpha 6000 (my favorite combination)
Minolta 50mm f1.7 on Sony Alpha 6000 (what a beauty)
Minolta 28mm f2.8 on Sony Alpha 6000 (also nice, but I prefer the wider aperture on the 50mm, there is even a 50mm f1.4 that could be interesting, but it is reported to be less sharp)
Minolta 75-200mm f4 on Sony Alpha 6000 (I don’t think this combination makes any sense, but it is something I have to admit)

Using Minolta manual lenses on Nikon D7200

After an analog and manual Minolta camera set fell into my hands, I purchased an F-mount to Minolta SR converter without and with correcting glas to use the lenses on the Nikon D7200. The plain adapter ring limits the focus ability up to a certain distance, depending on focal range. It’s OK for macro and portrait photography. The latter should sustain focusing to infinity. My objective was to revive the collection for occasional use that create a little retro-style picture mood – and to practice the handling for analog shooting.

Let me spoil the result: it doesn’t make much sense.

The Nikon DSLR was still not able to focus to infinity, which was very disappointing. Maybe the copy of my converter was faulty, but I will not make any more effort. Reason is, that it just is not feasible. Focusing manually was very difficult as the only support you can rely on through the viewfinder are the small arrows and the dot at the viewport bottom that indicates where to go. It takes me ages to focus and I often miss.

Also, at apertures wide open e.g. with the Minolta 50mm f1.7, pictures are useless as the appear to glow and are soft. Might be some reflexions within the lense/adapter/body volume that do not occur for f2 and above.

I think, you’re way better off using a full frame or APS-C mirrorless body with all the advanced digital support like focus peaking and WYSIWYG. Maybe the Sony Alpha 7 or the Fuji XT-20.

Annyway, here are some pictures.

Minolta XG-2 with (useless) macro converter and Minolta 80-200mm F4 (shot with a mobile phone)
Minolta 50mm F1.7 Rokkor with Skylight filter after cleaning – this lense is almost 40 years old and has spend maybe 20 years in the basement. Still works like a charme.
Crazy macro setup using a non-correcting Nikon F mount to Minolta SR mount adapter, a 2x macro converter and a Minolta Rokkor 80-200mm f4 tele-zoom on a Nikon D7200. Distance is roughly 1m. Picture quality and handling is terrible, though.
Nikon D7200 | non-correcting adapter Nikon to Minolta SR | 2x macro converter | Minolta 80-200mm f4 @ 200mm
Nikon D7200 | correcting adapter Nikon to Minolta SR | Minolta 50mm f1.7 @ f2
Nikon D7200 | non-correcting adapter Nikon to Minolta SR | 2x macro converter | Minolta 80-200mm f4 @ 200mm
Nikon D7200 | correcting adapter Nikon to Minolta SR | Minolta 50mm f1.7 @ f2
Nikon D7200 | non correcting adapter Nikon to Minolta SR | 2x macro converter | Minolta 80-200mm f4

One year with the Nikon D7200

One year ago, I decided to purchase a digital single-lense reflex camera, a wish that grew over the years with borrowed point-and-shoot and bridge cameras. Time to review the decision – (still) from an amateur viewpoint.

As described in the photography section, I bought the Nikon D7200 as a class-leading representative of the ambitioned APS-C sensor size market on a budget. So far, this decision has been prooven excellent, despite the growing selection, especially with mirrorless systems.

So, I would do it again! Here is why.

Point 1

Handling, grip and overall feeling of the Nikon D7200 is extraordinarily good compared to everything else I had in my hands. After some time, you wouldn’t want to miss the extensive button selection on the body.

Point 2

The viewfinder. So much better than looking on a potentially crappy display, and I never use Live View except for videos (I took only one) and when I work with a tripod and have a lot of time.

Point 3

Overall quality for budget. I have already spent too much money in gear – that’s what I thought. Then again, you compare with other models and manufacturers, and the flexibility, compatible products, quality and pricing is absolutely convincing, not last because Nikon F mount is Nikon F mount is Nikon F mount. So far, I bought 3 DX lenses and one FX lense, but always had in mind that someday I will switch to the real thing, at the moment this would be the Nikon D750.

Sidenote: I am happy with my camera, but if you can afford it, go full frame.

Point 4

I bought the kit lense with the longer reach, the DX Nikkor 18-140mm F/something boring. Good companion, but does not even get near to what the Nikon D7200 can provide. This becomes obvious with the DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8 prime. As of today, after purchasing the Sigma DC 17-55mm F2.8, this lense is what I should have bought right away. Results are fantastic, constant aperture turned out to be extremely helpful – with that one I shoot manual with limited auto ISO at 1250 only, and it’s no big deal.

Point 5

Technical stuff. ISO performance, absolutely not bad, but today I know better. ISO is the joker! You have a high quality sensor that goes beyound, say, 6000 ISO without significant deterioration? You are a free man or woman with a camera. Everything else is technical bla bla. APS-C vs. full frame, mirrorless vs. SLR, that is just noise. Sure, you need a sufficiently good lense, and a wide aperture for artistical freedom. If you have a superior sensor, that’s where you are ahead of others and keep on shooting where other can’t go. And the smaller the sensor the more expensive and difficult it is to build one that catches up with it’s bigger competitors. And who pays for that?

I guess, with lenses it is a bit of the same thing. The DX lenses are usually cheaper and the demand for the target picture area is smaller compared to FX, but optical quality is optical quality. And noone will pay for a class A DX lense. Thank you, F mount (again), this problem is not a Nikon problem. A good lense for the APS-C Nikon cameras has an FX label.


Point 1

There is literally nothing to say. I would love to see a better sensor with acceptable ISO to 2500 or even higher on this up to 1,000 € body, but whatever.

Point 2

The camera does not fit in my pocket, I hear often. And I can’t take it on a hiking tour, it’s too heavy. Not listening.

Point 3

Capture NX-D, the free Nikon NEF/RAW converter and post-processing software. That’s not directly a Nikon D7200 problem, but I should have never used it and instead I should have bought Adobe Lightroom from the very beginning. That was quite a mistake. Add a license to your budget, no matter what camera you are chasing.

Birds of the Algarve, Portugal

Schwarzkehlchen (Stonechat, saxicola rubicola) | Nikon D7200 | Sigma 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary | ISO 140 1/1000s f6.3

The Algarve region in southern Portugal is a beautiful place to be. It is especially well suited for family holidays where most of the family members are more interested in leisure time at the beach instead of bird chasing. However, both at a time is possible as the Algarve is rich of domestic birds and is also an important migration route.

I did not spent too much time with bird watching, but during the little time I could spend, a vivid number of species crossed my way.

  1. Schwarzkehlchen (Stonechat, saxicola rubicola)
  2. Hausrotschwanz (Black redstart, phoenicurus ochruros)
  3. Zwergadler (Dwarf eagle, aquila pennata)
  4. Südlicher Raubwürger (Southern grey shrike , lanius meridionalis)
  5. Iberien-Zilpzalp (Iberian chiffchaff, phylloscopus ibericus)
  6. Gänsegeier (Griffon vulture, gyps fulvus)
  7. Blauelster (Azure-winged magpie, cyanopica cyana)
  8. Wespenbussard (European honey buzzard, pernis apivorus)
  9. Fitislaubsänger (Willow warbler, phylloscopus trochilus)
  10. Samtkopf-Grasmücke (Sardinian warbler, sylvia melanocephala)
  11. Alpenkrähe (Red-billed chough, pyrrhocorax pyrrhocorax)
  12. Uferschwalbe (Sand martin, riparia riparia)
  13. Seidenreiher (Little egret, egretta garzetta)
  14. Silberreiher (Great egret, ardea alba)
  15. Krähenscharbe (European shag, phalacrocorax aristotelis)
  16. Turmfalke (Common kestrel, falco tinnunculus)
  17. Mäusebussard (Common buzzard, buteo buteo)
  18. Türkentaube (Eurasian collared dove, streptopelia decaocto)
  19. Haubenlerche (Crested lark, galerida cristata)
  20. Amsel (Common blackbird, turdus merula)
  21. Singdrossel (Song thrush, turdus philomelos)
  22. Austernfischer (Eurasian oystercatcher, haematopus ostralegus)
  23. Mönchsgrasmücke (Eurasian blackcap, sylvia atricapilla)
  24. Bachstelze (White wagtail, motacilla alba)
  25. Haussperling (House sparrow, passer domesticus)
  26. Grünfink (European greenfinch, chloris chloris)
  27. Weißstorch (White stork, ciconia ciconia)
  28. Mittelmeermöwe (Yellow-legged gull, larus michahellis)
  29. Einfarbstar (Spotless starling, sturnus unicolor)
  30. Rotkehlchen (European robin, erithacus rubecula)

Gear I brought:

  • Nikon D7200
  • Nikon DX Nikkor 18-140mm f3.6-5.6
  • Nikon DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8
  • Sigma 150-600mm F5.0-6.3 DG OS HSM Contemporary (number 1 pick)
  • Sirui 250XT (rental)
  • Rollei ball head from R6i
  • EVOC Photop 16l
  • Nikon Sportstar 10×25 (turned out to be useless for longer distances)
Iberien-Zilpzalp (Iberian chiffchaff, phylloscopus ibericus)
Samtkopf-Grasmücke (Sardinian warbler, sylvia melanocephala)
Iberien-Zilpzalp (Iberian chiffchaff, phylloscopus ibericus)
Iberien-Zilpzalp (Iberian chiffchaff, phylloscopus ibericus)
Haubenlerche (Crested lark, galerida cristata)
Seidenreiher (Little egret, egretta garzetta)
Krähenscharbe (European shag, phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Seidenreiher (Little egret, egretta garzetta)
Hausrotschwanz (Black redstart, phoenicurus ochruros)
Zwergadler (Dwarf eagle, aquila pennata)
Junger Austernfischer (young eurasian oystercatcher, haematopus ostralegus)
Schwarzkehlchen (Stonechat, saxicola rubicola)
Amsel (Common blackbird, turdus merula)
Fitislaubsänger (Willow warbler, phylloscopus trochilus) [maybe?]
Weiblicher Hausrotschwanz (female black redstart, phoenicurus ochruros)
Weiblicher Turmfalke (female common kestrel, falco tinnunculus)
Blauelster (Azure-winged magpie, cyanopica cyana)
Mönchsgrasmücke (Eurasian blackcap, sylvia atricapilla)
Rotkehlchen (European robin, erithacus rubecula)
Mäusebussard (Common buzzard, buteo buteo)
Mäusebussard (Common buzzard, buteo buteo)
Weißstorch (White stork, ciconia ciconia)


Wespenbussard (European honey buzzard, pernis apivorus) [unfortunatley not well caught]