Zuiko on Maxxum

A while ago, I had written about a Bower made Minolta AF to OM adapter that I was able to use on my Minolta 800si/Sony Alpha 700 to mount Zuiko and other 3rd party OM mount lenses.

The Bower adapter is actually a weak teleconverter since it has a glass element that permits infinity focus – since I got the A700, I have been checking out all my manual focus prime and zoom lenses – Zuiko, Vivitar, Sigma, Soligor, Panagor and Kiron primes and zooms. Most of them fit on the Alpha 700 without any problems – with the exception of the Zuiko 28mm f/3.5 and the Zuiko 35mm f/2.8 (more on this in a future post)

There was a very interesting discussion on the DP Reviews forum regarding the use of manual focus Olympus OM Zuiko lenses on the Sony Alpha series cameras. I had participated in the discussion and shared the information I had about mounting manual focus lenses on the Sony Alpha 700. However, the DP Forum’s website seems to have had a technical failure, and about 5 days worth of forum topics have been lost. All the reply postings have vanished – except for the question itself. Bummer.

Zuiko/OM lenses on the Sony Alpha Part II

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olympus/zuiko by Ajoy Muralidhar is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
text and images © 2008 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners. thank you for visiting olympus/zuiko.


Here it is, in black and white – the new Sony Alpha 700 specification sheet! The compatibility with Minolta lenses was never in doubt, but for some reason, they never gave it wide publicity with the Sony Alpha 100.

Maybe they were trying to push the new Sony branded lenses over the zillions of cheap, wonderful Minolta Maxxum AF lenses out there. The Minolta lenses have a crop factor of 1.5x on the Sony DSLR though, since the CCD on the Alpha series is a bit smaller than the 35mm format size. A Minolta AF 50mm becomes a 75mm on the Sony, and so on.

Third party A mount lenses should also continue to work fine, although I recall that there were some reports of problems with a few Sigma made lenses on the Sony Alpha 100. Hopefully, this will be an isolated issue, and most of the fine awesome (and cheap) Tokina, Vivitar, Tamron and Sigma A (Maxxum) mount lenses will work well.

As for older Olympus Zuiko manual lenses, you can get a Bower adapter on eBay, which will work very well. Just remember to turn off the DSLR’s automatic lens check before mounting the adapter and manual lens.

Here is the official Sony Alpha 700 specification sheet – Minolta compatabilty is at the very top.

By the way, if you’re interested in mounting your beautiful Zuiko prime lenses (and other Manual focus lenses) on the Sony DSLR, please check out this post.

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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Late Spring is a great time to drive around with a camera in the car, you never know what floral treasures you may find by the roadside. I spotted these on the way to work one morning – I had been delayed that day, and the sun was much higher in the sky than it usually is so these poppies blooming at the edge of the woodland were illuminated perfectly.

I had my Minolta Dynax 800si with me, with a Maxxum 35-105 zoom, loaded with Fuji 200 film. The Maxxum 35-105mm lens is a little wonder, and although it’s a tad slow at f/4.5 – f/5.6, it’s perfect for the outdoors under sunny conditions.

I also had something unusual – I had recently purchased a Bower adapter to mount Olympus Zuiko lenses on a Minolta Maxxum camera that I really wanted to try out. I had been carrying it around for a few days along with my Zuiko 200mm f/4 lens, so I took the opportunity to test it.

A 200 mm lens is perfect for taking pictures without getting out of the car, since the focal length is just right to fill the frame from about 18-20 feet. The Bower adapter has a glass element to compensate for the infinity setting, so its really a weak teleconverter. Of course, when mounted on the Minolta, the lens needs to be focused manually, and needs to be stopped down manually as well. Focusing is done with the aperture wide open, and then stopped down before taking the shot. The Minolta Maxxum’s metering works great with the manual lens though.

I had been looking for a way to use all my Zuiko, Kiron and Vivitar lenses from my OM cameras on my Minolta, and it seemed to fit the bill. I’m happy to say it works perfectly, and I’m kicking myself for not getting one sooner. Since it works with the Maxxum, it will also work with the Sony Alpha.

Maxxum 35-105mm
Maxxum 35-105mm
Maxxum 35-105mm
Zuiko 200mm Dynax 800si with Bower Adapter
Zuiko 200mm on Dynax 800si with Bower Adapter

Photographed with a Minolta Dynax 800si and Maxxum 35-105 f/4.5- 5.6 medium zoom. The Zuiko 200mm f/4 lens was mounted on the Minolta with a Bower Adapter, Fuji Super 200 film. I used a polarizing filter for both lenses.

text and images © 2007 ajoy muralidhar. all names, websites, brands and technical data referenced are the copyright or trademark of their respective owners.
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