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Are Xi lenses the only powered zoom lenses?

Jedidiah Smith , Sep 22, 2003; 12:38 a.m.

Michael Hohner wrote: "The best xxx-300 consumer zoom for Minolta is probably the Minolta 100-300/4.5-5.6 APO (D or non-D). For a lower budget I'd recommend the Minolta 75-300/4.5-6.6 (D)." when I asked about which 300mm lense to get.
I'm kind of getting used to the powered zoom on this Xi 28-105 zoom lense that came with this Maxxum 5. Are the Xi lenses the only lenses that zoom themselves, or do some of the newer ones like the APO mentioned above have this feature?
It seems cool not to have to manually zoom, but if it's a choice between power zoom and image quality, I would still pick the image quality, I think... just checking to see if anyone knows about this?
Thanks again, Jed


Steve Allen , Sep 22, 2003; 01:56 a.m.

Only on the xi lenses & xi bodies (in other words even if you have an xi power zoom, if you have a newer body it won't power zoom). It was a useless feature that Minolta moved away from. Minolta hasn't made a power zoom in many years.

I recommend the 100-300 APO (if you can afford it) its sharp, light and small. I don't have experience with the 75-300 but I'm sure its not as sharp (based on cost only and the lack of the APO (brings all colors to the same focus) feature). I've recently seen the 100-300 APO for $250 in ebay.

Steve Allen , Sep 22, 2003; 01:58 a.m.

P.S. I meant to say that the newer bodies won't do all the power zoom functions, not that they won't work at all.

Jedidiah Smith , Sep 22, 2003; 09:22 a.m.

Ok...so even though my maxxum 5 makes the Xi lense "zoom by itself" there's other things with the lense that it can't do? Do most of you stick with manual zoom lenses because, like that APO lense mentioned, they give better quality shots?
I'm interested, because this lense came with the camera, and I'm wondering if it's downgrading the quality of the pictures some?
I still need to get a 50mm prime, but also am looking at a 300mm telephoto, hence the zoom question...
Thanks again,

Tom Montemarano , Sep 22, 2003; 03:22 p.m.

You can read about what the xi lenses can do with the cameras they were designed for by downloading the instruction manuals for the 7xi and the 700si from the Minolta USA web site (go to cameras, support, manuals). The HOVE books on the 7xi and 700si give more details on how they would be used, particularly with the "card' system. (The Hove book on the 700si also gives good information on how the AF, 14-seg metering, program mode, and TTL flash metering work essentially on all the Maxxums since then (although the newest ones have added features not covered).

For those who love gadgets, there were some neat ideas (such as "wide view" which kept the lens at a wider angle setting until you released the shutter so you could see what was just outside the picture area, and "image size lock" where you would focus on a moving subject and the camera would power zoom the lens to keep the subject the same size in the photo as it moved nearer to and further from the photographer). The camera would also automatically set the zoom based on how it thought the shot should be taken. All these things could be overridden (and most were). I can see a use for the wide view (I have a habit of taking the shot just as the tourist walks into the frame) and the idea of not having to constantly adjust zoom as my kids run around is interesting, but I think the slow computing speeds at the time, made them all less than useful. And a gimick that is less than useful becomes an embarassment.


Michael Hohner , Sep 22, 2003; 03:58 p.m.

As I said in the earlier thread, the 28-105 is an OK performer. The various versions of this lens do not differ in the optics. Only the mechanics did change. The xi version isn't worse than the current version.

The 100-300 zooms, however, do have different optics. The two older versions (which includes the xi version) do not perform as well as the three later APO versions, especially at the long end.

Jedidiah Smith , Sep 23, 2003; 01:58 p.m.

Thank you for clearing that up for me - it's all making sense now. I suppose the auto zoom feature is something I can do without; what I really need is quality glass and lots of practice! :-)
I appreciate all your time and help.

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