Lens Surprise: Minolta MD Zoom 75-150mm, f4

Pleasant surprises are wonderful events. Last year, I decided to dive into Minolta history by way of shooting all the major SLRs since the SR-2. Having made that decision, I went looking for lenses. After making a list of manual lenses, I found most were beyond my budget. I was still only a few months into photography and wasn’t sure it was going to be a long-term commitment. So, I decided not to buy any camera for more than 25.00 and no lens for more than 35.00. Don’t laugh—I managed to do very well within these constraints. After creating a list of lenses deemed by Minolta fans to be the best, I went looking. For the first month or so, things looked bleak.  

While searching for info, I came across this post on the MD 75-150mm. By this time, I had already investigated the Minolta MD 35-70mm, MD 28-85mm, and the touted Minolta 50mm primes.  And having done so, I knew that it would be a while before I was ready to spend what they cost. When I came across the Minolta MD Zoom 75-150mm post, I had never heard of it until then. It seemed interesting, so I went looking for one. My first search, in the wee hours of the morning, turned up an eBay BIN for 35.00. The listing said it was tested and in good condition, so I bought it. When it arrived, I was still testing Maxxums, so I put it away. 

It sat forgotten until January 2020 when a Minolta XG-M joined my collection and needed to be tested. I shot a roll with the MD Zoom 75-150mm and a few newly acquired Goodwill purchases. Unfortunately, having spent all my time shooting Minolta Maxxums, I did not rewind the roll completely, opened the camera, and ruined the roll. All the 75-150mm shots were wiped out. Again, the lens went back in a box.

Last month, late in the evening, just before sunset, I was cataloging my lenses, and once again, came across the lens. By this time, I had an Olympus E300 equipped with a Fotodix adapter and decided to test the lens with it and save a roll of film. I had trouble focusing because it was getting late, and the house shaded the flowers. I grabbed the lens and took the following shots.


Nice, huh?! I was blown away. The E300 is 8MP, and because of low light, I had to shoot at 800 ISO. Still, these are beautiful shots!!! I owned this lens for more than a year before discovering how great it is. It easily rivals my 100mm f2.8 AF Macro and MD 28-85mm 3.5-4.5 in image quality and color. At this point, I’ve shot all of my AF Maxxum lenses, but many of the manual lenses have yet to be tested. I hope there are more surprises in the box like the MD 75-150mm! 


    1. Yes they did, and it was great finding this gem!

  1. Very nice! The Olympus sensor and the Minolta lens did a smashing job capturing the purple in that last flower.

    1. The colors are gorgeous, something I didn’t expect. Like you, I find digitals usually make the purples blue.

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