Tag Archives: Maxxum

Dirt, dust, ding, and … fungus.

This lens was in bad shape … though I expected that based on the sellers images.

s-l1600 - CopyIt needed a body cleaning, and also the built in metal lens hood has a dent. The previous owner did not try to fix the dent so continued to retract it as seen by the scrapped of black paint on the inside.

… those things are doable … the fungus, well that will be this story.

I searched the web and it appears nobody has posted an attempt to take this lens apart … not being sure if I could get inside the element groups (sometimes they are encased) I took a chance on purchasing this lens.

You will need a wide spanner wrench as the front element is huge.

First I needed to get the built in hood off. First pull off the rubber ring. Remove the black tape. Then finally pull off the black metal top ring.

Now you can slide the hood off … in my case some bending had to start first.

You can use a filter ring vise, wood dowels and a hammer, etc … to put the hood back into shape.


The front lens label ring is notched to allow a spanning tool to unscrew the entire front lens group … there are four large elements in this.

Be nice, and don’t slip … this group is very secure.

Once unscrewed. When you hear it pop out of the last thread, cup the end and turn the lens over … it should just fall out.


DSC00669You can split the top group in half to get into it.

There is more tape … remove it, then you can unscrew the top part.

The rear section has some “lock tight” type substance to keep it from unscrewing … I did not have to go there.

Clean up the elements.

DSC00674Under that front group you can get to the

If you open the aperture you can get at the front of the internal element group to clean it up.

Now to clean your backside … sorry the back of the lens.


Take out those four screws.

The pull off the mounting ring.







I missed taking a picture of the cap … remove the screws that hold that on.

Pull it off, while watching out for the wires.

At the bottom of the wires there is the distance switch set. Take the two screws off that hold it.

Take one end of the spring off the hook.

Remove the four screws that hold the collar on. Remove the collar.



Remove the screws that hold the rear element ring on.

Pull off.

Now you can use the spanner to unscrew the rear element group.




DSC00673You can clean the rear of the internal group.

There, that wasn’t all that difficult eh?

Now put it back together … make sure the aperture lever and focus moves before tightening each part.

Tip: as I suspect the lens hood is the last part you will put on … the top lip should be tight enough so that when the hood is retracted it has contact enough to keep the hood from easily falling forward when you tilt the lens downward. I did a little light bending before I put the black metal ring on.

I was lucky that the fungus was only on the surface of the coatings, so it cleaned off easily. Not much I can do about the body paint … it ain’t white, but I was able to scrape off the green brass erosion on the nameplate.


Legendary … 200

I remember long ago when white lenses started appearing. These lenses were mostly long focal length, very wide aperture, and very expensive. I’m not sure who really started it, but I know Canon has become synonymous with the colour.

Sometime starting in 1985 Minolta started marking their high end telephoto lenses with a white finish. This started with the introduction of their revolutionary Maxxum Auto Focus cameras … 5000, 7000, and 9000.

In ’86 a short little white lens was made, the Maxxum AF 200mm f/2.8 APO (a higher gear speed version replaced it in 1988 … same optics, and possibly upgraded IC).

ElementsGroups20030+ years later these lenses are still sought after and has become legendary … supposed-to-be-legendary lens … ,some have stated that this is one of the the top 5 greatest lenses ever made.

Ehhhh, I am not sure if they are right but pretty much well everyone on the Inter-Web have stated the lens is is one of the best.

Sadly, the white finish (paint) does not tend to survive well after all these years, especially the original, so many of them have the flaked off fugly paint look.

Any whooo, I finally landed one and it is in bad shape !!! As noted above, the white finish is kinda beige now, bubbling and flaking off in places.

It is quite small … 13.4cm tall and only weighing 795g … but it has high resolving power. My quick tests, it appears to be better than my Maxxum 80-200mm f/2.8, and also the SAL70400G @ 400mm compared to a cropped 200mm image. Don’t judge a book by its cover.


Cleaning the cat … 500mm reflex

I wanted to try out this oddity of a lens. I shoot a lot of wildlife, so a long focal length lens is handy. Even handier is a physically short and lightweight lens. I snagged this lens for a bit less than normal because there was obvious dust/stuff inside.

I first thought of just removing the front element by unscrewing the ring … but it would not budge. I checked the web, and others show a disassembly … Ok, doesn’t look that hard.

Tools – philiips screwdriver, cleaning stuff, and painters tape

First thing to do is get the tape out, set the lens to infinity focus and place a tape reference on the outside between outer focus ring and body.

TIP: try not to rotate anything during disassembly.

Next you need to take off the PCB board with the contacts. There are two screw holding it on and there is a spring underneath one side.

Next remove the screws from the mounting ring.

Pull off the mounting ring a bid and then maneuver the PCB through the hole to separate them.

The outer body is held on by the four screws.

Note that the PCB and chip are attached to this part, so try not to damage it … and it sits in a slotted area.

At this point you might want to get the tape out again and make more reference marks on any rotatable parts.

In order to remove this rotating focus collar you will need to remove some gears … make a tape reference to its position.

Tip: pull the lens while slowly unscrewing, and as soon as the two release place a tape marker. You’ll thank me when you put it back together.

Two screws hold the gears on.

Try not to lose any parts when you remove it … and also try to keep the lube.

Pull off the column.

Then just unscrew the two parts.

Clean up, and try not to scratch the mirrors.

Those tape marks will come in handy to make sure you correctly get the correct position of everything.

Holy Schmidt-Spiegel Batman … its the Minolta 500mm reflex !!!

The Minolta Maxxum AF 500mm f/8 Relex lens was brought out in 1989, and is a Schmidt-Cassegrain catadioptric lens.

In 1672, Laurent Cassegrain designed a telescope using two mirrors to reflect incoming light to the eyepiece. This design corrected spherical aberrations and also made the telescope shorter. Later on the Catadioptric system was created, and his utilized both refraction and reflection … corrective lenses and mirrors.  In 1930 Bernhard Schmidt redesigned the mirror shape and added an aspherical lens to correct for coma, and astigmatism aberrations. The Schmidt-Cassegrain design is currently one of the most popular telescope design used today … and it also caused many camera lens manufacturers to use that also. Almost everybody made one (well not really), but Minolta was the only one to incorporate it into their Auto Focus system.

The Maxxum 500mm reflex is a stubby barrel of a lens. Due to the way it is designed it can produce donut or crescent shaped bokeh … which probably explains why this lens is not more popular. As I mentioned before, this is an AF lens which can support centre point focus … and since this is a gear driven lens, the body has a direct influence on AF speed. You’ve got one aperture size of f8 so it can cause the AF to hunt … IQ is pretty good on this lens … you just have to know how to work the bokeh … overall I really like this small handful lens.