Tag Archives: Minolta

Posts about Minolta photographic equipment

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.


Finally … tech and Tse converge.

I have been waiting for someone to do this … with the advent of 3D metal printing it was just a matter of time before we would get access to new replacement parts, for cameras that are no longer supported, built on order.

One such part is the focus lever on the Minolta Autocord. Due to the crap pot metal they used, there are many Autocords just sitting on shelves (Minolta Autocord – the knobless one)… relegated just for show and tell. Now they can come back to life taking pictures like they were born to do.

Recently, a fellow film camera user decided to take advantage of his skills and produce a 3D model of the lever!!! I give much credit to Edward Tse for his efforts.

Thingiverse – Edward Tse

Note that he designed the knob shorter than the original to reduce the knob smashing effect by the back door.

Lucky … no, not my cat.

“Luck, that’s when preparation and opportunity meet” – Pierre Trudeau

… yeah, I have a cat named Lucky … cause he is.

Sooooo, in my current hunt for broken stuff I decided to go back to a risky comfort zone item. This is the Minolta-35 LTM rangefinder camera.

The risk part is the high probability of finding one that has a degraded shutter, and replacing shutters is not something I like to do … I’ve attempted it a couple of times and it ain’t easy.

The comfort part … well, I’ve probably worked on about a half a dozen of these.

Anyway, I took a chance on an auction and got a body with a lens at a pretty low price … and luck was on my side, the shutter is in almost working condition !!! Woo Hooo !! Bonus !! The rest of the camera I really did not care about as I have two parts bodies sitting on my desk.

… and after I restore it, someone will be lucky to be a new owner of a working Minolta-35.