August 21 2011 - Photo Jottings

August 21 2011


Minolta prime lens list prices from ‘back in the day’.

Check out the suggested retail prices of most Minolta prime lenses from long ago, I’ll post the zoom prices in a few days as I complete the table.

The prices below were culled from period publications, and receipts sent in by readers.  I’d like to thank Bruce from parts unknown, and Glyn (from the UK?) for providing most of the prices.

Some prices for a few lenses seem quite high, and almost unbelievable for that time, but I do know that two of the lens prices match up very well with what my Dad paid for those same lenses in the late 1980s from receipts, so I believe the lower prices listed below are probably close to, say within 10% of what you’d expect to pay in the US at the date listed, with the higher prices being suggested retail prices.

The first column lists the lens model with appropriate designation, like “G” or “APO” etc. If there is no designation, that probably means it was an original model, before the upgrade.  The second column lists the price, the first price is the lowest from my data, the second price is the highest.  If only one price is listed, it means I only had one source for that lens model.  The third column is the year for the price, the first entry is the earliest, the second the latest.  If only one year is listed, it means I only had one source. The fourth column lists the old prices converted to 2010 US Dollars; I used the highest old price for the conversion to current prices.  The converted Dollar figure is for fun only as it has little relevance today because lens technology and manufacturing technics have improved greatly, which allows lens prices to be far lower with better optical quality than they were just 8-10 years ago.

Anyone have hard info on prices?  If so, send a scanned copy of a receipt or period photography publication so I can add to the list, and make it more accurate, Thanks.

Minolta AF Lens model
List price in US dollars
Date of price
Converted to 2010 US Dollars
16mm F/2.8 Fisheye
$640 – $1017
20mm F/2.8
$429 – $744
24mm F/2.8
28mm F/2
28mm F/2.8
35mm F/1.4 G
$996 – $1214
35mm F/2
$332 – $402
50mm F/1.4
$243 – $266
50mm F/1.7
$184 – $111
50mm F/2.8 macro
85mm F/1.4 G
100mm F/2
100mm F/2.8 macro
100mm F/2.8 soft focus
135mm F/2.8
135mm F/2.8 STF
200mm F/2.8 APO (not HS)
300mm F/2.8 APO
300mm F/4 APO HS G
500mm F/8 reflex
600mm F/4 APO
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