Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1 review: 1,7 (16) -2,8

For the opportunity to review this lens Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1: 1,7 (16) -2,8  gratitude to the “Paparazzi” chain of stores, where you can purchase this lens and other photo equipment - http://www.fotomagazinpaparazzi.ua

Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1 review: 1,7 (16) -2,8

Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1 macro lens overview: 1,7 (16) -2,8

This lens is very similar to a microscope, it has a special tripod on which it is mounted, the lens itself always looks down on the tripod. In theory, below the tripod you need to place what you need to remove or re-shoot. Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x cannot work like a regular lens, Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x always works only in macro mode and with it can't focus on infinity. In fact, Zoom 3x-1x is responsible for the magnification, from 1x to 3x. In 1x mode, macro is available with a 1: 1 magnification, and with 3x, 3: 1 macro is available, that is, super-macro.

Lens enlightenment, Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x aperture view and zoom control slider

Lens enlightenment, Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x aperture view and zoom control slider.

There are very few lenses that can independently, without the help of macro rings, macro lenses and converters, receive a 3: 1 magnification, and even with automatic focusing.

Zoom or Repeat Switch

Zoom or Repeat Switch

To control zoom, a 2CR5 battery pack is required. I didn’t have it at hand, so I shot in an indefinite zoom position. A special slider on the lens is responsible for the zoom. A set of 2CR5 batteries is installed in a special compartment, closed by a cover. The battery cover is very inconvenient to unlock it, you need to turn the groove with a screwdriver, then the cover is detached from the lens, it can be very easily lost. Even worse, the lid can get into the battery compartment and get it out of there is very difficult. This is such a trifle, but it spoils the impression about the lens very much. And instead of 2CR5 they could make power from public batteries. But the front cover of the lens is very massive, beautiful and simply huge, the cover fits tightly on the frame of the front lens, but is not fixed there.

Attention: most likely the lens does not have zoom as such, that is, it does not change its focal length, this implies changes in the ability of macro shooting from 1x to 3x.

Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x metal plate and magnification scale

Metal plate on the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x lens and a scale indicating the magnification (not to be confused with the focusing distance scale). In this case, M is Magnification, not meters. For example M = 1,4: 1.

Also, the lens has the ability to automatically rotate around its axis and automatically zoom (zoom in), for this there is another lock-button on the lens that selects what exactly the lens will do - zoom or rotate. Manual rotation and manual zoom are not allowed..

Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x

Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x. View of the slider that adjusts the height of the lens with the tripod removed. The slider rides 20mm. To the left of the slider is a lever that changes its height, to the right is a height lock. The bottom photo shows the lens mount and the black battery cover.

Auto focus on the lens is slow, and its range of operation is very limited. Focusing itself is performed in two stages. First, using the height adjuster, you need to roughly focus the lens on sharpness, and then with the help of automatic focusing, the camera itself will achieve the most correct focusing. The lens has the usual Minolta A mount. I used the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x with the camera without any problems Sony A65.

View of the camera with the lens when the tripod is removed

View of the camera with the lens when the tripod is removed

Attention: the lens does not have manual focusing, the lens simply does not have a manual focus ring. For macro photography, this is not a problem. During autofocus, the front lens travels back and forth in the middle of its frame, and the focus motor makes a lot of noise. When focusing from one extreme position to the other and back, it takes about 3 seconds. The diameter of the front filter is non-standard and is 46mm.

View of the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x with a camera

View of the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x lens with a camera. The subject is set at the bottom, the height is adjusted using the slider and its adjustment knobs.

Although the lens designation is 3x-1x 1: 1,7 (16) -2,8 (F / 1.7-F / 2.8) - I was only able to use a value between F / 5.6 to F / 51.0, this is due to the very small focusing distance. In theory effective aperture at 3X magnification, it is available in the F / 6,7-F / 64 range, and at 1X magnification in the F / 5.6-F / 51 range.

Sample photos on the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x

Photos without processing, reduced size to 3 MP. The sharpness quickly rests against the diffraction threshold of the camera.

Personal experience

At first I didn’t like the lens, I didn’t even know what to write about it, because the microscopes are not at all interesting to me. But then I took the tripod off the lens and got something more like a lens that you can take off. When the tripod detaches, a floating area remains on the lens, so the lens looks very unusual on the camera. The lens itself is quite heavy, weighs more than a kilogram. When you hold it in your hands, it feels like it's a plasma machine gun from some kind of modern computer toy.

View of the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x lens with the camera upside down

View of the Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x lens with the camera upside down.

Catalog of modern Sony lenses can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1: 1,7 (16) -2,8 is a chic Japanese lens for extreme macro lovers. Has an unusual focusing system and the ability to change the magnification. Requires an additional set of batteries.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 13, on the topic: Minolta AF Macro Zoom 3x-1x 1 review: 1,7 (16) -2,8

  • Igor

    Arkady ... ... no words, only thoughts))) Your site is no longer only practical, but also scientific and cognitive. Respect for such useful and interesting information + for your undisclosed interest in introducing us to a wide variety of photos. Your site is the best in the open spaces of the Russian Internet. A very interesting review of a very interesting and unusual object !!!

  • Vadim Gadzira

    Arkady, thank you for the great review!

  • Tatyana

    It is unlikely to be able to shoot such a thing ever, but it’s still very interesting to know what it is and with what people eat.

  • Alexey

    Arkady, does this mean that you will now do reviews of Sony / Minolta equipment? Users of these systems also really like your site. Thanks)

    • Arkady Shapoval

      It makes no difference to me what to write an overview of, the only question is whether this or that comes to hand. If I were provided with Sony, I would write about Sony.

  • Denis08ua

    The question is off topic, but are any contests planned in the near future? :)))

  • Dmitriy

    Interesting thing. It’s a pity that on a sony. Well, yes, we have a Canon MP-E 65mm / f1: 2.8 macro EF 1-5X is .. It can be bought for 30-40t. And Minolta for some reason for 90t

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    Dear Arkady, I would like articles on the topic of T-stop and the "conspiracy" of producers against photographers.

  • Oleg

    thanks. The review is good. like pictures.

  • Alexander

    I wonder if Nikon will ever be able to compete with something like macro lenses?

  • Valery

    dumb couple

  • Roberto

    Ho tutti i Luminar Zeiss 16-25-40-63-100 e devo dire che il Minolta 1x-3x li supera tutti in prestazioni, inoltre tiene bene il 2x senza perdere prestazioni, buona giornata a tutti M.Roberto.

Add a comment

Copyright © Radojuva.com. Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article https://radojuva.com/en/2013/03/obzor-minolta-af-macro-zoom-3x-1x/

Version en español de este artículo https://radojuva.com/es/2013/03/obzor-minolta-af-macro-zoom-3x-1x/