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Minolta Zoom or Zoomxi



I am looking at buying a 100-300mm AF lens for my maxxum 9xi. However, I have found two versions from minolta. One is an AF Zoom while the other is an AF Zoomxi. The lens I have now is a zoomxi. I was wandering what the "xi" added to the lens....if anything! Any help would be great. Thanks


xi zoom are one of the few bad ideas by Minolta. They use a small motor to zoom and the motor is integated with camera if you use (I think) Child Custom Card to keep the size of the subject constant by changing the focal length. That Child Custom Card could be the only adventage of xi zoom. Disadvantages are zooming precision, zooming speed, batery life length, price (even now those xi zooms are even cheaper because nobody buys them), possible defects with motorized zoom... My advice is: buy normal 100-300 lens; if you have enough money buy APO version. And if you are using your 9xi just for casual shutting - think about Tamron 28-300. I don't have it but had chance to put my hand on it and the zooming range is fantastic. And what I could read in magazines the quality is just fine (I use Tamron 28-200 I purchased in '97 (new versions are much improved) even for the weddings)


Iam not agree to recomend a 28-200 zoom lens. An if you think its al right, why dont you buy a single using Quik Snap for 10 Buks including prints.
Compare the pictures you take with a zoom lens and a Prime, i mean a goode one i.e. Minolta 2.8 50mm, 2,8 28mm or 2,8 macro 100mm

And if you really want to have a zoom, buy a Minolta Apo 100-300, and if you got enoght Monney 24-104 they are really good. I also did buy Sigma zoom lenses when i setlet on AF equipment, after i got the first Minolta APO i did trow the sigma away. (just kidding, i still have them but I would gif them away )


Zoom or prime lenses?
This is a long debate and strongly depends on the wishes that the photographer has; thick books have been written about this.

From a design and manufacturing point of view a prime lens will be better in terms of contrast and sharpness than a zoom lens, although the difference with new design and manufacturing technologies is getting smaller and smaller.

Having said this there is an enormous difference between the various quality prime lenses, e.g. there are awfully good prime lenses (like the 100 mm AF Macro Minolta) and quite poor lenses like some of the b-rated brands are according to the tests.
The same holds for the zoom lenses.
I agree with Fritz that the 100-300 mm APO (and the 100-400 mm APO) from Minolta are quite good, but there are more good zoom lenses (like the all glass 35-70mm AF and 28-135 mm AF (weighing 650 grammes) Minolta of the first generation (introduced in 1984 and replaced for partly plastic lenses in 1990). So before you make a choice, define what you want: many kg's for a number of prime lenses or one zoom lens covering the whole range.
In many tests the Tamron 28-200mm zoom is tested as good, medium quality, not so bad at all (whatever description you want to use. But for this zoom range the limitations are significant (low opening, distortion in the corners, vignetting)
In addition the color rendition of the lenses differ significantly by brand. Personally I like the color rendition of the Minolta lenses. I have many high quality Minolta prime lenses (up to the f4/600 mm) and some zooms (35-200mm, 35-70 mm, 24-85 and 100-300 APO).
For prints of 10-15 cm2, the difference between the best prime (AF 4,5/400 mm and the most modest zoom I have (the 35-200 mm AF is not very large (but of course visible).
I hope this puts things into perspective. If you want to know about the quality of the lenses before you buy, take a look in a good Photo magazine, like the German Magaine Color Photo that publishes an overview of the best current lenses every month.


I did like the Motorzoom on the xi lenses and xi Cameras. Sadly the did came away of it, it would be easier to hold and operate the camera with one hand what i could on the xi lenses, i was able to operate and zoom with one hand.
The motorzoom funktion was for me a relly good thing, i am sure the manufacturer will sooner or later come back to this Motorzoom.