While the Minolta cameras are a real pleasure to use, the ream gems of the Minolta manual focus system are the lenses. With outstanding contrast and sublime "bokeh" these lenses can be used to create extraordinary photographs. Additionally, the build quality of many of these lenses is significantly better than that available today from most manufacturers, and they have no electronics to fail, or motors to wear out. As a result you can expect to obtain the same great performance from your Minolta manual focus lens for many years to come.
One of the advantages for photographers interested in building a Minolta manual focus system is that due to the introduction of auto-focus, and more recently digital cameras, the lenses have fallen significantly in price. Lenses like the 135mm f/2.8 and 200mm f/4 regularly sell for under US$80 on ebay, and are among the sharpest lenses available for any camera system. A keen bargain hunter could easily purchase an XD11 with 24mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, 135mm f/2.8 and 200mm f/4 for a cost of under US$400. This is truly incredible for an amazing camera with 5 outstanding prime lenses covering the range of 24mm to 200mm.
Below please find links to a brief history of Minolta lenses, and also some user reviews on many of the more popular Minolta lenses.