On the 19th of January, 2006, Konica Minolta made an announcement that it was selling a portion of it's SLR camera operations to Sony and getting out of the photo and camera business.
Minolta introduced the a lens type mount in 1986, first identified as the A-type Bayonet which was the planet's first autofocus camera system. As a consequence, nearly all Minolta AF camera lenses mount on Sony DSLR cameras, and a large number of Sony
lenses also operate on Minolta film and
DSLRs. In 2006 during the initial announcement of the a system, Sony revealed 19 lenses, plus 2
tele-converters, with the majority being Konica Minolta lenses rebranded as Sony.
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E - Standard E-mount" series for the APS-C and Super-35mm image
FE - Full-frame E-mount series for 35mm full-frame image
G Sonys Gold series of lenses. These are top-shelf professional quality lenses offering excellent image and build quality with extra features for additional creative control.
LE - Light edition, lenses designed to be particularly light.
MD Minolta manual focus lenses. They dont work on the modern Sony bodies.
PZ - Power Zoom", lenses with motor zoom facility.
SAL - Sony Alpha Lens
SAM Smooth Autofocus Motor. Lenses using a SAM focusing system feature smooth and accurate focusing. SAM is not equivalent to SSM, and does not have a clutch in the focus ring to enable DMF override.
Sonnar - The name "Sonnar" is derived from the German word "Sonne", meaning
SSM Super Sonic Motor. Lenses employing SSM feature quiet, fast, smooth, and accurate focusing. All of Sonys SSM lenses also feature direct manual focus override, allowing a photographer to fine-tune focusing without using the AF/MF switch by simply turning the focus ring.
ZA - Zeiss Alpha", lenses for Sony Alpha cameras. ZA lenses are designed and manufactured by Sony in Japan, once the designs get
approval by Carl Zeiss AG to meet their quality standards.
Sony Nex Mirrorless Camera Lenses (New E-mount eXperience)
The Sony compact. E-mount high performing lenses are the foundation of a new class of still and movie cameras that demonstrate the prototype-power shifting of Sony imagination. They have been engineered from the bottom up to be employed with the latest creation of APS-C sensor ultra-compact Sony camcorder and camera bodies, providing big camera picture quality and attribute in astoundingly small although capable parcels. In addition to further optics and refined handling, the Sony E-mount zooms encompass established Optical SteadyShot image-stabilization engineering from Sony camcorders which can substantially reduce blur because of camera shift in both still and video images. Sony E-mount camera lenses are the windows opening to a brand new universe of imaging candor and quality
ZA Zeiss Alpha lenses. These lenses use Carl Zeiss optical formulas and coatings, and are manufactured by Sony to Carl Zeiss specification. These, like the G lenses, are for pro photographers seeking the absolute best in image and build quality. They are also the only AF capable CZ lenses in the photography business.
DT Digital Technology. DT lenses only produce an image circle large
enough to cover an APS-C size sensor. They are, however, compatible with the A900 and 850. These cameras will simply crop the frame to create an 11 MP APS-C sized image.