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Lens choices for a Dynax 800si SLR
QI’ve just renewed an old interest in film and have a Minolta Dynax 800si. I’m thinking of getting a Tamron Macro zoom (AF 18-200mm f/3.5- 6.3 XR Di II LD) and wondered if a Di lens (I or II) can be used with a film camera? The current lens is the Minolta AF 35-70mm f/4 so I assumed another AF would be OK. Ollie Jardine
ATamron’s ‘Di’ designation means Digitally integrated. This was meant to reassure photographers that their lenses were good to use with DSLRs. Early Di lenses were simply modified versions of existing film SLR lenses. The Di label meant there was an upgraded anti-reflection coating to address mirror-box reflections off the surface of the sensor that were absent with film. Later Di lenses are optimised to address corner-shading issues with digital sensors, especially with wideangle lenses. There are two problems with your query. The most fundamental is that Di II lenses are designed for APS- C ‘crop’ sensor cameras. Di II lenses won’t cover the entire 35mm film full frame of your Dynax 800si. Don’t even think about Di III lenses; they are for mirrorless cameras only. The second problem is that your Dynax 800si can only autofocus lenses that support Minolta’s longestablished shaft- drive focusing system. The focus motor is inside the camera body and operates the lens focusing via a driveshaft that links through the lens mount. Minolta Smooth Autofocus Motor (SAM) and SuperSonic Motor (SSM) lenses, with focus motors in the lenses, were introduced in 2009, much later than the Dynax 800si, which was launched in 1997. SAM or SSM lenses can be used, but only manually focused. Check that a prospective lens supports the shaft drive if you want to avoid focusing manually.
Keeping my photos safe
QMy digital photograph collection is on the verge of passing the 1TB threshold. That’s about 75,000 photos from the last 15 years. I keep a backup of my photos on an external 1TB USB hard disk, but it’s almost full. Should I consider backing up to the Cloud? What about dedicated computer backup software like Acronis True Image 2018? I see that Windows 10 also has a backup system built-in. It’s all rather confusing. Caz Thomas
AUploading all your photos to the Cloud will take a long time and could be expensive. Unlimited free photo storage is offered, for example, by Google, but your originals are likely to be compressed. The built-in backup tool in Windows 10 certainly works, but it’s not quite intuitive to use. Acronis True Image is very flexible and powerful, and it has a backup to the Cloud option. It can be complicated to set up, partly because it has so many options. Using True Image you can go back to previous versions of files that have been backed up. A disadvantage is that your storage can be eaten up surprisingly quickly. A simple solution is to make sure your photos are in a folder, preferably using a sub-folder structure. Then clone this to an external drive. You can then synchronise the folder on your computer hard drive with the backup on the external hard drive using a file synchronisation utility, for example from https:// freefilesync.org/. For maximum security make a third copy on a second drive and keep it at a different location. Another option is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) drive using several hard disks managed in a disk faulttolerant RAID array. It’s more expensive, and you’d need a USB drive to back the NAS up, but it adds another layer of resilience. Q&A compiled by Ian Burley