Cosina AF 100mm F3.5 MC macro A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 61    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#12022 date: Nov-6-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90mm
Sigma 105mm
price paid:90GBP
positive:Sharpness
Weight
negative:Build Quality
comment:Over previous years ive owned both the Tamron 90mm AND the sigma 105mm which are both great lenses. After getting back into photography and not having the funds to purchase either the Tamron OR Sigma, i took a punt on this Cosina 100mm and BOY was it worth it.

Obviously doesnt have the build quality as the other 2, but it sure has the image quality especially when accomapanied with the 1.1 adapter!! A DEFINITE KEEPER!!
reviewer#11967 date: Sep-1-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50mm macro Minolta
70-210 Beercan
price paid:99 USD
positive:Inexpensive compared to other macros. Decent picture quality for the price.
Very little CA. Almost no distortion.
negative:Very plastic. Noisy autofocus that hunts quite often. Must use matched adapter for full macro. Bad flaring.
comment:This is a starter macro or a full time macro if you are on a serious tight budget. It will bridge you into something else when you are ready.
reviewer#11845 date: May-22-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 60 F2
Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:120 EUR used mint
positive:Sharpness
Price
Fast AF
negative:Built from toy-like plastics, however seems still OK after 3 years of usage
Normally 1:2, for 1:1 there is a matched adapter
In some situations it seems the actual aperture or maybe light transmission is less than claimed, so need to correct exposure up a bit
Manual focus ring a bit tacky (no smooth turning), but still usable.
comment:I got the Soligor F3.2 variety.
It has to be the cheapest macro lens ever and it is pretty good at that.
Pretty nice wide open with already sharp center, almost tack sharp by F5.6 as a whole.
The AF on my A580 body was spot on, but with A58 I get consistent backfocus. Which is strange, as other lenses worked OK on both bodies. Not much of a problem with macros - best technique is to focus manually or by moving the camera.
The 1:1 adapter is a bit of a hassle - it's a screw on type - so it takes some preparation, also the ability to focus larger distances up to infinity is lost. So I mostly use it without the adapter, unless for static subjects.
To sum up, it's no miracle, but you definitely get more than what you pay for. It's a perfect way to try macro photography before committing to a more costly lens. And at the end you might just decide this is all you really need.
reviewer#11503 date: Nov-27-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 50 /1.7
price paid:100 €
positive:Sharp.
Adaptor fits Minolta 50/1.7 lens nicely and gives interesting results
negative:Build quality is below average, but for the price you can live with that.
With adaptor you can focus only at objects close object.
comment:Sharp, even with adaptor.
reviewer#11292 date: Aug-4-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 90 F2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp
Great colors
negative:AF hunting
Plasticky build
NOT A D lens
comment:I owned the Tamron , since I got the cosina the Tamron is staying on a shelf. This lens gives just fantastic results on aps-c ans full frame. In my opinion it is probably one nof the best Macro lenses out there. It is sharp wide open ( F3.5 ), and gets sharp from 1 stop down . I definitely recommend this lens.
reviewer#11104 date: May-10-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 2.8 Macro
price paid:65 euro
positive:Sharp
Cheap
light & small (plastic)
1:1 macro possible with lens adapter
negative:Plastic
rattling & Hunting AF
lens adapter on means: only 1:1
comment:After my Minolta 100 2.8 broke down on me I wanted another Macro lens.
Short on money I decided to spend 65 euro on this baby.
Not as sharp as the Minolta, but pixelpeeping is not a hobby of mine, so no problem!
Happy with this lens!
reviewer#11090 date: Apr-30-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SEL55210
SEL50F18
Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO D
Minolta AF 135 F2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:light weight, good for portraits too
negative:autofocus sound, only 1:2 macro
comment:I use this lens on NEX via the LA-EA2 adapter, and is one of the few lenses that fits nicely on that tiny body! So even though build may not be on par with lenses from that era, it definitely matches well to modern bodies.
Image quality is great. Perhaps a hair worse than other macro lenses, but still plenty above normal lenses. having only 1:2 macro is a con, but the accompanied matched macro adapter is usable on any other 49mm fiter ring lenses as well.
reviewer#10817 date: Jan-5-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta MD 50 f2 (manual focus) with reversing ring. (tested on film, Minolta XD7).
As above on macro bellows.
Minolta AF 50 1.7 (on film, Minolta 7000i and Dynax 7) and borrowed Vivitar AF extension ring.
Tamron SP 90mm macro and dedicated converter (first MF version used with film XD7, lens on loan from a friend.)

Canon FD 50mm f3.5 Macro (MF, with film on Canon T70).

All the above (save the canon) used (without much success) on A100 and film (7000i and Dynax 7) using a Kenko MD/MAF converter.
price paid:£90.00 (used).
positive:Sharp, good colour rendition. Light
negative:"Wobbly". Rattles.
No "red spot" on barrel. (awkward when changing lenses - especially if you haven't got your glasses on!).
comment:I joined this forum a few weeks ago, having purchased an A77 to replace my lost/stolen A100. This is my first lens review. The scores I've given are subjective and not based on any technical data.

I've had this lens for years (long before moving to digital) and I love it. I think I may have paid over the odds at the time but I don't regret it. Mine is labelled "Vivitar". The bottom line is, If you don't have a dedicated macro lens and you see one of these for sale used buy it. You will not regret it if it's in good condition (check the going rate first of course!). I wasn't aware of the 1:1 adaptor - I'll be keeping an eye out for one of those from now on (see earlier reviews).

Despite what the the other reviews say above, it really isn't that noisy, but it will hunt in low light. (I worked in photo retail 30 years ago, and I remember what the early AF lenses sounded like! The Maxxum/Dynax lenses were a revelation when they first appeared!) The lens has a metal mount, and three concentric barrels, the outer of which is metal - or at least has a foil coating. The lens rattles if you shake it - so don't shake it. I thoroughly recommend you don't drop any lens you own.

It has a flat front element, giving low distortion and good edge to edge sharpness, an 8 element iris which in theory should mean nice out of focus highlights. The front element is well recessed. I haven't noticed any particular problem with flare. I've never put a hood on it.

Best used with a slow focus option if your camera has it, or manual focus for macro. I haven't really used it much for portraits but planning to invest in studio flash and will be testing this lens out for portraiture if/when that becomes available. I suspect I might find it too long in focal length on APS C. Would love to try it out on full frame digital.

I gave a high score for construction to reflect the relatively low original retail price of this lens. The designers clearly put their main effort into the optical quality rather than construction.
reviewer#10806 date: Dec-28-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 30mm f2.8 Macro
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 35-70mm f4 'macro'
price paid:100GBP (new)
positive:Cheap
Excellent Macro lens
negative:nothing
comment:I have the Vivitar version which I have owned for many years.

Much criticised as the "plastic Fantastic" but the plastic construction is little different to the modern Sony lenses. Although AF is slow and noisy, this is an inherent property of a 100mm macro lens with external focusing.

The supplementary lens to take it to 1:1 has also been criticised. What this does is to shorten the effective FL thus reducing the amount of lens extension needed for 1:1 and it does seem to work with minimal effect on IQ. More importantly, by reducing the FL, it has the effect of minimising the loss of light often associated with a macro lens on full extension. I have estimated that the supplementary lens has a power of about 2.4 Dioptre. I have also found it useful to add an additional +1 to allow it to go a little beyond 1:1 as this makes it easier to attain true 1:1 for critical applications.

The fact that this is macro lens sometimes detract from the fact that it is a useful 100mm lens in its own right. Its relatively simple optics guarantee good colour and contrast, something that is missing from its more expensive cousins.

If this lens were available new today, the maker's would be laughing all the way to the bank! Understandably, it seems to be one of the most sought after lenses!




reviewer#10739 date: Nov-30-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 3
build: 1
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Dirt cheap
negative:Broke after approximately 10 shots
comment:The build here is fantastically cheap. I'm 7000 miles from home, have intense interest in photographing insects, spiders, reptiles, and flowers while during this rare time in the tropics, and have no macro lens. [sigh]

Ha. I just tried to submit this but was told "you must submit a build rating" - I did! Zero!
reviewer#10694 date: Nov-13-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:100 USD
positive:Almost free for a 100mm macro
Good IQ
negative:Build quality. I'm almost scared to use AF with this lens. I have to be sure to change the AF speed to slow on my A700 when using this lens.
comment:Works great for product shots without the dedicated diopter which I had to pay extra for.
The build quality really is terrible but the IQ makes up for it.
reviewer#10589 date: Oct-14-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50mm macro from Minolta and Sigma
price paid:130
positive:it's fantastic
negative:it's plastic
comment:The plastic fantastic, Shoddy feel build quality with surprisingly good optics. I have the Soligor version. It is an excellent performer I use it on my a55, and bought it after going SLT, and my Sigma 50mm macro refusing to work on SLT.

This is like a toy lens. Rattles, whirrs and feels flimsy and lightweight, but boy, will it blow you away on the unexpected great IQ.

Owners have no problem in forgiving the negatives when they actually see what this lens pulls out optically. Worth every penny- and some...

Sharp... yes, very
Colours... almost Minolta like
Price... no macro at this price gets close

it also makes a handy portrait lens if you need to pick out the details.

Try to pick it up with matching 1:1 adapter as these may be harder to get after the fact.
reviewer#10067 date: Mar-31-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 1
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90mm Macro
price paid:70 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness
Price
AF speed
negative:Build
Incredibly loud AF
Sticky focus ring
comment:This oddly build lens has been a great surprise.
I have tested it against the Tamron (which I love) and the sharpness is on par when stopped down (the way macros are supposed to be used). It's AF hunts a lot less and is equally precise. Colors are the same.
If I could buy two more of it, I would, but it is not widely available.
Love this little gem and hope it will keep working for a long time in despite of the awful build quality.
A must have have for macro beginners.
reviewer#9478 date: Oct-7-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 90mm f2.8 macro
price paid:86 GBP (used)
positive:Sharpness (Close up)
Colour
negative:Sharpness beyond 30 m
Build
comment:Very sharp for close up work, but not so beyond 30 m. All my zooms set at 100mm are sharper at similar apertures beyond about 30 m. Maybe my copy had an AF problem.

That being said, not a bad lens for the price, an inexpensive introduction to Macro photography.
reviewer#9476 date: Oct-6-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm EX DG f/2.8
price paid:95 GBP
positive:Cheap
Image quality
Colour
negative:Build Quality
Autofocus noise (sounds like an aircraft)
comment:Wonderful colour and image quality, but the most dreadful build and autofocus. Infact, I don't use autofocus due to its noise and hunting, instead preferring manual (especially for macro). Easy to buy one without the 1:1 macro adapter, but luckily my came with it: should be easy to find a suitable adapter if it doesn't. I fully endorse buying this lens as it's fantastic for macro, but also wonderful for a portrait lens without the adapter. Incidentally, although the lens is quoted as f/3.5 on both cameras it was measured as f/3.2
reviewer#9051 date: May-25-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-70 EX DC Macro, Sigma 105 EX Macro
price paid:£60
positive:sharpness, macro, light
negative:poor built
comment:Excellent cheap macro. You cannot get wrong for the price. Only the built quality is a problem.
If I am honest it is not as sharp as Sigma 105 2.8 Macro but it is real pleasure to take pictures with. I found that in most cases 1:2 magnification is enough. I highly recommend this lens because is cheap but with good quality.
reviewer#8883 date: Apr-7-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:no other macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Full macro with adaptor
sharp
negative:Nothing for the price
comment:Great bargain, especially if you either are not yet a hardcore macro enthusiast or on a tight budget or just want the option of a 1:1.

I felt the urge to try macro, without knowing whether I wanted to take it desperately seriously I got the cheapest lens I could find! build quality looks naff and feels worse - but... I don't see many reviews stating that its misaligned or misfocusses? so it can't be that bad a build. Shame that 1:1 is only possible with an adaptor becasue that gives you something to lose and something else to scratch.

All in all I'd recommend if you are on a budget and want to have a go at macro photography.
reviewer#8862 date: Apr-3-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90, Sigma 105, Sony/Minolta 100
price paid:
missing
positive:Good overall sharpness and geometry, matched achromat to 1:1 macro added
negative:Cheap build,
comment:I used to have this lens branded as Soligor. Really good optics, great sharpness, contrast is rather low, helping from overburning lights (you can add contrast in post-processing easily if you like).
This lens is low priced alternative to more expensive 1:1 macros. It may look cheap, autofocus works slow, but is sharp as a knife from edge to edge. Buy it for 100EUR and you'll be lucky. Watch out - there should be dedicated 1:1 macro achromat attached.
reviewer#8810 date: Mar-20-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:89,50.-€ (used)
positive:-Great bokeh
-Very good sharpness
-Minimal distance
-Very low distortion
-Price
-Good color
negative:-Build much worse than actual Sony plastic-lenses
-Very loud and slow AF
-Length when its used at
minimal distance
-Sometimes CA's
comment:Bought the Vivitar labeled without achromat on Ebay.de
Very good macro for beginners!
reviewer#8574 date: Jan-26-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:No others used or owned
price paid:110 GBP
positive:IQ is great
Bokeh really useable
Also good for portraits
negative:Plastic build
AF, but everyone knows that
Wobbly when extended
comment:It really lives up to Plastic Fantastic!

Forget aboout AF for macros anyway, you'll always do better with MF!

Remember to set your camera to MF, to avoid reviewing a coffee grinder - but you have to love this lens for it's sheer brilliant IQ and it's foibles!

I read lots of reviews, and when by chance I found it BNIB in a local camera store - I couldn't resist!
reviewer#7766 date: Aug-1-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 50 2.8 macro
price paid:60€ (2nd)
positive:cheap, sharp, no minolta colours but OK, did i say i got it nearly for nothing?
negative:it seems like a cheap lens, makes a lot of noise - but it's ok, it's just the construction.
Slow AF
comment:For the amount i paid, including the 1:1 macro add-on - i could've bought worse. It's absolutely fantastic plastic.

If you don't need a 100 macro often and you want one for the occasion - get it, you won't regret it. But try it out on your camera before buying (for the AF) - to see if you are feeling ok with the af-speed.

The AF is not fast, rather very slow - it makes lots of noise (i was warned it sounds like falling apart) - but it's ok - that's something i can live with - i'm not after the most spectacular macro fotographs & flowers don't run away...

For more than occasional use - there's better on the market - both the Tamron 90mm and the good ole 100mm 2.8 may be better suited.

It's wrong to compare it with a 50 f2.8 - but it's the only other macro i have. So it's a good thing to have - if you know what the limitations are.
reviewer#6910 date: Feb-14-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-200/4.5
price paid:~ $150 (used)
positive:- sharp
- very light
- neutral colors
- affordable
negative:- extremely loud AF
- very slow AF at macro distances
- prone to collect dust inside
comment:I have bought the lens used but like new. Although I did not use it extensively, one annoying dust particle has appeared inside after a month of usage. Fortunately it does not seem to affect the image quality.

Now after a year and half or so, I have found myself to use it more as a portrait lens. The AF is surprisingly fast in this case. I have shot several landscapes as well and the sharpness is very good even when focused at infinity.

Compared to 100-200/4.5, it is sharper at 100/4.5 but seems to have a little less contrast. At F5.6, I would say, the contrast is equal, and the sharpness still a bit better.
reviewer#6638 date: Dec-26-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- 50mm f/1.7 with extension tubes
price paid:
missing
positive:- Sharp
- Fast
- I think it's really f/3.2
- 150mm equivalent fast prime in a tiny package
negative:- Build feels horrible
- AF sounds like a coffee grinder
- only 1:2
comment:This is the only real macro lens I own. I've used the 50mm f/1.7 with tubes so that's all I can compare it to for actual macro work.

For macro it seems absolutely fine except for the obvious limitation of 1:2. I bought mine from a forum member (Spada) and it didn't come with the adapter. I do have tubes which get it to 1:1 or beyond.

This lens is really some kind of joke. Its IQ is stunningly good coming from a lens of this class. Bokeh is great. It does double duty as a long portrait / short telephoto, but its sharpness wide open may not be flattering and you may be inclined to soften in post processing. The AF actually functions well enough, save for the noise.

And yet for all those good qualities it's built like total crap, and if you use the AF in public people are sure to think your camera is broken due to the gut-wrenching sound it makes.

Despite that this is probably the single best 'bang for the buck' lens purchase I've made, and unless I'm traveling super light I imagine it will always be with me. A 150mm equivalent f/3.2 prime of this quality in such a very tiny package for such a low price is just marvelous. It's really a shame that they don't make these any more.
reviewer#6502 date: Dec-2-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:110 incl. shipping
positive:Small, light, extremely sharp when not using the close focus adapter. Cheap! Great bokeh.
negative:Annoying having to keep putting the close focus adapter on and off. Noisy, inaccurate AF.
comment:I'm not seriously into Macro so I mostly use this without the adapter on. It's spectacularly sharp (out resolving the a850 pixels) across the entire frame at f8, and pretty good at f3.5.

It is very annoying having to keep putting the 1:1 macro adapter on when ever you want to shoot closer than 1:2 because when it's on you can only focus between 1:1 and 1:2 which means your focus distance is limited to between about 3cm to about 10cm, a pretty narrow range.
reviewer#6453 date: Nov-24-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-70, 70-200
price paid:$110USD
positive:-Sharp
-3.5 is fine for Macro, don't sweat the 2.8 that much
-Light
-RIDICULOUSLY FUN
-True-to-life colors
negative:-AF is garbage. It's actually humorous how bad it is.
-1:1 macro adapter is a bummer to use.
comment:Have you ever stuck a fork in a garbage disposal? That sound is roughly equivalent to this thing autofocusing.

I really loved this lens. I sold it because I needed some quick cash, but I've missed her from time to time. It's a fun lens to use, it's pleasantly sharp, colors are fantastic.

The build is trash, but to the lens' credit it is quite light. The barrel extends really far when focusing close, so be aware of that. You also need a proprietary adapter to go down to 1:1 full macro, so if you buy one make sure it comes with the adapter.
reviewer#6374 date: Nov-12-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 50mm f2.8
Tamron 70-300mm LD Telemacro
price paid:$110 (ship to India)
positive:Extremely lightweight
Very sharp lens
1:1 magnification with the matched adapter
No CA when stopped down
Beautiful bokeh
negative:Questionable build
Needs the adapter to get to 1:1 magnification
No focus limiter means AF hunts even in good light
CA when not shot wide open.
comment:What can I say ? Its a good macro lens. Its sharp, allows you to get a 1:1 ratio with the adapter and its so light you dont think twice when throwing it into the carry bag. So all in all its a highly recommended lens.

However care must be taken not to drop it. I doubt it will survive a fall on a hard floor !
reviewer#4492 date: Dec-7-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sigma 70-300 APO
- Minolta 50/1.7

price paid:
missing
positive:- Price
- IQ
negative:- Separate 1:1 adaptor
- Build Quality
- Unuseable AF
comment:I got a Phoenix copy

IQ is surprisingly good, considering the barrel wobbles a bit when focusing. AF mechanics make manual focusing a bit touchy, and the AF is borderline useless because of noise and inaccuracy.

Can't say much about the build quality. AF apart, I'd say not unlike the Sony 18-70 kitlens. Metal mount makes it feel mounted a bit more solidly.

Separate adapter for true 1:1 macro is a hassle to get on/off all the time, prone to get dirty/lost, but does not affect IQ as much as I thought it would, much better than generic macro diopters.

Plenty sharp when stopped down, an ideal starter macro lens if you don't have the budget. Doubles as a decent portrait lens.
reviewer#4288 date: Oct-25-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm AF f/1.7
price paid:85 USD
positive:Image quality
Sharpness
Bokeh pretty good
negative:Build quality
AF noisy
comment:Phoenix version... I stumbled across reviews for this lens when drooling over the Minolta 100mm macro. For the price, I'm happy to play around on this one. I'm still learning how to use it, but Ive been having a lot of fun with this lens so far. I rarely use the AF.
reviewer#4249 date: Oct-15-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:compared to my Sigma 24-70mm 2.8, I like the macro pics better on the Cosina/Pnoenix a little better. I tend to use my Sigma more for portriats.
price paid:100
positive:Not a bad lens. I bought this lens based on the reviews and price. I got some pretty good pics with this lens and don't regret buying it.
negative:of course it is not auto focus on my Sony A100, but don't mind the control I have using manual.
comment:Great starter lens for macro photography if you are watching the budget.
reviewer#4209 date: Oct-10-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di 1:1 Macro
price paid:$110.00 (used)
positive:IQ (in 1:2 mode)
Weight
Price
negative:DoF with 1:1 Adapter Suspect
Fall-off in IQ with 1:1 adapter towards outer 1/3rd of image
Course sounding AF motor
comment:UPDATED:

I had the Vivitar version of this lens. The bokeh is suspect (might've been due to camera set to DRO +2 and in RAW+JPEG mode) and I found images in general very grainy and rough on A700 @ ISO 200 (A Mode - again, may have been as a result of my settings - NR=off). With 1:1 adapter lens, I found a fall-off in detail toward the edge of the image and a general lack in DoF, though sharp at the centre.

The 49mm 1:1 adapter lens is the same thread size as the Minolta 50mm AF f/1.7, so I tried that combination with surprisingly nice results.

All in all, a budget macro/potrait/general lens which has great IQ in decent light. A tough plastic body with an AF motor/zoom that sounds like a bag of spanners. I couldn't afford a high-end dedicated macro prime (at the time of this review), but this budget version earns my respect when it delivered. Otherwise, consider a Tamron AF 90mm Di 1:1 Macro.

My A700 reported a minimum F/3.2 as opposed to f/3.5 with shutter speed to match in A Mode (also in EXIF).
reviews found: 61    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 61
  • sharpness: 4.65
  • color: 4.48
  • build: 2.74
  • distortion: 4.62
  • flare control: 4.18
  • overall: 4.13

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