Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 61    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#11754 date: Apr-5-2014
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 4.5-5.6 Big Beer Can
Minolta 70-210 4 Beer Can
Minolta 80-200 2.8 APO
Tamron 200-400 5.6
price paid:1100 SEK = 122€
positive:Sharp, small, lightweight
negative:Build is a little bit worse than the original beer can series. Zoom creep. Some flares.
comment:A tiny bit sharper than any of my 2 copies of Big Beer Can. Small, Some Zoom Creep. Just as sharp as the 80-200 APO. Nice colors. Very little distortion. Some flare problems. No vignetting on APS-C sensor.
reviewer#11715 date: Mar-7-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:My 35-70/4 Maxxum lens is similar in operation and also produces very nice images for the age and technology of the day.
price paid:$67 shipped
positive:Just had a super clean sample delivered off eBay today. Excellent condition inside and out. Sufficiently fast optically to cover my shooting situations. Very responsive AF albeit with the typical screw drive whirs and clunks, but quick and accurate.

Took a few quick test images and was pretty impressed with the images. A few flash pix revealed very good sharpness even at wide open. Soft corners of course, but quickly improves when stopped down. This will make a nice race track lens.
negative:The screw drive AF is about all I can complain about. It was expected though, so I really don't care...
comment:I'm new to the Sony/Minolta experience, having come from Nikon gear. Love the light weight of the Maxxums on my a65 and am looking at using this gear for video primarily although it takes excellent stills. Build quality is clearly prosumer at best but I am quite easy on my gear so it is not an issue.
reviewer#11533 date: Dec-8-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300mm f4.5-5.6
Minolta 70-210mm f4 'beercan'
Everything else in my lens collection
Some lenses I tested for a friend
price paid:177 USD (used)
positive:Sharp (for a zoom)
Minolta colors
Lightweight and compact
negative:Some CA
Not a 70-210mm f4 'beercan' (see comments)
Based on reviews, quality of copies vary widely
comment:Like many beginners I bought a 75-300mm kit lens with my Sony a65. I researched it and, long story short, saw advantages in Alpha firmware correcting that lens' deficiencies and I was hesitant to pile huge bucks into a focal length I might not use much. For about 2 years that pretty much worked as planned but...

Fast-forward and my 75-300mm was used far more than my 18-55mm kit lens. After 2 years I've started building a fairly large lens collection. Enter the Minolta 100-300mm APO as a planned replacement for my 75-300mm. While my Sony kit telephoto zoom has generated some of my favorite photos (I use 2 as desktop backgrounds and another as smartphone background), the IQ of that lens has left me often wishing for more and often the results don't look sharp enough to me.

My initial results comparing this to a 'legendary' 70-210mm 'beercan' I bought at the same time and some lenses I was testing for a friend at the time was I was pleased with the Minolta's sharpness and overall IQ. To my eyes sharpness is a toss-up with the 'beercan' and the APO edged out the others (Sigma 400mm, Minolta 75-300mm, Minolta 18-200mm). In the real world (highest enlargement I do is 32" widescreen monitor), the only difference I see between the APO and the 'beercan' is in the 'Minolta' colors. The 'beercan' colors are more old school, 80s film-ish while the APO is more true to a digital world (if that makes any sense). Which is better? It depends. As soon as I'm pleased with an APO photo I'll look at the same 'beercan' shot and think it's even better. Go figure. I'm keeping both for now.

The downside of this lens is CA. I posted a cropped example in the linked sample forum. So how bad is it? I didn't notice any CA until I coincidently cropped an image. Still, given the "APO" designation this is disappointing. So far my pictures are on mostly cloudy fall days. I'll have to see how it holds up on bright summer days. Alas, my Sony 75-300mm never exhibited even a hint of CA.

My immediate plans are to use the APO as my go-to lens in this focal length in my bag. It's lighter, more compact, and more manageable on my a65 than the 'beercan'. However, I need to mention a cheap ($30) used Tamron 1.4x teleconverter I paired with my 'beercan' works very well IQ-wise and the AF works well so range-wise it can be made roughly comparable on the long end. Certainly I plan to play much more with my 'beercan' once the weather improves (freezing rain today). The 'beercan' even with the teleconverter figured in is a bit cheaper.

The bottom line? At this point, not even my Sony 75-300mm is going up on eBay but then I'm a bit of a collector even if I was 100% convinced the 100-300mm APO was the way to go. Too bad I can't pair the a65 firmware CA, distortion fixes inherent in the Sony 75-300mm with the classic Minolta colors of the 'beercan' with all the other characteristics of the 100-300mm APO. 8^)
reviewer#11312 date: Aug-17-2013
sharpness: 2.5
color: 4
build: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 3.5-4.5 early
price paid:£90
positive:+Color
+light and compact
negative:-Sharpness, soft
comment:Not a good lens on sony full frame

@ f11 @ 100mm this lens is ok just maching my Minolta 35-105mm wide open. stoped down 1 stop the 35-105mm is much better
At wider apertures it is soft away from the center.

@200 sharp in the center at f8/f11
@300 it is not even good in the center.

I sold it a week after I got. Ok if you do not want to print larger than A4.
reviewer#11037 date: Apr-14-2013
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm APO f/2.8
Tamron 70-300mm SP
Sigma 70-300mm APO
price paid:150 USD
positive:Light
Amazing Color
Good Sharpness
Value
negative:Zoom Creep
comment:I had been comparing lenses in this range for some time, especially this lens against the Tamron. I had the opportunity to pick a like new copy up at a very good price so I pulled the trigger. For a walk around lens, I liked the color of this lens better than the Tamron.

I have been taking shots in similar setups and comparing the prints against other lenses that I had in my bag before, particularly my Sigma 70-200mm APO f/2.8. With the same setup, IE the Sigma stopped down significantly more than this lens shooting f/5.6 at 135mm, I got almost identical photos. Of course, the lenses have completely different reasons to be in the bag, the Sigma I use primarily for shooting basketball action in low light. This lens I picked up because I wanted a little more reach in my walk around lens. However, the fact that it stands up in image quality to the $900+ lens I compared it to is admirable. At 300mm, my copy is just as sharp as between 100-200mm. You have to make appropriate manual adjustments to get the image as with any situation but it is still there.

APO glass is worth the money every time and in every situation. Beyond, speaking of G glass, becomes a law of diminishing returns. The difference between this lens at $150-200 and a G lens at $800+ is not worth the difference unless a) you want to spend crazy amounts of money on your bag or b) you are shooting professionally to enlarge images for huge prints. I use to own the G copy of Sony 70-200mm prior to the Sigma, last time I fork out the money for the minimal difference.
reviewer#10962 date: Mar-4-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron AF 28-200 F3.8-5.6 Aspherical; Sony AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 SAL1870;Sigma 18-250mm F3.5-6.3 DC OS HSM
price paid:EUR 150 (used)
positive:Range in APS-C
Size and weight
negative:Sharpness on longer ranges
Zoom creep
comment:I bought this lens for it's range in combination with it's size and weight. Although I made some lovely pictures with it, I cannot say that there is some kind of magic between me and this lens.

When photographing moving objects (cars, planes) on longer distances, I miss something. It just isn't that sharp enough to impress. Next to that I miss a bit of color magic.

As I said, made some lovely pictures on shorter ranges but as I bought it with the range as important argument, this is not my favorite lens.
reviewer#10912 date: Feb-7-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 100-300mm f4
Sony 70-200mm f2.8 G SSM
Sony 75-300mm
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
Minolta 70-210mm f4
Minolta 100-300mm f3.5-4.5 [non APO or D]
price paid:$110 USD
positive:Light weight
Sharp
Color & contrast
negative:Very little for the price paid
comment:This lens is part of my two lens light weight Minolta color kit. It is typically paired with the MinO 28-105mm f3.4-4.5 RS. I use these two mostly for landscape and rarely use them for portraiture. The Sony & Tamron 70-200mm work much better for portraiture. It is much lighter than the metal Tokina 100-300mm f4. In image quality it is as good as the Tokina and Minoltas but just under the Sony & Tamron f2.8's. It renders images in a similar fashion to the Minolta Beercan without the luscious bokeh of the Beercan. It is not quite up to the micro-contrast of the f2.8's yet it has its own charm and character that makes it a fun and reliable lens.

This lens has all of the advantages of the non APO/D version without its drawbacks of heavy CA.

I would recommend this budget lens to anyone who wants good quality glass at a reasonable price.

reviewer#10741 date: Nov-30-2012
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
Minolta 100-300 xi
price paid:140 GBP mint
positive:Sharpness
Minolta Colours
portable
negative:Can't think of any
comment:Like woodmen's review below, my copy of this lens is sharp, and I mean SHARP, at maximum aperture throughout the range.

Wonderful Minolta colours.

Build should be 4.5 because there is nothing wrong with it.

A bit pricy but you get a lot for your money.
reviewer#10576 date: Oct-10-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 non apo
price paid:200 USD used
positive:This lens is a great buy. Works very well with my 1.4X teleconverter.
negative:Zoom creep
Lens hood recommended at all times.
comment:
missing
reviewer#10506 date: Sep-12-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 USD Di
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness
lightweight
Great color
negative:Range
comment:Portraits really stand out with this lens. Shot some great pics of the moon also with a 1.7 teleconverter. It was sharper than a new Tamron 70-300 USD Di. Not as heavy as a Tamron so I would carry the Minolta instead. Maybe not as bright color as some Minolta's I've seen but very natural color.
reviewer#10504 date: Sep-11-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:75-300mm big beercan
tamron 70-300 ld di macro
price paid:135 euro used
positive:small
well built
sharp until 200mm
negative:Not sharp above 200mm even stopped down to f8.

zoom creep
comment:I have owned this lens for about a year and just sold it. The lens is nicely built, has very good colors , almost no ca but my copy was not sharp from 200mm to 300mm.
reviewer#9915 date: Feb-11-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 xi
100-400 APO
price paid:100 Euros
positive:Very lightweight and small.
Very sharp except at widest apertures.
negative:
missing
comment:Optical performances seems to permit bigger resolutions than my 14Mp camera.
It's sharper than the 100-400 APO and it has not any purple fringe comparativly to the xi.
The xi just beat it wide open.
reviewer#9606 date: Nov-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 70 - 300 USD
price paid:£140.00
positive:Light and compact very sharp
lovely deep saturated colours sharp wide open
negative:zoom creep bit noisy focusing
comment:I think this is a great little lens that I dont think can be bettered I can only asume it would equal or better the Sony 70-300 G because it is clearly sharper than the Tamron. It is as sharp wide open as it is right up to f11 but the contrast is a tad low wide open I used it on a A580 it amazed me how clear and sharp it is and the focusing was OK. Used on my A77 the focusing is a lot faster no messing and little hunting what a shame they dont make them any more
reviewer#9118 date: Jun-10-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
Sony 55-200
Sigma 18-200
price paid:190 EUR (used)
positive:Light for the focal range
Almost no CA
Sharp
Focus hold button
Outstanding price/performance ratio
negative:Focus can hunt
Some zoom creep
Bokeh can be a bit nervous, although mostly OK
Starts at 100mm, but this allows it to be small and light
comment:Compared to Minolta 75-300 New:
- sharper. Very good wide open, but towards the tele end needs f7.1-8
- CA negligible, no purple fringing (this was bugging me with the 75-300, so I sold it)
- more contrast on close up shots

Compared to Sigma 18-200:
- the Sigma, like most "universal" zooms, changes the focal length depending on the focus distance. It reaches 200mm only at infinity, for closer subjects, the focal length is shorter. So for closer subjects, only a "real tele" gives real closeups.
- much better CA behavior
- reach

Compared to the Sony 55-200:
- range
- as far as I recall the Sony had a bit better micro contrast (newer digital coatings I guess), but sharpness wise, they were very similar

So to sum this up, this lens is the perfect tele lens for a hobbyist on budget. It is reasonably light, but seems built better than the newer cheap Sonys.
Sharpness upto 250mm is very good wide open, and excellent stopped down 2/3 stop. At 300 you need f7.1-8 for good results.
In CA/fringing department is on par with the 70-300G (I haven't owned that one, judging on review pics).
So, if you can get one around the price of the Sony 75-300 or cheaper, it's an obvious choice.
reviewer#8696 date: Feb-25-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF75-300 New
price paid:260 USD (Used)
positive:-Not too heavy
-Solid build
-Sharp temtped to give it f6.3-7.1
-Nice Bokeh
-No distortion
-Very tiny CA after f6.3-7.1
-55mm filter size (cheap filter)
negative:-Not sharp at longer (200-300mm) focal lengths and CA, even after f7.1-8
-CA when open snd a little bit soft at 100mm when open (f4.5-5.6)
-Focus Hold a little small
comment:More sharpest, than Minolta AF75-300 New, but need to give it f6.3-7.1.
Accordingly, in non sunlight weather or in the evening, is not recommended
reviewer#8267 date: Nov-18-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Min100-200
Tam80-200
SAL55-200
price paid:150
positive:Range
Tiny
very sharp
good colours
great hood
negative:for the price none.
comment:I have been looking for smaller replacement for my beercan and I have finally found one. Range is great for its size and 300mm on APC is max I can shoot handheld. Sharpness is very good and the colours are fantastic. This lens will now allow me to sell all my zooms except beercan.
reviewer#7600 date: Jun-23-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:80-200 f2.8APO HS
70-400 SSM
price paid:400 EUR (new)
positive:Small & Light. Liked the colors
negative:Lens creep.
comment:
missing
reviewer#7529 date: Jun-5-2010
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-200mm f/4 beercan
Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G HS
Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
price paid:250 CAD (used)
positive:Small
Light
Sharp wide open at all focal lenght
great Minolta colors
Inexpensive
No CA even wide open
negative:Focus and zoom ring a little stiff
comment:When I bought this lens it was because I had a great deal on it and wanted to sell it later with a profit.(because I own and love a really sharp and mint copy of the beercan) I did every possible test there is on this lens and to my surprise, it is even better than my beercan (even if I stop down the beercan to f/5.6). This was a great surprise and, strangely, that botherd me. I really wanted to love and keep my beercan but now I am begining to think that I must sell it and keep this lens. The only flaw with this lens is that it's not f/4 and only start at 100mm. Everything else is perfect. The image quality is as about the same between f/8 and wide open. The only difference is some vignetting wide open. Honestly, I don't believe the 70-300mm G or the 75-300mm can be any better than this on. Truly a gem lens!
reviewer#7230 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 55-200 F4-5.6 (APS-C)
Minolta 70-210 F4
Sony 100 F2.8 Macro
price paid:GBP 170
positive:+ Compact and lightweight
+ Good colour
+ APO works....lack of CA
negative:- Soft. Need to stop down to f/8, even then not as sharp as beercan
- Bokeh not as smooth as beercan
- Doesn't have the same 3d look as beercan / 28-135 etc
- VERY slow AF, slower than beercan.
comment:I didn't really warm to this lens.

The first mistake I made was comparing it at 100mm to my 100 Macro :-)

I took this lens on two holidays and I don't think I printed a single photo taken with this lens... it just seems to be missing the beercan magic.

Then I compared my beercan + Kenko 1.4x TC to this lens and realised I could always turn my beercan in to a 100-300/5.6 with better performance, so there was no point in having this lens.
reviewer#7150 date: Mar-25-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO
Vivitar Series 1 70-300
price paid:201 USD (used)
positive:Sharp
Little CA
Bold Colours
negative:Zoom creep
Hunts in low light
comment:Can't add much to the previous reviews. Zoom creeps badly when lens is held 'front up' or 'front down'. Very slightly sharper than the Sigma APO, slightly sharper than the Vivitar in 'formal' tests. You probably won't see a difference in normal use. A bit soft at 300 mm f5.6, though surprisingly sharp at f11. (I didn't test at f8). As expected, almost negligible CA - only shows very slightly when wide open - not visible at f11 or f22. Colour is Minolta all the way - dramatically different than the Vivitar, which is very muted/pastel. Recommended - nothing wrong with this lens at all...
reviewer#7125 date: Mar-20-2010
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 75-300
Beercan
price paid:
missing
positive:- Reasonably sharp
- Very small for its range
- Slightly less CA than beercan / 75-300
negative:- Still has CA, especially wide open near 300mm
- Needs stopping down for optimal sharpness on long end
comment:I bought this lens for fairly cheap due to the fact it was missing its hood and the filter ring was damaged.

Its performance is very similar to the SAL 75-300mm. Wide open near 300mm the 100-300mm APO has less CA than the 75-300mm, but it also seems like it's slightly softer, so it's mostly a wash. Stopping down is required for optimal performance near 300mm.

I'm a little disappointed in this lens as reviews implied it would be better than the 75-300mm. In practice there's not a lot of difference in IQ, and you're mostly just getting a smaller lens in exchange for 25mm less on the wide end.

If you aren't concerned about size, I'd go with the 75-300mm, which is wider, performs similarly, and is much cheaper. On the other hand, this lens is a good bit smaller, so it makes a great travel zoom when you don't have room to spare.

The "D" variant of this lens appears to be optically identical, so I'd probably stick with this non-D version (which is much cheaper). ADI for this sort of lens is definitely not worth a 50% premium.
reviewer#6835 date: Jan-27-2010
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:$550 CDN
positive:Sharp throughout the full range, even wide open is very good
No chromatic aberation
Very light & compact for it's range.
negative:Lens zoom creep (I think some have a lock but not sure)
Bokeh can be grainy
Can hunt a little on focus in certain situations
comment:I wish I had a faster zoom lens i.e. 2.8 at 300 but they are very expensive for a hobbyiest like myself so I'm very pleased overall with this lens.
reviewer#6559 date: Dec-9-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
Sigma 70-300 Apo Macro
price paid:L199
positive:Aharpness
Colour
Weight
negative:None
comment:For the money, one of the best lenses you can get covering this range
reviewer#6319 date: Nov-3-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400 G
Bigma
Tamron 28-75
price paid:
missing
positive:Extremely light and compact.
negative:It is reasonably sharp but not as good as either the Tamron or Sony G.
comment:I carry this lens around when I don't want to lug the Sony 70-400.
reviewer#5787 date: Jul-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Surprisingly Good lens on A700
Solid build
Not too heavy
Sharp temtped to give it 5.0
Good Bokeh
negative:Slow Focus & hunts a bit if trying to focus on a smaller object
comment:Originally bought with Minolta 700si Film Camera. Transferred to Minolta 5D where the increase in zoom range (effective 150-450mm) gave some pretty good results on clear bright days. Putting this lens on the A700 has really brought out the best in this lens. Pictures are clear and sharp and some of edge fringing appears to have been reduced. If you can find one of these second hand grab it quick. It stands up against some of the best - for an old lens.
reviewer#5778 date: Jul-29-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
Minolta 100-300 f4.5-5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp at 300
Colour
No distortion
No PF
Good bokeh
Lightweight
negative:None
comment:Good replacement for 'beercan' if you need the extra reach
reviewer#5496 date: Jun-2-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 f4
100-200 f4.5
price paid:160 GBP
positive:Good colour
Decently sharp for the price
Light and compact
Close focussing
negative:
missing
comment:I like this very much. Not the worlds sharpest (hand held) at 300 nor the fastest focussing on the 5D and the Max F4.5 doesn't extend beyond about 110mm but it is light and easy to carry. If you are all about IQ then there are some very expensive options available but this lens at this price fits my bill perfectly.
reviewer#5426 date: May-21-2009
sharpness: 1
color: 1
build: 1
distortion: 2
flare control: 1
overall: 1.2
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100mm Macro F2.8
Minolta 28-135mm F4.0-4.5 XX's Crossed
Minolta 135mm F2.8
Minolta 70-210mm F4.0
Minolta 50mm F1.7
Minolta 100-200mm F4.5
Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-85mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm F4.0
Sigma 35-135mm 3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-300mm APO F4.5-5.6
Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6
price paid:225 USD (used)
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:I may have had a bad copy of this lens, but it was terrible - easily the worst piece of glass I've come across.
reviewer#5276 date: Apr-22-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300mm DG APO (red ring)
price paid:150GBP
positive:A light weight lens
Compact
Sharp at shorter focal lengths
negative:Not sharp at longer focal lengths
comment:A nice little lens. It is slightly better in IQ than the Sigma 70-300mm DG APO (red ring). Particularly the color production of the 100-300mm APO is better, but it is still not up to level of the beercan family.
It is also smaller and feels like it is better built than the Sigma; even though it is made of plastic it feels sturdy. Both lenses don't perform stellar at longer focal lengths, which is unfortunately since amateurs are looking into these lenses for the longer focal lengths and most will care less about the 70-150mm range.
At the end this is a nice lens for traveling and because of the size and weight and color production it has the upperhand compared to bulky Sigma 70-300mm.
reviewer#5158 date: Apr-3-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (Beercan)
- Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G
- Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
price paid:240 USD (used exc)
positive:- Small & Light
- Reasonably Priced
- Useful Range
- Focus hold button
negative:- Mediocre Build
- Softness @ Wide Open
- AF Speed
- No longer in production
comment:This lens and the famous beercan are both cheap alternatives to the much more expensive Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G lens. It is not as sharp wide open as the G, neither does it focus as fast. It also has a very plastic build, but that's what makes it light. The 300mm end comes handy time to time, and that should be the primary reason if you pick a Minolta 100-300mm APO over a beercan.

Bottom line: go for the new Sony G if your budget allows it, otherwise either the 100-300mm APO or a beercan will make an economical solution.
reviews found: 61    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 61
  • sharpness: 4.23
  • color: 4.57
  • build: 4.05
  • distortion: 4.51
  • flare control: 4.26
  • overall: 4.32

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