Minolta AF 300mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#38879 date: Jun-7-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 150-600, Sony 70-400, Minolta 400mm F4.5.
price paid:100 USD at yard sale
positive:Built like a tank. Very heavy but balances nicely. Extremely sharp after micro adjusting. I believe mine is -8. Pinpoint sharp even at F2.8 if you are careful and MA properly. Extremely high percent of keepers. This lens focuses plenty fast. Still extremely sharp with Minolta 1.4 TC.
negative:Very noticeable PF when photographing subject against a bright blue sky.
comment:300mm is not always the exact lens for the shot at hand but this is probably my favorite overall lens. The lens just feels good in my hands and the sharpness is phenomenal. Add to this classic Minolta colors and how can you lose? This lens focuses plenty fast. I have used the newer HS version and really see no difference though I am sure it is 2% faster!
Highly recommended if you can spend $1000 to 1500. Only lens I ever got super cheap and with the seller's blessings.
Unless the focus hold button means a lot to you, I feel this lens is a better deal than the newer version.
reviewer#11058 date: Apr-21-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:70-200G
Canon 70-200L IS II USM
price paid:2000 USD
positive:Sharpness
AF
f/2.8
Affordable
Integrated Hood
negative:Weight
No AF-D Support (yet?)
comment:I got this lens in a LN condition. Only slight marks at the tripod mount. The box came with it.

It is fast on my A99 and sharp too. Its 2.8 makes it more versatile 420/F4 (1.4x TC) and 600/F5.6 (2x TC)

The lens is very nice. Sharpness i'ld say is not par with my Canon 70-200L + 1.4TC. The Canon is razor sharp. But still good.

The performance of a 30 year old lens is outstanding ;-)
reviewer#9235 date: Jul-14-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-400mm f/4.5-5.6 G SSM
big beercan
Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G
price paid:1525 Euro
positive:Fast af
Aperture
Build
Bokeh
negative:none
comment:The autofocus speed is amazing, even with a TC attached. Especially if you use the af limiter. Very sharp, even wide open with a tc2x attached.
reviewer#8663 date: Feb-16-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:GBP 895
positive:Build quality
Sharp
The price
negative:Takes some getting used to
comment:I have only had my copy of this lens for a week now but have been out on a couple of occassions and taken quite a lot of shots with it. First impressions are that it takes a bit of getting used to (technique wise) mainly due to the weight. I have had a few potentially nice shots just go out of focus where I've moved mid shot due to the weight of the lens.

However, technique aside when you get a shot right with this lens it is very very sharp. I've used it for some bird shots and the detail in some pof the shots is truly amazing - something I have not seen in any other lens that I have used.

It has given new life to my old Kenko x2 TC (that I originally bought new with my Minolta Dynax 5xi) and works brilliantly with my Sony x1.4 TC.

This lens certainly appears to be a keeper and is already challenging me to improve my composition and technique.
reviewer#7669 date: Jul-8-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Tamron 70-200
- Minolta 75-300 II
price paid:1820€ (2nd hand)
positive:- Sharp
- Build quality
- AF speed
negative:- Heavy (obviously for a 300/2.8)
- A bit expensive for a 25yo lens, but totally worth it
comment:By far, the most expensive lens I own, and also the best.

I use it almost exclusively for soccer and the results are astonishing. The autofocus is fast and accurate on my A550 and the image quality is already high wide open.

I can't find anything bad about this lens.
reviewer#7264 date: Apr-8-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 80-200 f/2.8 HS G
Min 200mm f/2.8 HS G
Min 500mm f/8 Reflex
Sony 70-300G
Sony 70400G
price paid:1800 USD
positive:great sharp, fast lens.
great colours
negative:size
weight
$$$$$
comment:I love it.

Though this is not the HS version of the lens, the AF is very fast. I have tried it with a 2X TC= lots of hunting. The 1.4X is fantastic on the A77 (it is better than the SAL70400G).

I will soon have to rid myself of the Sony 70-300G (done) and the 500 Reflex.
reviewer#7262 date: Apr-8-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO
Sigma AF 70-300mm APO DG Macro
Minolta AF 500mm F/8 Reflex
Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 'Beercan'
SAL 70-300/400 SSM G (Mk 1)
Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO HS G
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/4 AF (AF 304)
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/2.8 AF PRO
Sigma AF 300mm F/2.8 EX DG (IF) APO
Minolta AF 300mm F/4 APO HS G
price paid:£950.00 (used)
positive:Build Quality
IQ/Sharpness
Colours/Bokeh
Speed/AF
negative:Heavy
Tripod mount leg too close to body to use as carrying handle
Slightly slower with a 1.4x TC fitted on DSLR
comment:It's already been said before, what a superb lens, but even though this is the original APO version (it should really be classed as an APO G as the optics are the same as the APO HS G model), the AF is plenty quick enough on A700 and A850 even with a 1.4x teleconverter fitted, the range is huge but AF speed does suffer slightly, though not the IQ which remains phenomenal. The lens oozes quality. My copy came complete with all 6 drop-in filters, caps/covers, lens strap and alloy case with keys, though no front clear glass 114mm CLR protection 'filter'.

What else can I say? It's simply a brilliant lens that sets a benchmark that all other lenses of the same focal length/aperture/type have to emulate or improve on.
reviewer#6204 date: Oct-8-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200mm f2.8
sigma 400mm f5.6 apo tele macro
price paid:1800euro
positive:Sharpness. Even wideopen
fast af!
solid build
hood
nice case
negative:big and expensive front filter
small tripd mount
comment:This lens is a dream! Autofocus is faster than I imagined, the lens NOt being the Hs-version. Though I haven't used that HS-lens, I can't imagine the focussing speed being much faster. it isn't as fast as the 70-200mm f2.8 ssm though.
On the other hand, it is almost as silent!
Af is fast enough to track a flying bird at about 20 meters away

With the sony 2x teleconverter (sal20tc), sharpness is still extremely good! Wideopen, there appears to be a little bit softness. Everything above f4 is sharp as a newly sharpened pencil!

Important: the latest teleconverters (from minolta apo II onwards) have a lower speed gearing, so putting a sony teleconverter on the lens actually slows down the lens Af motor by half. It is better to use the original minolta apo teleconverters, but I find the lens+ sal20tc still usable.

the lens comes with a nice case and some drop-in filters.

the tripod collar seems a bit short to me.

the weight is reasonable for a lens this size. It is usable handheld at 300mm, not at 600mm. You'd need a decent tripod and a decent ballhead for that.

the front filter is really big and really axpensive (and not easy to find)

This version of the 300mm f2.8 lens is cheaper that the Hs-version and I would recommend buyign this one and saving a couple of 100ds of euro. the Hs version's Af is probably faster, but maybe faster that you'll ever need.
reviewer#6105 date: Sep-23-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:200G
400G
600G
price paid:157,500 Yen
positive:AF is fast and accurate
Beautiful colors
Sharp
negative:Focus ring cover can't be locked shut.
comment:I've only had this lens for a couple of weeks but am quickly developing a very deep appreciate for all it can do. I shot kids soccer recently on an overcast day and a dusty field. The results were outstanding for clarity, sharpness, and colors. Hardly needed any PP at all!

I'm just getting started testing it with birds but so far I'm very happy. Works great with the 1.4X T/C (original) and definitely usable with the 2X as well.

A good gimbal type head is required for bird and other wild life. I find this lens very easy to handle when mounted on the Manfrotto 393.

Mine came without the aluminum case, but I picked up a Lowepro 5LC lens case and it is a perfect fit, even with the Manfrotto plate attached.

My only complaint so far is that unlike my 200G(HS), the focus ring cover can't be locked in the closed position. So it tends to work its way open when I'm using the lens.
reviewer#4800 date: Feb-3-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:80-200 2.8 HS APO G
price paid:1700 USD (eBay)
positive:Build Quality
Still AF with 2x converter
No Vignetting on full frame
negative:Very hard to find drop in filters
comment:I went with this version because I could get it for $400+ cheaper than the HS version. I did not notice much fall off in focus speed from the 80-200 HS and that is the fastest focusing lens I have ever used. Like other reviews have said the sharpness at F2.8 is not perfect but very usable. That is why I gave it a 4.5 on sharpness. All most zero chromatic aberration.
reviewer#4111 date: Sep-18-2008
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-400mm
Minolta 80-200 HS APO G
Sigma 70-300mm DL
price paid:1950 USD
positive:Sharp
Relatively fast on A700
Works well with a good teleconverter
negative:
missing
comment:Got this one cheap on ebay because others were fighting on two less well cared for 300mm HS models.

For the money, this is a fantastic lens, sharp almost from wide open (were it is still very good), produces great colour and contrast. Sure not the lightest lens, but I have succesffully used it hand held, just keep it above 1/100sec.

Beats my old Sigma 70-300mm hands down, no comparison, and provides the reach the 80-200mm couldnt. Definitely sharper than my old Tamron 200-400, and faster focusing than it was.

PS: It might not be the HS model, but focus speed is very good, its a bit faster than my 600HSG and a bit slower than the 80-200HSG. Im keeping this one, awesome for the price they can be bought for.
reviewer#3295 date: Feb-20-2008
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 400 f5.6 APO Macro
price paid:1500 USD (2nd hand)
positive:fast, sharp
negative:weight
comment:This lens is great, even used with Minolta 1,4x
On 6mp camera (KM 5D) focus is slow with converter on but still precise. It is a little soft wide open so I prefer to stop down a little, but things will get better with A700 or more.
I used it most of the time handheld and it is really not a problem: well, after some hours shooting your shoulder can be tired but when you see results you want to start again.

I love it (and I sold my Sigma 400mm)

edit 24/4/09
I use it on A700 now, with both 1,4x and 2x, and it delivers a beter sharpness wide open.
I love it more!
reviewer#338 date: Dec-24-2005
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200/2.8 APO G, Min 80-200/2.8 APO G, Sigma 70-200/2.8 EX (CAF & MinAF), Canon 200/2.8 L II USM
price paid:
missing
positive:f2.8 is usable, images are smooth and sharp. Can find some real bargains around. Like the lens cap.
negative:would like a more positive lock for the hood in the out position, and would like the tripod collar to be removable
comment:reliably handholdable to 1/125. f2.8 usebale, f4 is better and easier to work with. To be honest I'll only use this at f2.8-5.6. Works well with the 1.4x original. AF is slowed.

AF on this lens is surprizingly good given its era. But I much prefer manual focus, and for that it is perfect.

Easy to say 'weight' as a negative, but its not a surprize - this is a lot of lens. So the weight is just something you have to accept.

Min 200/2.8 is sharper, but only just. And the 300mm beats a crop from the 200 (but ONLY just, that 200 is that good!)

Came with a case and 4 filters, 3x at b&w so useless on digital, and one ND (may use the ND?). There is a UV loaded.

My lens has coating marks, knocks contrast down a little, but lens is still a star performer.

See review here on my website (check my profile)

update: now used on Sony a100 ... its a brand new lens, now delivers f2.8 punch that was lacking on the 7D! Stiiiiiill I only give it a 4.5, only the 200/2.8 or Voigtlander 35/1.7 Ultron in Bessa could have a 5!
reviewer#194 date: Nov-1-2005
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp and great color rendition
Attachment for neck strap
Internal filters
Hood slides in/out
Focus limiter
negative:none
comment:I love this lens. It is fast, sharp and handholdable with AS.
The pain on mine peeled off but it was under scorching sun and the body likely expanded beyond the paint elasticity. Regardless, flawless performance.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.79
  • color: 4.93
  • build: 4.93
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.86
  • overall: 4.90

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