Minolta AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 New A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 51    1 2 >>
reviewer#11908 date: Jul-14-2014
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP AF 70-200 F2.8 Di LD IF Macro
Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan)
price paid:100 euro used
positive:weight, size, range
negative:Strong chromatic aberration, slow and noisy autofocus, build(but not for the price)
comment:Maybe it was my copy bad but at this price range get a Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan) you will be much happier overall
reviewer#11758 date: Apr-9-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 55-200mm DT SAM,
Minolta 28-100mm D
Tamron 28-200mm Aspheric
Tamron 80-210mm,
Paragon 300mm f5.6,
Soligor 400mm f6.3,
Tamron 500mm f8 mirror.
Various 'other make' telephoto lenses.
price paid:50 UKP
positive:Build, handling, sharpness, colour, reach, aperture, cost.
negative:Size, weight and range for general use, AF slow recovering from misfocus, some CA at full aperture.
comment:Lots of people have owned and reviewed this lens – what can I add?
Well, I’m not an uncritical fan of Minolta glass – yes, the colours are nice, but many of their cheaper lenses are little better than the class average (though still better than Tamron's and Canon’s worst efforts).
But to me this lens is one of the better models in its class, and if you’re reading this to decide whether to buy one you’ve seen cheap somewhere, I’d say yes, consider it seriously.
The mechanical and optical design has barely changed from early Minolta AF days to Sony, and the lens shows its age in its bulky size, though this does stress the optics much less than short-length ultra-zooms.
If you want something to leave around your neck while you wander, look elsewhere: the C of G is too far forward for that, though I find it just fine slung over one shoulder (under the arm) and zoom creep isn't a problem then. As a walk-around lens on crop-sensor cameras the minimum focal length is also too long; the Sony 55-200mm is much more convenient (not least for its good flare control and in-camera lens corrections), not a lot more expensive s/h, and you can get the reach with the digital zoom.

On the other hand, the 55-200 is much less sharp at 200mm. The 75-300 is a much nicer lens to hold in your hand, its length makes it easy to point at distant objects, and if you ever need to focus it manually it is far superior to any of the modern compact lenses I’ve tried. It’s also very well made – very solid, and a genuine pleasure to handle. It’s FF capable, so if you have a film SLR you like to use occasionally, it’s a good choice.
Optical quality is very good too, and better than most other cheap lenses in the 200-300mm range. If you frame your pictures when you take them you’ll rarely be disappointed (unless you point the lens at the sky without the hood fitted!) as distortions are well controlled. I tried three of these s/h in a shop before buying (all under 100 UKP) and all were good enough to buy (unlike a Sigma I also tried, which was horrendous); the one I chose gave the sharpest results under AF, though whether it was actually any better than the others, or just more suited to the AF sensor on my particular camera I couldn’t say. But the AF works quickly, quietly, and not as jerkily as the latest Sony version.

In more extreme situations like birding, however, the Minolta does show its limitations. The AF is about as good (or bad) at picking up small targets as most, though when it gets it wrong the lack of a focus limit switch shows – you may need to find a tree to get it back to infinity. Shoot into the sky and crop heavily in PP, and you may see distinct CA on birds and branches, together with veiling that will both need correcting digitally (though usually not too bad at f10), and if you do that on a 20Mp crop-sensor camera you may then notice limitations in sharpness even with jpegs. Don’t expect it to AF properly with a TC fitted either; but that’s why proper birding lenses cost four figures in pounds, dollars, or Euros, and you get a tripod mount too.

Minolta describe the lens as macro, and though that sounds like trader's puff, it works surprisingly well. I've taken some very pleasing flower close-ups, and if you point the lens straight down at 300mm you can fill the frame with a dandelion head without having to bend down, which is good news if you're getting on a bit!
So if you want an affordable 300mm AF lens, I can’t think of anything that’s better either optically or mechanically and isn’t several times the price. On the other hand, if you can cope with manual focus there are cheap older preset lenses (non-zoom) in the 300mm and 400mm range which have tripod mounts built in and can (with care) give better results in birding, even hand-held. Then there's the Tamron 500mm mirror lens, which is surprisingly easy to hold still but won't stand the kind of cropping you'd like.
By all accounts the Tamron USD is a good lens, but having experienced their 28-200 Aspheric I'm not inclined to gamble that way. When I replace the Minolta I will probably buy the Sony 55-300mm which sounds like the best of the bunch; unlike the Tamrons you get in-camera lens corrections, and unlike the Sigmas it’s likely to keep working. I doubt I’ll sell the Minolta, though, because it’s such an enjoyable lens to use!
reviewer#11666 date: Feb-2-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAL 16105
Minolta 35-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210 F4.0
Minolta 70-210 F3.5-4.5
price paid:60 EUR
positive:sharpness
build
colors
range
bokeh
negative:flare control
comment:This lens really turned my A77 into a great camera. Its AF works fast and exact. It's razor sharp even used wide open - far better than my copies of the 70-210 lenses.
The colors are great and the bokeh is fantastic. I use it quite often as a macro lens to take pictures of flowers or insects or as a portrait lens.
reviewer#10691 date: Nov-11-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300s (APO and non APO)
Sigma 75-200 f3.8
Tamron 70-300 Di
price paid:70 GBP
positive:Very sharp
Typical Minolta colour
Comparatively lightweight
negative:PF at larger apertures beyond 200/
comment:If you can't afford the 70-300 G (like me) buy this.
reviewer#10583 date: Oct-13-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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:sigma 70-300 OS
Minolta 70-210 f/4
Tamron 70-300 USD
price paid:£170 Used
positive:Sharp
Colour
portability
negative:none
comment:Maybe I just got a good copy but this thing is the business.Sharp as a tack at all focal lengths,Colour is perfect and it is so portable...It easily beat my Tamron 70-300 USD..
reviewer#10041 date: Mar-21-2012
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 70-210 F4
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 Big Beercan
price paid:140 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness, color, bokeh, inexpensive price, build
negative:little soft and CA at 300, but still acceptable
comment:Great jar! This lens gave me much joy and it's my favorite glass. I would recommend it for everyone, amateur or professional. Thanks Minolta!
reviewer#9857 date: Jan-28-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
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:beercan 75-300, 75-300 D
price paid:88 used
positive:size
weight
price
negative:flare
slow AF
comment:If u r looking for a 100$ zoom range with good IQ this could be your lens..but there are a few compromises. The Autofocus is on the slow side and does not hold focus very well. The colors are good, infact better than the less expensive 75-300 D. But the 'beercan' 75-300 blows both the lenses away. If u can spend an extra 100, go ahead and get the beercan version. That being said, this lens is not bad. Its good. It has good color reprodcution. Sharpeness is good. COntrast is OK. A bang for the buck at 100$....just that after being hooked to the beercan version, this version feels inferior in al ways. The size and weight are comfortable.....much lighter than the beercan version.
reviewer#9803 date: Jan-17-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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:not one really in specific
price paid:50€ used
positive:Considerably smaller and lighter than the "big beercan", sharp when stopped down, nice colours, feels decent
negative:Not very good wide open, photos need a 'boost'
comment:I bought this one for 50€ with some other stuff (teleconverter, filters). So I got it practically for free.

I decided to get this one, instead of the 'big beercan' when traveling through Africa. It has been a pleasure to shoot with this lens. It is definitely for daylight shooting, since you have to stop it down to get good results.

When I loaded the pictures on my computer, at first I was a bit disappointed. The colours and the contrast were not what I expected (based on my other (older) Minolta lenses). However, after some little adjustments in contrast, I was very happy with the result. It could be partly due to the fact that I was shooting RAW for the first time as well. However, I didn't have this (initial) disappointment with the pictures I shot with the Tamron 17-50.
reviewer#9146 date: Jun-17-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 70-200 2.8
price paid:145 USD (used)
positive:Light weight (compared to Sony G and Tam USD)
Affordable
Minolta Colors
negative:Not aspheric/APO glass
Some zoom creep (but it doesn't bother me)
comment:I wanted a 70/75-300mm to use outdoors/in good light as a long zoom that would be lighter to carry than my Tam 70-200 2.8. I waited, and waited, and waited for the Tam 70-300 Di VC USD to be released, and finally decided that something was better than nothing. As fate would have it, I got an email notifying me that a camera vendor was accepting pre-orders for the Tamron lens less than a week after the Minolta "New" arrived...

My copy was on an auction website and I was able to get it for what I thought was a fair price. I considered the Big Beercan only briefly, (I turned in my very good copy of the Beercan due to its weight, and I felt that it balanced poorly on my a350). Reviews of other lenses in this zoom range all seemed to be tragically flawed, and many were noted to become "soft" approaching 300mm.

Regarding CA- it is there in high contrast scenes. It is tamed moderately by stopping down to f11 or so. I'm getting better at correcting this defect in PP, and it isn't so bad that I would get rid of it over this right now.

Zoom creep can happen if you are holding the lens in either vertical orientation, but hasn't been an issue in normal use and in walking around with it.

I have noticed that the lens seems to over expose a bit at 300mm. I'm not sure if this is flare that I'm seeing, but setting my a580 to underexpose by 2/3 stops seems to bring the image back to where it needs to be.

Overall, I am very satisfied with this lens, and I have no plans to use it as a trade in for either the Sony G or the Tam USD. My bias in liking my having at least one Minolta legacy lens in my bag should be acknowledged. But I will follow that admission with a strong assertion that I would not hang onto any lens if it didn't assist me in making pleasant images (translation: "I'm not going to keep a stinker.") I would say that the summation of its cost balanced against what it can do makes it a solid value. I view it as a very good lens for image quality, with its only significant shortcoming being issues with CA/PF.

Overall a great budget zoom.
reviewer#9070 date: Jun-1-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 / 3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210 / 4
Minolta 75-300 / 4.5-5.6 (Big Beer)
Minolta 75-300 / 4.5-5.6 D
Sigma - 70-300 F4-5.6 DG APO Macro
Minolta - AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO (D)
price paid:HKD1000 = USD128
positive:1. Light Weight compare to Big Beer ( 865g vs 500g)
2. High C/P
3. Sharp after F/8
4. Nice Bokeh
5. High AF speed (Using it on A55/A850)
6. Nice Color
negative:1. Have purple fringing (not too much, within acceptable range), but you can use software remove it easily
2. Not sharp when wide open (I don’t mean soft)
3. The hood is not easy to install and remove it
4. No IF, the front element will rotate when focusing, not to easy to use CPL
5. Max. magnification: just only 1:4 , but Sigma - 70-300 F4-5.6 DG APO Macro have 1:2
6. Not circular aperture
comment:Light weight; easy to carry; cheap are the reasons I buy this lens. I always use it for taking wildlife: birds, butterfly, dragonfly ; and concert.
I think this lens is better than other Minolta / Sony 70(75)-300 lenses (apart from Sony 70-300G, but it is quite expensive, at least 5 times of this lens) in performance.
reviewer#9039 date: May-20-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 f4
100-200 f4.5
75-300 (Sony)
75-300 (KM last re-issue)
75-300 (Big Beercan)
price paid:
missing
positive:Lighter than the Big Beercan
Seems to focus faster than the BBC
Has focus hold switch
Sharp and reasonably sharp at 300mm
Rubber grips wider (specially on the focus ring)
negative:Has some CA specially at the 300mm
Rubber grips remind me too much of rubber erasers
Like any old zoom, it hunts in low light
comment:I feel compelled to say that this is as or even possibly sharper than the BBC mostly cause its easier to handle and hold than the BBC, less prone to tired arms that seek to stabilize a shot.

The CA isnt as harsh or obvious as with the Beercan (70-210) or 100-200 but its there just so you know.

I'd choose this over the BBC specially on trips when I have to pack light and still need a zoom lens my usual compliment is the 35-70 f/4 and this 75-300.
reviewer#8471 date: Jan-3-2011
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- kit 18-70
- minolta 28-85
price paid:130 USD (2nd hand)
positive:- Cheap
- light weight
- sharp (reasonably sharp at 300)
- contrast, color
negative:- little strong CA at 300
- apperture quickly fall down to 5,6
comment:Like this lens so much. Best as big beercan successor and other Sony or minolta lens with same focal range don't have enough good image quality (especially in sharpness).
Sony kit n 28-85 were not in same class, but i think this lens is much better than both. I take so much good picture with this lens. Only serious problem is much PF in long end. But it could be avoided by stopping down to f/8.
I wanna buy 80-200 or 70-200 f2.8 someday, but eventough i own professional telelens, i wouldnt sell this lens.
reviewer#8200 date: Nov-6-2010
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-250mm f3,5-6,3
Sony 70-300G SSM f/4,5-5,6
Minolta 28-135mm f4-4,5
Minolta 70-210mm f4
Minolta 50mm f1,7
price paid:76 EUR
positive:sharp, light, full-frame, color, metal mount, focus-hold button
negative:slow AF, CA(PF)
comment:Bought it before I bought the Sony 70-300G. After some tests on a700 noticed almost the same sharpness. Minolta has PF wide open, less if stoped down.
reviewer#8193 date: Nov-5-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 (Big Beercan)
price paid:67 GBP
positive:Cost - Value for money
Stunning IQ
negative:Nothing apart from some PF at larger apertures in very bright contrasty situations
comment:Super lens, lightweight alternative to Big Beercan.

I did some quick test shots with this and the Big Beercan:

Sharpness:-

Big Beercan sharper below f7.1, above F7.1 'New' sharper.

Big Beercan has slightly better bokeh.

Colour rendition - identical.

Flare - identical (Both need hood)

Distortion - Not noticeable in either.

Of course, these observations relate to the sample copies in my possession and other samples may produce different results.
reviewer#7936 date: Sep-3-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300 d
70-210 f4
price paid:
missing
positive:Not too heavy, quite sharp, nice colour.
negative:None yet.
comment:What a find, love the lens it not only takes great shots as a tele but it takes great flower shots from a metre from my feet.

Find i am reaching to take this out over the beercan, more reach and lighter.
reviewer#7812 date: Aug-12-2010
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300mm LD
Sigma 100-300mm EX DG
Beercan
KM 18-70 kit lens
price paid:80 GBP
positive:- sharp
- light weight
- compact
- inexpensive
- focus hold
negative:- slow AF
- frequently hunts
- CA prone
- not very fast
- poor focus ring
comment:For the money, I don’t think that I could fault this lens and it served me very well with my KM 5D. Colour, contrast have always pleased me, and bokeh is ok too. Getting a copy of this lens made me realise how awfully soft my 18-70 kit lens and Tamron 70-300 LD were. Great as a travel zoom due to its compactness and light weight; I only replaced it when my photography started to demand a lens that would focus more quickly and accurately and give better results in low light.
reviewer#7491 date: May-26-2010
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:beercan
big beercan
price paid:85 euro
positive:Sharp.
Build quality.
Weight.
Price.
negative:None for the price
comment:Just like the 70-210 F/3.5 - F/4.5 a worthy successor to it's beercan range predecessor. The lens is sharp stopped down a bit and it's build is quite good for it's weight. If you're not a sucker for the beercan range like me, I would certainly prefer this over the big beercan. Saves you half the money and your back.
reviewer#7410 date: May-6-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
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:Min 100-200 f4.5
Sigma 90 f2.8 macro
Min 35-70 f4
price paid:75 USD
positive:Sharp
Great color
Excellent build quality (light but solid)
Nice range
Almost C/A free
Nice smooth boke
No zoom creep
negative:Slow-ish max aperture (what do you expect for the weight/cost though?)
Focus frequently hunts at the long end with busy subjects
If there is an area with a sharp contrast division in the image, there WILL be PF!!
comment:The 3 given for distortion is due to the PF issues this lens suffers from, actual linear distortion is only moderate with slight but detectable pincushion throughout the range **(revision; pincushion distortion is noticeable in most shots with straight lines...definitely *not* a lens for architecture shots if you care about straight lines).

I am very impressed with the capability of this lens, however it's a pixel peeper's nightmare, since every image that has even moderate contrast divisions (areas of adjacent high and low brightness) will have an accompanying purple fringe... in many images this issue is something you might never notice, but given the right subject the fringe can be huge and extremely distracting **(after some more shots in varying light I have to say that although the PF is in most shots, it only detracts from a small percentage of "normal" scenes, with the majority of pictures only showing this flaw upon magnification. The place where it is most visible is on a white area that is adjacent to a darker area, colored areas tend not to show in a way that detracts from the image much).

There I got it out of my system...now for the good points:

Even at 300mm this lens is fairly sharp wide open and sharpens up even more stopped down a bit. As anyone who has used a 300mm lens will undoubtedly know, it's a bear to hand hold a 450mm equivalent lens even in open daylight without softening images a bit due to camera shake, in addition the f5.6 max aperture at 300mm means you need *bright* daylight to be able to get any appreciable DOF without risking shake.

The focus hold button is a cool addition, but if the lens is missing focus or hunting I prefer to switch to MF as the wide rubberized focus ring makes doing it "the old way" easier than it is with 1st gen. Maxxum lenses. ** another note, shooting into the sun with this lens only rarely produces colored discs and contrast is not reduced as much as with the 100-200 and 35-70.

** for some reason the PF seems to be more visible on images made with the a700 than ones taken by my 5D. Part of this may be due to metering differences; the 5D underexposes a bit compared with the a700 (at least mine does on the scenes I shot with both to test this lens), this lead me to try underexposing by 2/3 stop when using the 75-300 in high contrast situations on the a700, which I believe minimizes PF somewhat.

** update....after at least fifty more images taken I am still at a loss to predict which images will have PF that detracts from the capture, I have actually gotten hot backlit subjects which showed PF in one frame and didn't in the next...go figure?!?
reviewer#7201 date: Mar-30-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 f4
Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6
Sony 55-200 f4-5.6 SAM 55200-2
price paid:62 GBP (used)
positive:Great IQ
Extremely sharp above f7.1
Typical Minolta colour
Comparitively lightweight
Inexpensive
Range
negative:PF in bright contrasty conditions at larger aperture.
Without lens hood - Flare!
comment:Above f7.1, sharper than the beercans, but not qite as good in low light conditions.

The 55-200 is sharper than the lot between 70-210 at similar apertures - very underated lens.

reviewer#6658 date: Jan-1-2010
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:big beercan
price paid:
missing
positive:weight
sharpness
zoom lock
negative:build q
no limiter
comment:
missing
reviewer#6411 date: Nov-19-2009
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:18-70mm Sony Kit lens.
price paid:$60 Aus (Used)
positive:Useful range in addition to 18-70 Kit lens
Manual focus ring is smooth
Focus Hold button
Focus Length dial.
Price
Colours come out nice.
negative:Loses sharpness at long end (Still Useable though)
Lens Creep (understandable for price lens)
Grip has come out of groove on my version
Autofocus hunts a lot in low light
Minimum focusing distance at 1.5m.
comment:You get what you pay for in this lens. It's range is great when you're getting started and getting to understand what type of photography you like. Autofocus can be a bit of a problem at the start but it can be worked around after a bit of experimentation. I have managed to get some reasonable bird shots with the lens.

I would definitely suggest this lens to anyone starting out and wants a big zoom. It is not a bad lens at all. The 55mm end is useful because it's easy to find a filter.

The is actually very good for portraits as long as there is enough light. A lot of space is needed though due to the 1.5m minimum focus distance. The apeture is only 4.5 at the short end too so outdoors in the day it works well.

Overall, for anyone wanting a big lens and wants it on the cheap I would suggest this lens. It doesn't have many shortcomings for the price and is very hand to have in the kit.
reviewer#5759 date: Jul-26-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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:Minolta 35-70 F4
Sony DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
price paid:700 sek~80 USD(used)
positive:Sharp
Lightweight
Colors
Great overall image quality
negative:Much purple fringing in high contrast
1.5m focus distance
AF quite slow at fully zoomed in
Focus hunts in low light
comment:I like this lens alot and got many great pics with it.
To remove some of the annoying purple fringing I lower the purple saturation in lightroom.

You can look at some of my photos taken with this lens at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickepic/tags/minolta753001995new/

Also some product photos of the lens at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nickepic/tags/minoltaaf75300f4556new/
reviewer#5743 date: Jul-21-2009
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16/105 - 50f1.7 - 100/200 - Beercan - 70/300Soligor
price paid:106 €uro (Come nuovo)
positive:Peso piuma, Colore, Nitidezza, Contrasto, Costruzione, Linea Moderna
negative:Aberrazioe Cromatica presente solo sul grigio metallico ma non sempre
comment:Sono veramente felice di questa lente, sono felice di essermi disfatto di 2 copie di Beercan. La mia copia č praticamente nuova. Ho notato che a differenza di altri il mio 75/300New possiede una tonalita abbastanza fredda. La resa č ottima anche se oltre i 210mm tenta a diminuire ma rimanendo sempre a livelli piů che accettabili. La cosa che mi soddisfa maggiormente č che la sua resa ottimale inizia giŕ alla massima apertura. Lo sfocato č carino. L'AF č accettabile. Possiede saltuariamente dell'Aberrazione Cromatica ma purtroppo a questo prezzo non potevo trovare di meglio, inoltre si manifesta solo sul grigio metallico e molto di rado.
reviewer#5668 date: Jul-7-2009
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-300 sony Kit
price paid:120 USD
positive:Light , Good Build , Good IQ
negative:non for it's price
comment:for those unwilling to shell out $800 for the G lens , This is next best
reviewer#5537 date: Jun-15-2009
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:Konica Minolta 75-300mm D
Minolta 100-300mm
price paid:160 USD
positive:nice range of zoom
compact and usefull for light travelling
negative:plastic feel on the body of the lens

due to the long range, small shake will affect the image very much.
comment:I like the lens for the simplicity and lightness of the body, and very usefull when I feel like to travel light with a long range lense.

The images produce by the lens is sharp compare to the newer lens, produced by Konica Minolta 75-300D. With its price that is a bit cheaper than the Konica Minolta, it is a worth to buy lens.

reviewer#5474 date: May-31-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan 70-210
Little Beercan 100-200
Big Beercan 75-300
75-300 “New”
Sony 55-200 Bundled lens
price paid:$120
positive:Light, Sharp, and Compact
negative:It's a plastic experience

Prices almost caught up with Beercan
comment:I did a somewhat formal shootout of these 5 lenses; prices are with shipping/tax/all costs included:

Beercan 70-210 paid $140
Little Beercan 100-200 paid $85
Big Beercan 75-300 Paid $180
75-300 “New” Paid $120
Sony 55-200 DT Bundle lens (The Tamron re-labeled) included with my A350

I went through a bit of trouble in doing this but am not sure there is really enough differences to report or if those differences are just due to my copies. That said, here are my results shooting on a tripod at f5.6 and 250 shutter on a new Alpha 350:

1. Big Beercan won for Bokeh and took 2nd place in sharpness
2. The “New” 75-300” surprised as noted around here a few times…1st in sharpness and 2nd in Bokeh. Nice and light, the sensible choice but…you got to admit the beercans have that beercan “thing” about them…Also – I paid $120 for this lens so…they’re not the big bargain they once were.
3. The Beercan came in 3rd in sharpness, but it must be said that the top 3 lenses were nearly identical in sharpness. This lens took best photo “feel” and color though – and strangely – it may be the one I keep, go figure. I know, not very scientific : ( This lens really does live up to its hype. Mine is all beat up and looks like hell but WOW – those dings did NOT touch the IQ!
4. Little Beer Can…after reading here I guess this lens is soft at f5.6 so….take what you want from this. Still, I did plenty of shooting and this lens marked the only consistent and true drop off from the pack. You could almost take your pick of the top 3 and maybe never know the difference. This is the only one I’m sure to sell. It’s small size doesn’t do me much good – if I’ve busted out the camera bag and the a350 then I’m committed to being encumbered – and I certainly, certainly wouldn’t pick THIS lens as my walk-around shooter…hah.
5. Well, the SONY DT is obviously outmatched here but…it’s sharp really. My main issue with this lens is how cold it’s photos are. Yeah modern lenses kill flare and fringe and tweak the light around but…unless you’re a soccer Mom (I’m a classically trained armature photographer) the best results from this lens are just ho-hum. That’s tantamount to preaching to the choir on a site like this, I know ; )

That’s it….take what you want from this and feel free to contact me. I’m selling off a few of these because it’s kind of expensive owning them all (and a bit greedy since they overlap) so I won’t be able to do this again probably.

-Shootist
reviewer#5377 date: May-13-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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:Beercan
Big Beercan
Sony 55-200
price paid:$130 used
positive:Sharp
Small
Light
Cheap
Focus Hold
negative:None for the price.
comment:Maybe it's just me, but I am finding this lens and the 3 other lenses I have in this range to perform about the same.

The Big Beercan and this lens are the closest in details (exactly the same really) except one is metal and old, and one is new and plastic.

If I had to choose one to stick with...I don't really know which one I would choose, but probably this one because it's lighter and cheaper. I couldn't make up my mind, so I'm selling both and bought a 70-300G :)

I compared this directly with the 3 other lenses listed above and all were quite sharp, had pretty much the same colors, all created decent bokeh. I don't know if I am not picky enough, but those are my findings. This is a great lens IMHO for the price (I overpaid and they can be found for quite a bit less).
reviewer#5094 date: Mar-25-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:K/M 75-300 Big Beercan
K/M 35-70 4
Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
K/M 50 1.7
K/M 70-210 4.5-5.6
K/M 70-210 4 Beercan
K/M 28 2.8
K/M 28-80xi
K/M 28-135 4-4.5
K/M 35-70 3.5-4.5
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD NEW
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
Deitz 28-200
Tamron 20-35 3.5-4.5
KM 100-400 4.5-6.7
Tamron 28-75 2.8
KM 50 3.5 Macro
KM 35-105 3.5-4.5
KM 24-105 3.5-4.5
Sigma 18 3.5
Sony 70-400 4-5.6 G
K/M 80-200 2.8 G
K/M 75-300 4.5-5.6 NEW
Tamron 300 2.8 LD IF
price paid:140.00 USD
positive:Lighter
smaller
55mm filter
sharp
range
bokeh colors
negative:hard to find a good copy
a little CA
a little flare
comment: I did a side to side comparison at 300mm with this lens and a big beercan. The Big beercan is sharper at larger apertures up to about F9, at F13 the new one was slightly sharper. The beercan has *slightly* better color. This is a lot easier to travel with and focus is close between the two. Thanks
reviewer#5089 date: Mar-24-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 Beercan
Tamron 70-300
price paid:120 USD used
positive:weight
size
negative:CA, Soft at 300, did I mention CA?
comment:There is an echo in this room, like the previous reviewer I too read the earlier reviews and had high expectations for this lens only to be disappointed by it's performance.

Perhaps it's sample variability but this lens has some of the worst CA I have ever seen and I thought the cheap Tamron was bad. I do most of my shooting early in the day or late in the afternoon to take advantage of the suns angle and the purple fringing on this lens is everywhere. Even on light colored twigs laying on the ground.

Do not attempt to us this lens in high contrast situations, keep the sun at your back and shoot in the shade if possible.

The lens is reasonably sharp at f8 and f11 however at 300mm it gets soft regardless of the f stop. It out performs the Tamron in sharpness and colors but little else.

This is the worst performing Minolta lens that I own.
reviewer#5044 date: Mar-15-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5
Sony 70-300mm f/4.5 - 5.6 G
Minolta 28-135 f/4.0 - 4.5
Nikon 300mm f/4.0 AF-S
Minolta 300mm f/4.0 APO
price paid:$125 (near mint)
positive:Decent build quality
Inexpensive
Light weight
Relatively compact
negative:Strong spherical aberration
Strong chromatic aberration
Manual focus ring not smooth
Zoom ring not smooth
Small maximum aperture
Focus hunts a lot in low light
Somewhat slow autofocus
comment:I had high hopes for this lens based on the reviews here. Unfortunately, its limitations are too significant on modern high resolution digital sensors.

At 300mm, which is the focal length that most users buy this lens for, its performance is seriously compromised by strong spherical and chromatic aberration (this is why I gave it a score of 2 in the distortion category). Even stopped down to f/8, these problems do not improve. Unfortunately, neither are correctable in Lightroom or other photo editing software. The Sony 70-300mm G is much better at 300mm than this lens. From 75mm - 200mm, this lens is fairly sharp wide open, but certainly not deserving of a sharpness rating of 5, as some other reviews have indicated. Aberrations are better controlled in this focal range. By f/11, center sharpness is very good, but it still can't compete with any of my primes. Edge sharpness is good (definitely not excellent), when it's not be destroyed by aberrations. My Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5 is much sharper at all focal lengths and apertures, and has nowhere near the aberration problems of this lens.

Focus performance also leaves much to be desired. The autofocus hunts a lot in low light at all apertures. At any focal length, this is my slowest focusing Minolta lens. So, I decided to mostly use the manual focus ring. Unfortunately, its movement is not very smooth or precise, requiring a bit of work to get it right. If you need fast and reliable autofocus, this is not your lens.

Flare is reasonably well controlled, but does rear its ugly head every now and then. The small maximum aperture makes this lens really only useful in bright conditions. If you're expecting legacy Minolta colors with this lens, you're going to be disappointed. Only at maximum aperture does it really have colors that approach those of my Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5. All other apertures produce fairly washed out colors, at least for a Minolta lens. Compared to my Nikkor glass, they aren't bad. Despite its mostly plastic build, it is tough enough to suffer some mild abuse, and its relatively low weight makes it easy to carry.

Having said all that, this is one of the better performers for its price, but its optical and focus issues are too substantial to really make it useful. This is a common problem with this design of lens, regardless of the manufacturer, and there aren't many good alternatives.
reviews found: 51    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 51
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.71
  • build: 4.31
  • distortion: 4.41
  • flare control: 4.10
  • overall: 4.40

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