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

reviews found: 19   
reviewer#11597 date: Jan-10-2014
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:nothing
price paid:2000 usd (used)
positive:sharpness,speed,color
negative:weight
comment:good price,sharp,quite fast
reviewer#11210 date: Jun-25-2013
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 180/3.5
price paid:1900 EUR (used)
positive:Built like tank
Focus Stop Buttons
Usable aperture wide open
Color
Fast autofocus
Focus limiter
negative:Some CAs wide open
Soft touch wide open
too expensive for a student's budget...
comment:I really love this lens. I'm using it for wildlife and sometimes sports in a hall.

The lens produces a really nice bokeh and is incredibly sharp stopped down a bit. At 2.8 it has a soft touch but this is not really disturbing. There are also some CAs wide open, but those are easy to remove.

The lens itself is built like a tank and I like the possibility to stop the focus (2 focus stop buttons, one at the top, one on the left side) and the focus limiter increases the focus speed - which is already pretty fast (I think it is as fast as my Tamron 70-300 USM (but much louder)!) - even more.

The weight is okay (I mean, what do you expect from a 300/2.8?), if your shutter speed is fast enough you can shoot without a tripod, but using one adds a lot of comfort;) And you get - at least I got - used to the weight and now all my other lenses seem very light to me:)

I also tried using it with my Kenko 1.5x tele converter and it worked well. Image quality decreases noticeably when shooting wide open but with 5.6 (which is 8 then) you get really sharp pictures again. Focus speed is pretty slow with my Kenko and there was also some micro-hunting. I hope I can grab a Minolta 2x v2 tele converter if my war chest is filled up again.

All at all this is a really good deal, get one if you can! You have a lot of flexibility with 300/2.8 if you want to use it solely or with tele converters and it is the best choice for a 300/2.8 if you cannot afford the new Sony 300/2.8.
reviewer#11190 date: Jun-11-2013
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70400G
price paid:$2800.00 (like new)
positive:Fast
Bright
Build quality
Fixed hood
Color
Sharp
negative:
missing
comment:I love this glass. It is much faster than my 70400G and am very happy with its performance on the A99. The only reason I gave it a Sharpness rating of 4.5 is that it gets a touch soft wide open. I also noticed some CA wide open as well. Other than that I am extremely happy with it's performance and do not regret the purchase at all.
reviewer#10291 date: Jun-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 300 F4
Sony 70-400G
Sigma 50-500
price paid:$2300 AUD
positive:This is the one Minolta legacy lens I had to have. I have had her for a couple of years after getting an awesome copy from Japan this included the Box, Filter set & strap. It is a very sharp lens that produces wonderfull colors and beutifull bokeh.I mainly use it at motorsport & some wildlife.

Build Qulity
Fast AF Speed
Colors/Bokeh
IQ/Sharpness
negative:Nothing. becoming as rare as rocking horse pooh.Its a head turner at the race track
comment:I get immense pleasure from using this lens it is simply awesome.

I find it outstanding on the A77.
reviewer#10063 date: Mar-30-2012
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO + EX (IF) APO
Sigma AF 70-300mm APO DG Macro
Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 'Beercan'
SAL 70-300 SSM G
SAL 70-400 SSM G
Tokina AT-X 300 F/2.8 PRO AF SD
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm Di USD
Minolta AF 300mm F4 APO HS G
Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO G
price paid:£1132.00 (used)
positive:Build Quality
IQ/Sharpness
Colours/Bokeh
Fast AF Speed
2x Focus Hold Buttons
Focus Range Limiter
negative:Tripod mount leg too close to body (non removable)
A shade slower with a TC fitted
Cover to manual adjustment ring easily opened
comment:My findings and comments are based from use on a full frame 24MP Sony Alpha A850. I hope this review gives potential buyers a greater insight based on my findings and as you'll see, comparisons to others lenses I've owned have been made as well as the positives and negatives (my opinion only).

Comments:

It's already been said before; what a superb lens, but it oozes quality. My copy came supplied with 6 rear drop-in filters, rear cap, front hood, lens strap, alloy lens box, front CLR filter and original box.

This lens is everything you could hope for in a fast prime. Easy enough to hand-hold (though a monopod/tripod support would be recommended and hand holding will require a certain degree of upper arm strength), the hood is not too long when fitted to a FF body to cause any vignetting and images are tack sharp with superb colours and buttery smooth bokeh.

An absolute 'must have' or the Mk 1 APO version. If your funds are limited I would recommend the Sigma AF 100-300/4 EX DG (IF) APO tele-zoom, but this Minolta prime lens just makes most others look lame by comparison in all departments.

Difficult to write a formal review as the image results it gives speak for themselves. So, if you're in need of arguably one of, if not THE best of the 300/2.8 tele/primes and you have the funds, it's a 'no brainer' . . . go get one.
reviewer#8404 date: Dec-14-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 100-400mm
price paid:2300€ (used)
positive:-Killing scharp
-Fast AF
-Good quality with convertor
2x type II
-nice and real colors
-Focus limiter
negative:-Heavy
-white color (;-))
-manual focus is not easy
-Not scharp with TC 2X!
comment:I very heavy lens, but with the same quality!! ;-)
Not so fast AF, robust construction! compare to the SAL70400 G this AF speed is "slow" (edit 30-01-2011)
It arrived 2-hands in the original box, as new......
thanks to www.dieters-foto-shop.de
In combination with the Minolta converter 2x apo AF type II
gives from f7.1 very good image-quality....the AF works, but much slower ...with the convertor manual focussing is almost impossible.
With the Minolta type II AF APO 2X there is a serious lost of scharpness.... With the SAL14TC, it's ok, but still not that ...
For my the lens combination for sport and nature.
reviewer#7241 date: Apr-2-2010
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 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 400 5.6
minolta 100-300 4.5-5.6
80-200 g
price paid:1300.00 USD (ebay)
positive:Great at what it does. Fast focus, accurate all bodies. The colors are unmatched.
negative:Its giant, cumbersome and expensive.
comment:I lucked up on a deal with this but would only buy it as such. Its too big and cumbersome to take around on a regular basis. I shoot more with lower quality glass just because its easier to deal with. I've found differences to be negligible when compared to my ability. I can get better with the cheap glass first, so I run around with it and only use this when I really need every advantage (including clients' perception) I'll get this out.
If you can afford it go for it, but I'd refine your talent with something of this focal length at cheaper price first.
reviewer#6187 date: Oct-6-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Min AF 200/2.8 APO G HS + TC
SAL 70300
price paid:
missing
positive:excellent optical performance
fast autofocus
max aperture 2.8
used handheld and tripod
negative:weight
2x converter not recommendet
1 stop down for brightness
comment:Very satisfied with the images from the lens.Most used together with tripod for better images.You need exercise following moving objects like birds etc.
Best recommendations for buying!
reviewer#4533 date: Dec-12-2008
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:2400 USD (used)
positive:Outstanding performer. Fast focusing AF and manual
negative:
missing
comment:I find it funny that so many people rate this lens as "Heavy". I frequently use the 600/4 and this lens is so much lighter that I forget it is a bit on the hefty side.
reviewer#3294 date: Feb-20-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Tamron 200-500mm
70-210mm beercan
price paid:2400USD (used)
positive:Very sharp and fast focus on A700. Pro quality lens.
negative:Very Heavy
comment:Just got the lens but have taken several hundred pictures. Very good image quality. Can't believe how fast and accurate the focus is-no need for SSM unless you need silence. The lens is very large and heavy. A full load hanging around your neck. Seems to handhold alright as long as the shutter speed is high enough. The lens hood is attached to the lens and seems to work, no flare probems so far.
reviewer#3221 date: Jan-29-2008
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 17/35g 70/200 ssm minolta
price paid:1950 euros
positive:lens hood
negative:heavy
comment:i use this lens for sports and find it fab focus is fast and right on everything about it is fab i could go on and on get one you will not regret it
reviewer#2036 date: Mar-25-2007
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 70-200/2.8 SSM
Minolta 200/2.8 HS G
price paid:1995 USD (used)
positive:
missing
negative:Shows a bit of purple fringing below f4 in harsh opposing light conditions. This gets much stronger when used with the Minolta 1.4x Teleconverter.
comment:When travelling, the most sensible combination in terms of performance and weight is usually the 70-200/2.8 SSM with the 1.4 TC. When prepared to carry the weight, the 300/2.8 HS G comes into life. You certainly need a well balanced backpack though and a tripod often is helpful addition, especially when waiting for a certain situation, as handling the cam+this lens takes a bit of muscle. With the 1.4x TX you still get a very usable 420/4 out of this lens. For travelling this is again more versatile then taken a better lens on the trip (like 400/4.5).
reviewer#1599 date: Jan-1-2007
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:- Sigma 70-200 2,8 EX DG
price paid:
missing
positive:- Sharp
- Nice colours
- Fine built
- Lens hood ++
- Overall it is a beautiful lens
negative:- It is heavy (not a suprise), you want to use it with a tripod or a monopod when shooting for longer times.
comment:The lens hood system is very useful and easy to use! I have owned it only for few months, but have only positive experiences. You can get very sharp pictures at f2,8. Love to have more of these G- lenses :)!
reviewer#1508 date: Dec-5-2006
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 used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness
Fast focus
Looks nice
negative:Weight
comment:Boy this lens is a load but it performs as well as anything I have ever used. Sharp even wide open. I plan to use the new Sony 1.4x TC with it.
Focus is fast and right on. I got this lens at a good price and I'm not regretting it. Minolta G glass is superb.

reviewer#1056 date: Aug-1-2006
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 used to own this lens
compared to:havent nothing comparable
price paid:
missing
positive:Extremly sharp
fast
negative:weight... but this is pro
comment:I have bought this lens used. Enjoyed a lot the sharpness, fast focusing, and excellent briliant pictures. Even used with TC2x minolta APO II, brings stunning results. Yes, its big and heavy, and often abandoned in my house, because I just didnt want to carry this lens. But when it comes to wildlife and really shooting from far away,... this lens comes to do the job.


Another shot with original minolta TC 2x, cropped:
http://foto.infrastellar.net/moon.jpg

If you can, take it and give it a try. If its heavy for you, you will sell without loose. Enjoy.
reviewer#943 date: Jun-26-2006
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Very Sharp
Fast focusing even with a KM 5D
negative:Some hunting
comment:Excellent lens. Handheld possible with AS even with a 2X TC attached. Sharp even wide open, very sharp 1 stop down.

Color rendition is fresher (slightly less saturated) than other G optics, still very pleasing.

Slightly faster focusing than 70-200 SSM; noisier and less precise though.

Somewhat circular aperture at f2.8 only.

Contrasty in a bright day, which also means in a low light situation, it really shines. Minor purple fringing around highlight or dark edge can be seen sometimes.

Work extremely well with a 1.4X TC, no loss in sharpness observed with a 6MP sensor.

With a 2X TC, some loss in sharpness and contrast is obvious. However, in a close range, 10-15 feet, stunning performance, a real surprise!
reviewer#835 date: May-25-2006
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:AF200 2.8 APO HS G, AF100-300 APO zoom.
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality is outstanding as is image quality. Fast AF. Takes excellent Minolta polarizer set. Sturdy and effective tripod collar. Velvet lined sliding hood.
negative:Ummm..... nothing!
Hard to get polarizer set.
comment:This lens is as good as it gets. To my eyes, absolutely sharp, distortion free and excellent color fidelity. Astounding image clarity, and a bright view-finder image.

Build quality is faultless. This does make it, of course, heavy to hand hold. But it is quite comfortable to do so, and the weight helps to steady it nicely.

Takes G-series polarizer filter set. I have one and it is a beautifully made little item. Though not at all cheap or easy to get. I have only ever seen one for sale anywhere (and bought it too!).

The manual (not electronic) focus range limiter works well as do the 4 focus hold buttons which are nice to have.

Equivalent to a 450mm f2.8, but thanks to AS, easily usable without a tripod.

Basically, I love this lens and would buy it again totally without reservation. If you can afford it, get one!
reviewer#318 date: Dec-21-2005
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fantastic image quality. Very fast AF. Great tool.....could go on and on.
negative:None...
comment:Bought this for 1100 Euro nice and shine from a store i Germany. Make fantastic pictures, also great for portraits.
reviewer#256 date: Dec-1-2005
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:- Well built, sturdy and massive lens;
- Extremely comfortable manual focusing;
- distorsion free;
- relatively fast and accurate AF;
negative:- not sharp enough, a little bit soft mapping;
- the cover tube of the manual focusing ring is beeing tightened quite frequently;
- heavy weight;
- unique (unobtainable) size of built-in filter;
comment:To be honest, I am not too satisfied with the mapping features of this lens. Not bad, not bad, but I cannot tell you that this is a "razor sharp" glass...
I purchased it as a second hand lens from e-bay two years ago but I am willing to send it back to KM service for a test and adjustment now.
Additionally, I have got just one built-in filter (Skylight - M42) together with the lens, and I am not able to buy more kinds of filters with this diameter in Hungary...
reviews found: 19   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 4.79
  • color: 4.84
  • build: 4.95
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.79
  • overall: 4.86

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