Minolta AF 70-210mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 63    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#39908 date: Aug-4-2017
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210/4 "beercan" 100-300 APO, 100-300 non APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Fairly sharp in general, with reasonable contrast. Unusually my lens is quite definitely best at its long end, where it really is quite decent across the APS frame even wide open. It seems disappointingly inconsistent across the frame at short focal lengths, though central sharpness seems good at all apertures and focal lengths.
Fairly small and light. Very similar form factor and weight to the 100-300 lenses. Colour is definitely Minolta, as you might expect...
negative:The worst thing about this lens, and the least commented on, as far as I can tell, is that it can give purple highlights and edges in bright, strong light, particularly towards its long end shooting towards the light (eg very noticeable indeed at 210mm F8). It is definitely much worse than my beercan for this, and very well on the way to being as bad as the old pre-APO 100-300, which was the worst lens I've ever used in this respect.

Sharpness, though good, is generally less consistent across the frame than the beercan 70-210 or the 100-300 APO, and contrast, while decently high, looks a little lower than the beercan's. Like the 100-300 lenses, the short end underperforms. In fact it is the long end which really shows some optical strength, as I have good test shots at 210mm/ max aperture.

Not a good performer at close distances, where it needs a lot of stopping down for even decent centre sharpness.
comment:A competent enough lens which is certainly very usable, but not a match for the original f4 beercan lens, and the 100-300 APO is also optically superior for almost the same size and weight.

This will have its place due to matching the beercan's close focus of 1.1 meters (where the 100-300s go to only 1.5) and nearly matching its optical speed, but the form factor and fact that it focuses faster are the only advantages I can see that this holds over the F4 beercan.

On the plus side, this is a lot faster than the 4.5-5.6 version which looks so similar, without being a lot bigger, heavier or much more expensive.

This is a preliminary review only after review of a couple of hundred test shots, and subject to possible change. The example lens is in superb condition, with no mechanical slop or zoom creep at all (unlike a previous sample I once briefly owned which had dreadful zoom creep).
reviewer#27592 date: May-29-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL1855
MAF50 F1.7
price paid:320 PLN (ca 80 USD)
positive:Cheap
Nice colours
Small
Weight
negative:Soft to F5.6
Slow AF
comment:Nice lens, sharp at F5.6, little bit slow on A450, sometimes AF missing, pretty quiet compared to SAL1855 ;)
reviewer#26537 date: Mar-28-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:100-200mm f4.5
price paid:5500 INR (78$ aprx)
positive:Good build
Bokeh

negative:Sharpness not adequate
Colors not great
comment:I purchased this lens to have a cheap zoom option. Read some articles that it ran the famous beercan very close on some tests. But once I tested this, I was not satisfied with the sharpness and color rendering. Was expecting much more from the famed Minolta line up.

I returned it immediately and researched further and found the 100-200 f4.5 to be more likeable and well respected and liked across forums and reviews. Ordered the 100-200 f4.5 for a much cheaper price. Glad I returned this one
reviewer#26533 date: Mar-27-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan, Tokina 100-300 F4
price paid:20 €
positive:Weight, cheap, focus hold button. Sharp at long end and stepped down also at short end.
negative:Manual focus is difficult and not smooth.
comment:I got this as a bycatch with some other lenses, so the purchase price is estimated. At the shorter end it is quite soft but reaches beercan sharpness stepped down. At the long end this lens is comparable with the beercan at F4.5. However stepped down at 200mm it is getting less sharp so there might be some focus shift.
reviewer#20412 date: Nov-6-2015
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-200
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 100-300 APO
price paid:27 USD (used)
positive:Moderate size and weight
Good sharpness even wide open
Slightly wider than 70-210 F4
Restyled rubber grips
55 mm filter threads
negative:Heavy/stiff zoom and focus actions
Soft corners
Axial CA
Filter threads rotate with focus
Large sample variation
Fiddly assembly.
comment:When originally released this lens was more expensive than the original Minolta AF 70-210 f/4 which continued to be sold alongside it. Minolta then released the very similar looking but cheaper 70-210 f/4.5-5.6 which is slightly smaller in all dimensions. "JAPAN"

I overpaid $36 for the first tired looking copy. The hood and rear cap were missing, and it came with a generic front cap. This copy also performed horribly. I got a second nicer copy with original hood and caps for less money. The review reflects the performance of this better copy.

This lens performs much better than either copy of 100-200 f/4.5 while offering a faster and wider wide end. Both of the later 70-210's start with a wider field-of-view than the 70-210 f/4. Between the three 70-210 lenses, the original 70-210 f/4 has the best image quality, but the 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 does perform nearly as well. It is only f/3.5 at 70 mm and the image quality is much improved when stopped down to f/4, so practically it is just slightly slower than the constant f/4 zoom. It is a bit more consistent across the frame than the 70-210 f/4.5-5.6, but it doesn't match the consistency of the f/4 zoom. The Sony DT 55-200 SAM is sharper in the corners but has a lot more distortion. The little 55-200 is also just as fast up to 150 mm.

It works pretty well with the Kenko TELEPLUS 1.4X DGX teleconverter.

There is a lot of stiction in both the focus and zoom mechanisms. The smaller f/4.5-5.6 lens is much smoother and easier to use. The rubber covered focus ring on this lens is smaller and sunken while the one on the smaller lens is more flush. The higher mass of the elements in the larger lens is also quite noticeable. It might benefit from a cleaning.

Having opened it up the sealing is impressive. It is definitely more complicated than the 70-210 f/4.5-5.6 despite the superficial resemblance. It was a pain to get back together correctly. I was unable to improve the focus or zoom action.

The hood is identical to the ones used on the Minolta 100-300 zooms other than the printed lens name. The slightly smaller diameter hood from the 70-210 f/4 also fits perfectly.

If you manage to find a good copy, this isn't a horrible lens. The older 70-210 f/4 definitely has better image quality, but it is also heavier and somewhat more expensive.
reviewer#11931 date: Jul-30-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 70-210/4
Minolta 75-300/4.5-5.6 new
tamron 55-200/4-5.6
price paid:60 eur
positive:Pleasing minolta colors and bokeh
quite sharp
3.5/70 !!
negative:corner sharpness at 70mm,
hood is a must or expect flare

comment:Small and light lens, with image quality comparable to beercan. At the long end this lens outperforms beercan, at the short end beercan has better corner sharpness. Beercan produces better bokeh. F3.5@70mm makes it good portrait lens.

Build quality is good, same as minolta Minolta 75-300/4.5-5.6 "new" - with distance scale and focus lock button. Easy to attach hood.





reviewer#11475 date: Nov-12-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 70-210mm F4,5-5,6
Cosina 60-300mm F4-5,6
price paid:100 EUR (used)
positive:Light viewfinder
Good quality feel
Nice weight
negative:Flare
comment:Nice sturdy lens with good Picture quality, good Minolta colors and light viewfinder!
reviewer#9976 date: Feb-26-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200 SAM f4-5.6
Minolta 75-300 Big Beercan
Minolta 70-210 Beercan
price paid:55 GBP mint
positive:Sharpness
Lovely Minolta colours
Light
Value for money.
negative:Zoom creep
comment:Judging from the reviews below, there appears to be some average samples of this lens. I must have been lucky as all my samples have been excellent. Sharper than the Beercan (70-210) but the bokeh , although good, is not quite as good.

As sharp as the Sony and Big Beercan, with better colour rendition than the Sony. Sold the Sony and Beercan.

Good weight to carry around.

Flare - NB Scored 5 with hood fitted. It really is necessary with this lens.

Slight zoom creep with lens pointed downwards.

The IQ produced complements my 35-105 (original) very well.
reviewer#9946 date: Feb-18-2012
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 28-105 3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 4.5-5.6
price paid:65 EUR (used)
positive:lightweight
color
nice bokeh
budged-priced
negative:serious zoom creep
slow AF
comment:I used to own the Minolta AF 70-210 4.5-5.6 in film era. On my A700 I use the 70-210 3.5-4.5 until I'd pay for a Sigma 50-150 2.8 on APS-C or a Tamron/Sigma/Sony 70-200 2.8 on FF.
reviewer#9699 date: Dec-18-2011
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:70-210 f4(beercan), sigma 70-300 f4-5,6 APO DG
price paid:120.00 (used)
positive:light travel lens
negative:AF slower than I would like.
comment:I use this lens for traveling light, when I do not want to haul 80-200 f2,8. Compared to beercan and sigma this lens won(for me).I have 3 favorite lens that I WILL NOT get rid of and this is one of them.
reviewer#9559 date: Nov-2-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 70-210F4 beercan
Sal55-200
Tamron 80-210
Min 100-200
Minolta 100-300APO
price paid:$85 USD
positive:Great Bokeh and colour
Very good wide open
Very sharp @F6.3 @ 210mm
Great hood
Fast focus
negative:If anything build is not on par with beercan
comment:Ok, this is very hard for me being beercan lover but this lens is better than any of the above. Took 200 test shots and I am very impressed. Wide open @210mm is very very acceptable....It is much smaller and lighter than the beercan and bokeh is 98% as good as the beercan(big claim but is true). I may consider now selling the beercan which I thought would never happen.....
reviewer#9414 date: Sep-13-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 16-105mm
tamron 90mm
beercan
Tamron 70-300mm DI USD
price paid:80 USD used
positive:Weight
Size
Sharpness
negative:Hood
AF noise
MFD
comment:This lens is very nice for travel photos and hiking. It is very lightweight. Its sharpness is not on par with modern good quality zooms and the color reproduction is great.
The af is very noisy, so don't plan to use it in theaters or to shoot birds. It autofocus precisely and is not slow. Hunts a little bit but not more than the other lenses I have compared it to.
Less CA than beercan.
The original hood attachments are a joke.
By far more bang for bucks than beercan.
But the Tamron DI USD is a lot better and for a little more money, so I sold the Minolta (with a profit, btw).
reviewer#8959 date: Apr-23-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:The legendary but over hyped & overpriced Beercan
price paid:£46
positive:Lightweight
F3.5-f4.5 Apertures
Image qaulity
Colours
Bokeh
negative:Horrendous Zoom creep
Need's a hood
comment:I bought this to replace my beercan which I glady sold off, if you read my beercan review you'll see why.

In A nutshell this is faster than a beercan at the short end and although slower at the long end, it is sharper than a beercan.

Image quality is excellent, hunting isn't quite as bad as the beercan and yes it does need stopping down (as does the beercan), as a cheap lens (I paid only £46) it is a bargain and much cheaper than the beercan and newer (but probably better) 50-200 lenses.

If you want a cheap mid range zoom I cannot recommend this one highly enough, Zoom creep however is truly horrendous.
reviewer#8654 date: Feb-12-2011
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 F4 Beercan
Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:€60
positive:Sharp! Even at full opening. Little weight. Little priced 2nd hand. Very nice colours.
negative:Feels not as well build as a Beercan. For the price, nothing.
comment:First had in on a A200. It surpriced me compared to the Sigma APO. Now I have it combined with the A550. Superb! Really sharp. Got it for €60,- incl shipping. Sold the Sigma APO. It was supposed to be the backup voor for the APO, wich has issues with braking down regularly. Outperformed the APO in speed, sharpness, weight and price.

From a friend tested it against a Beercan. The results were not noticable different. That's why I prefer this one. It's about 50% cheaper and much easier to carry around all day.
reviewer#8510 date: Jan-12-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
price paid:100 USD (Used)
positive:- Nice Bokeh
- Accurate AF with Focus Button
- Light
negative:- Slow AF
- Not Sharp at all
comment:Nice for early photograph , but bad on sharpness
reviewer#8335 date: Dec-2-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
price paid:60 GBP
positive:Cheap, compact size, lightweight
negative:Rotating front element during focus and zoom, prone to zoom creep when pointed downward
comment:For the price this lens is an excellent performer. Have taken this on many holidays, however not so great for snapping birds in the garden.
reviewer#8328 date: Dec-1-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness
Colour
negative:Nothing really.
comment:Most under rated lens on the data base.
reviewer#8324 date: Dec-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL70300G
price paid:
missing
positive:Weight
sharp
good price
negative:suffers slightly from flare and CA
comment:A great buy for the price that has been a really nice, light-weight alternative to my SAL70300G. It will autofocus on 1.4 and 1.7X teleconverters.
reviewer#8313 date: Nov-28-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 75-300 F4.5-5.6 II
Sony 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 DT
Sony 50mm F1.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp wide open at the telephoto end, very sharp stopped down a little.
Good control of distortion
Light and sharp lens.
DOF Preview/ Focus hold button
Fast AF.
negative:Need a lens hood when sun is near the image frame.
comment:Was very impressed with it's sharpness when shot wide open. The blades of lawn grass blades from more than a 100m away are clearly defined. Stopped down a little and it becomes really sharp. Images from this lens are nice and contrasty and the bokeh is really smooth and nice. Corners are a bit soft at the wide end but it shouldn't bother anyone. After all, the real business end of a telephoto lens should be at the longer focal lengths, which I think this lens really excels at.
reviewer#7874 date: Aug-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:100-200 f4.5, 70-210 Beercan
price paid:150 USD
positive:Very light weight, nice on APS-C cameras.
negative:Not that good on FF, sharpness in corners week wide open, needs to be stepped down 2-3 steps.
comment:This is much better on my APS-C 7D then on the FF A900. Did not like it on FF as corners beecame unsharp and some distortion also.

On APS-C cameras it is another history, there it is fast with little distortion and gives nice picktures.
reviewer#7657 date: Jul-4-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 F4 Beercan
Sony 70-300 G
Tamron 70-210 F2.8
Sony 75-300mm F4.5-5.6
price paid:80.55 USD
positive:Light
Colour is true minolta
Sharp
fast af
nice close focus at 1.1m
focus hold button
Can use a 1.7X tele-converter
no CA that I've noticed
negative:not quite Beercan bokeh but pretty close
comment:Well, this lens was purchased as a light weight alternative to my SAL70300G which is about 800g and this lens is around 400g.
The build is nice and solid for a plastic lens and it doesn't feel cheap. So far I've not seen any CA and my copy has been much sharper than my beercan ever was. Unfortunately, it doesn't have that amazing bokeh either. I have not seen any flare with it's hood on. I've used the lens on my 1.7X tele-converter and have been pleasantly surprised to find that at F6.3 it is still sharp.

The lens is worth the money and you can pick them up for less than the beercan so it's a nice alternative
reviewer#7552 date: Jun-11-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 1870DT
SAL 75300
Minolta 100-200 f/4.5
Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8-4.5 DC OS HSM
price paid:110 USD (used)
positive:- Decent range
- Nice bokeh
- Focus hold button is handy sometimes
- Nice apertures (for the price)
- Has focus range window
negative:- Rotates on focus
- Lens cap must be taken off to remove hood
- Not so sharp wide open (but sharp enough)
comment:I replaced my SAL75300 with this because I wanted something with faster apertures.
While it is not razor sharp wide open, it is workable.
It is pretty decent and lightweight, the finish goes well with my A200.
I do miss the extra reach (the 300mm) sometimes but more often than not, 210mm is enough.
This has much much better bokeh (creamier).
Id recommend this lens.
reviewer#7489 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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:beercan
big beercan
price paid:75 euro
positive:Sharp
Solid build
Weight
negative:None for the price
comment:Very nice successor to the beercan. IQ is comparable, sharpness is a tad less (when pixelpeeping). Build quality is in line with the rest of the 'new' range and plain good. Design fits the smaller sony bodies like the a100, 200 and 300 very well. If you aren't a sucker for the beercan range like me, choose this on and save some bucks and weight.
reviewer#7430 date: May-12-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:100 USD (used)
positive:- great minolta colour
- price
- zoom
- "macro"
- very good sharpness
negative:- nothing for this price
comment:
missing
reviewer#7183 date: Mar-28-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 f4.0 Beercan
Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6
Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6 Big Beercan
Minolta 100-300 APO D
price paid:60 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness
weight (light)
speed
bokeh!
convenience
negative:hunts a bit in low light
Slightly soft wide open at both ends
comment:Every manufacturer, including Minolta, was in love with the 70-210mm concept and made a number of different versions, of which this one is the best. I feel that it is as sharp as the Beercans (I own 4) and much sharper than the f4.5-5.6 models of which I have one each. This lens has the lovely saturated colors of Minolta fame and the best bokeh of most of the lenses in this designation. I think that it is cheap because the poorer quality versions look identical to this version. I know that my lens is not just an isolated "good" copy as I have two and can distinguish no difference between them as far a sharpness, color, and bokeh are concerned. I carry this lens and my 100-300mm APO D whenever I travel to Europe and weight is is a concern. I own all four Beercans and they stay home.

I am from the "old school" (so is the lens) that says that a lens is sharpest when stopped down 2 stops from wide open. That gives me one stop less light needed than with my 100-300 APO, and that is a big thing. I don't think that one can go wrong with this lens. Just make sure that it is the 3.5-4.5.

Update: 08/13 - Having used this lens for some years now (I seem to be getting older, or maybe it's just my eyes), but I sometimes think that the contrast ratio in this lens is a little low. The colors reproduced are wonderfully subtle, but sometimes need to be "bumped up" a little in PP.
reviewer#6960 date: Feb-24-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 35-105 f3.5-4.5
Sony 100mm f2.8 macro
Min 710-210 f4 (beercan)
Min 100-300 f4.5-5.6
price paid:Can't remember
positive:Colours
Sharpness
Range
Weight (lack of)
negative:Occasionaly difficult to focus in low light.
comment:My all-time favourite lens, bar none. Very little identifiable distortion, I have never seen any CA from it. It's light, quite fast, and is great for framing. In my opinion this lens deserves the reputation the beercan actually has. My beercan is now for sale.
reviewer#6582 date: Dec-14-2009
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:Minolta 70-210 f4
Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6
Minolta 75-300 New
Tokina 70-210 f4-5.6
price paid:Ł69
positive:Everything
negative:Nothing, except a bit of PF
comment:Less than half the price of Beercan, just as good.
reviewer#6517 date: Dec-4-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 70-200 2.8 Di LD Macro
price paid:70 USD used
positive:Sharp! (sharper than my beercan)
Light weight and easy to carry
Much cheaper than a beercan.
negative:Slower than the Tamron or Beercan at full zoom
comment:This was my main hiking lens for a trip to Glacier and Banff. It's great for closer wildlife when a longer reach isn't required. It's my favorite lens to take to the zoo. It doesn't attract lots of attention, so it's great for use in crowds. If you can find one buy it. I traded my first copy and immediately regretted it, so I jumped at the chance to buy this one when I found it.
reviewer#6512 date: Dec-4-2009
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 F4 (Beercan), Minolta 70-210 F4.5-5.6, Sigma 60-200 F4-5.6, Tamron 70-210 F4-5.6, Tokina 70-210 F4-5.6
price paid:$200? new in 1988
positive:Sharp, very fast focusing, well made, great Minolta colour, light when compared to Beercan (and with an IQ as good).
negative:Not really a negative, just a note. As with many lenses, to avoid flare the supplied hood can be improved on if shooting toward strong light. I added a longer larger collapsible rubber lens hood.
comment:I have owned Minolta since the XE1 and was one of the first in this country to buy what has now become known as a "Beercan" (I ordered it and waited several months.) When this 70-210 F3.5-4.5 lighter, faster, stronger and more reliable lens became available, I bought it and retired my Beercan - as did many photographers in the day. (The myth about Beercans started with digital photographers looking for cheap lenses.) It was and is a better lens than the Beercan mechanically and as good optically. It is made from high density polymer plastics, the same as Glock pistols and is far less prone to damage from knocks or drops. It is internally vibration damped and better sealed. Its slightly less (a fraction of a stop) speed between 120 and 210mm when compared to the Beercan is hardly worth considering in most situations and its fast focusing, strength and lightness more than compensates.
reviewer#5646 date: Jul-5-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:trade
positive:Very light
Good colors
Save a stop from most telephotos
Surprising sharpness!
negative:I only had it for a few days. . .
Kinda cheap feeling
comment:I picked this up in a trade, but quickly sold it to help pay for my sigma 70-200. I took some test shots and was shocked. It looked and felt like a p.o.s., but it most definitely was not! Only squeezed off a couple frames, but that was enough to see a major improvement over similar shots from a Tamron 70-300 4-5.6 LD. Way lighter than beercan. I've heard of zoom creep being an issue, and I could see how it could happen, though mine did not exhibit any.
reviews found: 63    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 63
  • sharpness: 4.29
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 3.97
  • distortion: 4.35
  • flare control: 3.89
  • overall: 4.23

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