Minolta AF 100-400mm F4.5-6.7 APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 41    1 2 >>
reviewer#11629 date: Jan-22-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:460
positive:400mm
Color
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#10669 date: Nov-7-2012
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL70400G
price paid:475 USD(used)
positive:Sharp on SLT-A77, best at F9.0
Very good between 135-300mm
Nice color.
negative:Slow focusing comparing to sony 70400G
comment:
missing
reviewer#10224 date: May-19-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:tamron 55-200, minolta 100mm macro D, minolta 500mm f/8
price paid:
missing
positive:size and weight
focal range
f/6.3 to wide end!
negative:quite rare
comment:I go often trekking on Alps. I bought this lens (matsuyiastore on ebay) because it seemed a good compromise between size and focal range (and affordability), and soon was amazed about unexpected performance, assuming it is a non-G lens.

Colours overall (I am not keen in postprocessing).
AF may be slightly inaccurate, but it is a blade even above 350mm, if you adjust it manually. So I give 4,5 to sharpness.

I do not complain about lack of tripod mount because I seldom carry a tripod, but obviously you need natural supports (rocks, trees, knees etc) and the result is scratching the lens hood. Zoom creeps quickly but that would be easily fixable if you'd need it. However I give 5 to build because if it was a bulky metal it would double its weigh, and I hadn't buy it!
reviewer#10071 date: Apr-1-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300G
price paid:300 AUD (used)
positive:Image quality
light weight
negative:slow (max f6.7 at 400mm)
AF tends to hunt in less than bright light
comment:I was lucky to pick up a minty copy on fleabay for significantly less than I thought I was going to have to pay - lucky me! I really like this lens, although realistically it's only viable handheld in good light. It loves a good tripod, and I have achieved some excellent moon shots with it.
In side-by-side comparisons with the 70-300G, it gives a little away in sharpness, colour and contrast, but renders excellent detail at max focal length stopped down a couple and is not embarrassed by the more expensive G. CA is not an issue. Without a good contrast to focus on, it will hunt but once you understand that this is a slow, dark lens and adjust your technique accordingly, you can obtain some surprisingly good results for a pre-digital coatings lens (mine is stamped 1995). All in all, I'm very happy with mine. I'd love a 70-400 G, but until I can afford one, this will do just fine.
reviewer#9434 date: Sep-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70210 f4 beercan
70300G f4-5.6
price paid:500USD (RM1450) ~USD500
positive:-Lightweight for this range
-Superb sharpness wide open across the range
-Half price from original brand new price
-Sharp and contrasty
negative:-abit slow (135@f5,150@5.6,200@6.3 onwards)
-No tripod collar mount
-noisy & slow focus (tested on A700) hunts in low light
-Bokeh not as creamy as beercan
-Zoom Creep (maybe fixable)
comment:This copy I bought was 3rd hand, however it came MIB(mint in box) and was virtually brand new. lucky to get a well kept good copy.
Bought this lens because I'm planing to go into birding.
also I wanted a compact lightweight long tele lens for easy travel and general shooting as I do not get paid for most of my photography work, I do not need all the extra bells and whistles or extra stop of light.
Compared it with the 70300G, I loved the G's quiet and fast focus, sharpness and also the build, I did not have a side by side comparison but I think its almost at par with the 70300G in terms of IQ. didn't want to pay the extra premium for the G, the 70400G would have done better in terms of IQ but its Wayyy too big for my needs, and wayyy to expensive for my hobby.
I did compare it with my fav 70210 beercan, and I can say the 100400 is sharper & has greater contrast. but the down side is, built quality, and feel was in a lower class to the beercan.
Although the copy I got was optically perfect (very sharp IQ, with no signs of damage or dust) and the cosmatics was overall very good, the plastic piece next to the lens mount was very loose, which was annoying and causes the zoom action to be very loose, making it zoom creep with minial resistance. I was so annoyed that i decided to open the lens mount to try and fix it. luckly it was just a matter of screwing tight some screws internally and Whala... it's as good as new. apparently it even fixed my zoom creep issue, I bought a 72mm UV filter recently and it seems to reduce air movement in the zoom making it creep even less. Now I like this lens even more. I think its a keeper.
reviewer#9397 date: Sep-6-2011
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:80-200APO
500mirror
price paid:250 euro
positive:Size vs focal length
Colours
Sharpness
Price
negative:Build
comment:This is actually a lens I paid about it's market value. But I wanted to round up my line-up on the long focal lenghts and this was perfectly fitting in. I use this for the occasional shooting of my kids at distance and sometimes wildlife.

The pictures come out with the nice Minolta colours and are sharp as long as you take the appropriate shutter times in consideration. The long end needs some stopping down for optimal sharpness. All in all a great lens/range for the price and definately a keeper for me.
reviewer#9340 date: Aug-16-2011
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 xi
100-300 APO
price paid:320 euros
positive:Fast focusing on A33.
Beautyfull bokeh at f6.3.
Steady shot work fine with it, its possible to take very accurate pictures at f6.3, 1/100 sec without any tripod .
negative:Double weight than the 100-300 xi.
Zoom ring hard to rotate with the small A33.
comment:Best sharpness at 360 mm and f11 on a tripod.

With the SLT A33, and without a tripod, it's possible to take descent pictures at 360 mm above 1/30 s with the maximum aperture (f6.3). Excellent shots beyond 1/100 s.

No purple fringe comparativly to the Xi zoom but sharpest than the Xi at F6.3 and F8.
It seems also sharpest than 100-300 APO, but then main difference is its weight : twice the 100-300 Apo.

reviewer#8485 date: Jan-6-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-250
price paid:475
positive:
Extremely fast focus on the A-33. Have not experienced any focus hunting in even lower light situations on the A-33
Small in size for the zoom range. This is a natural for the A-33. It should work as well on the A-55
negative:Non so far. I am a Happy Camper with this lens
comment:This lens paired up with the new Sony SLT A-33 is Amazing. I think the extremely fast focus of the A-33 makes this lens a real walk around lens. I seem to get clarity at full zoom from as close as 10 feet. Still experimenting with the lens, but so far I have found no negatives.
reviewer#8418 date: Dec-18-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:(shouldn't this be compared "with"?) Sony DT55-200 f4-5.6 kit lens.
price paid:about 200 GBP used
positive:In relatively good light, the 400m range is tremendous and it responds relatively well when I am shooting birds or other animals at distance.
The good shots have been particularly good, so for the price, I have been happy with its performance.
negative:The barrel creep is annoying, making things particularly difficult if trying to pick something out at a different height.
It often hunts and quickly struggles in low light. Admittedly, I am normally using the lens at or near the 400mm and therefore f6.5, so this might be expected.
My lens has part of the hood thread broken. The hood stays in place, but I need to be extra careful not to knock it.
Noisy.
I think my 55-200 kit lens is sharper and has better colours. But I am no expert and this might just relate to me using it at 400 all the time.
comment:Except for the barrel creep, I cannot complain about this lens. I wanted the range, didn't like the 500 reflexes' bokeh, couldn't afford the G lenses, etc. Despite my grumbles, I have been exceptionally happy with its performance for the price (I forget the exact price). It has enabled me to take nature pictures that I just would not have been able to get with my other lenses.
reviewer#8207 date: Nov-8-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300
Various Canon-mount lenses
price paid:415
positive:Compact. Great range. Fast AF. Sharp when accurately focused.
negative:Needs good light. Noisy AF. No tripod collar. Vignetting wide-open even on APS-C.
comment:I bought this lens as an inexpensive stopgap solution until I can afford a Sony 70-400. Good color and contrast. Backfocuses a bit on my A33, but sharp manually-focused up to about 300mm, acceptable past that. Nice build quality for the class...obviously no weather-sealing, but other than that it's built to last. Zoom and manual focus are smooth and well-damped. Could use a tripod ring.

This lens is in an interesting class, since it used to be priced as a midrange lens and it can now be found for low-end prices. It's excellent for a low-end lens...reasonably sharp, great range, slow but it works fine in good light. I'd highly recommend it if you need 400mm, can't afford something better, and don't expect miracles.
reviewer#7991 date: Sep-18-2010
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 500 Reflex
Sony 70300G
price paid:usd 356 used
positive:Minolta colors
Great range
sharp at all lengths
negative:weak, but adequate, hood
comment:This is a very pleasant lens to use. It focusses accurately at all lengths, and is sharp enough for me all across the frame at all lengths. The hood is adequate, but not like the 70300G, -- when fully extended the lens is long but not enormous: the focussing is fast enough, but not instant; the weight is fine. I like the slightly slimmer Minolta size to the modern bulkier lenses. It isn't a battery draining lens.

I simply enjoy the Minolta colors. The 72mm filter size is convenient since I have the Min 200g, 85G, 28-135 and 20RS, all of which use 72s. I haven't yet travelled with this and the 28-135 as a pair, but I certainly intend to do so. The f6.7 at the long end hasn't been a problem for me.

The lens is maxxed-out for its length, so I find that even a 1.4x extender produces noticeably weak images -- but when used as the 100400 alone, it is just perfect. It will AF on 1.4x in Southern Cal, but not with a 2x. It isn't quite as "sharp" as either my 500Reflex or my 70300g at distances, although I am comparing it to two unusually good lenses in my bag -- but it takes really beautiful images at full extension and shorter lengths. I got a hummingbird today at 400mm and twenty feet away, with its tongue at full extension, and the tongue was sharp as a razor. It complements those two lenses rather than substituting for either.

This was a keh BGN, and it had no problem that a quick wipe with Armor-all didn't cure. Keh comes though again!
reviewer#7720 date: Jul-24-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300mm APO D
price paid:
missing
positive:+very sharp
negative:-zoom creep
-size when travelling
comment:Excellent sharpness. Better than the Minolta 100-300 APO D. The zoom creep was annoying though. For travel I preferred the 100-300 APO D for its more compact size.
reviewer#7167 date: Mar-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-300 big beer can
price paid:430US$
positive:Highest range zoom from MINOLTA. Very sharp on APS-C. Nice colors and good quality picktures on 7d.
negative:H E A V Y !
comment:On my 7D this lens have given me lots of good picktures. It is sharp and balances well with the camera when I use the battery grip. On my A900 I was a bit dissapointet where it is only good and the IQ seems to not hold up complete on 24mp. Using it at 13mp gives better results.

On my A580 it is like on the 7D: good picktures, sharp and nice range.

It handles well and seems to be well built.

Have bought a second one. This is much better on my A900 - so there are variations in production. This one I am ceeping.
reviewer#6616 date: Dec-21-2009
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-200 2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:lightweight
Compact
Focal range
Much cheaper (if you can find a good copy)than the sony 70-400
negative:slow AF
Don't like the bokeh,not that smooth
Zoom creep
hunts a lot in low light
comment:
missing
reviewer#6301 date: Oct-30-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24 2.8
Sony 50 1.4 2.8
Minolta 28-70 G
Sigma 70 2.8
18-250 tamron
price paid:500 Euro
positive:Colour
Bokeh
Sharp (for a zoom)
Lightweight
Small size
negative:AF in low light
zoomcreep
comment:This lens produces; Beautiful colours, nice bokeh and you can get really sharp pictures.

Sometimes stopping down is necessary for the best result, but the biggest aperatures will get an OK result.

This combined with it's relatively small size and light weight for a 400 mm lens makes it an unique lens. You can zoom to 400 mm and make good pictures without using a tripod!

Downsode of this lens is it's AF speed in low light. Beside that, AF speed on a a700 is OK.
reviewer#6132 date: Sep-28-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 300 f4 APO HS
Minolta AF 500 f8 reflex
Sony AF 75-300 f4.5-5.6
Sony AF 70-400 f5.6 G
Sigma 400 f5.6 APO
Sigma DL 70-300 f4-5.6 DL Macro Super
Canon FD 300 f2.8 fluo
Canon FD 400 f4.5
price paid:525 USD (used)
positive:Compact, light and well-built for its focal range
negative:Softens above 200mm, focus ring stiffens above 300mm, AF slow and inaccurate
comment:I bought this lens used but with the optics in excellent shape. Nevertheless, it was noticeably soft above 300mm even at f8 or higher and definitely not in the same league as the primes listed above or the 70-400 G. CA is under control but not completely absent.

AF was slow and inaccurate even on my A700, and manual adjustment at longer focal lengths was hampered by noticeable tightening of the focus ring (turns smoothly below 300mm but becoming jerky above).

Overall I was disappointed compared to most of the other reviews here and after a fair amount of testing returned my copy. If you own at least one good prime tele and an alpha with over 6 Mpx then I'm inclined to think you may also find this lens somewhat overrated or outdated.
reviewer#5101 date: Mar-26-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:beercan
minolta 100-300mm (non APO)
sony 70-300mm G
price paid:L350
positive:very compact
CA under control
Value
negative:slow AF
sharpness falls off over 300mm
comment:the main selling point of this lens is it's compact and hand holdable - most zooms lenses of this range will be around double the weight and really intended to be used mainly on tripods.

this lens is fairly sharp better than the minolta 100-300 (non APO) around the sharpess of the beercan with better CA control but not quite as nice colour, sometimes a little washed out and requires a bit of extra saturation post processing to give the images more punch.

I recently had the chance to try out the 70-300mm G against this lens and while the G did produce a crisper picture i was very surprised how well this lens held up between 100-300mm but gets much weaker between 300-400mm.

Bottom line the minolta 100-400mm offers decent (but not exceptional) IQ, a wonderful range in a compact and usable size. It's a lens that you don't have to worry about leaving home and the same can't be said for the bulkier lenses of it's class. For those who aren't primarily wildlife/bird photographers but want something to cover the long range as a secondary concern (over say the landscape side) this lens is ideal.
reviewer#4740 date: Jan-24-2009
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 Beercan
Minolta 70-210 Beercan
Minolta 75-300 New
Sony 70-300 G SSM
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Colour
Sharp wide open
Sharp 400mm
negative:AF not that fast, but OK
comment:Wonderful lens, perfect focal range, sharp wide open, even at 400mm (A700 better at F8), nice Minolta colours, superb dimensions for a 400mm range - JUST LOVE IT!

Here you can see my sample images: http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=11341&PID=445104#445104

Best regards, D.
reviewer#4677 date: Jan-13-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 75-300
KM 70-210mm 4
price paid:500€
positive:-Sharp
-Nice bokeh
-Wel build
negative:-external focusring
-tripod mount could be helpful
comment:After long time searching, found one in new condition in Japan.
Is for me the ideal walk around lens in nature........
When low light condition ..... hunting...(a lot :-( )
But for me the ideal price/qualitylens in these mm range.
Now working on my A700.
reviewer#4598 date: Dec-30-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta "beercan" 70-210/4
price paid:580?
positive:Light (for the focal range)
Relatively sharp
negative:Slow
comment:I got this lens hoping to do some nature photography. At 400mm, it is good for birding, but only when there is good sunlight. Image stabilization can only help so much at 400mm, so you'll find yourself pushing up the ISO to get a sharp picture when using the long end handheld. I'm quite pleased with this lens; it's great compromise between speed, long telephoto, and size/weight.
reviewer#4596 date: Dec-30-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 400mm SD
Minolta 80-200mm xi
price paid:400 USD used
positive:Build quality
Colours
Speed
Fast autofocus
Sharpness
negative:Zoom creep
comment:Only just got this lens the day before Christmas but took it out to photograph my kids on their new bikes. Was impressed with the speed of autofocus and on processing the raws later on the colours that the lens gives - very vibrant and real. The focus is a little soft at 400mm but overall this lens is so sharp. Coming from the xi lens with its motorised zoom I was a little disappointed with the zoom creep if the lens goes out of the horizontal but this is something I will get used to. I see this lens being used regularly alongside my main walkaround 28-80mm xi zoom.
reviewer#4475 date: Dec-5-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Cosina AF100-400
Tamron AF200-400
Sigma AF400 APO
Sigma AF70-300APO
Sigma AF70-300
Minolta AF100-200
Minolta AF100-300
Minolta AF28-135
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp
Autofocus speed
Fair weight
negative:Heavy front glass (be careful)
comment:The lens is significantly sharper and (surprisingly) fast in real life.

Compared to other similar lenses this lens is in fact not very heavy, and produces about the same quality as some 1,5x heavier lenses.
The only issue is the heavy front glass which feels like it excert some mechanical stress on joint of the front part of the barrel (However, nothing that is a practical issue to me as I only shoot horisontally - never vertically).

It is maybe not super-sharp at the long end (towards 400mm where the Tamron AF200-400 is better), but I find it still to be pretty sharp - and more than adaquate. Much sharper than anything else I have had.

Before I managed to find one of these I've used a Cosina AF100-400 F4.5-6.7 with fair results (provided some PP was done to the pictures), but the Minolta is in a completely different legue (it is unfair to compare a VW build Skoda with a Porche, so the Cosina cannot be directly compared to the Minolta).

This lens comes at rather high prices used, but I find that it's still worthwhile to buy if you can find one.
reviewer#4465 date: Dec-3-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 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
price paid:500 USD
positive:Sharp throughout
Bokeh
Range
Comparitively compact
Amazing in good light
negative:None
comment: I bought this from a fellow Dyxum member. I Got a great deal on a great lens. It has a great range and is unusually sharp for a zoom of this size and compactness. Great bokeh and has no apparent CA. I am very pleased with this lens and am still exploring it's capabilities. It reminds me of a 400mm zoom beercan, except proportionally lighter.
reviewer#4464 date: Dec-3-2008
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 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 70-300mm g
price paid:450 USD used
positive:Nice Focal Range, Compact size. solid feel. Sharp wide open at 400mm. f6.7 is really f6.3.
negative:Auto focus is a bit on the slow side.
comment:I like the extra 100mm range this lens has over the Sony 70-300. Color and sharpness is great. Outdoors in good light is where this lens will perform best.
reviewer#3975 date: Aug-17-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-300mm Minolta Big Beercan
100-200mm Minolta
100-300mm Minolta
70-210mm Minolta Beercan
price paid:
missing
positive:1) Colors and bokeh
2) Sharpness is excellent throughout the range
3) Range
4) Build quality
5) Size for range
negative:1) Focus speed (could be my copy)
2) A little soft wide-open over 350mm
comment:This lens is pretty rare to come by. It isn't nearly as available as the 100-300mm APO and is usually a sight more expensive. I took it out to some parks here in Seattle and caught some really nice portraits of people. The bokeh is AMAZING. Also, insultingly sharp (to model) at f/8 and above. VERY sharp wide-open throughout the range. Perhaps SOME softening at 380mm, but not much.

I believe it to be superior to the beercan for sharpness and bokeh, with an additional 190mm of reach. This lens is QUITE compact for the range. A keeper for me. I prefer it to the limited use I had of the 70-300mm G....and you'll pay about $250 less for this one.

PS I'm going by the review guidelines for this one. I am going to go through my previous reviews and update accordingly.
reviewer#3866 date: Jul-20-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 400 G
price paid:548 USD used
positive:Range
Weight
Size
Price
negative:Zoom creep
Rotating focus ring
comment:Since I originally posted this review, the 70-400CZ has been released. I know that's the one I want but for now the 100-400 APO will have to do. I don't get to shoot at extreme distance often enough to justify the expense of a major upgrade. On an a900, toggling from FF to APS-C gives 600mm images as well. Zoom creep is not that big of a deal because I only reach for this lens when extreme range is required and this is not a practical walking around lens. Unless you are a professional and have the requirement or you're a wealthy collector, the 400G makes no sense due to size, weight and price although I'd love to play with one.

Check out this 100% crop at http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll87/netqwik/DSC00074.jpg

This lens can be quite sharp in the right conditions:
http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll87/netqwik/DSC01231.jpg

Update - This lens is excellent for the price but it does not render colors like my awesome G's. Editing is usually required.

reviewer#3494 date: Apr-20-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200mm/4 APO G macro
Sigma 28-200mm
price paid:400 USD(used)
positive:Sharp on 400mm
well build
negative:none
comment:Well it is not fair to compair with my 200/4 on color but with below 200mm this lens holdup very well with 200/4 and for the price this is a excellent lens.The image shown very sharp even on 400mm and I don't know why it said 4.5-6.7 but I found it is 4.5/6.3 no biggy just wonder. Overall it is a excellent lens. You can't go wrong with it.
reviewer#3217 date: Jan-29-2008
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 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Beercan
- Sigma 70-300 APO
- Big Beercan
price paid:600 USD (new?)
positive:- Surprise sharp full open
- Sharp at 400
- F6.3 in stead of F6.7
- Relative light weight
- Metal/Plastic body
negative:- Don't need it perse, but tripod mount could be helpful
- My copy is a bit neutral, could have done with more contrast
- Slow AF, was expected
- Zoom creep
comment:I Like this lens very much. Bought it in Japan as second hand, but I guess it is new. No scratches or anything. Included with lens caps, Hood and storage box.
I like that this lens is sharp wide open. Especially for this range I think it is very sharp, even at 400mm F6.3.
Compared to the Big Beercan it is not that heavy, it fits nicely in your hands. The build is also good, although the zoom part of the lens is plastic and extend a bit when at 400mm. But, well ... not really a negative. Compared to the Beercan, it is a bit softer wide open and the beercan has better contrast and bokeh, but that's what PP is for!
For the range can't go wrong with this lens! If you have the money and need the range, go for it!

reviewer#3215 date: Jan-29-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 (beercan)
Minolta 75-300 (big beercan)
Sony 18-200
Minolta 100-200
Sony 70-200 G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp even at 400mm
lightweight for such zoom lens
negative:Slow AF
comment:First thing I noticed when I received this lens is that it is much smaller and lighter than I expected from such lens.
Then image quality at 400mm was another good surprise. It is comparable with the beercan.
On the negative side, I must mention the slow Autofocus. I was also a bit afraid to buy it because of the relatively high price for such an old lens (for the same price I can buy a new Sigma 170-500mm). But I guess it worth the price!

PS - Many reviewer on this site mentioned the lack of a tripod mount as a disadvantage. I loaded my camera with this lens on my tripod (attaching to the camera) and it was stable. The lens is light enough, therefore there is no need for a tripod mount.
reviewer#3178 date: Jan-13-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300mm APO
price paid:720USD
positive:Great zoom range, image quality across the full range.
negative:Missing a tripod mount and a zoom lock.
comment:Great lens for an impressive range of telephoto shots, at a reasonable price. On digital SLR the cropped 35mm equivalent is an even more impressive 150mm to 600mm! Decent sharpness and image quality across its range. Feels well balanced in use. Could have been better with a collar tripod mount as a camera with this lens on it attached to a tripod or monopod is a bit front heavy. A zoom lock would also have been useful as the zoom creeps out under its own weight when slung on the shoulder. But the main things, the range and image quality are great. Nice bokeh.
reviews found: 41    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 41
  • sharpness: 4.48
  • color: 4.71
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.73
  • flare control: 4.41
  • overall: 4.50

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