Cosina AF 100mm F3.5 MC macro A-mount lens review by tpolakov

reviewer#11845 date: May-22-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 60 F2
Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
price paid:120 EUR used mint
Fast AF
negative:Built from toy-like plastics, however seems still OK after 3 years of usage
Normally 1:2, for 1:1 there is a matched adapter
In some situations it seems the actual aperture or maybe light transmission is less than claimed, so need to correct exposure up a bit
Manual focus ring a bit tacky (no smooth turning), but still usable.
comment:I got the Soligor F3.2 variety.
It has to be the cheapest macro lens ever and it is pretty good at that.
Pretty nice wide open with already sharp center, almost tack sharp by F5.6 as a whole.
The AF on my A580 body was spot on, but with A58 I get consistent backfocus. Which is strange, as other lenses worked OK on both bodies. Not much of a problem with macros - best technique is to focus manually or by moving the camera.
The 1:1 adapter is a bit of a hassle - it's a screw on type - so it takes some preparation, also the ability to focus larger distances up to infinity is lost. So I mostly use it without the adapter, unless for static subjects.
To sum up, it's no miracle, but you definitely get more than what you pay for. It's a perfect way to try macro photography before committing to a more costly lens. And at the end you might just decide this is all you really need.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 63
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 4.48
  • build: 2.78
  • distortion: 4.60
  • flare control: 4.16
  • overall: 4.13 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania