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

reviewer#6638 date: Dec-26-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 3
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- 50mm f/1.7 with extension tubes
price paid:
positive:- Sharp
- Fast
- I think it's really f/3.2
- 150mm equivalent fast prime in a tiny package
negative:- Build feels horrible
- AF sounds like a coffee grinder
- only 1:2
comment:This is the only real macro lens I own. I've used the 50mm f/1.7 with tubes so that's all I can compare it to for actual macro work.

For macro it seems absolutely fine except for the obvious limitation of 1:2. I bought mine from a forum member (Spada) and it didn't come with the adapter. I do have tubes which get it to 1:1 or beyond.

This lens is really some kind of joke. Its IQ is stunningly good coming from a lens of this class. Bokeh is great. It does double duty as a long portrait / short telephoto, but its sharpness wide open may not be flattering and you may be inclined to soften in post processing. The AF actually functions well enough, save for the noise.

And yet for all those good qualities it's built like total crap, and if you use the AF in public people are sure to think your camera is broken due to the gut-wrenching sound it makes.

Despite that this is probably the single best 'bang for the buck' lens purchase I've made, and unless I'm traveling super light I imagine it will always be with me. A 150mm equivalent f/3.2 prime of this quality in such a very tiny package for such a low price is just marvelous. It's really a shame that they don't make these any more.

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