Minolta AF 100-200mm F4.5 A-mount lens review by andyken

reviewer#10188 date: May-11-2012
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP 70-300 f4-5.6 USD
Minolta 70-210 f4 Beercan
Minolta 100-300 f4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 75-300 f4.5-5.6 N
Vivitar Series 1 100-400 f4.5-6.7
Minolta 100-300 f4.5-5.6
Sigma 70-300 f4-5.6 APO
Sigma 75-300 f4.5-5.6
Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6
price paid:£40 (used)
positive:Excellent IQ.
Small and light.
Amazing value.
Low CA.
Sharp even at full aperture.
negative:Slightly limited range on APS-C.
comment:This is a quality lens.

Having accumulated rather more lenses than I actually need (or use!) I decided to do a shoot-out before deciding which ones are expendable. The Minolta 100-200 f4.5 was the cheapest of all and I expected it to come mid-field at best. I took numerous comparative test shots, primarily at full aperture and f8 and then did an A-B comparison on screen at 100%, looking at both centres and corners.

As expected the Tamron SP came first in every test, but then it is virtually a 'G' class lens and cost more than the lenses in 2nd, 3rd & 4th places combined! In second place (and the cheapest of the lot remember) came the Minolta 100-200 f4.5, just ahead of the Beercan, due to much lower CA (double the price) and the Minolta 100-300 APO, which was the tiniest bit less sharp (three times the price).

This lens is very sharp at full aperture and extremely sharp at every other aperture, as well as being small and light, but at the same time well built. None of the shots showed any significant distortion or flare. Colours were superb.

For the price you can pick one of these gems up for, it ought to be in everyone's collection, in my opinion. Incidentally, my 'compared to' list is in order of excellence. This obviously only reflects my personal findings and opinions. I have to say also that the top 4 lenses all produced excellent results, with a noticeable drop in quality from the bottom 3.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 128
  • sharpness: 4.37
  • color: 4.70
  • build: 4.58
  • distortion: 4.44
  • flare control: 4.04
  • overall: 4.43
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania