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

reviewer#11174 date: Jun-2-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-300 4.5-5.6
price paid:£40.00GBP (used)
positive:light
small
sharp wide open
reasonable fast focus for it's age.
negative:minimum focus distance is just under 2 meters.
wide open is not that wide
comment:Oh dear. I bought this out of curiosity - and only because the retailer had a manual focus lens I really wanted and was prepared to negotiate on the asking price if I bought both.

My rational brain was telling me that I already had a lens that covers this focal range and i didn't really need it but I thought it would be interesting to compare the performance of this metal "beercan" era lens against it's later plastic barrelled stablemate.

Perhaps unsurprisingly it out performs it's younger sibling, the 100-300 in every sphere save for maximum focal length and minimum focus distance. Shows markedly less CA, is significantly sharper and colour is more saturated. Focus speed is not noticeably different.

I've not had the opportunity to compare it side by side with the 70-210 on the same camera but I feel that the 70-210 would win out given the better minimum focus distance and faster max aperture, although edge sharpness maybe not so good.

The out of focus areas can be a bit busy - not the smoothest I've ever seen, so care needs to be taken with backgrounds. The 70-210 is much better in this respect in my view but bare in mind my experience with that lens is with a different camera (a100).

I ought to try this lens out with film. If I get round to that I'll post an update.

To sum up. I won't say this lens is a must have but could fit the bill if you don"t already have a zoom in this range and have limited budget. Don't pay over the odds.

Update. now that i have the opportunity to use this lens on full frame digital I have to say that it seems much more at home on that format (than on aps-c). Frankly, having this lens available already made full frame digital viable for me. Perhaps I should say this is a useful (if not quite indispensable) tool in my arsenal. As before, care needs to betaken with backgrounds as out of focus areas can be somewhat "busy".

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
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