Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO A-mount lens review by dbrummag

reviewer#11037 date: Apr-14-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm APO f/2.8
Tamron 70-300mm SP
Sigma 70-300mm APO
price paid:150 USD
positive:Light
Amazing Color
Good Sharpness
Value
negative:Zoom Creep
comment:I had been comparing lenses in this range for some time, especially this lens against the Tamron. I had the opportunity to pick a like new copy up at a very good price so I pulled the trigger. For a walk around lens, I liked the color of this lens better than the Tamron.

I have been taking shots in similar setups and comparing the prints against other lenses that I had in my bag before, particularly my Sigma 70-200mm APO f/2.8. With the same setup, IE the Sigma stopped down significantly more than this lens shooting f/5.6 at 135mm, I got almost identical photos. Of course, the lenses have completely different reasons to be in the bag, the Sigma I use primarily for shooting basketball action in low light. This lens I picked up because I wanted a little more reach in my walk around lens. However, the fact that it stands up in image quality to the $900+ lens I compared it to is admirable. At 300mm, my copy is just as sharp as between 100-200mm. You have to make appropriate manual adjustments to get the image as with any situation but it is still there.

APO glass is worth the money every time and in every situation. Beyond, speaking of G glass, becomes a law of diminishing returns. The difference between this lens at $150-200 and a G lens at $800+ is not worth the difference unless a) you want to spend crazy amounts of money on your bag or b) you are shooting professionally to enlarge images for huge prints. I use to own the G copy of Sony 70-200mm prior to the Sigma, last time I fork out the money for the minimal difference.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 69
  • sharpness: 4.20
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.51
  • flare control: 4.26
  • overall: 4.31
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania