Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 APO A-mount lens review by tpolakov
|tpolakov#9118 date: Jun-10-2011|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Minolta 75-300 New|
Sony 70-300 G SSM
|price paid:||190 EUR (used)|
|positive:||Light for the focal range|
Almost no CA
Sharp - see below compared to 70-300 G SSM
Focus hold button
Outstanding price/performance ratio
|negative:||Focus can hunt|
Some zoom creep
Bokeh can be a bit nervous, although mostly OK
Starts at 100mm, but this allows it to be small and light
|comment:||Compared to Minolta 75-300 New:|
- CA negligible, no purple fringing (this was bugging me with the 75-300, so I sold it)
- a bit more contrast on close up shots
Compared to Sigma 18-200:
- the Sigma, like most "universal" zooms, changes the focal length depending on the focus distance. It reaches 200mm only at infinity, for closer subjects, the focal length is shorter. So for closer subjects, only a "real tele" gives real closeups.
- much better CA behavior
Compared to the Sony 55-200:
- as far as I recall the Sony had a bit better micro contrast (newer digital coatings I guess), but sharpness wise, they were very similar
So to sum this up, this lens is the perfect tele lens for a hobbyist on budget. It is reasonably light, but seems built better than the newer cheap Sonys.
Sharpness upto 250mm is very good wide open, and excellent stopped down 2/3 stop. At 300 you need f7.1-8 for good results.
In CA/fringing department is on par with the 70-300G (I haven't owned that one, judging on review pics).
So, if you can get one around the price of the Sony 75-300 or cheaper, it's an obvious choice.
Edit: I got my A77II and I realized the perceived softness at 300mm was due to very slight backfocus. Now with AF microadjust, the sharpness at 300mm is better than at 100mm wide open.
Further surprise: I borrowed a 70-300 G SSM and the Minolta is sharper at 300mm wide open (at longer distances)! At F8, they are about the same.
At close focus - up to around 3-4 m, the Sony is much sharper (even stopping down does not help the Minolta).
Maybe this comparison is valid only for the copy I own, but the Minolta is an incredible value.