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

reviewer#27608 date: Jun-14-2016
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-250
Tokina 35-300
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Sony 70-300 G SSM II
Tamron 70-300 USD
Minolta AF 75-300 "Big Beercan"
Minolta / Sony 75-300 D
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 100-300 APO
Minolta AF 100-400 APO
price paid:138 USD (used)
positive:Small when retracted
Quick AF
Minimal Axial CA
Focus ring doesn't move in AF
Circular aperture
Supports DMF on the Maxxum 70
55 mm filter diameter
Curved focal plane
Lateral CA
Stiff focus ring
Rotating lens front
Fragile hood
100 mm
Bokeh rather busy
comment:The first copy I won seller didn't properly package. The hood cracked and the lens may have suffered internal damage during shipment. There was no other visible damage on the lens and everything seems to work, but it was quite soft at all focal lengths. The second copy is somewhat sharper. This one didn't come with a hood, so I purchased one separately and found it also cracked. I purchased a third like-new copy with complete retail packaging. "JAPAN"

It is a rather small lens even when fully extended and quite light. The zoom action doesn't have the smoothness of the older Beercans, but it feels comparable to the DT zooms.

None of the copies exhibits the zoom creep that afflicted my first non-D APO version. Operation is similar to the DT zooms. The lens extends but does not rotate while zooming. The front element extends and rotates while focusing. AF works well with the 1.4X Kenko DGX teleconverter and even works with the 2X DGX teleconverter at the short end of the zoom range. The apertures and focal lengths are properly corrected with both teleconverters.

The 100 mm minimum focal length is limiting especially on APS-C cameras. It performs similarly to the 100-200 F4.5--except the focal plane is a bit flatter at 100 mm than the 100-200 F4.5.

A well-aligned copy of this lens should go along nicely with the 24-105 D for Minolta SLRs. It doesn't purple fringe like the Minolta 75-300's. The Sony A 70-300 G SSM II and Tamron 70-300 USD are considerably larger and heavier. The new, light Tamron 70-300 RXD is an all-around better zoom for E-mount.

Test chart comparison

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 59
  • sharpness: 4.42
  • color: 4.73
  • build: 4.19
  • distortion: 4.69
  • flare control: 4.27
  • overall: 4.46
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