Minolta AF 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by Miranda F
|Miranda F#34756 date: Jan-17-2017|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I own this lens|
50mm f1.7 (both versions)
100-300mm f4.5-5.6 APO (non-D)
30mm f2.8 macro
Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro
Various Tamron adaptall primes & zooms
Various MF primes 300-500mm
Several mirror lenses 400-500mm
|price paid:||45 UKP|
|negative:||soft at 300mm|
CA, PF if you pixel-peep
|comment:||If you’ve swapped your kit lens for a hyper-zoom and find the performance is disappointing at both ends and not that great in the middle, consider getting yourself a real telephoto! There are lots available, so why choose the 100-300mm Minolta?|
Firstly it is a good lens, well made, and with Minolta quality glass and colour, and although it wasn't a cheap lens new, it can now be found amazingly cheap today. Like many of Minolta’s later zoom lenses, it is also very compact and quite light – around half the length and weight of the much-talked about Beercan, with more focal length and not that much slower in aperture. It’s shorter and lighter than either the Sony 55-300mm or Tamron 70-300mm (all versions) and the big beercan too which is useful.
Sure it’s not as good as either of the more modern lenses, and if you’re looking to get those bird feathers really sharp look elsewhere, for it’s a little soft at the long end and 100% crops show CA and PF. But if you stop pixel-peeping and frame your pictures fully, it’s a nice lens to have; it’s also good to use in MF with a decent rubber ring to grip and a reasonable 1/3 turn.
The bokeh is nice too, and because it’s an FF lens those OOF circles really are circles and not squashed lemon shapes near the edges like most APS-C lenses. And it’s useable on FF and on film too. On film, contrast, sharpness, and colour are all fine and it makes a good partner to any of the 24/28-70/80/100/105mm normal zoom lenses, giving real reach with not much extra weight to carry about. About the only irritating thing is the MFD which is a typical (for the period) 1.5m rather than the 1m or less of more recent lenses, so if you're photographing ducks on the local lake you make find yourself backing up a bit when they come close, but for the more shy ones you won;t have a problem.