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

reviewer#34777 date: Feb-5-2017
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
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:100-300 APO, 75-300 big beercan, Canon EF 75-300, Canon EF 80-200, Tamron 55-200 (same as Sony) etc etc
price paid:part of a bundle
positive:Compact and fairly well-made lens which is easy to carry around. Sharpness at long focal lengths doesn't decline as much as some cheap lenses.
negative:There may well be an easy way to process it out, but the purple CA from this lens is so strong at long focal lengths, whatever aperture you try, that it manages to leach away from the highlights and colour the whole image very pale purple.

Like the APO version, performance at 100mm is only so-so.

comment:I owned this lens a few months and used it for a few weeks. The sharpest images were obtained at between about 135 and about 200mm, but purple CA really affected most of the shots I made with it. I remember shooting at the seaside in medium bright light (*not* full sun) and getting pale purple waves. In this respect it was worse than the worst listed above (Canon EF 75-300), and that lens was also a lot sharper at 100mm.

It is fundamentally a reasonably good lens but seems rather unsuited to digital. I liked the form factor and found the results promising, so bought the APO version. Revelation! The APO is sharper and loses the purple. It is just as small and light. They both focus down to 1.5m at all focal lengths and work well. I haven't tried any of the more common 75-300 budget Minolta lenses - perhaps they perform similarly - but I'd only recommend this one if it was ludicrously cheap. Get the APO version instead!

I increased my rating for "colour" from 2 to 4 after checking the reviewing guide and seeing that the rating is intended to exclude CA.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 31
  • sharpness: 3.73
  • color: 4.23
  • build: 3.77
  • distortion: 4.13
  • flare control: 3.81
  • overall: 3.93
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