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

reviewer#3717 date: Jun-15-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 55-200
price paid:72 USD (used)
positive:Interesting soft bokeh.
negative:Lots of CA. Can have PF near highlights.
comment:I like the photos taken with this lens, overall, but it lacks a bit in resolution. If there are bright highlights, the dreaded purple fringe seems to occur too easily. There is noticeable CA, and the corners are soft (at least at 300mm). But, if you don't have anything else that reaches to 300mm, and you want to stick to a budget, this may be an option worth considering.

Most of my use has been at 300mm. For best results, forget f5.6 -- try to use at least f8. F11 seems ideal. (There is still some CA & PF, however.) This may limit the use of the lens to bright outdoors. From about 150mm onwards, the widest aperture is 5.6.

The power zoom is pretty cool and works well. The "power" manual focus is not as cool.

Results are better than the Tamron 55-200 with a teleconverter. Also, while it doesn't seem to have as much resolution as many would like (it doesn't seem "tack sharp" straight out of the camera when viewed at 100%), it still captures a great amount of detail. One of the problems in checking its resolution is managing camera shake and other environmental factors such as heat distortion; I would think that these things would be a problem with any low-cost 300mm lens.

I think under normal circumstances, prints from this lens will look fine, but if you are picky, I would avoid the lens. There are plenty of flaws to pick on.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 27
  • sharpness: 4.00
  • color: 4.41
  • build: 4.15
  • distortion: 4.26
  • flare control: 3.85
  • overall: 4.13
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