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

reviewer#44362 date: Aug-29-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 New
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6
Tamron - 16-300 F3.5-6.3 Di II PZD MACRO
price paid:12 GBP
positive:Cheap, light, decent build, decent IQ.
negative:xi, xi, not at its best at 300mm (but what 300mm zoom is).
comment:I was very favourably impressed by the IQ of this lens, even though I had seen it was more highly rated than the non-xi version (Minolta - AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6) I was not expecting the performance to be so much better.
I find this one of the xi zooms that is least conducive to manual use, it may be my copy, but switch to manual zoom and the zoom is so loose that it slides in and out with only the slightest provocation. However, it works perfectly well in power zoom mode.
I need to spend more time with the newer Min 75-300s to properly compare then and I am not about to ditch the big beercan (my best 300mm zoom) in favour of this lens, but I see is as a viable option when I want a zoom with 300mm reach and I don't want the heft the big beercan around. Comparing it with the Tamron hyperzoom is not comparing like with like - the hyperzoom is not at its best at 300mm but compares quite well (it also cost me 25 times as much).
Sample pictures posted.
UPDATE: I have spent a few days with several 75-300mm Minoltas and have come to the conclusion that none match this lens for IQ at or near 300mm - and that includes the big beercan.
UPDATE II: I have uploaded a number of sample pictures and increased my rating for this lens, which continues to impress. There is CA (easily corrected - see sample images) but nothing unusual for a lens of this era. If only it wasn't xi.

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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