Minolta AF 100-300mm xi F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 27   
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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.

reviewer#11796 date: Apr-29-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 100-300
Minolta 75-300
Sony 100-300
price paid:
missing
positive:Cheap
Nice colors
Lightweight
Perfect lens for videography with XI motor
negative:Battery eater
comment:At this price, it's good.
I'm more towards videography, with the Xi Motorization, I'm able to get perfect zooming in or out effect.
For picture taking, not bad.
Rather soft but reasonable.
reviewer#10284 date: Jun-9-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 ex dg hsm II
Tamron AF 55-200mm F/4-5,6 Di II LD MACRO
price paid:17€ Flea market.
positive:Small and light weight.
negative:Very soft, slow auto focus, washed out colors.
comment:Waste of money and time.
reviewer#10155 date: Apr-28-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300s (All)
Sigma 75-300 APO
Sigma 70-300 APO macro
Tamron 70-300 (572D)
price paid:20 GBP
positive:Sharp, even at 300
Colour
Cost
negative:PF where you expect it.
Motorised zoom.
comment:If you have a good copy, keep it. If not, sell it.

This current copy of mine ia as good as all the 75-300s above 200, very sharp even at 300 'hand held'.

It does need a hood to combat flare, but the original hood, which came fiited with lens is very effective.

I picked this copy up along with a fully functional 7xi and 28-80xi zoom for £33 on ebay, all in almost mint condition. Regardless of the price this is a much underated lens, but i have had a very poor copy of this lens, so beware. I think I just got lucky.
reviewer#9437 date: Sep-18-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-400 APO
100-300 APO
price paid:New
positive:Lightweight, very easy to zoom with Xi motorisation.
Very sharp at F8.
negative:Purple fringe with sunny pictures. Flare too.
comment:It's a very ligthtweiht zoom with an excellent ring mecanism. It's also possible to adjust focusing with the ring on the fly.

It reach's is best resolution at F8 and it's as good as the 100-400 APO at F11 ! At F5.6, it is also sharper than then 100-300 APO.

It realise a very good job, sometimes better than bigger zooms.
The main problem remain's purple fringes.
reviewer#8343 date: Dec-2-2010
sharpness: 2
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Min 70-210 f3.5-4.5
price paid:45 GBP
positive:Managed it sell it!
negative:Soft, soft and soft
comment:Hugely disappointed with this lens. Better off shooting with either of the 70-210mm and cropping. Interesting zoom control combined with AF/MF toggle, not to my liking.
reviewer#8310 date: Nov-27-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 II
Minolta AF 75-300 Big Beercan
Minolta AF 70-210 F4 Beercan
price paid:- (bonus)
positive:sharp
fast focus
CA control
minolta!
negative:motorized manual focus
battery eater
comment:A Big Beercan, kidnapped by aliens, and then turned into cyborg. Those aliens also cut off 25mm from it, but they also add extra protection from CA.

Its motorized manual focus kinda fun, actually.
For this lens, I think it is better to leave it at auto focus. It may miss sometimes, but all you need to do is just zooming out, lock, zooming in.

Btw, those aliens also use the same minolta logo. I wonder why... :P

Update:
Now she is broken. I can't use the powerzoom and the "manual" focus, but there is a switch to change whatever you use the auto zoom (which is powerzoom) or the manual zoom, which is push-pull.
And even I can't use her "manual" focus like before, I still think auto focusing is way better than the "manual" focusing, so, no problem so far.
I believe there is a way to hack her for enabling the real manual zoom tough. I'll update when I figure it out. :)

Update:
Hacked. You can make it's focus fully manual by simply removing the auto-focus screw. Dismantle it from the mount. Here is the article:
http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/forum_posts.asp?TID=81534&KW=&PID=946457&title=diys-real-manual-focus-on-xi-series-lenses#946457
reviewer#8245 date: Nov-12-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 828 pro
minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:30€
positive:light
negative:low quality
comment:I used it when i don't want to take risks with my good lens

quality is acceptable for its price but don't expect miracles
reviewer#8105 date: Oct-17-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:$35.00 very used
positive:Of course --cheap. Reasonably sharp, super colors. Light, doesn't need huge filters. To me seems like a lot of lens for people on a tight budget.
negative:Slow to focus after zooming, fast enough after it "finds itself". Push-pull zoom for me, power zoom doesn't work on my sample. Manual focus is no fun.
comment:My only "long lens" at this point, though I had a couple of sigma 70-210, and a Quantaray 28-200, this is better in terms of sharpness than both.
reviewer#7740 date: Jul-27-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
price paid:90 USD
positive:Power zoom. Compact lens for the 300mm reach. Not too heavy. Pretty quick AF.
negative:Not very sharp.
Soft when zoomed out.
Not good in low light conditions
Using MF is not user friendly
comment:This is a fun lens to use. The motorized zoom is a neat feature that took a little getting used to. The motor speed is based on how much to turn the zoom dial, and you don't have to turn it much to get a lot of zoom. Some say this motor is going to wear the battery out sooner, and I suppose that is true, but I've never had that situation. I found the photos to be of decent quality, nothing spectacular, but respectable. Photos tend to be soft, especially at the long end.

UPDATE: The motor/gearing in the xi has quit. Turning the focus activates the motor but the zoom quits almost immediately after 100mm. Basically I now have a 100mm f4.5. Will be selling for parts.
reviewer#7205 date: Mar-31-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-300mm Big Beercan
70-210mm Beercan
70-210mm 4.5-5.6
70-210,, 3.5-4.5
100-300mm APO D
price paid:$90 USD
positive:sharpness
Compact
lightweight
Good Color
Power zoom
negative:Power focus
slow power zoom
uses battery
comment:I have a pretty good copy, I guess. I am having a difficult time with making the decision to sell it. My 100-300 APO stays, the 70-210's are all going except one Beercan and a 70-210 3.5-4.5, but I think that I'll hang on to the "xi" for awhile. I do like it better than the Big Beercan in almost every way so that lens is going too.

Like most zooms, it is a little soft wide open throughout the entire range, but I kind of like the softness for portraiture (usually 5.6/100th at 100mm. I use the lens at f11/500th in bright light and control the shutter speed with an ND filter which seems to provide a little more snap.

I am not in love with this lens, but I like it enough to keep it.
reviewer#6765 date: Jan-17-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-70
Minolta 50 f/1.7
Tamron 90 f/2.8 Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Light weight
Zoom range
Nice Color
Power zoom
Cheap
negative:Not Sharp Enough
Short Battery Life when use
comment:
missing
reviewer#6633 date: Dec-24-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 55-200
Sigma 70-300 APO
Tamron 70-300
price paid:60 GBP
positive:super compact
lightweight
power zoom
negative:power focus
not macro
comment:I wish I had not sold this lens. Its small size and lightweight make it a great walkabout lens for wildlife.
Needs stopping down at 300mm for sharpness, but good throughout the range.
Power zoom is great, but may drain your battery faster
Power focus is difficult, but most use AF anyway.
If you like to travel light, this would be a good option.
reviewer#6604 date: Dec-18-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300
Minolta 100=300 APO D
price paid:L56
positive:Sharp stopped down
Minolta colours
Relatively light
negative:No MF
PF in well lit high contrast situations
comment:Good budget lens

My second copy. My first was terrible. This one is a lot better and very usable.
reviewer#6601 date: Dec-17-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL135F2.8STF
Minolta 135F2.8
price paid:<40 € (used)
positive:not too heavy
good max. magnification
very sharp at 300mm
powerzoom useful for a handicapped and working well
negative:quite little

comment:This is one of my favorite lenses when strolling
reviewer#6287 date: Oct-28-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan Minolta 70-210 f4
Minolta 80-200 2.8
Sony 70-300 G 4.5-5.6
price paid:$45 (garage sale)
positive:light
small
reach (300 mm that fits in your pocket)
helpful focus lock
negative:not as sharp in less-than-ideal lighting
manual focus takes some getting used to
comment:Best $45 I've ever spent on a lens. Garage sale bargain. :)

Well worth up to $250 though. Super little lens for what it is: a light, compact zoom that doesn't break the bank. Ideal for popping in your pocket or camera case when out bird watching or on a sunny walk in the park.

It's not the fastest zoom and the manual focus IS THERE, but it does take a bit of getting used to. RTFM and you'll figure out how to focus manually with this lens. It's quite effective once you practice a bit.

Not as heavy as the Beercan (or the Minolta 80-200) and more reach on the long end. A pity it doesn't start at 70mm though. MUCH more affordable than the new Sony 70-300 G 4.5-5.6 with a similar range and its fancy SSM.
reviewer#6029 date: Sep-11-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
Minolta 75-300 II
Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Colour
negative:CA (lots of it)
No manual focus
Flare problem
comment:I cannot believe this lens is rated almost as highly as the APO.

Sharpness, CA and flare control are major problems. I sold it within a week of testing it. It is nowhere near as good as the others or maybe I just got a poor copy.
reviewer#6027 date: Sep-10-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300mm DL, Minolta 70-210mm f/4, Minolta 135mm f/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:compact
inexpensive
very pleasing color
reliable AF
decent sharpness of detail
negative:lack of manual focus is a pain
broke after 2 years of heavy use
comment:This is very compact lens that is producing nice colors and good enougfh detail for most photos. If you are looking to get tack-sharp detail - buy beercan or primes instead. Bokeh of this lens is also not as good as from beercan or 135mm f/2.8.
Lack of manual focus is very inconvinient for tough lighting situations.
reviewer#5856 date: Aug-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 (Big Beercan), Tamron 70-300, Sony 75-300
price paid:
missing
positive:A surprising lens - performed far better than I expected especially sharp at both the wide and long end. Very similar to the 100-200 but with more reach.
negative:Very little. It needs a hood but once I added a three stage rubber threaded hood all flare and chroma problems became non existent.
comment:This is great lens for travel, light, effective and sharp. Fast focusing, with good Minolta colour. When coupled with a Minolta 28-105mm and a couple of primes (20mm F2.8 & 50mm F1.7 it gives a very good travel or hiking kit that will provide a good image under almost any circumstances.
reviewer#4844 date: Feb-12-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
70-210 Beercan
price paid:Ł110GBP
positive:Compact
Relatively lightweight
Good Color
Zoom range
Reasonable sharpness
Power zoom
negative:Power zoom makes battery life a little shorter
Flare - needs a hood
comment:This is a very well-built and solid lens. I like the power zoom, it actually works reasonably fast and is cool to use. Has a focus lock button. Much easier to carry around than the beercan, easy to carry when nature watching. I use a collapsible hood to help with flare. Takes quite good pictures - particularly at f/8 and above.
reviewer#4152 date: Sep-29-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210mm F4 Minolta,
100-200mm F4.5 Minolta
price paid:Ł50 (used)
positive:Compact,
powerzoom
negative:None
comment:Very nearly as good as the 100-200 and I love the powerzoom.
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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.
reviewer#3486 date: Apr-19-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 RS
Sony AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
price paid:63 EUR (like a new)
positive:Sharp
Good Color
Portable
Power Zoom
negative:Heavy
Manual Focus
Battery life shorter
comment:Xi mechanism is easy to zoom. Nice travel stats. It works perfectly with my A100.
reviewer#2174 date: Apr-19-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 75-300D
Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:75.00 USD
positive:Fairly compact zoom lens
Power zoom is pretty fast
AF as fast as other zoom lenses
negative:Power focus takes a little practice
Not super sharp at min f setting
comment:I was somewhat surprised at how much I like the Power zoom xi lens. It works perfectly with my 5D. The zoom is proportional in the zoom ring. If you turn it a little, the zoom will move out very slowly. Turn it all the way to the stop, it zooms very fast. When you pull back on the zoom ring, the camera automatically going into MF mode, and you can focus manual. Takes a little practice, but it works fine. It looks pretty good on the camera, sort of a power lens accessory.
AF speed seems about average for these type of zoom.

Seems to be a bit of an under rated lens.
reviewer#2113 date: Apr-4-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Minolta AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
price paid:Can't remember
positive:Small and light
negative:Motorized (slow) zoom
comment:I have been looking for a BIG Beercan for quite a while... but since yesterday, I've got him!
So I took some time today to compare the results of my four tele-zooms to decide which one(s) to sell.
Not an easy decision: all zooms are GOOD, but different. The Beercan and the BIG Beercan are both very SHARP, with the Minolta-glass CoLOURS. The xi is very light and small (nice for travel), and the Sony is very versatile (and light). Don't forget the Sony is a full-range zoom, starting at 18 and ending at 200.
There are also con's: The Beercan's are heavy, the xi has a (quite slow) motorized zoom and the Sony is not that sharp at both ends (particulary at 18).
I'm glad i finaly own a BIG Beercan. So this one is going to stay. Not only is it as sharp as the Beercan (or sharper), it is also faster due to the focus limiter.
The Sony also stays. Ideal for traveling "light".
So I'm afraid the xi has to go. If I can sell it for a decent price (probable together with my 3xi and 28-80xi).
And the Beercan... Although i won't use it that often anymore i'm pretty sure i'll keep it. As a "collectors-item".
reviewer#1443 date: Nov-19-2006
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 75-300APO,
M100 f/2.8 macro,
Sony 70-300G
Sony 75-300
price paid:
missing
positive:Compact, light, sharp at 100mm
negative:Very soft at 300mm, manual focus is a pain.
comment:I've had this lens for many years - bought it with a 7xi body. Wasn't really wild about it then, and I'm not now, with my digital bodies.

This lens shows amazing detail at 100mm - it's not even shamed by the 100mm macro - but this resolution is spoiled by poor contrast, and it doesn't extend to 300mm where resolution is dreadful at f/5.6, improving only slightly as you stop down.

The motor-driven zoom has its pro's and con's, but the motorised manual focus is really not practical.

The best thing I can say about this lens is that it's really compact.
reviewer#1406 date: Nov-10-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 75-300
price paid:67 €
positive:extremely well built, *fast* focusing and zoom operation, focus lock button, quite small for a tele zoom
negative:needs to be stopped down at 300mm, no real "manual" focusing
comment:At first I was sceptical of the xi portion of this lens (focusing and zoom motor are integrated into the lens, so for both there's no real "manual" mode), but to my pleasant surprise I found out this lens is really a winner. Thanks to the integrated motor, focusing is really fast (especially compared to the Minolta AF 75-300 and similar designs), and at 200mm it is tack sharp, even with wide open aperture. At 300mm you need to stop down the lens to f8 to get acceptable results, but for the price it's really good. No signs of CA whatsoever. If you can get one, do it.
reviews found: 27   

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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