Minolta AF 100-400mm F4.5-6.7 APO A-mount lens review by rmscustom

reviewer#2611 date: Aug-7-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-300 Promaster (made by Tamron)
price paid:472 USD used
positive:Great range
Very sharp
Focus lock is a nice feature
negative:No tripod mount.
Front tube rotates when focusing
No zoom lock
comment:I have taken many photos with this lense and so far I am very pleased with the results. As I stated in the positive column above this lens is very sharp and focus is very precise, at least on my copy. I have used both a Tamron MC4 1.4 TC and a Kenko MC7 2.0 TC with acceptable results. The 1.4 gave very nice results with the MC7 falling off slightly. Both TC's require the lens be focused manually. Without the Tc's and cropping 100% results in superior photos that I find sharper than when using the Tc's and I think I will do most of my shooting in that manor from now on. I think some of the softness is do to my not so good eyes and slight misfocusing on my part when manual focusing.

My biggest complaint with this lense is the lack of a tripod collar and the rotating front ring while focusing, which is the bigest reason for a build rating of 4. Leaning against something to steady the shot is difficult because of the rotating front ring. IF (internal focus) would definately improve the the ease of use of this lens. The lack of a zoom lock is a minor anoyance and I have drawn up plans for a mount that I hope will eleminate the camera tilting downward when carried around the neck which should eleminate zoom creep. If this mount works I will do an update on how well it worked and include plans on how to make one.

I purchased this lens for a walk about lens for wild life and so far I am not dissapointed. It would be real nice if it were a macro, but a small macro lens is fairly easy to carry as an extra. I think with the addition of my home made mount, this lens will perform splendidly as a walk about lens.

The colors from the lens is something I really like, as the colors to my eyes are natural and very pleasing. I have experienced some flare with the lens hence the rating of 4, but I was not using a lens hood as it did not come with one and I haven't yet found one I like, so this rating may change. I have not noticed any CA with this lens but I am not exactly an expert on judging this abnormalidy anyway.

Overall I highly recommend this lens as a reasonably compact, not too heavy, wildlife lens that will definately not dissappoint you with the results. I will be posting some pics in the 100-400 APO sample photos section shortly.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.46
  • color: 4.64
  • build: 4.18
  • distortion: 4.66
  • flare control: 4.42
  • overall: 4.47
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