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

reviewer#5101 date: Mar-26-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:beercan
minolta 100-300mm (non APO)
sony 70-300mm G
price paid:L350
positive:very compact
CA under control
negative:slow AF
sharpness falls off over 300mm
comment:the main selling point of this lens is it's compact and hand holdable - most zooms lenses of this range will be around double the weight and really intended to be used mainly on tripods.

this lens is fairly sharp better than the minolta 100-300 (non APO) around the sharpess of the beercan with better CA control but not quite as nice colour, sometimes a little washed out and requires a bit of extra saturation post processing to give the images more punch.

I recently had the chance to try out the 70-300mm G against this lens and while the G did produce a crisper picture i was very surprised how well this lens held up between 100-300mm but gets much weaker between 300-400mm.

Bottom line the minolta 100-400mm offers decent (but not exceptional) IQ, a wonderful range in a compact and usable size. It's a lens that you don't have to worry about leaving home and the same can't be said for the bulkier lenses of it's class. For those who aren't primarily wildlife/bird photographers but want something to cover the long range as a secondary concern (over say the landscape side) this lens is ideal.

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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