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

reviewer#6132 date: Sep-28-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 300 f4 APO HS
Minolta AF 500 f8 reflex
Sony AF 75-300 f4.5-5.6
Sony AF 70-400 f5.6 G
Sigma 400 f5.6 APO
Sigma DL 70-300 f4-5.6 DL Macro Super
Canon FD 300 f2.8 fluo
Canon FD 400 f4.5
price paid:525 USD (used)
positive:Compact, light and well-built for its focal range
negative:Softens above 200mm, focus ring stiffens above 300mm, AF slow and inaccurate
comment:I bought this lens used but with the optics in excellent shape. Nevertheless, it was noticeably soft above 300mm even at f8 or higher and definitely not in the same league as the primes listed above or the 70-400 G. CA is under control but not completely absent.

AF was slow and inaccurate even on my A700, and manual adjustment at longer focal lengths was hampered by noticeable tightening of the focus ring (turns smoothly below 300mm but becoming jerky above).

Overall I was disappointed compared to most of the other reviews here and after a fair amount of testing returned my copy. If you own at least one good prime tele and an alpha with over 6 Mpx then I'm inclined to think you may also find this lens somewhat overrated or outdated.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 52
  • sharpness: 4.42
  • color: 4.63
  • build: 4.17
  • distortion: 4.62
  • flare control: 4.38
  • overall: 4.45
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