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

reviewer#637 date: Mar-29-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
price paid:
positive:Brilliant wildlife lens when travelling for the bulk/weight concious photographer.
negative:Quite slow meaning that you need a very bright day to see the best from this lens. Front of lens rotates when focusing.
comment:I plan to do a lot of travelling over the next 18 months, and was originally looking at the Bigma and other zoom lenses in the 500mm range to fill the gap of a wildlife lens. Then I saw this lens and some of the stunning results aarif has been getting, and the choice became clear. At half the cost, and around half the weight for the sacrifice of 100mm (150mm with crop factor) this lens has now become my travelling telephoto lens.

It's still no lightweight at 840g, but since almost every other zoom in this range is around 1.3kg's or above, it makes this lens look very slim and portable. This lens is quite slow, as with all super telephoto zoom lenses, and in low light the AF is almost totally useless (which I get around to some extent by using manual focus). However, in bright daylight I have found this lens to be suprisingly snappy for such a big zoom, but I expect to be shooting at ISO 400 or above most of the time. Build quality I have found is very good, with a metal mount (rare these days it seems) and genreally a very solid feel to it. I have had no such problems with the zoom tightening as described below. Color and sharpness seem to be also very good. Overall very impressed and happy with this lens.

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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