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

reviewer#7991 date: Sep-18-2010
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 500 Reflex
Sony 70300G
price paid:usd 356 used
positive:Minolta colors
Great range
sharp at all lengths
negative:weak, but adequate, hood
comment:This is a very pleasant lens to use. It focusses accurately at all lengths, and is sharp enough for me all across the frame at all lengths. The hood is adequate, but not like the 70300G, -- when fully extended the lens is long but not enormous: the focussing is fast enough, but not instant; the weight is fine. I like the slightly slimmer Minolta size to the modern bulkier lenses. It isn't a battery draining lens.

I simply enjoy the Minolta colors. The 72mm filter size is convenient since I have the Min 200g, 85G, 28-135 and 20RS, all of which use 72s. I haven't yet travelled with this and the 28-135 as a pair, but I certainly intend to do so. The f6.7 at the long end hasn't been a problem for me.

The lens is maxxed-out for its length, so I find that even a 1.4x extender produces noticeably weak images -- but when used as the 100400 alone, it is just perfect. It will AF on 1.4x in Southern Cal, but not with a 2x. It isn't quite as "sharp" as either my 500Reflex or my 70300g at distances, although I am comparing it to two unusually good lenses in my bag -- but it takes really beautiful images at full extension and shorter lengths. I got a hummingbird today at 400mm and twenty feet away, with its tongue at full extension, and the tongue was sharp as a razor. It complements those two lenses rather than substituting for either.

This was a keh BGN, and it had no problem that a quick wipe with Armor-all didn't cure. Keh comes though again!

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 49
  • sharpness: 4.48
  • color: 4.63
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.65
  • flare control: 4.41
  • overall: 4.48
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