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

reviewer#9434 date: Sep-18-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:70210 f4 beercan
70300G f4-5.6
price paid:500USD (RM1450) ~USD500
positive:-Lightweight for this range
-Superb sharpness wide open across the range
-Half price from original brand new price
-Sharp and contrasty
negative:-abit slow (135@f5,150@5.6,200@6.3 onwards)
-No tripod collar mount
-noisy & slow focus (tested on A700) hunts in low light
-Bokeh not as creamy as beercan
-Zoom Creep (maybe fixable)
comment:This copy I bought was 3rd hand, however it came MIB(mint in box) and was virtually brand new. lucky to get a well kept good copy.
Bought this lens because I'm planing to go into birding.
also I wanted a compact lightweight long tele lens for easy travel and general shooting as I do not get paid for most of my photography work, I do not need all the extra bells and whistles or extra stop of light.
Compared it with the 70300G, I loved the G's quiet and fast focus, sharpness and also the build, I did not have a side by side comparison but I think its almost at par with the 70300G in terms of IQ. didn't want to pay the extra premium for the G, the 70400G would have done better in terms of IQ but its Wayyy too big for my needs, and wayyy to expensive for my hobby.
I did compare it with my fav 70210 beercan, and I can say the 100400 is sharper & has greater contrast. but the down side is, built quality, and feel was in a lower class to the beercan.
Although the copy I got was optically perfect (very sharp IQ, with no signs of damage or dust) and the cosmatics was overall very good, the plastic piece next to the lens mount was very loose, which was annoying and causes the zoom action to be very loose, making it zoom creep with minial resistance. I was so annoyed that i decided to open the lens mount to try and fix it. luckly it was just a matter of screwing tight some screws internally and Whala... it's as good as new. apparently it even fixed my zoom creep issue, I bought a 72mm UV filter recently and it seems to reduce air movement in the zoom making it creep even less. Now I like this lens even more. I think its a keeper.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 49
  • sharpness: 4.47
  • color: 4.63
  • build: 4.20
  • distortion: 4.65
  • flare control: 4.41
  • overall: 4.47
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