Minolta AF 100mm F2 A-mount lens review by transiently

reviewer#36830 date: Apr-12-2017
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.6
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:Tamron 90/2.5 (I liked), Zuiko 100/2.8 (absolutely tiny, and surprisingly good, but avoid the early silvery-rimmed ones), Canon FD 100/2.8 (I thought it very good at the time), Samyang 85/1.4 (Horrible to focus and purple highlights at wide apertures, but very decent sharpness), Minolta MD 85/2 (I liked very much indeed), Nikon 105/2.5 (excellent but I never could stick with Nikon for long). The 100/2 beats them all except the MD 85/2...in my memory. If I ever get my hands on another 100/2, I will find out.
price paid:£200 GBP well-used
positive:Very sharp. I liked the bokeh. The lens handled well. I used to refer to it as the "dream lens", a moniker I think I copied from Canon marketing for their F0.95 rangefinder lens from the 1960's. It was interesting that Minolta did not just carry over their excellent 100/2.5 and 85/2 lenses for AF, and that they didn't probably reflects their professional user ambitions for the system.
negative:I had no real criticism of it at the time, though looked at from today's perspective, flare was not really well-controlled.

Reading other reviews just now, I am reminded that the minimum focus distance could sometimes be limiting.
comment:I bought one of these secondhand around 1990 and used it on my 7000i. I was in my early 20's and remember trading a whole bunch of Minolta MD gear for it on a sunny Saturday afternoon. I think it had been pro-used as it was a bit physically worn. I liked it very much and only sold it later in the 90's because there was another piece of photographica I thought I wanted more at the time, but I now have no recollection of what it was. I hope it wasn't the very duff Panasonic camcorder or horrible Minolta 3xi I remember having from Jessops but fear it might have been.

I was young and stupid...and didn't know that Minolta would discontinue this excellent lens long before going bust and being bought by Sony (which in a weird way has probably turned out to be a plus for Minolta fans, as we can still use these lenses, or the ones we were intelligent enough to hold onto :)).

Anyway, if I ever see another at a reasonable price, I'll buy it. Maybe one day...The production run cannot have been very long, though...1987-c.1993 only.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 75
  • sharpness: 4.93
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.99
  • flare control: 4.59
  • overall: 4.87
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