Minolta AF 100mm F2 A-mount lens review by awa54

reviewer#45743 date: Jul-10-2021
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 own this lens
compared to:85/1.4
100/2.8 macro RS
price paid:$325 USD
Expected Minolta color and rendering
great early Maxxum build quality
same hood as 100/2.8 macro
negative:long MFD
uncommon at best

comment:Another fantastic Maxxum era prime, with everything you could ask for in a portrait lens, except close minimum focus distance....

The 100mm f2 has an excellent balance of sharpness (but not so much that it spoils the look of portraiture), smooth bokeh and good ability to isolate a subject from background. It's already sharp wide open and only gets better up to F11 or so, making for images that are often less moody and more crisp than the 85/1.4, it also beats out the 85 in bokeh C/A and overall C/A.

Not a replacement for the 85/1.4, but definitely a compliment that you'll occasionally be glad to have. It has replaced the 85/1.4 in my kit when I just want a short tele for walk around.

In a match up against the 100mm macro, this lens comes off looking more crisp and contrasty than the macro at distances beyond close focus. While the 100/2.8 is no slouch outside the macro envelope, the 100/2 is the better lens in perceived sharpness and contrast.

Compared to the 135/2.8, it has no overt PF and more ability to isolate a subject, also (obviously) allows closer working distances for portraiture. This lens won't force you to take care with lighting like the 135/2.8 does.

As far as the match up between this lens and the 35-135 at 100mm, it pretty much exceeds the zoom in every parameter, though this isn't a knock against the 35-135, as it can certainly make excellent images as well.

These are scarce and my "bargain" lens at $325 needed an additional $100 service to correct a loose rear element and thickened lubricant in the optical cam assemblies, but I consider that money well spent and would gladly do it again.

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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