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

reviewer#9299 date: Aug-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:Sony Zeiss 85ZA,
Minolta 135 f2.8
Minolta 100 macro
CZJ Sonnar 135 f3.5
Sony 70-200G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Contrasty
Beautiful rendition and colour
Not too big
negative:mfd could be shorter

comment:A pretty rare lens this and very high quality. Build is great and focussing is reasonably quick. Minimal focus could be shorter but it's not atypical for a lens of this length. I love its rendering of light and smooth bokeh. It's extremely contrasty which is a characteristic I like although the contrast is not so much at the micro-contrast level as the Zeiss 85 and it's not quite so sharp (although it is my sharpest lenses, ZA aside). Nonetheless, it renders texture, colour and light beautifully in a very Minolta way. Think of the 135 f2.8's rendering but with far less CA (at least in my experience) and you'll get the idea.
Despite owning both the 85ZA and the 100f2 and despite their similar focal lengths, I intend to keep both. The 100 is much less bulky for one thing and has a different look.

Update after more use:

Initially I used the 85mm in preference (I bought them both around the same time) but lately it's the other way round or at least where people shots are concerned. I love the way it renders people and it has brilliant colour and I also prefer the slightly longer focal length. I'd say the Zeiss was a tad sharper and has better micro-contrast if you pixel peep but unless you do so, you won't notice and in practice in prints they are equally razor sharp. Definitely the best portrait/people lens I've ever used.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 72
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.88
  • distortion: 4.99
  • flare control: 4.60
  • overall: 4.87
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