Minolta AF 100mm F2 A-mount lens review by ISO3200

reviewer#988 date: Jul-6-2006
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:135/2.8
price paid:
positive:Sharp at F2. Smooth manual focus. Beautiful bokeh. Wow.
negative:Poor auto-focus. 1m closest focus.
comment:I thoroughly expected this lens to fail miserably. It couldn't to live up to the hype, surely.


One of the sharpest lenses I've used, and I mean from F2 onwards, which is exactly why it's so brilliant and why everyone loves it so, I suppose. I'm a lover of a good sharp subject against a clean bokeh and this lens is one of the best in the field. From F2 to F5 or so you can get a sharp subject and a perfect background; a rare feat.

The AF is poor, simple as that. It's ponderously slow, laboured, dithering, even wildily innacurate at times. You can use the 100/2's AF on anything that moves as slow as it does... which isn't much.

Okay, you can use AF, but if you're planning to shoot an indoor basketball game or something then think again. The 100/2 will get you nowhere fast. Think snooker instead, or curling... Chess?

Manual focus is easy and smooth and the ring is quite wide for an old-style Minolta lens, making this an ideal candidate for the careful, manual-focus-loving, detail-seeking photographer. It also makes for excellent macro work, provided you attach extension tubes to cancel out the poor 1M closest focus.

The main weakness is purple fringing. It happens a lot in the right situations; backlit, sunny, etc. Does that come under colour, or flare-control?

If you can get it, keep it. I think I will.


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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