Minolta AF 100mm F2.8 Macro D A-mount lens review by arthedains

reviewer#1547 date: Dec-17-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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:Minolta 17-35 2.8-4.0 (D)
Minolta 28-85 3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210/4.0
Minolta 28/2.8
Minolta 135/2.8
price paid:€600 (used)
positive:Razor sharp
Beautiful bokeh
Comfortable MF ring
Nice pleasing colors
negative:AF is slooooow
Feels a little plasticky
Hood feels cheap
comment:The first lens that I'm reviewing here and you can guess why! This is perhaps my favorite lens among the ones I own in spite of a few limitations that it has and is also one of the reasons why I still stay with Minolta and wait patiently for Sony to deliver. The photos from this lens just have that special 'zing' to them that makes the subjects pop and may make you seem a much better photographer than you really are ;)

It is razor sharp, has a rich creamy bokeh to die for and produces nice pleasing color. If you can, get this (D) version over the older versions as this has a bigger and better focus ring and of course ADI metering. It can also be used as a portrait lens but some post-processing will be needed to soften the portraits as it is brutally honest on human skin!

Coming to the few and ultimately minor limitations, the build is not up to the old 'all metal' Minolta standard but nevertheless it does feel solid. I can have a cup of coffee while this lens autofocusses! But then this is a macro lens so AF speed is not its selling point. I usually do MF unless the subject is very bright, some distance away and contrasty. I wish Minolta had spent a little more money on the hood. The hood feels as if it was first made for a cheap kit lens and then put on this as a cost saving feature! But then I hardly ever use the hood so it is only a minor gripe.

Perhaps an exaggeration but to me this is 'G' glass all but in name. Has given me some of my favorite photos, a few of which you can see here: http://www.arthedains.com/portfolio/macro/

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 63
  • sharpness: 4.95
  • color: 4.98
  • build: 4.70
  • distortion: 4.98
  • flare control: 4.89
  • overall: 4.90
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania