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

reviewer#2011 date: Mar-23-2007
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Vivitar 100/3.5 Macro
Minolta 24-105/3.5-4.5 D
Canon 28-135/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Canon 80-200/2.8 L
price paid:450.00 USD (new)
positive:Razor sharp
Well built
Recessed front element means I can leave the hood at home
negative:Slow AF, hunts in low light
comment:An excellent lens like nearly all macros are.

Sharpness: Yes. Corner to corner, wide open and stopped down. Yes, you'll undoubtedly see diffraction effects as you stop down to F32 but that's 1) unavoidable due to the laws of physics and 2) not worth complaining about because you'd only do that to get more DOF on macro shots and in that case, it'll still be sharp enough.

Color: Nothing to complain about. Maybe a hair less rich than my 85/1.4 but who cares.

Build: Excellent. Feels nice and solid, big without being too big and hefty without being too heavy. Balances surprisingly well on my 5D. Has a nice big focusing ring, a focus limiter (a little hard to switch, but also hard to switch by accident), and a focus hold/DOF preview button.

Distortion: None.

Flare: The recessed front element makes it practically a non-issue unless a light source is in the frame.

Notes: I managed to score a killer deal. Were it not for that, I'd have a hard time choosing this lens over more affordable alternatives like Tamron's excellent 90/2.8 SP, Sigma's affordable 105/2.8 EX, and of course the Vivitar/Cosina/Phoenix 100/3.5 plastic fantastic.

AF is slow, as macros tend to be. However, in good light with the focus limiter on, it's good enough. I've done street shots with this and it was able to keep up with just about anything I threw at it. I haven't yet tried to track fast-moving bird and the like, though.

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
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