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

reviewer#3627 date: May-25-2008
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Nikon 105mm f/2.8 AF-D Macro
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 AF Macro
Minolta 135mm f/2.8 AF
price paid:$500 USD (new)
positive:Sharp as it gets.
Great Minolta colors.
Incredible bokeh.
No distortion.
No flare problems.
Focus limiter.
Easy to use manual focus ring.
negative:Nothing significant.
comment:After reading many great reviews of this lens, I figured it was a safe buy. I had no idea what I was in for. This is the sharpest macro lens I have ever used, and indeed one of the sharpest lenses period. There is nothing in my full arsenal of Nikon lenses that can compete with this for sharpness or color. The Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro is a really nice lens, but this Minolta offer better contrast, color, and sharpness. There is no noticeable distortion. Flare is kept well under control, even without the included lens hood. The focus limiter does a great job of keeping the AF from hunting when used as a normal, non-macro telephoto. When used this way, AF is very fast and keeps up with any of my other Minolta primes. On the Sony A350, AF accuracy is excellent. The large rubber focusing ring is easy to grip, even when wet. The manual focus is well dampened, if not a little too stiff out of the box (I suspect it will loosen with time). Even though the lens extends while focusing, build tolerances are very tight and there is no play.

This lens has a very good quality plastic body, which does a nice job of keeping weight under control. I don't worry about the build quality 99% of the time, but I think I would learn to deal with the extra weight to have a full metal body. Otherwise, it is nearly the perfect lens.

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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