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

reviewer#4514 date: Dec-9-2008
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-84 f/3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 17-35 f/3.5 G
Minolta 28-70 f/2.8 G
Minolta 70-210 f/3.5-4.5
Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G SSM
price paid:€ 400 (used)
positive:Nicely build (not top)
Great focus ring
Very short minimum focus distance
Usable from f/2.8
negative:Slow slow focusing
Focus hunts a lot
Hood mounts bit heavy
comment:After reading about this lens here on Dyxum i decided i wanted this one. Alternatives would be the Sigma 150 f/2.8 macro HSM, but it isn't available for our A-mount and the Sigma 180 f/3.5 macro seems not as good (see Photozone dot com).

Sharpness is very good, so a straight 5. Getting the right DOF needs practising; i use mostly f/8-f/13. Hunting on the 5D is annoying sometimes (on the 900 this is much better), especially getting towards 1:1 and low light.

Colors are Minolta like, perfect. Also contrast is first rate even with large apertures - which i don't use often with this one.

The build is less good than the 24-85 RS (my copy was new), it's a bit more plastic. No comparison to the G's here. Focusing by hand works very nice with this lens, it is a bit stiff on my almost new copy, but i like that. The hood (same as 75-300) goes on a bit stiff.
But it is the macro IQ that counts, think it is a little sharper than the 24-85.

Focal length is good for small insects like butterflies, flies, spiders, bees and flowers. I make photo's of jewelry, modelcars and other "bigger" stuff in a phototent and found the focal length (on a cropped APS-C sensor) too large for this use. So next addition is going to be the 50 macro D..
If i don't need to go up to 1:1 (like bigger items as engine parts, hydraulic gear for work, etc) i prefer the 24-85 RS which has the advantage of zooming and is almost as sharp.

I use the 100 macro with a Sony Carl Zeiss UV protection filter as sometimes towards 1:1 the front element can get very close to the subject and i don't want to damage it.

Photo's other than macro don't have the 3D look of the G's but this is not what the lens is made for. Wide open f/2.8 still extremely good. Bokeh is just wonderful.

Lens fits nicely -if tight- in the LH-1044 case.

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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