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

reviewer#11428 date: Nov-3-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Vivtar (Cosina) 100mm 3.5 Macro
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron 90mm SP (original manual focus - on film)
Canon FD 50mm 3.5 Macro (on film)
price paid:190.00GBP
great saturation and colour.
image quality.
negative:focus limit switch has fallen off.
comment:This lens is noticeably sharper than any of the other lenses i have used on digital. You don't have to view full screen or zoom in to perceive it. The only other one I have that comes close is the Cosina.

Much harder work to focus than the Cosina at macro distances (less dof i guess), but far more versatile (the cosina only gives 1:2 without it's matched 1:1 converter, which I don't have). The A77 peaking mode and focus magnifier really helps with this though.

The limit switch was already loose when I bought it. I suppose this is a risk one takes when buying these old lenses.

Usable sharp at f2.8 but i think f3.5 ideal for portraits. I think the 50mm 1.7 suits my style better on APS-c for this though. I really should try it out on film.

Edit: It's difficult for me to try and describe the subtle differences one sees in images made with this lens on full frame as opposed to APS-c sensor. Simply put, this lens is capable of making beautiful images on either format, but those full frame can be very seductive.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 81
  • sharpness: 4.96
  • color: 4.99
  • build: 4.81
  • distortion: 4.96
  • flare control: 4.83
  • overall: 4.91
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