Minolta AF 200mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#45710 date: May-26-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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:Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Tamron 70-180 F2.8 VXD
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma AF 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Sony FE 70-200 F4 G OSS
Canon EF 70-200 F4 L USM
Quantaray 70-210 F2.8
Vivitar S1 70-210 F3.5 I & II
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 80-200 F2.8 APO G
Tokina 80-200 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Vivitar 85-205 F3.8
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 135 F2.8
Canon EF 135 F2.8 Softfocus
Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:315 USD (used)
positive:Internal focus
Maintains focal length
Locking built-in hood
negative:Heavy CA
Focus shift
Warm color cast
Focus noise
Focus breathing
Mild pincushion distortion
Awkward focus control
Straight aperture blades
No tripod foot
Lack of Lens Compensation
comment:After returning a somewhat misaligned High Speed version, I made an offer for this older MAXXUM version for the same price as I paid for the Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM I have been using. It is in even better cosmetic condition than the previous high speed version. "JAPAN"

This copy seems to be well-aligned. It very similar to little AF 135 F2.8. There seems to be some focus shift. Unfortunately Sony hasn't implemented stopped down focusing for A-mount lenses. It has much worse chromatic aberrations than the Canon L prime. The Canon gives better image quality with my typical automotive subjects. The Tamron 70-180 F2.8 VXD zoom is much sharper at 180 mm than either of the older 200 mm primes.

The built-in hood is the nicest one I've used. It locks in place, is flocked, and has a nice rubber bumper. The larger hood and/or better coatings give better contrast in some backlit situations. The hood does add considerable mass to the end of the lens. I would prefer a lighter lens with more durable finish.

The sliding range limiter is an interesting design borrowed from the more expensive 300 F2.8. It also allows an infinity calibration, though you lose the calibration if you use the limiter for any other purpose. There a mark on the control to indicate where infinity should be.

Just like the High Speed version the focus throw is short making manual focus difficult. The internal focus is very low resistance like the 135 F2.8. The aluminum focus ring cover may protect fragile gearing. That cover is somewhat poorly implemented. Strangely it doesn't retract fully--it covers the front of the focus grip when opened and doesn't lock in the open position. It does lock closed but not solidly like the hood. It does seem somewhat quieter focusing than the 300 F4. This version doesn't seem to focus much slower than the high speed version.

Overall a decent old prime very similar to the 135 F2.8 "Pocket Rocket." These may be better with other subjects where their high amount of chromatic aberration isn't so distracting.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 39
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 4.90
  • build: 4.77
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.79
  • overall: 4.86
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