Minolta AF 200mm F2.8 G APO HS A-mount lens review by Kilkry

reviewer#9608 date: Nov-18-2011
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:Beercan (same focal length)
price paid:700e incl. shipping
positive:+Sharp at f/2.8
+Relatively small and portable
+Very quick AF
+Well built (minus the paint)
+Built-in fold-down hood is very practical
negative:-Focus isn't always spot on(could be that it isn't on entirely friendly terms with my A580)
-Some purple fringing at f/2.8
-White paint is pretty and chips easily

It looks neat, it's portable, when it focuses right* it produces sharpness at f/2.8 equal to the beercan (at 200mm) at f/8. I have found no central sharpness increase by stopping down, though purple fringing tends to go away. Besides the sharpness the bokeh is good, as is the whole general rendition.

With TCs:

With the Minolta original 1.4x tc there is no significant drop in AF speed, and image quality at f/5.6 (max f/4) is very good, but of course the bokeh is not as good as at f/2.8.
Using the original 2.0x tc the AF is, unless presented with a very contrasty target, pretty hopeless(with the A580). Still, images at 100% are better than those from the 1.4x tc upscaled to equal size.

Flare..I don't know, I usually don't mind flare so much.

*Focus speed is streets ahead of the beercan but not always accurate. It's not a consistant front- or backfocus issue and it doesn't appear to matter if the target is a bird in flight or a brick wall(gods know the beercan has little chance to track BIF). I think it isn't anything to do with this particular specimen, but rather just like Munger says about the 300 f/4 == 'Slightly faster than the Sony 70-400 but not quite as accurate' == 22 year old lens design. Plus, the previous owner is a respected dyxum member who didn't mention having any issues with it, and I seldom express my self in a positive way if I don't have to :P

Overall though, I definitely like it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 80
  • sharpness: 4.96
  • color: 4.98
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.89
  • overall: 4.92
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