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

reviewer#9960 date: Feb-21-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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:
missing
price paid:1200 USD used, mint
positive:- Perfect lens. No need to adjust anything in post processing.
- sharp at f2.8. Breathtaking at f4.
- focus is very accurate, although not as speed demon as SSM but very close
negative:- strong CA at f2.8 since it's not designed for digital
- hood does not lock when not extended in use position.
- hard to find one in mint condition without paint chips, scratches.
comment:Absolutely the king of 200mm! When I first tried this lens, I thought it's not so sharp at f2.8 but I was wrong! My copy actually back focuses quite a lot and need -10 micro adjustment in the cameras. So check your copy carefully before concluding that it's not sharp.

The lens reaches breathtaking level when stopped down to f4. I'm always stunned when I pixel peep at f4. I can clearly see every hair and pore on the model's skin. Every imperfection is brutally shown by its extreme sharpness and contrast. Works particularly well with flash. Skin tone it delivers is amazing and I couldn't believe this is from a 20 years old lens!

CA can be strong in some situations at f2.8 but completely gone at f4. Vignette is also strong wide open.

The colors of this lens are the particular reason I chose over the CZ 135 f1.8 ZA. It's a classic Minolta style. Although the tones are not as warm as Minolta 100 f2. Both lens complement each other very well and deliver consistent results.

I paired this lens with Sony 1.4x and 2.0x APO converters and surprised how quick the lens can focus at with 1.4x. With 2.0x, it's respectfully quick for 400mm. It can hunt in some situation so using the focus limiter knob together with 2.0x is recommended. With TCs, I need to stop down a few stops and extremely pleased by the resolution it can deliver.

My copy is completely mint and no sign of wear on the white paint. I'm sure if one is not too rough, the paint's going to be fine.

Truly the greatest/ most enjoyable to use of all my Minolta AF arsenals. Followed distantly by the Minolta 100f2. I will never sell this one no matter how much offered.

See my photos with Minolta 200mm f2.8 APO G HS on my Flickr collection at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeispixels/collections/72157628204412995/

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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