Minolta AF 300mm F2.8 APO G HS A-mount lens review by Pirate

reviewer#10063 date: Mar-30-2012
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO + EX (IF) APO
Sigma AF 70-300mm APO DG Macro
Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 'Beercan'
SAL 70-300 SSM G
SAL 70-400 SSM G
Tokina AT-X 300 F/2.8 PRO AF SD
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm Di USD
Minolta AF 300mm F4 APO HS G
Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO G
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/4 AF (AF 304)
Sigma AF 300mm F/2.8 EX DG (IF) APO
price paid:£1132.00 (used)
positive:Build Quality
Fast AF Speed
2x Focus Hold Buttons
Focus Range Limiter
negative:Tripod mount leg too close to body (non removable)
A shade slower with a TC fitted
Cover to manual adjustment ring easily opened
comment:My findings and comments are based from use on a full frame 24MP Sony Alpha A850. I hope this review gives potential buyers a greater insight based on my findings and as you'll see, comparisons to others lenses I've owned have been made as well as the positives and negatives (my opinion only).


It's already been said before; what a superb lens, but it oozes quality. My copy came supplied with 6 rear drop-in filters, rear cap, front hood, lens strap, alloy lens box, front CLR filter and original box.

This lens is everything you could hope for in a fast prime. Easy enough to hand-hold (though a monopod/tripod support would be recommended and hand holding will require a certain degree of upper arm strength), the hood is not too long when fitted to a FF body to cause any vignetting and images are tack sharp with superb colours and buttery smooth bokeh.

An absolute 'must have' or the Mk 1 APO version if you have the funds, otherwise I would recommend the Tokina AF 304, but this Minolta prime lens just makes most others look lame by comparison in all departments.

Difficult to write a formal review as the image results it gives speak for themselves. So, if you're in need of arguably one of, if not THE best of the 300/2.8 tele/primes and you have the funds, it's a 'no brainer' . . . go get one.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 24
  • sharpness: 4.71
  • color: 4.88
  • build: 4.92
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.63
  • overall: 4.81
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