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

reviewer#11210 date: Jun-25-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:Tamron 180/3.5
price paid:1900 EUR (used)
positive:Built like tank
Focus Stop Buttons
Usable aperture wide open
Fast autofocus
Focus limiter
negative:Some CAs wide open
Soft touch wide open
too expensive for a student's budget...
comment:I really love this lens. I'm using it for wildlife and sometimes sports in a hall.

The lens produces a really nice bokeh and is incredibly sharp stopped down a bit. At 2.8 it has a soft touch but this is not really disturbing. There are also some CAs wide open, but those are easy to remove.

The lens itself is built like a tank and I like the possibility to stop the focus (2 focus stop buttons, one at the top, one on the left side) and the focus limiter increases the focus speed - which is already pretty fast (I think it is as fast as my Tamron 70-300 USM (but much louder)!) - even more.

The weight is okay (I mean, what do you expect from a 300/2.8?), if your shutter speed is fast enough you can shoot without a tripod, but using one adds a lot of comfort;) And you get - at least I got - used to the weight and now all my other lenses seem very light to me:)

I also tried using it with my Kenko 1.5x tele converter and it worked well. Image quality decreases noticeably when shooting wide open but with 5.6 (which is 8 then) you get really sharp pictures again. Focus speed is pretty slow with my Kenko and there was also some micro-hunting. I hope I can grab a Minolta 2x v2 tele converter if my war chest is filled up again.

All at all this is a really good deal, get one if you can! You have a lot of flexibility with 300/2.8 if you want to use it solely or with tele converters and it is the best choice for a 300/2.8 if you cannot afford the new Sony 300/2.8.

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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