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

reviewer#29684 date: Sep-7-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.6
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:Minolta AF400 F4.5 HS G, SAL70-400G
price paid:$1650
positive:Very fast AF.
Very Sharp wide open - gains little stopping down.
Bokeh very nice to so-so IMO - depending on background.
Still super sharp with 1.4X and 2.0X TC's.
negative:Bokeh very nice to so-so IMO - depending on background.
CA is horrible on my copy in some circumstances - worst of all my lenses. Good thing its mostly correctable in post. (hence my 3 rating for flare - did not know where else to put the low score - flare itself seems not bad)
Too heavy IMO for unsupported shooting except for occasionally dropping your monopod for a quick BIF.
comment:Its a beast. I had thought I might sell my AF400 G after getting this - not gonna happen. The 400, though only a little lighter I find still very easy to use handheld. Not so this bad boy. I still try since I hate monopods - but I am losing the battle and am starting to get used to using a monopod to save my arms and shoulders.
I was very happily surprised how sharp this lens is wide open on my A77ii - I shoot it wide open on subjects at any distance without hesitation and can crop quite a bit if I want to in post without worries if I nailed focus.
It is the best of my lenses for nailing BIF shots. Focus is very quick and seems accurate enough on my A77ii even at f2.8 for larger birds.
I was less happy to find how bad the CA is with this lens. It seems to be totally uncorrected. In comparison, my AF400 seems to have no issues at all with CA - or very little. I am learning to deal with it.

If I can afford it, I will one day buy the Sony version, until then, I will be MOST happy with this classic. Lately, its home seems to be on my A77ii. :)

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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