Minolta AF 300mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens review by Burt

reviewer#6204 date: Oct-8-2009
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:70-200mm f2.8
sigma 400mm f5.6 apo tele macro
price paid:1800euro
positive:Sharpness. Even wideopen
fast af!
solid build
nice case
negative:big and expensive front filter
small tripd mount
comment:This lens is a dream! Autofocus is faster than I imagined, the lens NOt being the Hs-version. Though I haven't used that HS-lens, I can't imagine the focussing speed being much faster. it isn't as fast as the 70-200mm f2.8 ssm though.
On the other hand, it is almost as silent!
Af is fast enough to track a flying bird at about 20 meters away

With the sony 2x teleconverter (sal20tc), sharpness is still extremely good! Wideopen, there appears to be a little bit softness. Everything above f4 is sharp as a newly sharpened pencil!

Important: the latest teleconverters (from minolta apo II onwards) have a lower speed gearing, so putting a sony teleconverter on the lens actually slows down the lens Af motor by half. It is better to use the original minolta apo teleconverters, but I find the lens+ sal20tc still usable.

the lens comes with a nice case and some drop-in filters.

the tripod collar seems a bit short to me.

the weight is reasonable for a lens this size. It is usable handheld at 300mm, not at 600mm. You'd need a decent tripod and a decent ballhead for that.

the front filter is really big and really axpensive (and not easy to find)

This version of the 300mm f2.8 lens is cheaper that the Hs-version and I would recommend buyign this one and saving a couple of 100ds of euro. the Hs version's Af is probably faster, but maybe faster that you'll ever need.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 15
  • sharpness: 4.77
  • color: 4.93
  • build: 4.93
  • distortion: 4.93
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.87
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