Minolta AF 300mm F4 HS APO G A-mount lens review by geardown

reviewer#3819 date: Jul-8-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Beercan, Tamron 200-500 5-6.3
price paid:>1200USD (used)
positive:AF speed and accuracy
Sharpness
Bokeh
Focus Limiter
Relatively lightweight compared to Tamron
negative:Chromatic Aberration
Lens Hood
comment:This is an easy lens to fall in love with. It is razor sharp wide open, and the focusing is fast enough to get sharp birds in flight, even on cloudy winter's mornings. Images are crisp enough to be used at 100% crop - essential when shooting small and shy birds.

The focus limiter significantly increases the shot count for birds in flight and other fast moving small object.

The only downsides are fairly pronounced chromatic aberration and an awkward detachable lens hood. But I can live with those two things for the sharpness and focussing improvements.

I can't see myself ever selling this lens.

UPDATE:

After 18 months with this lens, I am still in love with it. I have a 1.4 Minolta APO teleconverter with it now, which makes this a truly great birder lens. There is no noticeable dropoff in image quality with the TC at all. I constantly get favourable comments about how sharp my images are, even with 50% or more cropping. I think I will have this lens buried with me when I go.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 34
  • sharpness: 4.85
  • color: 4.85
  • build: 4.76
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.82
  • overall: 4.83
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