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

reviewer#45695 date: May-1-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-300 XR Di
Tamron 28-300 XR
Tokina AF 35-300
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Canon EF 70-300 IS II USM
Sony 70-300 G SSM II
Tamron SP 70-300 USD
Sony A 70-400 G SSM
Canon EF 75-300 F4-5.6 III USM
Minolta AF 75-300 "Big Beercan"
Minolta AF 75-300 D
Minolta AF 100-300 APO
Minolta AF 100-300 APO D
Minolta AF 100-400 APO
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G
Sigma APO 300 F4 Tele Macro
Sigma APO 400 F5.6 Tele Macro HSM
Sigma APO 400 F5.6
price paid:400 USD (used)
positive:Internal focus
Maintains focal length
negative:Alignment/variation
Weight
Chromatic aberrations
Warm color cast
Focus noise
Focus breathing
2.5 meter closest focus
Mild pincushion distortion
Non-removable tripod foot
Lack of Lens Compensation
comment:This was a best offer accepted by an individual eBay seller. It included a slightly dented original hood, original caps, and slide-in normal filter. It has a clean body with only a few small spots of chipped paint. Several large flecks are visible in the front group of elements. "JAPAN"

The gold letters and decorative ring and APO moniker seem to be an empty marketing ploys. It has heavier chromatic aberrations than the Sigma 300 F4 APO or more recent telephoto zooms.

The sliding range limiter is an interesting design borrowed from the 300 F2.8. It also allows an infinity calibration, though you lose it if you use the limiter for any other purpose. There is a mark to indicate where infinity should be.

The focus throw is very short making manual focus difficult. The focus ring cover might be protecting fragile gearing. The gearing makes horrible noise like the worst Sigma lenses. For all of that and the High Speed designation it does not autofocus quickly. The top mounted filter tray leaves large gaps for almost anything to enter the middle of the lens.

A better aligned example should probably earn a 4 for sharpness. this one is a doorstop. It could certainly be used stopped down, but there are smaller and lighter zooms with better image quality.

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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