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

reviewer#8443 date: Dec-23-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 100-300mm F/4 EX DG (IF) APO
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/2.8 AF Pro
Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO/APO HS G
Tamron SP 70-200mm F/2.8 Di LD (IF) Macro
SAL 70-300mm SSM G
SAL 70-400mm SSM G
Tamron SP AF 70-300mm Di USD
Tokina AT-X 300mm F/4 AF (AF 304)
price paid:US $1033.00 (used)
positive:IQ (when stopped down)
Weight and size
Build quality
Focus lock button
Focus limiter
negative:Lens hood fitting
Course sounding AF motor
CA/flare/ghosting (need to stop-down) - Unacceptable
Sharpness is lacking unless stopped down
Colour rendition isn't good enough for a G rated lens
comment:A very well built telephoto/prime. Solid build and colour rendition is reasonably good. The AF motor sounds course and the lens hood fitting method is completely daft (similar to the Sigma AF 300/2.8 EX & EX DG series).

It suffers with some lateral CA and flare/ghosting, though stopping down to F/5.6 - F/8 can cure these issues, though that negates the point of the constant F4 doesn't it?

That said, maybe this is one lens that Sony should re-introduce which ought to get rid of any CA/PF which is totally unacceptable in a G rated lens.

It's not in the same league as the Minolta AF 300mm F/2.8 APO/HS G, and frankly this is THE WORST lens I've ever owned (both my copies were equally as bad as each other for the same reasons). The Tokina AT-X 300/4 AF (AF 304) is smaller, lighter, vastly cheaper, no CA/PF and is simply a much better lens than the Minolta 300/4. I'm sure you can work it out.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 36
  • sharpness: 4.85
  • color: 4.86
  • build: 4.75
  • distortion: 4.83
  • flare control: 4.78
  • overall: 4.81
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