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

reviewer#9274 date: Jul-27-2011
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MAF70-20f:4, Σ400f:5.6
price paid:R$ 1100,00 (US$ 680)
positive:* Very sharp wide open
* Naturally, renders the legendary Minolta colors
* Fast AF, despite its size and weight
* Great bokeh
* Built as tank
negative:* Size and weight
* Uses special 42mm filters which are to be found nowhere nowadays
* It shows CA wide open (but much less than MAF70-210)
* Large (and expensive) front filters (112mm)
comment:This lens was a steal. I bought from another Dyxum member who lives by the sea, and because of this he got fungus on the lens. I've paid US$ 500 (R$ 800,00) for the lens plus R$ 300 (US$ 180) for servicing it, and since then it has been perfect - the fungus has gone away and the place I live is not particularly humid at least 4 months in the year.

However, this is a heavy lens and not that easy to carry around - principally when you have one son and one daughter. So I still couldn't use this lens up to its potential. My initial tests show anyway that this lens is fantastic wide open in terms of sharpness, bokeh and colors. It is in a fully different league than my Sigma 400mm f:5.6.

When I have more time (and the children grown up a bit) I pretend to use this one for wildlife photography. The only problem is that I probably should have a sherpa around. :)

UPDATE: I had the opportunity to test this lens somewhat more extensively, and everything that has been said about it is true. On the positive side, the colors and sharpness are staggering, even wide open; on the negative side, sometimes it shows CA which may be not easy to get rid off. The next texts will check its performance coupled to a SAL14TC. :)

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 31
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.90
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.90
  • flare control: 4.94
  • overall: 4.91
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania