Minolta AF 300mm F4 HS APO G A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 31    1 2 >>
reviewer#12146 date: Feb-19-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210f4
Minolta 100-300 f4.5-5.6 apo
Minolta 70-300 f4.5-5.6
price paid:Borrowed
positive:Old minolta quality build
Colors
Fast AF
Good lens hood
CA when stop down
negative:Sharpness wide open
CA when wide open
comment:Every thing about that lens is great (if we consider that is 21 years old) but sharpness @f4 is not justifies G rating. Sorry but that is reality. G rating starts @f5-5.6
reviewer#11717 date: Mar-8-2014
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sal70300G
Minolta 100-400 APO
Sal75300
price paid:1100
positive:Sharp
Not that heavy
Great Image Quality
AF & good quality with 2x teleconverter
negative:CA (sometimes)
comment:I love this lens! One of my favorites, next to my 85F1.4Z on sharpness and quality.
reviewer#11360 date: Oct-1-2013
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G
Sony 85mm f/1.4 ZA
Sony 135mm f/2.8[T4.5] STF
Sony 75-300 f/4.5-5.6 SSM G
price paid:1100 USD Used Ex/EX+
positive:World Famous Minolta Color
Sharp wide open
Not as much CA wide open as the other reviews may have suggested
Could be used as a tank cannon
Pretty good motor
Made in 1994.
negative:Much bigger than I expected
Drop-in filters are supposedly impossible to find
82mm front filter size, not as common
comment:Like a dummy, I didn't read the specification correctly and the size of this thing is surprising. With the hood attached, it is a foot long. It weighs a ton. Those being said, the lens is razor sharp wide open. I would rate this lens a 5.5 in sharpness and color if I could. I may have to drop my other ratings because of this lens. The reviewers before complained about CA. I don't see it as much. I have the 200mm f/2.8 HS APO G and that thing has CA like crazy compared to this lens. Maybe I lucked out and got a perfect copy. The drop-in filter may turn out to be a nuisance. I guess they're impossible to find. I heard a rumor they are also making a comeback. I guess I'll find out. This thing is absolutely insanely long on the A77. You can see stuff really far away in amazing detail, even wide open. I feel like I am playing with house money.
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 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. :)
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
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
Bokeh
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.
reviewer#7795 date: Aug-8-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony70-300G
Minolta 200 APO 2.8 HS with Sony APO 1.4 Teleconverter
price paid:995 USD
positive:Extraordinary detail @ long range on action shots
Precise and quick autofocus
Delicate color rendition
negative:Lens hood a bit cumbersome
comment:I have used Leica M, Leica R Nikon and Canon for 40 years. Contax 645 MF with all Zeiss lenses for 10 years. This Minolta lens with a900 is very special in that company and quite superior color response compared to Canon AF 300 F4 on Canon 1DS. Contax 645 AF 350 is also extraordinary lens but not really comparable in potential applications to Minolta Alpha uses because of weight.
reviewer#7704 date: Jul-21-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 Minolta
75-300 Minolta
28-200 Sigma
price paid:1400 AU$
positive:-Very sharp
-Great colours
-Solid build
-Fast focus
-Amazing detail
negative:How can you fault perfection?
comment:Bought this lens recently from another Dyxum member, not expecting much. When I first saw it, it was love at first sight. The previous owner really looked well after this lens, it even has the factory plastic sheets over the lettering. This lens is brand new. And what amazing sharpness, and accuracy. couple all that with Minolta colours, and you have the perfect lens. If you could ever get your hands on one of these, grab it with both hands, and don't let go!!
reviewer#7451 date: May-19-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Around 1200 CAD$
positive:Color & Bokeh & Built
like no others
negative:
missing
comment:Worth every penny.
Enough said.
reviewer#6888 date: Feb-9-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:

K/M 75-300 Big Beercan
K/M 35-70 4
Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
K/M 50 1.7
K/M 70-210 4.5-5.6
K/M 70-210 4 Beercan
K/M 28 2.8
K/M 28-80xi
K/M 28-135 4-4.5
K/M 35-70 3.5-4.5
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD NEW
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
Deitz 28-200
Tamron 20-35 3.5-4.5
KM 100-400 4.5-6.7
Tamron 28-75 2.8
KM 50 3.5 Macro
KM 35-105 3.5-4.5
KM 24-105 3.5-4.5
Sigma 18 3.5
Sony 70-400 4-5.6 G
K/M 80-200 2.8 G
K/M 75-300 4.5-5.6 NEW
price paid:1100 USD
positive:Sharp
Colors
Compact for performance
Fast focusing

negative:None, I love it
comment: This is a........ wow. Sharp wide open, color like few lenses. Focuses very quickly. To say it is a great lens doesn't do it justice. Thankful to be blessed with one.
reviewer#6527 date: Dec-5-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:beercan
70-200 SSM G
Sigma 135-400
price paid:660 GBP s/h
positive:Fast AF, sharp wide open, lovely colours and built like a tank.
negative:built like a tank (it's heavy)!
Lens hood is fiddly.
comment:Delighted with the images created using this lens, I can't see myself ever replacing it.
reviewer#5249 date: Apr-18-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-500
price paid:
missing
positive:Build
Focus ring slide cover
Sharpness Color
negative:
missing
comment:I may need to lower the ratings slightly from my old Tamron 200-500. This lens, within the first few shots I took, is amazingly better. The colors were better, but the main thing was that the shots are amazingly sharper! I also love the build. It is built like a tank! Solid metal, very sturdy, but still able to hand hold it. I may not be able to hike as long with it out and a grip on, so I may have to hike with the grip off when going out with this lens. The lens also focuses a lot faster than the Tamron 200-500 as well. If you have a choice, I'd say get this lens! I loved the range of the Tammy, but then decided that I'd go for the quality of this lens since I either used 200 or 500 on the Tammy the last couple years. It matches well with the Kenko DG 300 1.4x and is still faster than the Tammy.
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
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.
reviewer#3469 date: Apr-16-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 500/f8
Minolta 70-210/4 beercan
Tamron 90/2.8
price paid:c. NZD1500 (used)
positive:Great colours and detail.
Ideal for wildlife.
negative:CA wide open, and with reflective surfaces (cicada wings, wet seals).
42mm filters (sigh)
Awkward lens hood
comment:This is an ideal compromise between reach, speed and weight. The lens has become my regular wildlife lens, and is just portable enough to take on overseas trip. Sure, the 400/4.5 or 300/2.8 have a mite more reach or are a bit faster, but you pay for that with the extra weight. With the ability to crank up the ISO higher on the α700, an f4 aperture is a much smaller trade off.

It captures colours and details brilliantly, and is as sharp as my Tamron and CZ16-80.

It focuses much faster on the α700, and this is a good match. With the α100 I did more manual focus work.
reviewer#3467 date: Apr-14-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 D APO
Big Beercan
price paid:1500 USD
positive:So very sharp!
Fast focusing
Excellent build
negative:Expensive filters
comment:This lens is one peice of work! Pictures are very sharp across the stops, colors are true to life. Yes, there is CA wide open, but it can be controlled by stopping down.

It's heavy, but not listed as a negative because I knew it would be. You don't get a lens like this (All metal) with the weight of the kit lens. The only real negative is the price of drop in filters. Using a front CPL filter is just about impossible with the hood on.

The price of this baby keeps going up. If you want one and can find one, now's the time.
reviewer#3334 date: Mar-3-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200 mm f 2.8 HS G
Minolta 500 mm f 8
price paid:900 Euro (mint used)
positive:Good Sharpness at f4
Small comparative with 2.8
Colours
Bokeh
Precision and fast AF
negative:Some chromatic abberation at f4
Price
Drop in filters (CPL cost 459 €)
Is not produced
comment:Works with TC Vivitar 1.4X and KenKo pró 300 DG 2X and loock AF.

reviewer#3253 date: Feb-11-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 200 APO HS G
Sony 500 f/8 reflex
Sony 70-200 SSM G
price paid:800€
positive:sharp
bokeh
colours
AF speed
negative:CA wide open
comment:Great lens I love the sharpness but I hate the CA when wide open. Focus is very fast you can use the limiter which makes it even faster.Also sharp enough with Minolta 1.5x TC 2x TC does not support AF
reviewer#3065 date: Dec-12-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 APO
200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:1300 USD (mint used)
positive:Fabulous quality
Fast and accurate focus
Just light enough to hand hold
negative:Making adjustments to focus and putting on the hood are clunky medchanical experiences (it's actually quite cute, but hardly efficient).
Bit noisy on the A100
Overpriced (but it's priceless really)
comment:When tracking focus appears quick and intelligent beyond belief at times. Before this, I didn't know a lens could track a kingfisher flying through the jungle from 30-50m away.

To be honest, I haven't really looked at flare control.
reviewer#2613 date: Aug-8-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 APO D
price paid:1200 USD
positive:Outstanding optical performance.
Beautiful build and finish.
Attention to detail (focus hold, limiter, focus ring cover etc.)
negative:It's a big lens.
Hood is a little clumsy to attach.
Drop-in filters impossible to find.
comment:My first G lens and it's a beauty. I'd been obsessed with finding a good 300mm lens that is fast and sharp since a trip to South Africa (safari!) a few years ago. Now that I've finally got it, I'll have to go back! It's a bit of a niche lens - not something you'll use every day, but when you need the reach for wildlife or distant subjects, it is perfect.

Previously, I had the 100-300mm APO D, which was a good lens for it's price but I found it didn't do well on overcast days or in low light. This lens, in an entirely different (and much more expensive) class delivers a much finer image both in sharpness and in bokeh.

It also brings new challenges to the table with it's size and focal length, and the fact that I try more challenging photography with it. (Time to go Orca watching again with this one and see how it performs.) It's nice that I have the option to use it handheld with some care, or attach a monopod to the tripod mount.

If your pocketbook can handle it, and you need (or just 'want':) a near perfect 300mm that you can take with you, this is the ideal lens in my opinion. It's a big improvement over the zooms that cover 300mm, and while it's a bit of a grunt as it is certainly not a small lens, (the f2.8 would be much too heavy to carry everywhere while traveling, and it's even more expensive than the f4) I am more than willing to carry it!
reviewer#2461 date: Jun-20-2007
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta HS 200 G APO f/2.8
Minolta HS 80-200 Apo f/2.8
Sigma 400mm APO f/5.6
price paid:950 Euro
positive:- handheld very well possible on A100
- pinsharp (even wide open)
- light, compared to other G 300 mm's
- Bokeh
- Colours
- Paint (doesn't come off)
negative:- price
comment:I love this lens! Paid a fortune for it, but everything about it I like a lot! look for my wildlife pictures at:



I use the 200mm f/2.8 APO G more, because of it's weight, but this one goes with me, when I need the distance...
reviewer#2335 date: May-21-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:400mm f4.5 G, 80-200 f2.8 HS
price paid:1000 USD used
positive:Relitively light and small (compared to f2.8). Sharp wide open, solid build.
negative:none really.
comment:Great tele lens. I love using it. It is a good choice for those who need high quality telephoto but don't want to lug 400mm G or 300mm f2.8 around. I would take this on a trip if i was expecting great need for it. Has solid build, great color, sharp wide open, and pleasure to use in all respects.
reviewer#2313 date: May-14-2007
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:80-200 APO black & 400/4.5
price paid:$600 new
positive:Sharp, handholdable, front thread size, bokeh very nice
negative:High Chromatic Abberation from f4-f5.6
comment:You have to really like a lens that performs as well as this one, can be handheld with the help of AS, takes an 82mm filter on the end, so the dedicated CPL isn't absolutely necessary...buy an aftermarket one!

Compared to the 400, it's just as sharp, but the 400 doesn't have the chromatic abberation at the open end that the 300 produced. I noticed alot of purple fringing using the 300 from reflections, and that was probably the biggest downside to it.

Other than that, the only reason it left my bag was because I tried a 400 and loved the extra reach it gave me...for the same IQ. It was a GREAT lens!
reviewer#2307 date: May-12-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:"beercan" 200-400 Tamron
price paid:1000 USD
positive:Sharp, Light neough to hand hold, AF fast
negative:still havn't found anything
comment:Perfect for birds in flight
bought it for my wife to use when we go birding,
keeps finding its way into my bag
reviewer#1634 date: Jan-11-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:400G, 100-300APO, 70-200SSM
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, sharp with TC.
Good handholding lens
AF fast enough
negative:
missing
comment:Suprisingly very sharp (much better than what i expected from photodo numbers) wide open. I would put it at 4.75 sharpness compared to the superb 400G. Nevertheless I am extremely impressed with its sharpness.

Also works very well with Minolta 1.4x TC. Again very, very satisfactory results from wide open. The only drawback is a bigger probability of PF.

I like the colours and contrast of this lens a fair bit - and is one of the main difference I see over the 100-300APO..

AF is fast enough (and faster than 400G).

Good handholding lens IMO - nice tradeoff of weight (+quality) vs focal length.
reviewer#1631 date: Jan-10-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:tokina 100-300 f4
minolta 70-210 f4
minolta 200 2.8
nikon 180 2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:good build
beatiful natural colors
superb sharpness
good bokeh
tripod collar
lens hood
negative:very noticeable CA wide open
slow AF
Af hunts
comment:Theres a LOT of CA when using this lens wide open on the a100. Once you stop down to f5 the CA starts to go. good sharpness from wide open, very sharp stopped down a bit.The sharpness, clarity and color of the images using the a100 and iso 100 is unbelievable. Works very well with sss for distant subjects. Af is somewhat slow for moving subjects and there is also quite a bit of AF hunting on the a100. Have not shot it into the sun much yet to test the flare.
reviewer#1452 date: Nov-20-2006
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:M 70-200/2.8 SSM Apo D G
M 70-210/4 (beercan)
price paid:$1500 se comments
positive:Sharp.
Very fast AF even with M1.4x TC O and still top sharpness.
Weight
negative:No 'D' coating
The mount of the hood.
NO AF with the M 2x TC
comment:Another top lens from minolta.
As it's not to heavy compared with dcaps 'deercan' it's a very good lens to bring for walkaround shots with just a monopod.
Just loves it.

Included in the price was also a M 1.4x TC O and a M 2x TC O.
reviewer#1386 date: Nov-6-2006
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6
Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6
price paid:780 USD (used)
positive:This is an awesome lens. Fast-focusing, beautiful color rendition, sharp.
negative:Care should be taken when shooting with strong backlighting--CA shows up wide-open but should be gone by f/8. Focusing suffers when used with a teleconverter (1.4x).
comment:If you like to shoot wildlife or sports but can't afford the f/2.8 long lenses, this is about your only option. Well, there's the 400mm f/4.5 but that's even harder to find. You won't go wrong with this lens.

reviewer#700 date: Apr-20-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, fast, long range
negative:Absolutely none
comment:Fantastic piece of kit with or without TC. Fast - like very fast! - A.F. Sharpness, colour... why am I bothering with this? Look, this is very simple, it is another killer Minolta lens and if you want this focal range buy it if you can find it because you will not be disappointed. Want something G-class but longer? Get the 400 and pay twice the price. Want something faster? Get the 200 2.8 but accept shorter focal length. This does an awesome job with a Minolta TC with a 7d or a 5d. MF at around 900mm with the x2 or AF at around 640 with the X1.4? Another lens peolple buy but don't tend to sell. That should tell you the story .
reviewer#668 date: Apr-6-2006
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300APO
70-210 f4
price paid:950 Cdn(Used)
positive:Sharpness
Color
Bokeh
Build
Focus limiter
Fast AF
Bargain Price Compare to f2.8
Hand-heldable despite size
negative:Slight CA on 5D
size
comment:What a lens! So far my only G lens and it totally blows my mind. The pictures are super sharp and the colors are great. And shooting wide open at f4 the bokeh is far superior than anything I've seen. AF is fast and accurate even without using focus limiter(with it, even faster) Only downside is there is some evidence of CA in certain shot. Noting too noticeable in broad daylight though. Pic on my Maxxum 7 film did not exhibit the same issue. Prepare to lug it around a lot as it is very good...

If you can find one , get it! Much cheaper than the f2.8 version.
reviewer#542 date: Feb-26-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO-D
price paid:
missing
positive:SHARP!! at all apetures. Creamy bokeh. Hand-holdable on 7/5D. Built to last. Fast AF w/o focus limiter, faster with limiter. Nice MF ring.
negative:Silly lens hood design. Filters for front (expensive) back (can't be found).
comment:I can't believe I gave all 5's, but there was simply no choice. I absolutly love this lens! Along with the 100/2 and 28/2, apeture choice is simply what I want in focus. There is no loss, of any sort, wide open. The fact that I can easily hand hold this is as much a testement to the AS as to the lens, but it's still a marvelous ability.

Ooohh...the bokeh. Beyond my ability to describe-just wonderful!

I have read other reviews saying to use the focus-limiter to get decent AF speeds. My experience shows that the normal focus is subject dependent. I got fast AF with most subject w/o the limiter. It is necessary when trying to pick out subjects against a confused or similiar toned background.

It is, obviously, much heavier than the 100-300 APO-D, but the handling is quite good. Still, a tripod is recommended for any extended shooting (also bring a small child to carry it for you.)

The only real negative i can come up with is the totally silly lens hood design. There has to be a better way. 82mm filters in front, I'm using a Cokin P-CPL until I can afford a threaded one. Most everything else, Cokin/Lee/etc. will be fine.
reviewer#128 date: Oct-3-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tokina 100-300 ATX f/4
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast AF when limited focusing range was set.
Sharp glass gives sharp photos from f/4 and above.
Front 82mm filter size allows purchase 3rd party filters.
negative:Poor control of Chromatic Aberration.
No 3rd party filter manufacturers has integral filters of size 42mm.
comment:The AF will be fast only if you set a limited focusing range, for example from 15m~infinity as the rotation of the lens will be greatly reduced.
This is good only for daytime sports or indoor with very good lighting without flash.
If SSM was built-in might increased the AF speed and accuracy further.
reviews found: 31    1 2 >>

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

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