Minolta AF 3x-1x 1.7-2.8 Macro A-mount lens review by BenKinetics

reviewer#2419 date: Jun-6-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 90mm macro
Extension tubes
Teleconverter
price paid:Ł1100
positive:Very high magnification
Motorised zoom and rotation
Very sharp
Included mini tripod
negative:The price!
Lens cap is rubbish
Expensive non-rechargeable battery
comment:This seems to be the lens that everyone wants to try but no-one wants to buy, and I can see why - it's a lot of money for a very specialist lens, even if it does come with a tripod and a hard case. It really is way above any other macro lens I've tried, though, and quality is fantastic - none of the compromises you get when bodging with extension tubes or teleconverters.
Officially, it's meant to be used on a tripod, and the included vertical-mount one is very handy - it's easy to get pin-sharp pictures of anything that will sit still under the tripod. AF works almost all the time (it hunts a bit in low light) and you can also manual focus with the built-in slider rail.
Handheld shooting is also possible - the focus distance means you can often hold the object you're shooting and the lens in your left hand. It takes a bit of practice, but produces some amazing results.
I'm waiting for a 1200AF flash to arrive so I can experiment with that - at present I'm limited to larger apertures which reduces the DoF.

Sample image (handheld).

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 4
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 5.00
  • distortion: 4.75
  • flare control: 5.00
  • overall: 4.88
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania