Minolta AF 400mm F4.5 HS APO G A-mount lens review by Ellisson

reviewer#11837 date: May-20-2014
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200mm 2.8
Minolta 300mm 4.0
Sony 70-300 G
price paid:2400 USD
positive:1. For a 400mm prime lens, the weight is reasonable and does not limit hand holding for BIF.
2. Sharpness is superb wide open
3. Autofocus is good
4. Overall quality vs cost is very good (used market, good-excellent sample)
negative:Drop in filters expensive and hard to find, but fortunately not required for wildlife and bird photography.
comment:The copy that I purchased is in excellent condition, virtually mint. I have had great results with this lens in shooting shore birds in flight. Learning good hand-holding technique was an important step for me to get the most out of the 400/4.5. Yes, it is more comfortable on a tripod/gimbal for standing birds, other wildlife, but for BIF, the total freedom of movement handholding is hard to beat. I found the AF fast enough to get plenty of "keepers", even using a 1.4x teleconverter shooting at f=6.3 in early morning light.

I am very happy with this lens for nature/bird/wildlife photography. I recommend it highly for this purpose.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 44
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.86
  • build: 4.89
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.82
  • overall: 4.89
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