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

reviewer#11912 date: Jul-19-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 300/4
Minolta 200/2.8
Sony 70-400G original
price paid:2400 USD used
positive:Very good wide open
Light and cheap for what it offers
Focus limiter allows for fast focus
Lovely old-fashioned mechanical feel - a lens with soul
Produces photos with a certain look
Very effective focus limiter system
negative:A bit slow to go through the full focal range (use the limiter if you can)
Produces photos with a certain look (can be a negative too if that's not what you want)
Rather noisy focusing - but that is a charm too - it isn't a loud noise and I like it.
Obviously the coatings are state of the art for when it was made.

comment:Being able to use this lens is a wonderful bonus for Sony users. No system can offer 400mm at this quality at this price, with the option to add a TC and shoot at f/4.5. If you are coming from that system, this will replace a Canon 400/5.6 nicely, with bells on. It produces soft looking shots, but is a sharp lens... a bit if a contradiction and also it's charm. Work it out if you can, or just enjoy shooting. Not sure how it would go on 36MP but users seem happy, Anyway, the optics are great and any weaknesses are simply because this was designed more for the age of film, when it must have been a truly awesome lens. Up to 24MP it is still just about holding it's own and there is simply nothing else like it.

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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