Minolta AF 400mm F4.5 HS APO G A-mount lens review by AlanS
|AlanS#12210 date: Mar-26-2015|
flare control: 5
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Sony 70-400 G2|
|price paid:||2300 (USD)|
|positive:||With the 1.4x TC, this is the best compromise available to supplement the 70-400G1/2 with extra reach. Super sharp! 560/6.3 with the 1.4x, at half the price of a Siggy 500 or Minolta 600.|
|negative:||Only one slight disappointment: Although focus speed is very fast (on par with the 70-400G), when adding the Sony 1.4x TC the AF gearing reduction does reduce the keeper rate for BIF in all but the brightest of sunlight.|
|comment:||I've had this lens for about a month and it is definitely a keeper! As an owner of the Sony 70-400G2, I was looking for more reach for wildlife, not as a replacement, but to supplement that zoom. After trying and rejecting two copies of the Tamron 150-600 (the big T is a good value for the 150-400ish range, but simply did not deliver the pixel-level sharpness at the long end that I was seeking -- cropping the 70-400G's 400mm shots produced sharper images than uncropped 600mm files produced with the Tamron), I decided to try this old Minolta. I had read reviews claiming it is sharper than the Sony 70-400G, which I found hard to believe. My own extensive comparisons confirm that is true! And with the Sony 1.4x TC it maintains great sharpness that blows away the Tamron's long end.|
It felt risky dropping $2.3k for a 20-yr old lens, but was comfortable purchasing it from KEH.com with their return policy. They also provided a 2-yr parts/labor/replacement or refund (if unable to repair/replace) warranty for a very reasonable price.
I am very satisfied with this purchase. My wife and I both enjoy shooting wildlife and now that we have this one she no longer has to settle for shooting with the 70-200G (which is my favorite FF portrait lens, but that's another review)... now she can use the 70-400G2 while I handle the Minolta 400, usually with the TC for 560mm, for 840mm equivalence attached to the a77ii.