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

reviewer#3837 date: Jul-11-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 300mm f/4
Minolta 300mm f/2.8
price paid:2900 USD
positive:Built like a tank
2 focus hold buttons
Nice large hood
Fast and manageable weight
negative:None except for the fact that you can't find 42mm filters for the rear filter.
comment:I have been waiting to finally upgrade to this lens as well as find a mint copy. I originally had been using the 300mm f/4 and really liked it, but need more lens. I thought by getting the 300mm f/2.8 with a 2x TC, I could satisfy my need. I just didn't get the sharpness I desired from that combination and that lens combo is HEAVY. This is my second day with the 400mm and WOW!!! I absolutely love it and wish I would have just taken the hit and purchased one last year. The color and sharpness are fantastic and the AF is very good with my A700. If your hobby is nature photography, specifically birds, and you can't afford a 500mm or 600mm, get this lens. I have used it with the matched 1.4x TC and it works wonderfully and is nice and sharp.

The nice thing about this lens is it is not nearly as bulky in the field as the 300mm f/2.8 and actually not much more to handle than the 300mm f/4 IMHO. I also suggest getting a gimbal head. I use the Manfrotto 393 (Bogen #3421) and the combination is great and affordable.

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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