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

reviewer#9876 date: Feb-2-2012
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:Sigma 12-300mm 2.8
Nikon 300mm 2.8
Nikon 500mm f4
Canon 400mm DO IS
Sony 70-400mm
Sony 500mm F8
price paid:2850
positive:Sharp wide open
Versatile focus limiter
Fast focus
negative:None yet
comment: I recently picked up a Sony a77 and wanted some good glass for it. I picked up the 70-300mm SSM but not enough reach for my purposes. The next step was the Sony 70-400mm and while it is the best in this zoom class vs the Nikon and Canon versions I am not a fan of this type of lens due to the amount of extension required to get to 400mm. I shoot wildlife so always need more reach so can live without the shorter focal length zoom.
While I have only owned the Minolta for a few weeks I am extremely happy with it. The weight is reasonable for a lens of this range and speed. For sure it is a very solidly built lens. The only other option for me was a Sony 300mm 2.8 with a 1.4x but it weighs more and costs more.
The AF is very accurate and quick on the a77. The focus limiter is actually more versatile than any others I have used because you can limit from the minimum focus distance to less than infinity as well as from minimum distance to infinity.Of course beyond mfd to infinity is also adjustable.
I did not find the motor to be very noisy and based on other reviews I was expecting it to be louder.
I may have paid a little more but the one I bought was actually new in the box.
I have not yet decided it I will try a 1.4x because of the cropping leeway of the a77.
If you like primes and have the opportunity to purchase one of these gems you won't regret it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 46
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.87
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.96
  • flare control: 4.80
  • overall: 4.88
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