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

reviewer#9974 date: Feb-26-2012
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:Minolta 600mm F4
Sony 70-400mm
price paid:
positive:Excellent sharpness, beautiful colour and very fast when used without lens extenders.
negative:The one minor complaint is how easily the paint gets marred, so I put a lenscoat cover on my copy before I took it into the field. PS the scuffs and marks are easy to remove and cleanup.
comment:The Minolta F4.5 auto focuses with the Sony A900 and Sony A77 at moderate speed and excellent image quality with Minolta Lens Extender 1.4X Type II. It also auto focuses with the Sony A900 and Kenko Teleplus Pro 300 2X with good image quality. The Sony a77 will auto focus with the Minolta 400mm F4.5 and Kenko 2X teleconverter but only under ideal conditions of bright light and good contrast. The usefullness of this AF combination would thus be limited to exceptional circumstances.

This is my second copy of this lens and I purchased it in near mint condition. I compared the Minolta 400mm F4.5 with the Sony 70-400mm in considerable detail(many cropped and enlarged images). The Minolta is sharper and interestingly the Minolta is a longer focal length. Either the Sony 70-400mm is not 400mm at the long end as advertised or the Minolta 400mm F4.5 is closer to 425-450mm. This lens in excellent to mint condition will appreciate considerably once the $14K Sony 500mm F4 hits the street in numbers. It is one of the best if not the very best prime lens that Minolta made.

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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