Minolta AF 70-210mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by DarkScribe

reviewer#6512 date: Dec-4-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 70-210 F4 (Beercan), Minolta 70-210 F4.5-5.6, Sigma 60-200 F4-5.6, Tamron 70-210 F4-5.6, Tokina 70-210 F4-5.6
price paid:$200? new in 1988
positive:Sharp, very fast focusing, well made, great Minolta colour, light when compared to Beercan (and with an IQ as good).
negative:Not really a negative, just a note. As with many lenses, to avoid flare the supplied hood can be improved on if shooting toward strong light. I added a longer larger collapsible rubber lens hood.
comment:I have owned Minolta since the XE1 and was one of the first in this country to buy what has now become known as a "Beercan" (I ordered it and waited several months.) When this 70-210 F3.5-4.5 lighter, faster, stronger and more reliable lens became available, I bought it and retired my Beercan - as did many photographers in the day. (The myth about Beercans started with digital photographers looking for cheap lenses.) It was and is a better lens than the Beercan mechanically and as good optically. It is made from high density polymer plastics, the same as Glock pistols and is far less prone to damage from knocks or drops. It is internally vibration damped and better sealed. Its slightly less (a fraction of a stop) speed between 120 and 210mm when compared to the Beercan is hardly worth considering in most situations and its fast focusing, strength and lightness more than compensates.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 64
  • sharpness: 4.29
  • color: 4.69
  • build: 3.98
  • distortion: 4.34
  • flare control: 3.89
  • overall: 4.24
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