Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan) A-mount lens review by havoc315

reviewer#11065 date: Apr-24-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:Tamron 70-300 usd
Minolta 70-210 4.5-5.6
price paid:125 usd (used)
positive:Contrast and Saturation
Constant F4
Sharp
Bokeh
negative:CA
Heavy
comment:This lens had been collecting some dust since I purchased the Tamron 70-300, and I was considering selling it. Decided to try it out 1 more time, shooting my son's little league game. Well, I won't be selling it.

The lens has absolutely incredible contrast and saturation. Needs far less Lightroom adjustments than my other lenses. The main required adjustment is a basic lens profile correction, as there is a fair amount of distortion and some vignetting. Occasionally, CA adjustments needed.

This lens is center sharp, even wide open. Achieves smooth bokeh.

The extra F-stop over most zoom lenses is quite helpful. The Tamron is a great lens, no question. I've also used it to shoot Little League games... But to get super-fast shutter speeds, even in bright sunlight... I need ISO of 1000-1600, as opposed to 400-800 on the beercan. With a Sony SLT, this was the line between noise and noise-free.

The lens is heavy. It's about the same size and weight as the Tamron 70-300, with 90mm less reach. So I'm keeping both lenses. Though I was impressed at how quickly this lens focused in sports situations, at least as fast as the Tamron. (Of course, the Tamron is internal focusing, while the Minolta relies exclusively on the camera)

The biggest complaint is that you can get a good amount of CA. Though as long as you watch for it, it's an easy correcting in post-processing.

Considering you can get a quality copy of this lens for under $150, and a 70-200 2.8 runs over $1500 and is twice the size... This lens is a no-brainer unless you absolutely need the extra F-stop.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 396
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53
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