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

reviewer#11742 date: Mar-22-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:Compared to dozens of other lenses I have tried.
price paid:
positive:Bokeh is great.
Colors are great.
Well built.
Does not extend while zooming or focusing.
Cheap! What a great value this lens is.
Easy to find in mint condition.
negative:Nothing serious.
Longer and heavier than a modern lens.
No ADI or modern coatings.
Some purple fringing.
comment:This lens really does deserve its legendary status. With used lens prices dropping more and more in the last few years, you really have no reason not to try this lens. Depending on condition, it can be bought on Ebay for $90-$140.

The Beercan has smooth, dreamy bokeh. It has vivid, warm colors. Nothing in this price range can compete with it. It's like an outdoor portrait lens.

Sharpness is good. It is more than acceptable, just not the Beercans best attribute. Certainly no comparison to high-end glass, but no less sharp than its actual competition.

Can flare in sunlight without the hood. Flare prone? No I wouldn't quite say that. But with bright sunlight in your face, the Beercan will suffer.

Build is classic Minolta metal. Excellent!

Bottom line is you should give this lens a try unless you are a Zeiss snob. I have a large lens collection to choose from, but see no reasaon to sell my Beercan. I enjoy using it every time I get it out of the closet. Some of my favorite photos have come from the Beercan. It is a true representation of classic Minolta build, color, and bokeh. There is a reason so many of these are for sale on Ebay. It is because a great many were manufactured to meet demand! Popular in its day and still popular today, for all the same reasons.

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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