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

reviewer#2645 date: Aug-21-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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 70-210 f3.5-4.5
price paid:US$110 used
negative:Slow focus
comment:Comparing the beercan to the Tamron - the differences are minor :

The beercan is lighter, ever-so-slightly sharper, with a tad more contrast, and has a fraction less CA. It is longer (slightly more bag space needed) but then it has a constant aperture and doesn't grow when it zooms. Identical macro, filter size, focusing distance, number of elements etc etc. The Tamron feels very solid but the zoom action on the beercan is a little smoother at the tele end and it doesn't creep when pointed down which I can get the Tamron to do, so the beercan has better build quality. I can't tell colours apart. Neither are digitally optimised so sunsets can produce a ghost reflection from the sensor going back into the lens - and this is a major flaw to me.

Unfortunately neither are a 'travel light' lens or an outstanding performer (optics are good overall but focus speed is just too slow). But they are a good compromise if your budget can't stretch to both an f2.8 and a travel lens.

Personally the focus speed and ghosting are a problem to me so I'm going to trade them in for the travel lens and wait for the Tamron and Sigma f2.8's.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 397
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53
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