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

reviewer#3020 date: Dec-2-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 2
flare control: 4
overall: 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:Minolta 100-400mm APO
price paid:Ł95
Colour & bokeh
Constant aperture
negative:Imprecise AF on A700
Purple fringing
comment:Given all of the hype, I must admit to being somewhat underwhelmed by my Beercan! I have tested back-to-back with my 100mm-400mm APO, expecting similar results over the 100-200mm range. However, in none of the flower shots that I took on a wet November day, did the Beercan produce a better result than the APO.

Using AF on the A700, the Beercan shots were all softer. Only when I switched to MF could I product a decently sharp photo, but even then, the APO still had it beat every time!

AF on the A700 is reasonably fast with the Beercan (if a little imprecise) and much faster than with the APO.

However, the main problem with the Beercan is purple fringing. It is there (and noticeable) on virtually every shot, whereas the APO never has any.

Maybe I have a duff copy, but it is clean, unmarked and appears to have had an easy life. There is a lot of evidence that this lens is generally better than I have found it, however, for me it remains a bit of a disappointment.

In hindsight maybe I should have spent my money elsewhere...

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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