Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan) A-mount lens review by 66mikeg

reviewer#41983 date: Jan-7-2018
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:MD 70-210 f4
AF 70-210 f4.5-f5.6
price paid:£70
positive:Well built metal lens
Sharp optics
Smooth bokeh
Excellant mechanical operation including autofocus
Fixed zoom length and only extends about 1" focusing
Fantastic colour
Relatively long (Cap+Lens+camera = 10")
1980's coatings
Some flare and ghosting unless carefull
comment:I had the original MD 70-210 f4 used on a Minolta SRT101 (now that was a lens). I aquired a set of AF cameras 5000,7000 & 9000 and the AF version of the lens seemed a must, eventually I stupidly sold it. Still having a load of AF lenses after a year or two I got a couple of cheap Sony Alpha cameras to utilise them. recently I chanced my arm and bought a 'beercan' on ebay. What a result, as far as I can see it's virtually mint, with a metal lens hood clear lenses and not a scratch.
No CA to speak of and on an APS-C sensor it's virtually perfect from corner to corner (I never had a noticeable problem with distortion on the film cameras anyway). with a crop factor of 1.5 the effective range is about 105-315 this complements the 18-70 (27-105) kit lens with one on each body.
From some of the other reviews I think that there may be some variation in quality - after 30 years use that's no surprise.
For £70 this compares favourably with a lens costing 10x the price second hand, pixel peepers may well feel the extra cash is worthwhile but to my 14mp eyeballs this lens is pukkah.

Since my original review I have started using film again in addition to digital. I have bought a 700si and a 600si, I prefer the latter. My beercan together with a 28-85 make an ideal pair of lenses for these.

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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