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

reviewer#5074 date: Mar-22-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:sony 75-300mm
minolta 135mm F2.8
price paid:110 €
positive:- superb bokeh
- sharp
- heavy metal
- F4 all the way
- did I mention bokeh?
- price
negative:- really heavy metal
- slooow AF
- purple fringing
comment:This is one superb lens. Built like a Panzer but also moves like one. The photos have really dreamy bokeh making this lens perfect for candid portraits, sports or even concerts considering that digital cameras have better and better ISO performance.

Image quality:
- bokeh is simply indescribable. The photos look very natural.
- colors are just amazing, minolta classic.
- the lens is sharp... very sharp. Wide open it will give you excellent results until 200mm where it gets a tad softer. It has better results than the 75-300 at every focal and marginally worse than the 135mm.
- puprple fringing and longitudinal CA's are visible so I hope you either have a good RAW converter or a lot of patience.

Handling and build:
- it's all metal, which means it's build like a tank but it's also heavy and very slow to focus. Even the almighty Dynax 7 has some trouble spinning the beast sometimes.
- it's F4... this means just 1 stop from F2.8, so it's a fast lens in my book, very usable in concerts with the A700 + SSS + ISO 1600 - 3200.
- Internal zoom - big yay but it has front element focus... so it rotates when you focus... which is not particularly pleasant (especially when using polarizers )

All in all a pleasant lens to use if your job doesn't depend on it. It's miles away from the built quality of a canon 70-200 F2.8 L or the image quality of the sony equivalent but for about 200$ (10x less) you sure do get your bang for the buck. A must-have.

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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