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

reviewer#8004 date: Sep-21-2010
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:Zeiss 135
Sony 70300G
Min 200G
Min 85G
price paid:usd 150 used
positive:Minolta colors
Fixed aperture
Reliable focus
negative:Length
comment:This lens is not as heavy as the 28-135, and is lighter than my 135 Zeiss -- but it seems heavier because it is long -- and the length is the only real disadvantage to this lens, I feel.

My copy is really excellent in its precision, in the clarity from edge to edge, and in the Minolta colors. It has 55mm filters, and an excellent full frame range. It shines on an A900, although it was a dynamite lens on my A700 too.

I like the clip-on hood and the funny macro switch, since it makes the lens wholly versatile. I like the texture in my hand and the feeling that one gets exactly what one sees in the viewfinder.

I am a fan of fixed aperture zooms, and this f4 is really useable in most lighting given the ISO games we can now play. Of course it isn't quite as good as the 85G, 135ZA or the 200G -- but my copy is awfully close. The 70300G has a better range, but a less desirable f-stop ratio: it takes crisper pictures with colors that are almost as good as the Beercan's.

I use the 70300G more often than I use the Beercan, but I'll never sell the Beercan, and every time I decide to use it, I'm pleased with the results. It's old technology, but so is a Bentley Mulsanne -- and if I had one of those, I'd keep this lens on the backseat.

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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