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

reviewer#8958 date: Apr-23-2011
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 3.2
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
Sigma 70-300
Sony 18-250
Minolta 70-210 f3.5-f4.5
price paid:
positive:Build Quality
F4 Aperture
negative:Very Heavy
Only 70-210
Not as sharp as f3.5-f4.5 version at long end.
Hunts in low light (A500)
Not as good in low light as expected as it needs to be stopped down.

Massively over hyped
Massively over priced.
comment:Like the rest of the sheep I believed the hype surrounding this lens, initially I thought it was great but with time and the novelty factor wearing off, I got rid of it and for the price I got on ebay, I bought a Sony 18-55 AND Minolta 70-210 f3.5-f4.5 & still a lot of change ;-).

Given that my f3.5-f4.5 was only £46 It does make you wonder why the beercan costs such much, at the short end the f3.5 is quicker and although slower at the longer end it is sharper than a beercan.

The lack of a hood did'nt help matters, again sadly becuase of the hype these too are well above what they should be(more than I paid for the 18-55). So if you do want to buy a beercan make sure it's got a hood.

Build quality wise beercan's will still be going strong in another 30 years, but advances in new lenses will widen the gap between old and the new even more, e.g look at the Sigma 50-200 hsm or even sony's own 55-200 sam, were it not for the f4 aperture the beercan would be selling for less than £50, sadly although being f4 you do have to stop it down to get the best IQ which then brings it into the region of the newer lenses. Not forgetting that it is only a 210mm lens and that for less than £100 you can get a brand new Tamron 70-300.

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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