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

reviewer#9402 date: Sep-11-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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 - AF 28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta - AF 100 F2.8 Macro
Carl Zeiss - Vario-Sonnar T* 24-70 F2.8 ZA SSM
Sony - AF 70-400 F4-5.6 G SSM
price paid:$200 US
negative:Focusing is slow
comment:The beercan began my love affair with A-mount. A while ago, my wife (my girlfriend) had a Canon AE-1 that was consistently underexposing, and I had a Pentax "Program Plus" that remains awesome to this day. We were early adopters of digital (Olympus D500L). It was fun but abysmal quality.

Later, married, we took a trip to Japan but *forgot the cameras*! Oops! A short trip later to Akihabara, we came out with an a350 and a kit lens. Nice, but a few frames later, it felt drab, still a digital backwater.

I didn't believe that it could be that bad. I'd never used A-mount, but once we came back from Japan, I looked around for help, and found Dyxum. Looking through the forums, the beercan is clearly unique. I invested a little time, and I happened to find a copy on Amazon, and it arrived -- seemingly untouched from 1985, pristine.

I was blown away. The color and sharpness are awesome. It is different from what I had before. I love the grain of film (digital noise doesn't compare) -- but the beercan, as a lens, brings both technical precision and joy. The color and light capture the scene -- and capture my heart, too!

The bokeh is awesome. Actually, the bokeh is like candy. I like close portraits, where the background is blurred creamy smooth. The beercan is so good at that, I have to force myself away from it, or everything I do will have that beautiful creamy look.

Downsides: Well, it's kind of long, f/4 is a little dark. Whatever, get over it, there are no downsides. You will *never* regret your beercan.

I don't use the beercan much anymore. I now have a 24-70CZ, and a 70-400G, and they are awesome -- and also very expensive. The sword has two edges.

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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