Minolta AF 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 55    1 2 >>
reviewer#44029 date: Mar-16-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:70-210 f4
75-300 f4.5-5.6
vivitar 70-210 series 1 (Kiron)
price paid:40 gbp
positive:Lighter alternative to beercan not quite so sharp but not bad alternative
Good lens for the price paid, originally for AF film cameras
negative:Usual issues with flare and ghosting but decent 3rd party lens hood and being aware of the issues minimises problem
comment:I found this to be a useful lens on an APS-C digital but have now re-aquired a decent beercan. Still use it when I get fed up with size and weight of beercan. However I have taken my film cameras out of the drawer and it has now found a home on my AF9000 it's a useful partner to the 28-80 on my AF7000
reviewer#34781 date: Feb-18-2017
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:Sony 18-55 dt SAM
Sony 55-200 dt SAM
Sony 55-300mm dt SAM
Sony 30mm, 35mm, and 50mm primes
Minolta 24-50mm f4
Minolta 18-70mm
Minolta 28-80
Minolta 28-100mm
Minolta 24-105mm
Minolta 35-105mm
Minolta 35-70 f4
Minolta 35-70mm f3.5-4.5
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 70-210mm f4 Beercan
Minolta 70-210mm f3.5-4.5
Minolta 75-300mm f4-5.6
Minolta 100-200mm f4.5
Minolta 100-300mm
Minolta 100-300mm APO
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Di LD
and a few others ...
price paid:£35 UKP
positive:Shortest, lightest FF-capable Minolta 200mm zoom
Short MFD
FF
Pretty good at full aperture
Pretty sharp on FF 24Mp.
No real optical flaws
Good looking
Nice feel
Solid build
Easy MF even with hood on
Effective reversible bayonet lens hood
Doesn't occupy much space in the gadget bag
Very little geometric distortion
On APS-C corners look good even at full aperture
Focus hold button
distance scale
negative:slow aperture, esp. at long end
Not as sharp on APS-C as comparable Sony DT lenses
Seems a shame not to reach 300mm.
Has a lot of competition.
CA at edges on FF digital.
comment:Not one of the most sought-after Minolta lenses, but nevertheless one of the classic Minolta designs, with black silk appearance, inset distance scale and wide rubber focussing and zoom rings. A good-looking lens of solid construction but not excessive weight, very similar in appearance to the 100-300mm and later 75-300mm, but not as big.
Having the 55-200mm Sony DT lens already for my DSLT, I bought this principally as a lightweight tele for my film cameras. In truth it isn’t that much smaller or lighter than the 100-300mm which I had already, but it does have a usefully shorter MFD (1m instead of 1.5m), which means you can track small tame birds on the ground without having to stand up.
Testing on APS-C shows it to be pretty sharp at full aperture and with little CA, as you would expect from a 3x zoom. Corners are only slightly softer than the centre at full aperture and any focal length and not bad looking at 100% crop, and they clean up nicely one stop down. So in good light you can leave it at f8 and be there, and in low light f4.5 at 70mm is useable and not too slow for a decent portrait.
Like the 75-300mm lens, MF is nice with 1/3 turn on the big rubber front ring, even with the hood on, and has the focus hold button in case you find that useful.
On APS-C digital the 70-210 rates as a nice lens, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use it if I had nothing better. However the Sony 55-200mm is sharper – extremely sharp, in fact, if you can focus it well enough which is not easy. It’s also smaller, lighter, has a wider range, and gets in-camera jpeg corrections so if you have an APS-C DSLT there’s really no contest, but stick it on a Dynax 5d and the differences would be less obvious.
On the A900 it seems sharper (bigger pixels, I guess) and 100% crops near the centre are usually very good. 100% crops on FF digital show up quite strong CA at the edges and corners on some occasions, which isn't so obvious on APS-C. But under normal viewing it looks fine.
On a film camera you probably wouldn’t notice any loss of IQ at full aperture unless you take colour slides, so it’s quite a good lightweight choice. I find it makes a good pair with either the 24-105mm or 28-100mm lenses for a two-lens solution, since the overlap is useful to avoid unnecessary swapping, (or indeed the 24-50 or 35-70 f4 on FF) and 200mm is usually long enough for general shooting even on FF. But it’s tempting to use one of the 100-300mm APO models which are only a little heavier, and only lack the MFD of this lens.
However the shorter MFD make it my preference for nature rambles where you're likely to shoot flowers or leaves with insects on them; if you do that, the results are good enough as shot but won't take heavy cropping the way the Tamron 90mm f2.8 macro will, so you pay your money and you take your choice! :-)
So, though most potential users would probably decide on something different, it’s nevertheless a good lens, particularly on film and on FF digital where the smaller DT lenses aren’t an option. It's now a regular choice for either film or the A900 when I expect to need close-ups (or when I want to minimise size and weight), but for general tele use I'd probably use either the 100-200mm, the beercan, or one of the 100-300mm lenses. Note however that the 100-200mm f4.5 has a very long MFD and isn't that sharp near close-focus, which limits its use for some subjects. The beercan is a classic lens, of coruse, but much of the time you'd struggle to see any difference in IQ from this much smaller and lighter lens.
So in conclusion I would say this is a very useful lens, especially on FF and film, and gives very good results most of the time. Not a lens for birding but if you frame your pictures as you take them you'll rarely be disappointed.
reviewer#26531 date: Mar-26-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 70-21 F4 "beercan"
Sony 70-300
price paid:came in a bundle
positive:Lightweight
Solid Performer
negative:Nothing spectacular, lens doesn't really stand out
comment:I bought this lens as a lightweight travel lens, and it does a good job at that. My copy appears sharp with little distortion at f8, and I have had no issues with flair. This lens doesn't have the character of the beercan, but it is much easier to carry around. It also is much smaller than the beercan.

This will never be my everyday telephoto zoom, but it works great when I don't want to carry around a heavier lens.
reviewer#23462 date: Dec-30-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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:Sony DT 18-200
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 II
Minolta AF 75-300 BBC
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 100-300 APO
Minolta AF 100-300 APO D
Sigma AF 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Tokina AF 35-200 F4-5.6
price paid:14 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Sharp wide open
Fast AF
Low distortion
Lens button
Easy to service
negative:Purple fringing wide-open
Slightly soft corners
Filter thread rotates with focus
Minor CA
Minor pincushion distortion
49 mm filter size
comment:Won on eBay with a $1 bid. The plastic focus rack had some grit and grease on it, but it was fairly easy to disassemble and clean. The focus action is now as smooth as the 55-200. The zoom mechanism is smoother than the 55-200. No hood. This lens was $150 when brand-new in 1994--$75 cheaper than the slightly larger 70-210 f/3.5-4.5. "JAPAN"

The field-of-view is similar to the f/3.5-4.5 version and slightly wider than the older f/4 version throughout the range. The focal plane is more curved than the other lenses, but the center sharpness is similar. It has considerably less distortion than the 55-200. Resolution drops off a bit at the long end--more than the 55-200 and other 70-210 lenses but much less than the 100-200 f/4.5 zoom.

It is slower than the 55-200 over most of their shared range. f/4.5 compared to f/4 at 70 mm. f/5 compared to f/4 at 100 mm. f/5.6 compared to f/4.5 at 135 mm.

It extends almost an inch more than the 100-200 and 55-200. It is slightly shorter than the 100-200 fully retracted.

Wide-open it shows a lot of purple fringing in high contrast areas similar to the 75-300,35-80, and 24-85 lenses. The 55-200 has a similar issue wide-open on the short end, but is very well controlled at the long end. Both lenses are fine once stopped down to f/8.

Overall a decent full-frame telephoto kit zoom lens. It is worth looking for a good copy of the slightly larger 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 instead.
reviewer#11474 date: Nov-12-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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 70-210 mm F3,5-4,5
Cosina 60-300mm F4-5,6
price paid:50 EUR (used)
positive:Lightweight
Cheap
negative:Dark
Hunting in low light
comment:Very good value for the money, bur not the best lens in the World. Good Picture quality and colors, however dark viewfinder and hunting a lot in low light!
reviewer#11076 date: Apr-26-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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 55-200
price paid:40 euro
positive:Lightweight zoom for minor needs.
negative:Not sharp enough wide open.
comment:Nice to pic up and carry in good light, if the need of longer zoom is minor. The centre sharpness is good at 6,3...F8. IBIS-body needed for pleasant use. Sold.
reviewer#10996 date: Mar-26-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:60 euro
positive:solido e ben progettato, i colori sono i classici minolta, ha un ottimo effetto sfuocato!
negative:
missing
comment:ottimo mezzo-tele, con i classici colori minolta e una buona nitidezza!se fosse stato più luminoso sarebbe stato veramente eccezionale! la resa ha colori caldi e uno sfocato molto buono, effetto molto romantico..
si trovano in buone condizioni a circa 60 euro..
se non si hanno pretese assurde questo è da provare!
reviewer#10407 date: Jul-26-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.1
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 SAL-1870
Minolta AF 70-210 F4 Beercan
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 Big Beercan
Minolta AF 100-300 xi F4.5-5.6
price paid:- (bonus)
positive:Sharp if you know how
Lightweight
Cheap
Good only for bright light
negative:Bad at low light
Cheap
Lightweight
Sharp if you know how
comment:Overall lens for tele-ing, if you only have the 18-70 kit lens, since it is start at 70. =))
Decent picture from short to medium. At the 210, it looks like it is thirsty for light.
Acceptable bokeh, but it is a tele, and still nothing compared to Beercan's.

Use manual focusing. It's auto sux. It looks like it has chance over 40% that it'll miss.

Edit: Last time cleaning the fungus from it, I realize the thirsty and often miss most likely due to dirty mechanism. If you encountered one, simply clean it out. But well, I try another copy from my friend which is a lot crisp than mine and at the long end, it is still hunting but not as hell as mine. Perhaps it is just the lens.
reviewer#10013 date: Mar-9-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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 70-210 f4 Beercan
Minolta 100-200 f4.5
Sony 55-200 f4.0-5.6
price paid:40 GBP
positive:Small, light and cheap to buy.
Good colours and sharp stopped down.
negative:Soft at full aperture.
Maximum aperture only f4.5.
comment:Compared to my Beercan, its much smaller and lighter, which is a big plus in my book, but image quality is not as good. I would say image quality of this lens at f8 and 70mm is about on a par with the Beercan at f4, but that is as good as it gets. Stopped down and at longer focal lengths, the Beercan is noticeably better every time.

Compared to the Minolta 100-200 f4.5, which is also small and light, results are similarly disappointing: it again performs slightly worse at all apertures and focal lengths.

Compared to the Sony (or Tamron) 55-200mm f4-5.6, the Sony also tends to be a bit soft at full aperture compared to the the Beercan and 100-200, but has greater range and achieves greater sharpness than the 70-210 f4.5-5.6 when stopped down a bit (comparable to the beercan/100-200).

Apart from the extra 30mm at the short end I can see no compelling reason to choose this lens over the excellent Minolta 100-200, for the same sort of cost, the 100-200 is simply better. The Beercan is bigger and heavier and more expensive, but has the same range and IQ is again noticeably better. The Sony/Tamron 55-200 is similarly small and light, offers slightly better IQ and has a greater range.

All 3 of the other lenses are also considerably brighter: the beercan is constant f4, the 100-200 is constant f4.5, the 55-200 is f4 between 80mm and 160mm, when the Minolta is f5 to f5.6. The minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6 is not a great choice for low-light shooting.

In summary, the Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6 certainly isn't a bad lens (especially stopped down a bit) but if you can find one of the other 3 lenses in my compared to list at a reasonably comparable price, they are all better. But then again, if you're not a pixel-peeper, the Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6 is likely to be entirely adequate.
reviewer#9912 date: Feb-11-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:sigma 18-200mm
minolta 24-85mm
price paid:75 usd
positive:good bokeh, sharp, light and cheap telephoto lens with macro capability.
negative:49mm diameter... 55mm or above would be better.
comment:have it as a used item and its very useful to me cause its for 35mm format into a aps-c sensor so thats 1.5x giving me more zoom. great for outdoor scenes and i forgot to mention it has a macro capability.
reviewer#9888 date: Feb-5-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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 70-210 F4, 75-300 4.5-5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:Good for film camera, lightweight.
negative:backfocus on my SLT-35.
comment:This is the only lens I have that back focus on my SLT-A35, so it must be something wrong with the lens. If I try manual focus it works alright, and unless I pixel peep it is ok sharpness. Flare and ghosts are not good. Only little distortion and I cannot see any vignetting. Good colors, but look out for the sun on the lens, or you will get flares.

I got the lens as part of kit with Minolta 600si classic in 1996, so I don't know the price.
reviewer#9417 date: Sep-13-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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:Sigma 75-300mm f4-5.6
Sigma 28-135mm f4-4.5
Minolta 70-210mm beercan
Tokina 70-210mm f4.5
price paid:£55 (used)
positive:Great bokeh
Sharp
Light
negative:Focus Hunt
comment:I can't agree with a number of the reviews. This lens is sharp, has great bokeh and stands up well against the Beercan especially when it's half the weight - really portable !
Most significant downside is focus hunt, but I don't find it a real obstacle.
Reviews should be separated between the I and II versions of this lens, II is poorer. The II version has ridged rubber at the main body lens front. It may well be that I just have a good copy.
reviewer#9394 date: Sep-5-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:70-210 f4, 70-210 f3.5-4.5, 75-300 f4.5-5.6.
price paid:
missing
positive:Small and light to carry around
negative:This was not good on FF
comment:Cheap kit-lens. Ok on APS-C cameras though it needs lot of light to give good picktures. Needs to be stepped down (f11-16) to become sharp all over. I sold it.
reviewer#9367 date: Aug-28-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.1
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:
missing
price paid:50 USD (equivalent)
positive:Pretty light
negative:Not very sharp
Aparture means not good in darker spaces
Focus hunts a lot
Manual focus is hard
comment:Small and light on camera but it's not very sharp. The manual focus ring is almost impossible to use cause it's like someone else said almost on ball bearings. It hunts a lot also and feels pretty plastic, but not so much that I think it will break.
If you want a cheap zoom I would still recommend it though.
reviewer#9351 date: Aug-23-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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 35-70 f/4
Sakar 28-70 f/3.5
price paid:$40 USD (ebay)
positive:smooth
colour
appearance (I think it looks good on the camera)
negative:soft
too much plastic
comment:I bought this because I thought it would be good to try out the range without spending 2-3x the price on the beercan. Whoops. At f/11 it's pretty good through the middle range, but I find 210 to be pretty much useless in terms of sharpness at any aperture. I'm going to hang on to this for a little while and try to see if it performs more to my expectations with the help of a tripod. As it stands, I can't find many times that I want to sacrifice the sharpness with other lenses to get a little closer, and I'd rather just trade it in for a better performing lens.

That said, I'm impressed by the absence of flare. I've shot right up at the sky on a bright sunny day, almost trying to get some flare and found nothing. Almost like it defies the laws of physics. But I seem to be lucky with the Minolta lenses in this regard.
reviewer#9285 date: Jul-30-2011
sharpness: 2.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 3.9
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:Tamron 70-300 SP USD
price paid:80 USD
positive:Great Colors
Accurate AF
Light-weight
Small size
negative:Not sharp at all
comment:Overall, this lens is just OK. Pictures turn out well, but pixel peepers will likely not care for this lens.

My copy is not super sharp at any aperture, but seems sharpest at f/7.1. This however, gives macro shots a very dreamy quality, and coupled with a swirling bokeh provides for some very pleasing pictures.

Manual focus has no dampening and the ring turns like it's on ball bearings. AF works well enough.

Although this lens can produce pleasing results, I almost never keep it in my bag. It's spot has been filled by the very excellent Tamron SP 70-300 Di USD. I think your experience may be the same.
reviewer#9062 date: May-29-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 own this lens
compared to:-sigma 70-300
-minolta 28-80
-sony 18-55
price paid:
missing
positive:-bokeh
-good color
-focus switch
-sharp
-cheap
-lightweight and short
negative:-bokeh
-noisy AF and slow at long end
-F4.5-5.6
-heavy zoom creep!
comment:Sharp lens, nice light and small in weight and size.
Focus hunts sometimes and is very noisy. Not particulary fast or slow. Color is good. Bokeh can be pleasing when used well.
Somtimes it is really harsh. Stopping down to F8 or so does improve it. Bokeh of the sigma is wayy better.

Underrated lens.
reviewer#8869 date: Apr-4-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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:Minolta AF 75-300
price paid:50GBP
positive:Fast
Good build
Good colour
Manual button
negative:Slight flare at wide setting
comment:I upgraded from the silver Minolta 75-300 to this, primarily because of the justified good reviews but also size.

It's a fast lens, a good allrounder. OK the widest aperture is not the fastest but on today's cameras with high ISO settings is that such a big problem?

Would recommend using a hood as there is a small amount of flare.

Colours are good if not world beating.

reviewer#8369 date: Dec-7-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.4
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 18-70 kit
Minolta 50 1.7
Minolta 28-80 3.5-5.6
Minolta 100-300 4.5-5.6
Sigma 400 5.6 apo
Sigma 28-70 3.5-4.5
Random others...
price paid:on long term loan
positive:Very sharp long (see below)
can be picked up super cheap
Great colour
negative:Quite soft wide (see above
comment:I've found this to be a really fun focal length, and a handy lens to have around. My main reason for reviewing is, opposite to another poster, mine is very sharp at the long end and soft at the wide end, stopping down does little to improve matters. It's not unusable, and it's other qualities keep it in the bag and off ebay Massive hood.

Edit: About a year on.
I sold this in the end, when I got a beercan, which in turn I sold. But I've nearly always got one as they seem to turn up in minolta mixed lots that I buy, faster than I can sell them.
The quality varies more than seems credible. If you find a good one, it'll be worth the peanuts you pay.
reviewer#8131 date: Oct-24-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:sharp
colors
build
good grip
good focusing ring
definitely minolta
negative:not fix aperture
comment:
missing
reviewer#8112 date: Oct-18-2010
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:Minolta 75-300
price paid:25USD (used)
positive:Sharp and wonderful color
negative:none
comment:The results shooting surprised me.
Always sharp and beatiful.
Made in Canada.
I was really lucky to have bought it at such a low price.
reviewer#7974 date: Sep-16-2010
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.4
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:AF 24-85/3,5-4,5
AF 28-105/3,5-4,5
price paid:trade
positive:cheap
useful focal range
light
negative:very soft on tele end
MFD on 1,1m
slow
comment:Soft, with PF on both end. Slow, AF hunts on tele.
reviewer#7265 date: Apr-9-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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:70-210 Beercan
20-210 3.5-4.5
100-300 4.5-5.6 APO D
100-300 Big Beercan
price paid:20 USD
positive:cheap
Decent entry-level medium zoom
light weighr
negative:Build could be better
sharpness
lens creep
comment:Not much to say about this lens. It appears to be soft at both ends and is not even good at f8.0. It does seem better at f11. That said, this is a decent walk around lens, and the softness and decent bokeh allows for some decent portraits. For window light portraits (North light) it seems that the contrast needs to be bumped up a bit. It's usable, but don't spend much.
reviewer#7179 date: Mar-28-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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:Big beercan 75-300mm 4.5-5.6
Beercan 70-210 f4. 100-200mm f4.5
price paid:75$
positive:very light, weights nearly nothing compared to the beercan
negative:Gives easily flare wide oppen, needs to be stepped down.
comment:Well, this is a cheap lens. Despite this it is a good performer. Had it for my 7D where it gave me good picktures, I tried it on my A900. Big suprice! Just step down a bit and it is sharp with good contrast. Though it do not have more resolution than to be used at 13mpx. Stepped down to f8 it gave me many good picktures. I pick this to my bag when I want to carry less weight together with my 24-85mm it is a good pair. (Later replaced with 100-200 f4.5)
reviewer#6958 date: Feb-24-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 35-70
price paid:100 (used)
positive:Cheap, good range, sharp, classic Minolta color.
negative:None really, not for the price anyways.
comment:Very nice lens. Can't help but noticed reviewers giving lower ratings on sharpness falls into 2 categories 1. comparison to kit lens Sony 18-70 2. comparison to beercan. Not sure if the former group is getting most of this lens; comparison to beer can is moot, beercan costs quite a bit more...
reviewer#6809 date: Jan-23-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70(kit)
Tamron 28-75 f2.8
price paid:$90
positive:Cheap
Useful zoom range
Small and Lightweight
Color
negative:slow
not sharp
inconsistent in low light
comment:
missing
reviewer#6651 date: Dec-30-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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 18-70
minolta 28-85 f3.5-4.5
price paid:300 sek
positive:colours
negative:CA
comment:CA is sometimes veery noticable

A really nice lens, well spent money, its light, and is easy to zoom and focus with. The pictures somehow always come out very good looking, nice bokeh

The focus barely works in low light but is very accurate in good light

I have never noticed distortion or flare
reviewer#6642 date: Dec-26-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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 55-200
Tamron 70-300
Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:35 GBP
positive:Lightweight
compact
quite well built
inexpensive
negative:A bit slow.
comment:A perfectly good first telephoto zoom, but you will eventually want to replace it with any of the above, which are all better. Or you could splash out on a beercan.
Perfectly adequate for what it is, but does not really wow you with the results, except in very good light.
reviewer#6267 date: Oct-24-2009
sharpness: 2.5
color: 3
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 2.9
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:- Minolta 70-210mm f/4 (beercan)
- Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO
- Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G
- Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:- useful focal length
- cheap
negative:- soft images
- bad build quality
comment:Though sharing the same focal length, the image quality and build quality of 70-210/4.5-5.6 are nowhere close to the legendary beercan.

It's probably a better idea to spend a little more and get a decent 70-210/4. The Sony 70-300 SSM G would be even better but a lot more expensive.
reviewer#5898 date: Aug-24-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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:
missing
price paid:60 USD (Used)
positive:Nice bokeh
Pretty sharp
Not to heavy
Good colours
Focus hold button
negative:CA
Hunts in low light
comment:Got this lens as replacement for my busted 75-300 kit lens and I don't regret a second that I bought this lens. I use this lens almost every time I'm out with my camera.
reviews found: 55    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 55
  • sharpness: 3.96
  • color: 4.36
  • build: 3.87
  • distortion: 4.16
  • flare control: 4.07
  • overall: 4.09

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