Minolta AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 D A-mount lens review by A68noob

reviewer#45649 date: Feb-27-2021
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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:Sony 70-300G1 SSM
Tamron 70-300 USD
Sigma 70-300 APO DG
Minolta 75-300 Big Beercan
Sony 70-400 G1&2 SSM
price paid:basically few euros
positive:+most inexpensive 70-300 you can get
+small, light
+stopped down pretty good IQ
+nice bokeh
+not best, but alright minolta colours
+build is 'good': it feels cheap, but it is absolutely solid. nothing is wobbling, AF is alright, no zoom creep.. no cheap sigma plastic gears were used..
negative:-ridiculous purple fringing
-many old school problems: filter still rotating, screw drive AF, narrow MF ring, etc
-too cheap even: no distance encoder or something similar
-silver colour.. oh god
-approximately after ~230mm the IQ is drastically falling
-no stunning sharpness at max. aperture.. but would you expect it at this dirt cheap price? no..
comment:I own two copies, bought both very cheap (30 & 40€ with bag, Dynax camera and 28-80) = dirt cheap.. in mint condition.

Dont get me wrong, this is not the best lens ever.. but considering the price it is much better than you would expect from all those reviews here.

I tried shooting some birds in trees.. purple fringing literally everywhere - awful. I shot some lizards close up.. bokeh was nice, colours were nice, sharpness was nice.. I shot some face portraits wide open.. nice enough for any hobby photographer (must be focused correctly tho). I shot some body portraits and it can deliver quite some pleasing pictures.. nice again.

For occasional use in the FL region of 70-300 it can be a pretty good lens if you can avoid the weaknesses. I also owned SAL 70300G and i would choose this Minolta any day over the Sony, as i probably paid 20 times more for the Sony. The 70300G is (to me) basically this Minolta WITH zoom creep, SSM and no purple fringing. Is it worth it for me in this case and my profile of photographing? Absolutely no.
AF on modern bodies (i used it on A68) is fast enough and with camera focus limiter its even quicker.

The worst thing about this lens is that Minolta disappointed me. The AF line up from 1985 still rocks in 2021 but what did they do until they released this Dynax Kit Lens? Even worse purple fringing than a decade before and a very cheap plastic build + the awful silver colour. No wonder why they got bought soon after that by Sony..

Still, if you have the chance.. give it a try if it suits your photography style (avoiding high contrast situations) and you are a on a budget. I would also prefer this lens over any similar Sigma from the time around 2005 because you never know when the plastic sigma gears will fail..

(Ratings based on price/performance. 2* on flare for purple fringing)

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 47
  • sharpness: 3.89
  • color: 4.17
  • build: 3.66
  • distortion: 3.98
  • flare control: 3.74
  • overall: 3.89
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