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

reviewer#46949 date: Aug-7-2023
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:All other Minolta 75-300mm zooms, 100-300 (original, XI, APO)
All Minolta 70-210 & 80-200 zooms, 100-200
Sony 70-300 G, 55-200, 55-300f
price paid:20GBP
positive:Light, cheap, decent IQ once stopped dwon.
D - which I am sure is a great asset if you ever use ADI flash (I very rarely do, and if I do it isn't with a 75-300 zoom).
negative:Soft wide open.
Needs plenty of light.
CA, silver body (black is available, but usually costs more).
comment:It's taken me a long time to get round to posting this review, but I took my copy out today on my A7Riv/LA-EA5 to see how it coped with 61Mp - and it wasn't bad.

There are the oft repeated negatives:
plastic build - sure, it's plastic, but that makes it nice and light, easier to hand-hold and mine is still in great condition after 20 or so years. I reckon the build quality is okay.
sharpness - wide open it is, let's face it, pretty poor, you need to stop down the f8 or f10 to get decent results. However, on a sunny day this was not a problem, I got pretty good results with the aperture set on f10, ISO 400 and at shutter speeds that were suitable for hand-holding.
CA - notably purple fringing is undoubtedly an issue, but it's easy to correct.
flare - I didn't notice any out of the ordinary flare, perhaps I just didn't point it in the right direction.
colour - I have no complaints of the colour of the images it produces, but I do dislike the silver plastic body.

In short, this isn't a great lens, but none of Minolta's 75-300s are. It's advantage over the others are it's cheap, light and readily available.

Is it worth getting one? Only if you really need 211-300, the beercan is just so much better and not a lot pricier. To be honest this applies to all of Minolta's offerings at this zoom range. If you do need longer than 210 there are better lenses from other manufacturers.

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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