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

reviewer#6907 date: Feb-13-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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:Various Tamron, Sony, Sigma, M42
price paid:150 USD (new)
positive:Very good close focus, good zoom range, small and light; IQ is better than you'd expect
negative:IQ gets flat as you near 300mm, max aperture goes to f/5.6 quickly
comment:Mine is black, not silver. It is a very versatile zoom lens. Both build and IQ are a huge step up from the 18-70 kit lens, although nobody is going to mistake this for a fixed-focal-length prime.

The main problem is what happens as you zoom long. Maximum aperture becomes f/5.6 really early and contrast seems to go down pretty dramatically as you approach 300mm. Not exciting.

On the other hand, it is perfectly usable, even wide open, and focuses to a surprisingly close distance. It is hard to complain for the price. It also is pretty easy to carry in a small camera bag, so you'll have it when you need it.

In fact, my initial A-mount APS-C kit was a Sigma 10-20, Sony 18-70, and this... and it took more than a year before I added to that set. I still think that's a well-balanced set, just a little weak in the 18-70. Yeah, the Sigma costs more than the other two combined, but ultrawide zooms are optically complex enough that you need to spend some money to get them right.

Update: I'm finding myself using this lens much less since getting a beercan. The beercan's better IQ and f/4 is quickly making this a lens I use only when the beercan is too big or I need 300mm.

Update 7/2015: This is my easy-to-carry up-to-300mm choice, but my 28-200mm Sigma has become the one-AF-zoom choice due to range, size, and IQ. This lens is still fine on either APS-C or FF at 24MP.

Update 6/2023: I've now tried this out on my A7RV with LA-EA5. It's pretty good, although AF and resolution certainly aren't on par with my one-year-old FE Tamron 28-200mm or 150-500mm. The images are pleasantly resolving in the 20-30MP range, which really isn't anything to complain about. What's more strange is that it worked with one of my A-mount teleconverters on the LA-EA5: an AF 1.4X Teleplus MC4. AF hunted a bit more, and detail resolved didn't really increase, but it is an option to give you a 420mm view in a very compact and lightweight package.

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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