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

reviewer#26527 date: Mar-18-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Sony DT 55-300 SAM
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO D
Minolta AF 100-400 F4.5-6.7 APO
Tamron SP 70-300 F4-5.6 Di USD
price paid:70 USD (used)
positive:Good lateral CA control
Focus grip doesn't move forward like 70-210 F4
Very flat focus plane
AF works with 2X and 1.4X teleconverters
Metal hood
55 mm filter size
negative:Large and heavy
Center softness/axial CA
Purple fringing
Slight bluish color cast
Zoom action pumps air
comment:My first copy was bought from a large eBay store for only $30. It looked in good shape but images were a little soft. The second copy came from a private Amazon seller for more than twice the price, but is much sharper.

This lens was released a year after the original Minolta AF lineup. It was originally about twice the price of the 70-210 F4 and about the same price as the 28-135 F4-4.5. It looks nearly identical to the 70-210 f/4--I thought I had been shipped a 70-210 f/4 by mistake when I opened the box. "JAPAN"

It shows a little less lateral CA than the 55-300, and much less any of than the Minolta AF 70-210 lenses. However purple fringing is severe wide-open especially on the wide end. If there is going to be optical problems with a telephoto zoom it is probably better than exist on the wide end rather than the long end. It has a bit more reach than the 70-210 F/4 on a 1.4X teleconverter and much better image quality.

There seems to be a complex action in the zoom mechanism beyond 250 mm when the front and rear elements stop moving and just some internal element changes for the last bit of zoom.

At close focus the 75 mm end has a narrower field-of-view than the 70 mm end of the 70-210 F4. The 70-210 F4 reports 90 mm and the 35-105 reports 85 mm for this field-of-view.

AF works fully on the A65 with this lens when using any of my teleconveters including the 2X teleconverters. The A58 doesn't lock as well when using the 2X teleconverters. The CA is worse when using the teleconverters and the DT 55-300 is noticeably sharper in the center of the frame. The 100-400 APO is also much sharper than this lens on the 1.4X TC.

My second copy of this lens seems to match my DT 55-300 pretty well, except with an even flatter focus plane. So, if you don't mind the size and weight this can be a great budget option.

Test chart comparison with Tamron 70-300 USD and Minolta 100-400 APO.
Previous test chart comparison with several 100-300 APOs, a 70-210 F4, etc.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 83
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.89
  • distortion: 4.57
  • flare control: 4.18
  • overall: 4.59
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