Minolta AF 80-200mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens review by godsakes

reviewer#9948 date: Feb-19-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 mk2 HSM
price paid:400 GBP
positive:Decent sharpness
Smooth bokeh
Vibrant Minolta colours
Surprisingly good CA control
Built like a tank
negative:long MFD
Af could be more reliable
comment:I tested this head to head with the sigma 70-200mm mk2 HSM, they are very close in sharpness but the sigma edges it in the centre whereas the Minolta has better corners.

Surprisingly, CA control seems to be better on the Minolta, the minotla has a tiny bit of purple fringing and the sigma has marginally more green fringing. I personally hate purple fringing so please rest assured it's so small it's not an issue, as I say I'm really surprised how well the Minolta fared as I've never kept the beercans on account of bad CA control without being stopped down.

Both have nice bokeh but lovers of minolta colour will argue this lens still produces the most pleasant image of the 2. The colours from the minolta are extremely deep

The main weakness of this lens is the long MFD and questionable AF accuracy, it focuses fast but in a harsh shunting motion making it more prone to hunting (and harder to handhold perfectly stably), here sigma's HSM motor gives it a big advantage being smoother, more accurate and thus in practice the faster focusing lens.

I'd say the Sigma is the more practical lens as it has fewer drawbacks but the minolta has more magic. As a hobbyist go for the Minolta and admire the classic minolta look, if you're a wedding tog, go for the sigma as you can count on it for the better AF to ensure those money shots are in focus.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 42
  • sharpness: 4.83
  • color: 4.88
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.81
  • flare control: 4.57
  • overall: 4.79
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