Minolta AF 80-200mm F2.8 APO A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 42    1 2 >>
reviewer#45712 date: Jun-2-2021
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.7
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200 RXD
Tokina AF 35-200 SD
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
Sigma 50-150 F2.8 EX DC HSM II
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Vivitar 70-150 F3.8
Tamron 70-180 F2.8 VXD
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG OS HSM
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX DG APO
Sony FE 70-200 F4 G OSS
Canon EF 70-200 F4 L USM
Vivitar S1 70-210 F3.5 I & II
Minolta AF 70-210 F4
Minolta AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Tokina 80-200 F2.8 AT-X Pro
Vivitar 85-205 F3.8
Minolta AF 100-200 F4.5
Minolta AF 135 F2.8
Canon EF 135 F2.8 Softfocus
Canon EF 200 F2.8 L USM
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 APO G
Minolta AF 200 F2.8 HS APO G
price paid:249 USD (used)
positive:Black
Internal zoom
Corner performance
Blunt, heavy weapon
negative:Size and weight
Extending/rotating front focus
Plastic focus ring
Build/survivability
Non-removable tripod foot
1.8 meter minimum focus
comment:This was an eBay auction win and came with an Sigma 1.4X teleconverter. This was worn, dirty copy in poor condition. At least the glass was clear. Somehow the gold accent was completely missing from the groove ahead of the focus control. The white printing on the barrel was worn off in many spots. The metal barrel of the hood was bent and its edge very rough. The zoom and focus mechanisms were both stiff and uneven. I didn't feel like taking a risk using it as an AF lens and returned it. "JAPAN"

The hood bayonet doesn't extend or rotate, so the lens can seem like an internal focus design with the hood installed. This example came with an aluminum barreled hood like the other early telephoto zooms. The hood barrel was dented and the edge torn up.

The rough zoom and focus throws were combined with increasingly poor alignment at the long end of the zoom range. I suspect a less worn example would be better optically. Only considering this example I would have to rate the build rating as a 2. I will assume this particular copy is an outlier and give a 3 rating. It is not clear what this copy had to endure. Others may overestimate the build quality based on better cared for examples.

I am happy to have tried this lens, even with such a poor example. I am also happy to have a much lighter modern alternative that may or may not hold up as well.
reviewer#30695 date: Oct-1-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Sigma 150mm f2.8 macro, Sony SAL 70400, Sigma 50-150mm f2.8 II
price paid:
missing
positive:Great IQ throughout range and all apertures.
negative:Clunky noisy gear mechanism.
Heavy ... but that was expected.
Small MF dial.
comment:I needed a second fast zoom with a little more reach for low lighting situations. I researched all the up to 200mm f/2.8 lenses available and decided the Minolta was the one I wanted. I knew about this lens my old film days.

The IQ of images at wider aperture is excellent, I don't see much difference when shooting wide open. Exactly the type of lens that I need for poor lighting. It is easily as sharp or sharper than my SAL70400. AF is very quick and snappy (you can feel the torque). The lens also feels incredibly solid in the hand.

A couple of failings of this lens is the small manual focus dial (though it is positioned at the end of the lens so it does make it more stable when held there), and the noise ... especially on my A77mII, when the AF kicks in it makes a very loud noise because there is so much play in the gear (teeth). If I was a machinist I would make new gears to reduce the gaps.

FYI: I did find a way to remove the tripod mount, but it is not something you want to do in the field.
reviewer#25519 date: Mar-6-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:MIN 28-135; MIN 85; MIN 100 Macro; Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5; MIN 70-210 Beercan
price paid:400€ (close to mint)
positive:very sharp at 2.8
It's black!
Perfect weight balance hand hold.
Perfect range on FF.
negative:sometimes MFD sucks
bokeh is nice but sometimes may be not perfect
holder can not be removed (I usually turn it 90° for hand hold)
comment:Just a perfect tool.

A "G" in it's best meaning, especially because Minolta was creating the G- label later on for no other reason but to point out the reason for it's golden ring.

Not too much to say, what not has been said before.
My rating is considering the fact that this is a zoom lens.

I used it on APS-C and was happy for IQ but I did not found myself using it very often. On APS-C it is a wonderful high- end telephoto- lens for me but not really usable as a walk- around lens.
Without the crop on FF, the range is a lot more usable for me (well, this is just what it's made for) coming out to the point, that I use it may be ten times more often on FF than I was using it on APS-C. Small wonder, since on APS- C the 28-135 (what is a wonderful lens indeed too) covers the range of the 80-200 on FF completely.
Even if it is a quite heavy pack in combination with A900 (2,4kg and 2kg on A200) it gives a very good balance hand hold on the zoom ring.

I tried out the white one from a friend to find out if it pays off to pay double for some more AF speed, but for my use this is not the point. On the A900 AF speed is good, I don't need more.
For someone it may be a point to get more attention by having the “PRO- look” of the white one but this will not make anyone to a better photographer. Differently to this, I found it sometimes useful to get less attention.

If you are considering to buy this lens, I'm sure you will not be disappointed for the value you get for the money particularity due to it's sharpness wide open but please take in to account that it's true nature comes out on it's best on FF.

PS: If you want to use it for traveling, get a second spare battery.







reviewer#12064 date: Dec-19-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:MINOLTA 80-200 HS G
SONY 70-400 G SSM
MINOLTA 70-210 F4 (Beercan)
TOKINA AT-X 100-300 F4
price paid:670 GBP
positive:Image quality
Build quality
Internal focus
Razor sharp
negative:Weight, but thats a side effect of the build quality
comment:This is an absolutely superb professional quality lens, built to last for ever if looked after, the images have that 3D effect that pop out at you, and have that unmistakeable "Minolta colour"
I can see absolutely no difference in image quality between this lens and the white high speed version, yes technically the white version is faster focusing but in the real world the difference is almost impossible to detect although the sheer torque that goes through the lens may take a little getting used to.
It may not carry the G name but it is very much a G grade lens in every way, in use there is no doubt that you are using a very high quality piece of equipment indeed
The black paint does not chip or peel off unlike it`s faster brother and is more discreet when out and about, all together a Rolls Royce of a lens and a must have for any serious Sony/Minolta user.
reviewer#11933 date: Aug-3-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:Other lenses in its range
price paid:Bargain
positive:Super Sharp
Great colors
Amazing bokeh
Shallow DOF
Focus speed
Built like a tank
would probably live forever
negative:heavy (i felt it quite heavier than the Apo HS which i also own, maybe because i did not use the grip that usualy balances the weight)
Focus is loud
No focus hold button
comment:I got this lens for quite cheap ... was sold as defective.
I managed to fix its defects and the lens operates flowlessly.
Tac sharp. amazing minolta colors. super shallow DOF which gives a 3D rendering IMO.
A great lens that definitely deserve its Golden ring
reviewer#11725 date: Mar-14-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:70-210 f4 = it is just much better in all respects.
price paid:used $ 1100
positive:The sharpest zoom I own. Sharp even at f2.8. Autofocus never hunts.
negative:Heavy
comment:This is a proffesional lens - hence the price is high. But you get what you pay for, this zoom gives me stunning picktures. But as it is rather heavy I do not walk more then 5 meters away from my car with it.(!) It is worth the money. You will need the hood, often they come without it - don't worry you can buy nice cheap 72mm hoods from China - no problem.

Later: the diaphragm is moving slow! I can't fix it myself. Had it fixed at B&H but the problem came back - Now I can only use the lens with my A900 in "mirror up" mode.......
reviewer#11319 date: Aug-22-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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:Sigma 70-200 macro II
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Build Quality
negative:MFD
Non removable tripod collar
comment:After using the sigma 70-200 Macro II a fair bit for quite a while I got an a99, a 85/1.4G and a CZ 135. A started to feel the limitations of the sigma - basically I never used it.

After AF micro adjustment of -7 The minolta 80-200 is significantly sharper than the sigma, although significantly less sharp than the 85 and 135 primes. AF speed is OK on the A99 (I assume the motor has been upgraded) the biggest AF problem is when making small adjustments to the focus - it doesn't like that much. Not much use for precise focus on moving subjects. The minolta is less likely to sail right past focus than the sigma though
reviewer#10280 date: Jun-9-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma 150-500
Tamron 70-300
Beercan
price paid:600USD (used)
positive:Sharp wide open
Minolta color
1.4x and 2x make it reach yet stay fast.
negative:big hood for flare.
Heavy, but needed for control
long MFD
comment:This works great with a 2x and hood for birds.
reviewer#10213 date: May-16-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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:70-200 f2.8 sony
70-210 f4 beercan
70-200 f2.8 tamron
price paid:1100 (used)
positive:EXCELLENT optics!
negative:loud
long MFD
comment:this is the BEST lens i have owned! Optically it is much superior to the 70-200 f2.8 sony. The colors this lens produce is simply adorable, having used the nikons, canons and of course sony...and dozens of lenses across various brands, I can say that this lens is simply the best I have ever owned! the weight is not a problem; it is smaller than the sony 70-200 f2.8 and fits my bag much more comfortably. The minimum focusing distance is 6 foot and that is sometimes an issue for indoor shots, but it becomes a non-issue if I move back a few steps :) The AF is noisy and sometimes hunts. Nothing too distracting, but having owned a sony 70-200 f2.8, this lens sounds much noisier, but looking as the picture quality, ANYTHING is worth for owning this lens.
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.
reviewer#9518 date: Oct-22-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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, sigma, Tamron. same catagory.
price paid:825
positive:constent 2.8 aperture, solid build. Nice Colors, sharp.
negative:
missing
comment:Wanted a Mid zoom lens with constant 2.8 aperture, and compared sony, sigma and Tamron, and wasn't satisfied with sigma and tamron and didn't want to pay the Sony price.

Found this Mint Minolta and have it on my A580 and it works very nice. Colors are nice, speed is ok (not great, but ok) and it does hunt at times. Its built like a tank and heavy.

I have found an nice lens that sigma and Tamron at the moment can't really beat. Its a nice lens to have.
reviewer#9384 date: Sep-3-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:
missing
price paid:590€
positive:The results. You point. You shoot. And you end up warm, personal pictures everyone will love.
negative:It's a schlepp.
MFD too long.
comment:Sharpness is not as tack on as my 100 Macro. Still i gave it a score of 5 since it has 5/5 sharpness for what you should use it for - people photography.
Indoors or outdoors, low or bright light, on APS-C this one gets you as close to your subject as you desire and renders very flattering pictures.

I can't compare it to the white model since I haven't used one. On a black camera it definetly looks better. AF is reasonably fast with my a55; howeser you can hear them wheels a turning and it's a real battery drainer.

Filming handheld with stabilisation and autofocus on will overheat your sensor in minutes :)
reviewer#9295 date: Aug-3-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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:Minolta 80-200 f/2,8 APO G HS
Sony 70-200 f/2,8 G
minolta 70-210 f/4
price paid:450
positive:- great body build
- sharpt
- very Fast focus
- great color
negative:- Heavy
- little soft in FL 200 f/2,8
- CA
comment:must have this Lens
reviewer#9293 date: Aug-2-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:Tamron 70/200 2.8
Sigma 70/200 2.8
Minolta 70-210 4 "Beercan"
Carl Zeiss® 135mm f/1.8 Lens
price paid:950
positive:IQ is breathtaking!
AWESOME COLORS
EXTREMELY SHARP LENS
Build is one of the best..
Black Color
negative:Rotating front element
Never leaves my camera (I guess that is a positive too)
comment:I knew I was in luck when I opened it and found the original warranty card w/ serial, original list of Minolta dealers/service centers (kind of ironic reading through all the dealers in cities throughout the USA), original instructions/hood, caps etc. and original packaging. I was fortunate to find/purchase a NEW COPY. The lens was purchased new by the original owner in the 80's and kept on a shelf untouched for over 25 years! Opening the box was like traveling back in time and unwrapping the lens for the first time was simply put, like witnessing the birth of my first child... Alright, my second child.

Build quality is simply the best out there. The size makes it my travel tele and the feel/balance in my hand is perfect (tripod mount fits perfectly in my palm/ wouldn't take it off if I could). The comparable Tamron and Sigma fast tele's are 25-30% larger/ more awkward / and unfortunately "THEY JUST DON'T MAKE LENSES LIKE THEY USED TO." This is all glass and metal- the way lenses should be! The lens hood... metal, focus ring... metal, body and mount... metal, etc. Zoom ring is naturally rubber but is nice and wide and has that awesome diagonal pattern which you know we all love! Overall weight demonstrates quality and high quality components and as we all know weight comes with the territory for the finest glass. In my opinion, this lens will never go out of style and I don't think I could ever part with it (but I said that about my first wife).

And you know this is some quality glass simply by it's presence. I ACTUALLY PREFER THE BLACK AF 80-200 F2.8 APO over it's white successor (even factoring in AF speed). As for IQ I've never owned the white HS version (same exact optics), but IQ DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THIS. This is a zoom which rivals the best primes of today at comparable focal ranges.

Sharpness is top-notch, colors are brilliant "classic Minolta." Rather than going into specifics and repeating the best comments about this lens, I will sum it up with IQ which is stunning and breathtaking, SIMPLY MAGICAL. Every time I put the images on my computer screen I am amazed (it is that awe factor which keeps me photographing and probably will for the rest of my life. Others say the images have a 3D look to them which I completely agree. I rarely have to PP anything.

As for speed the AF is definitely faster than the Tamron 70/200 2.8 and almost on par with the Sigma HSM, and quite frankly VERY FAST! You can feel the torque from this baby when the AF gets going! Granted, I've never owned the white version, but for me the black 80-200 F2.8 APO is SURELY FAST ENOUGH and definitely not slow (depends on the camera body, on an A900 it's GREEAAT). I also tested this on the A55, also fast but for video the AF is a little noisy. About the AF noise and rotating front element, IMO it adds to "the feel." I want to feel and hear the mechanics just like I do when driving a fine sports car. The engine purr, the feel of the clutch sweet spot, shifting through the gears... that's what it is all about! There is a place for silent AF like certain video or a Lexus interior, but I could never be one of those guys where all you hear is a beep (or nothing) then shutter. The mechanics and performance of the lens is nicely supplemented by the sounds. The feel of the focus ring is precise and nicely dampened and the zoom is smooth and even and great rotation (Marked 80, 100, 135, and 200 and I believe it's a precise quarter turn to go from 80 to 200).

Another member said something in the line of, "Built like a tank but with the precision of the finest Swiss timepiece."---- great analogy for this lens and other 80's Minolta lenses! I would go as far as to say that this lens is one of the TOP 10 LENSES OF ALL TIME (o.k., definitely top 10 of 80's Minolta lenses and top 25 all time)- with that special, indescribable magic only capable of coming from Minolta lenses made in Japan from this era. To me the black color is also makes a statement, not white simply to copy the Canon white lenses starting in this era or to fit in at the press box. Plus, the camera is black, isn't it? The size and color are also great to stay LOW KEY.

In conclusion, shooting with the Minolta 80-200 F2.8 APO is like driving a meticulously kept 'black color' 1984 Ferrari 308 GTSi with under 500 miles on it and viewing the images is like watching the replay crossing the finish line in first place....
reviewer#9140 date: Jun-16-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:Beercan
80-200 APO HS G
price paid:900 USD
positive:Build quality, like a tank.
AF speed is good
Internal focusing and the sharpness!
negative:Heavy, but that can be possitive as well. Nothing else
comment:This one is one of the best! Same as the white Minolta AF 80-200 APOmm HS G(preowned)except for the AF speed, nothing that normaly bothers me on my A700, maybe a litle bit loud when focusing, but... The upside compared to the HS G is that this one is black, not drawing so much intention to it. And compared to the beercan, no match at all! Not saying that beercan is bad, but this is stepping up at least 2-3 steps i quality all over the spectrum. It´s wonderful! This is a keeper!
reviewer#9049 date: May-23-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:SAL 70-400G SSM
SAL 70-300G SSM
Min 80-200 APO HS G
Min 300/2.8 APO
Min 300/4 APO HS G
Sigma 100-300/4 EX DG (IF) APO
Tamron 70-200/2.8 Di LD
Tokina 300/4 AT-X (AF 304)
Min 70-210/4 Macro
price paid:€420.00 (used)
positive:Build Quality
Sharpness/IQ
Buttery smooth bokeh
Fast AF
Internal focussing (IF)
It's a G grade lens in all but name (has same optics as APO HS G)
negative:Course/noisy/clunky AF motor
Long MFD
Slight CA (purple fringing)
comment:I've had a fair few top shelf lenses, but this one is one of the best in all departments. I bought it from evilBay vendor Matsuiyastore along with a Min AF 100-400mm APO.

It didn't have a lens hood, but that was easily taken care of by sourcing a generic reversible MATIN branded one from evilBay which for a 3rd party hood, did an excellent job keeping lens flare at bay. The optics are the same as the later Min AF 80-200mm APOmm HS G. The G suffix stands for GOLD by the way (in case you wasn't aware). It's less obtrusive as it's all black and there are no concerns about paint chip loss unlike the later white versions. The AF speed is quick enough on my A700, though the motor sounds a tad course and louder/clunkier (less refined) than the APO HS version which I once owned.

I've tried it with a Kenko 1.5x DG TC and found no real loss in AF/zoom speed (which is a rarity).

There's very little you can knock this lens for. OK, the MFD is on the long side, but this may have been deliberate by Minolta in order to give better IQ throughout the focal range. My copy also had a noisy/clunky/course sounding AF motor and some VERY annoying purple fringing (CA), but the plus points put this lens right up there on the coat-tails of the very best in it's class and I have no reservations in recommending it, but only IF you can live with it's shortcomings. Otherwise a superb piece of kit, but it's not quite on par with other Minolta lenses. I would grade it at about 90/100 overall, and marked the build as 4 to reflect the noisy/clunky AF motor and 4 for the colour to reflect the CA/purple fringing.

Additional Note:

I thought this lens was quick when used on the A700, but on the A900, it's like having an extra 2 gears as it's super fast in the AF speed department now! I've since bought another copy.
reviewer#8655 date: Feb-13-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:Minolta 300f/4 APO
Minolta 28-70 G
Not a real comparison ( those are the other lens I own )
price paid:1050 US (1992! )
positive:Image quality
Compact ( for the kind of lens )
Color
negative:Weight
Minimum distance
comment:I bought this lens in 1992.

At that time it was big heavy and I had the feeling to be easy noticed.
For a longtime it was my workhorse lens together with a 24 and a 50 mm

Now it seems far more "normal" than new white versions or new Sony 70-200.
I use it with my A850 + VG and it ends in a compact and solid combo. I did never thought to upgrade it with a newer version as its quality is still outstanding.


( The only lens sometimes I take into consideration as an alternative is the CZ 135 but in the end I think that a zoom it is more useful for my needs )


reviewer#8473 date: Jan-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:sony 70-300 g lens
price paid:
missing
positive:color
iq
negative:weight
comment:Outstanding lens, went from a 70-300 sony g lens to the minolta and couldn't be happier. Focuses much faster and iq is outstanding. If you can find this lens , buy it. You wont be sorry
reviewer#7948 date: Sep-6-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:K/M 75-300 Big Beercan
K/M 35-70 4
Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
K/M 50 1.7
K/M 70-210 4.5-5.6
K/M 70-210 4 Beercan
K/M 28 2.8
K/M 28-80xi
K/M 28-135 4-4.5
K/M 35-70 3.5-4.5
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD NEW
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
Deitz 28-200
Tamron 20-35 3.5-4.5

price paid:450USD
positive:Amazing sharpness
Unbelievable image quality
Great hood
72mm filter


negative:Heavy
Average focus speed
comment: Has the same optical quality of the APO G version of this lens, slower focus gearing, gorgeous IQ and less likely to attract attention in a crowd. Wonderful lens.
reviewer#7120 date: Mar-18-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:Sigma 70-200 f2.8
Sony 70-200 f2.8
price paid:1000 USD
positive:As sharp as the Sony 70-200 f2.8, at a fraction of their price.
negative:Heavy, but thats normal for this kind of lens
comment:At 200mm f2.8, this Minolta 80-200 is much sharper than the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 that I tested with. Its on par with the Sony version, and cost so much lesser.
reviewer#6881 date: Feb-7-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:there is no comparison. But I have owned/used the following:
17-35 g
2x-70 g
80-200 g hs
100 macro
50 macro
300 g
heavy version of the 35-105
30 1.4 sigma
16-200 kit

price paid:740.00 USD
positive:Best color, sharpness, rate of focus, and build of ANY lens I've ever used or owned- including the newer "faster" versions of these.
negative:Minimum focusing distance could be shorter.
comment:If you're lucky enough to find this version of this, sell an organ if you have to, and BUY IT!
My copy had been pretty beat up, and had a broken helacoid- 100 bucks at KEH.com and I was set.
Though this lens has a little more specific use, it is THE BEST hunk of glass I've ever touched. Did I mention I'm a fan.
reviewer#6283 date: Oct-28-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Beercan Minolta 70-210 f4
Minolta 100-300 4.5-56 xi
Sony 70-300 G 4.5-5.6 SSM
price paid:1200 USD (used)
positive:Sharp throughout its range
Black make it inconspicuous
Classic minolta colours
Internal zoom
negative:A tad heavy (goes with the territory)
comment:Superb lens. Nice, slealth-like ability due to its black colour. Though a tad on the noisy side when focusing, but awesomely accurate.

Better than the Beercan for its extra brightness (thanks to the 2.8) and much more useful in low-light situations. I've shot many concert with this lens and I'm always astounded at the results.

Great, classic minolta colours. Decent bokeh and built solidly. Not much more I'd want in a tele-zoom. Except maybe the HSM/SSM for quietness. Not worth the extra $1000 to me. :)
reviewer#5924 date: Aug-28-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:85mmG
28-70mmG
70-210mmf3.5-4.5
100-200mmf4.5
100-300mm4.5-5.6APO
price paid:
missing
positive:- Razor sharp
- Wonderful minolta classic colours
- renders excellent micro details
- Internal focusing !
negative:-focusing slightly nosier than new digital lens
comment:(1) If you do your research carefully - the lens construction / optical schema is the exact same as the Min 80-200mm f2.8 G white lens. This model is the production before minolta decided to Label it G & coat it white for marketing purposes. (All thanks to canon in 1980s for having marketed their "L" lens and their tele-zoom are white). Thus minolta follow suit and pursue the "white premium dreams"

If you got this copy that seems to be under performing than the white 80-200mm , it's your copy that you're holding is probably a bad lemon copy.

(2) In actual fact,i would prefer this black version. Attracts lesser attention from bystanders , curious peepers and potential theives, it's easier to maintain. Just look at those white lens (80-200mm , 200mm APOG , 300mm APO G) after 10 years of usage (paint peeling, scratches on bodies etc). The white paint would simply have that yellowish tint on it, afterall which paint coatings colouring doesn't deteriorate after 10 years and above ?

(3) Optically - i had compared this lens to minolta 85mmF1.4 , 70-210mm , 100-200mm , 28-135mm, 100-300mm teleapo. It's on par to 85mm at f2.8 and surpasses all the above lens that i've tested upon at all focal length same f-spots. Pixel peeping at 100% , 200% , the micro details at f2.8 are all existent. Stopping down to F4 seems to sharpen it by 10% more. F5.6 makes not much differences comparing to F4


(4) Flare - CA control is superb.

(5) Focusing speed on my A700 is faster than what others claims.

(6) Weight is what i've expected from a f2.8 telezoom.

All i can say - this lens is a real classic excellent optical quality/ premium lens that can only be attributed to minolta earlier devotion to produce G lens.


reviewer#5344 date: May-4-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:70-200 SSM
80-200 HS
price paid:$850 (used & mint)
positive:Very Sharp
Beautiful colors
Great bokeh
Compact for an f2.8
negative:Minimum focus
comment:I had a chance to obtain a really nice example and the lens performs beautifully. Praises given here are accurate. A bargain too. Too bad the close focus is not a little better, but I can live with it. NICE.
reviewer#3787 date: Jul-2-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:80-200 2.8 APO G
70-200 2.8 SSM (Sony)
200 2.8 APO G
price paid:
missing
positive:- Real sharp
- It's black
- Contrast
- Colours
negative:- Min. Focus Distance
comment:I wanted a black quality zoom. For streetphotography.

My 80-200 is too white to stay unnoticed on the street. Tried in for portraits also. Works OK, except for the minimal focus distance.

So I'm selling my white 80-200 owning the 70-200 SSM as well. One has to go, so it's that one, but it feels like selling my baby. But I'm sure someone else will be as happy as I was with this lens.
reviewer#3491 date: Apr-20-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:70-210 f/4
28-70 f/2.8
price paid:1100 CDN Used
positive:Colours
Bokeh
build
negative:AF Speed
comment:I was looking for something a little faster then my 80-210 f/4 to capture indoor sporting events. Although it produced great shots, it wasn’t fast enough to stop action and I ended up shooting at ISO 3200 with pretty noisy results. The 80-200 f/2.8 just blew me away, sharp, the colours match those of my 28-70 f/2.8 (which I love) and the bokeh is wonderful, I’m sure I’ll be using it for much more then shooting gymnastics. The fact that it’s a full stop faster then the 70-210 allows me to shoot at ISO 1600 or 800 in some cases, which is just enough to give me the results I was looking for. The AF is a little slow, but not horribly so and it does hunt a bit sometime, but all in all, it works for me. The IQ far outweighs any of it’s shortcomings. Very pleased with the results. I would recommend it to anybody.
reviewer#3396 date: Mar-25-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Canon 70-200 2.8 IS
price paid:500€ (used)
positive:- General Optical Quality
- Lenght (less then competition)
- Quality Built (it doesn't shine, but it is really sturdy)

negative:- Minimum focus distance (but you can't have everything)
- AF speed and noise, aka no SSM. It also hunts.
- Minimum focal (70 could be a lot better than 80)
- Position of manual focus (impossible to use with lens hood in )
comment:One of my first lens for the Minolta system. My one was old and very used, and I used it more and more. I'm really satisfied. I use it almost everyday, i travel with it on my Alpha 700. Really nothing to complain about, really usable for me. I don't feel the need of a prime in the range 80-200, if not for macro. Better autofocus with A700 that Canon new 70-200 2.8 ISB & Canon 40DTW, I have full support for this from my usual camera repair shop.
reviewer#3313 date: Feb-27-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Tokina AT-X300
price paid:EUR1030 (2nd h)
positive:Sharp
Vivid colours
AF OK on a700
negative:Slightly soft wide open
Tripod collar not detachable
Slow AF on D7D
comment:To me, a far more appealing lens than the whites. Optically identical to first generation white 80-200, at half the price for a 2nd hand lens. Bought this as a successor to a AT-X300 and it really pays off. Faster AF, even on D7D, better sharpness and colours.
reviewer#3064 date: Dec-11-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Beercan (70-210/4)
Big Beercan (75-300)
price paid:850USD (Used)
positive:Build quality
Fast 2.8 max aperture
Beautiful bokeh
Crisp colors
negative:Heavy!! (although expected)
Non-removable tripod collar
Lens hood makes taking lens cap on/off difficult
comment:I haven't had this lens for long, and I truly wish I had purchased it years ago - it is a fantastic lens! Colors and contrast are typical of the older Minolta line, and the bokeh just blows me away.
reviewer#3022 date: Dec-2-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-200
price paid:don't remember
positive:Sharp and great colors; built like a tank; use it with the a700 and you have terrific speed and colors
negative:Heavy.
comment:This is still my favorite one. I also have the 28-70 g. Speed was with both lenses an issue on my 5d. now with the 700, the 80-200g is perfect, the 28-70 is still slow.

Update: just back from Safari trip and just to confirm that this is great for this purpose, especially if you add an converter 2,0 for additional distance. It is quick, sharp and the colors are great.
Furthermore, i used the pictures to make large prints. Although using a cheap picture shop (pixum), the large print (a3) looks great.
reviews found: 42    1 2 >>

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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