Minolta AF 80-200mm F2.8 HS APO G A-mount lens review by Vitruvius

reviewer#11997 date: Oct-1-2014
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:Sony 16-50mm f2.8 SSM
Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 EX DG Macro 2
price paid:950 US
positive:Twerks! with AF
Smaller, lighter, and faster AF than my Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 mk2.
Same 72mm filter size as my other lenses.
negative:Twerks! with AF
Manual Focus ring turns with AF and you have to turn the camera AF to Manual to use Manual AF.
Not weather sealed.
Front turns with focus, so I will try hard not to use this for ultra wide landscape photography with a CPL filter. ha ha
comment:Just got this lens tonight so I will add to this review over the next few days. Gave it all fives for now.
First impression is that it REALLY TWERKS. I mean, I read that it torques with the AF screw drive, but it really jolts out of the gate like a bandit, no reserve. And the really weird part is that it actually NAILS focus! No micro hunting to fine tune when it gets close. And what is even more insane is that it seems to almost always start off in the right direction! What the heck? How can a dumber lens be smarter (compared to my Sigma 70-200 HSM mk2). PS. I used to have the A77 and now have the A77ii.
October 11, 2014 Update - OMG OMG OMG!!! I realy hate to drive the used prices higher but this lens is friken AMAZING!!! A few day ago I used it for the lunar eclipse "blood moon". Shot downtown through some bridge cables and other buildings. I had to keep the aperture fairly large to stop the motion of the moon from blurring which meant that I had to focus stack the foreground and background together. But the results are absolutely fantastic! Far beyond anything I thought I was capable of. And I am a perfectionist and I have been shooting for 25 years including medium format. Then, yesterday I had my first chance to take it out in the daylight with my dogs yesterday. I had the Sigma 70-200mm f2.8 DG EX HSM Macro Mk2 before with my A77 and A77ii. I was never very happy with it. No matter what setting I tried I was only getting about 5% of the shots bang on focus with about 20% near focus and the other 75% way out. Yesterday with the Minolta 80-200 I was getting 50% BANG ON focus, about 40% very near focus, and about 10% missed because the subject drifted out of my center AF point during a continues series. And even then, the image was perfectly focused on the background, as it should be without object tracking. Then I used the Lock-on Center AF and things got even better. I am absolutely blown away. For the very first time since I had my EOS 600, I feel like I could take on virtually any professional photo shoot and get exactly what I want. This is everything I have ever wished for and it even exceeds my highest hopes. You may not be hear much more from me after this because I plan to be out a LOT more shooting instead of looking for better gear.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 97
  • sharpness: 4.88
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.94
  • distortion: 4.93
  • flare control: 4.76
  • overall: 4.90
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