Minolta AF 80-200mm F2.8 HS APO G A-mount lens review by radi9red

reviewer#27584 date: May-22-2016
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:Over 10+ top grade Sony Minolta Alpha lens.
price paid:Resale- cheap
positive:+amazing colours. much richer than Sony 85mm , sony 135mm primes.
+ bokeh rendering out of this world. Rivals the Minolta 200mm f2.8 G lens.
+ sharp sharp sharp
+ size. Much smaller (similar to Sony Fe 70-200mm f4) and much more versatile and wieldable comparing to Sony 70-200mm f2.8 which is monster sized with hood.
negative:- auto focusing loud and you can feel the mechanical movement but it is extremely accurate. 90-95%focus accuracy.
- tripod collar not removable. **see comments**
comment:Bought mine from resale market. I used to own a black version 80-200mm f2.8 7-8 years ago during the Sony A700 era, sold it when I was about to get married back then to focus more on my day job. Now, I finally got this lens back!and this time round a white version instead of black. currently I'm using this on Sony A7s and A7r with la-ea4 adapter. Focus speed is similar to native Alpha bodies.

This white version of 80-200mm is really amazing. The smooth rendering of image outputs is something unique to Minolta G lens and is the main reason why you should get this lens. Unlike sony zeiss , this lens produce rich saturated deep contrast images. Skin tones looks amazing, trees foilage aluring. Not clinically razor sharp unlike modern Sony zeiss lens which every photos produced does not have a character or soul.

The lens is extremely sharp at all focal lengths and wide open f2.8. Stopped down to 3.2 or 4, it's corner to corner sharp. Blown me away on A7s and even on A7r with 36MP, details and resolution are never an issue.

I mounted it on A7R with la-ea4 which works extremely well. A little heavy though since you have to factor in the weight of additional adaptor. And the tripod collar thus became redundant since the la-ea4 has the tripod support as well. In fact I wanted to travel light and smaller on mirroless body. The only way to remove the collar is to break it. I use a pair of metal cutter shears and slowly cut it till it can be removed. Now this lens looks like a fatter version of the Minolta 70-210 beercan.
Weight reduced by around 80-100 grams.

My copy , the optics is close to perfect. Especially lucky as I bought it from a photography collector and not via ebay where bad lemons were dumped all the time. The negatives about this lens are the white paint started to flake and peel. Eventually I managed to fix it by using paint removal alcohol and clean the white paint away. Beneath it ,reveals a stainless steel shiny shell and after polishing it shiby with aerosol, honestly I think it looks way better than a flaking white lens. It does not have any signs of rust at all. Thus the material used to construct this lens must be stainless steel and aluminum.

I personally think this lens carries the soul and the spirit of Minolta photography with it- similar to other Minolta G lens (28-70mm f2.8 and 85mm) that I owned. The images it produces excites and alures me comparing to the modern Sony Zeiss Fe mount lens. The "feel" is just very unique and different.

If Sony Alpha mount series is not dead by another 20 years. I'm sure this lens will still works flawlessly. No stupid SSM or linear focusing motors technology within that makes your lens unrepairable. This lens is built like a steel rock with amazing glass.

Don't use this for video work since the screw AF loud noise will just be plain annoying !

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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