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

reviewer#44551 date: Jul-15-2020
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:All Minolta zooms 70-210, 75-300 and 80-200/f4,5-5.6.
price paid:450 CAD
positive:Almost everything.
negative:White paint.
comment:My copy came from a Dyxumer at a great price and is cosmetically tatty (plenty of missing paint) but is optically and mechanically in great condition.
It is so much better than the cheaper Minolta zooms of this sort of length that there is no point in detailed comparisons - it is simply much better in every way but one - weight.
I habitually carry my cameras in one hand, with a wrist strap for security. With this monster on the camera it gets a bit wearing after a while and I worry about the camera mount - I really need to carry it by the lens but have yet to find a comfortable way to do this. To be fair this is a problem with all heavy lenses and one I need to resolve because this is not the only one I have.
Focus is quick and accurate on my A99ii, colours are nice and Minolta (though I'm not hugely worried about this aspect of a lens if I'm shooting digital) and it's built to last apart from the paint finish - for this reason I'd give a 4.5 if I could.
I was reluctant to buy this lens for a long time, because I don't like white lenses - daft? Perhaps. However, the paint doesn't last like the black finish on its predecessor or the many other early metal Minoltas. It adds nothing to the lens apart from make you stand out more - this might be fine if you want to wander around posing as a pro, but I don't, I'd rather be part of the scenery, unnoticed. Perhaps it needs a respray?
Distortion is negligible and while flare, CA, ghosting etc is probably ahead of its time if not up to the very best modern standard, microcontrast is probably not up to the very best, but it sets a pretty high standard.
All in all this is a very fine lens that takes excellent pictures, or would do if I could.

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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