Minolta AF 80-200mm xi F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 9   
reviewer#44361 date: Aug-27-2019
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)
Minolta - AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6
Minolta - AF 70-210 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 80-200 F4.5-5.6
price paid:10 GBP
positive:Full frame, hood, light, small, cheap, good range to complement a kit lens.
negative:xi, focusing a bit hit or miss, indifferent IQ.
comment:A built-to-budget second zoom, the obvious complement to the 35-80mm xi in a cheap two lens 3xi kit - which is exactly what I bought for £15. Fortunately it is a far more worthy lens than the 35-80 (a pet hate of mine). The two are the successors to the 35-80/80-200 pair with the built in lens caps and, I suspect, share the optics. However, the earlier version (Minolta - AF 80-200 F4.5-5.6) works better with my A900, the xi version will often give up on focus at the 200mm end. To its benefit is a rather good clip-on hood with a nice matt interior finish - the built-in cap makes hoods all but impossible on the other version. Optically the two are very similar, decent performers, perhaps a bit better than would expect from a cheap kit lens of the era. I am sure samples will vary, but I rate my manual zoom version more highly for IQ than my xi. Of course the biggest downside is the xi power zoom control, it was an idea before its time and not very well executed.
I have recommended the Minolta - AF 80-200 F4.5-5.6 as a pocketable telezoom for those occasions when you want to travel light and want some more length in your pocket 'just in case' and this lens would also serve, but it's just not quite as good and I much prefer the ergonomics of the more pocketable non xi version.
The other obvious comparison is with Minolta's 4 generations of 70-210mm zooms - the oldest of which, the f4 'beercan', is a class or two above the cheap 80-200s (not the f2.8 monsters I can't afford), and is my choice if I am going out to shoot in that range. The later generations see a steady decrease in quality.
This lens is cheap for a reason, it just isn't that good. If image quality is important get a beercan, if you just want a cheap pocket FF telezoom for occasional use get the non xi version, if you want an xi zoom to see what the fuss is about get the 28-105 (the best for IQ), 35-200 (the only Minolta hyperzoom) or 100-300 (it's actually better than the non xi, non APO version).
Sharpness is okay but well short of the beercan.
Colours are Minolta - which suits me fine.
Build is plastic (including the mount), cheap, and has the added complexity of xi, I do have one that can't zoom out if pointed upwards.
Distortion - nothing to worry about.
Flare - it's a 1990s lens, it flares and ghosts, but nothing like as badly as the smaller 35-80 and 28-80 xis

UPDATE 8/11/19: I overlooked another contender as a small (if not so lightweight) telezoom - the old Minolta - AF 100-200 F4.5. In terms of IQ it is better than either of the cheap 80-200s, perhaps a bit weighty to carry in your pocket, but doesn't take up much space in the bag.
reviewer#44360 date: Aug-26-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-135 SAM.
price paid:Gift
positive:Nice light walkaround. Too cheap: Should sell for much more.
negative:Short zoom Range.
comment:I see this lens being sold for less than $10.00. I received mine from a woman whose husband passed away. This is an extremely fine lens. It does everything well over the entire range of zoom and f stops. It pairs very well with my A65. Some C.A. but hard to see until you look for it. I really enjoy this little gem.
reviewer#29659 date: Aug-17-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-200 AF
price paid:5.00 US
positive:Great inexpensive lens. It is compact and easy to carry. The color is fantastic. It is sharp but not quite that perfect sharpness. Has a solid feel to it.
negative:Flare! A hood is a must with this lens in outdoor conditions.
comment:This lens is easy to pick up from eBay, Craigslist, or really any thrift store. This makes a great walking around lens.
reviewer#10721 date: Nov-22-2012
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 80-210
Sigma 70-210 UC f4-5.6
price paid:20 GBP used
positive:Sharp, even wide open
Minolta colours
Well built
negative:MFD
Flare - needs hood
comment:Cannot understand the mediocre reviews for this lens.

Sharp at max aperture and sharpness improves with stopping down to f8/9. It id disappointing that from being sharp wide open it never achieves 'razor' sharpness as one might expect. Still, it is a nice sharp lens.

No issues on colour - Minolta!!

Build is only compromised by the plastic mount, but it is still solid after 20 or so years.

No noticeable distortion.

Needs a deep hood to combat flare.

For the price a bargain lens, but no Beercan. Way better than the Sigma.
reviewer#7711 date: Jul-22-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 2.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:150 HKD(Used)
positive:Lightweight
Cheap Price
negative:Hard to use MF
Plastic mount
comment:The design is good and fun but really hard to use in MF.
reviewer#3121 date: Dec-31-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-210 F4 (beercan)
price paid:5 USD
positive:Lightweight
Compact
Nice Zoom Range
Price
negative:Large Hood
Prone to Flare
Akward Manual Focus
comment:O.K., not rated the highest of the lenses I own and I prefer the beercan overall. However, this lens can be had for a song on ebay. Despite the fact that there is no fine manual control due to the power zoom/focus, it is light, compact, and easy to use in AF mode. Both the power zoom and power focus do lack fine control. If you plan on using it as a point and shoot lens it is a perfect addition to the 18-70mm kit lens. For those that are financially challenged, this lens is a no brainer. I spent more on a replacement rear lens cap than I did on the lens.
reviewer#1785 date: Feb-7-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18–70,
Minolta AF 35–105
price paid:
missing
positive:lightweight, compact, well made
negative:manual focusing, sharpness under difficult light conditions disappointing,
plastic mount
comment:I got this lens with my Dynax 5xi in the early 90s and I thought it a fine performer.
On my alpha 100 I´ve got very different results, under bright conditions the lens renders quite sharp pictures with good colors; but in situations, light isn´t that good, pictures get a bit "washed out" colors, loss in sharpness and they are noisy too. In general sharpness is less in the long end up from approx. 160 mm to end. No issues on distortion or flare (with lenshood).
Manual focussing and zooming is quite challenging because of these functions are motorized.
Despite it´s an old lense it works very well with the alpha. AF works reasonable quick and accurate.
If you get a cheap one, it´s okay, but I won´t spend more than about 80 € for it.

edit: I rated down color to 3 because of the described issues, I would give a 3,5, but that´s not possible.
reviewer#1367 date: Oct-31-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tokina 28-70 ATX Pro. Sigma 75-300 APO.Minolta 135 2.8
price paid:Ł16
positive:I love the power zoom; light & compact.Well made.Good travelling lens to go with a wideangle zoom.Cheap!
negative: Manual focusing difficult;manual zoom next to impossible - no power zoom with tele converters.
comment:A surprisingly fun to use,cheap lens. Ideal to take on holiday to supplement wide angle zoom as it is light and compact. Very well made.
reviewer#1207 date: Sep-20-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:28-105xi
17-35(D)
price paid:EUR 200
positive:Powerzoom
Build is excellent
Overall sharpness and crisp colors
negative:Manual focus sucks especially with teleconverter applied.
comment:I got this lens for my Dynax 7xi, a friend purchased it in Singapore but it did not work on his Minolta 7000 camera (no surprise). I loved this lens and still find it great - now with my Dynax 7D. Downside is the xi lenses manual focus....that is quite a challenge for mind and patience especially if a teleconverter is applied and the AF is lost.
reviews found: 9   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 9
  • sharpness: 4.11
  • color: 4.11
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 3.93

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