Sigma 400mm F5.6 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 20   
reviewer#44214 date: Jan-25-2019
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Various other lenses at 200+ w\TC.
Minolta 100-300 APO with and without 1.4 and 2x tc's
Sigma 70-200/2.8 with and without 1.4 and 2x tc's
price paid:100 (used)
positive:Sturdy
Neat little focusing ring shield that slides down to cover it when not in use. I assume it's just meant to keep dust and moisture out.
Built in metal lens hood
72mm thread in common with several other lenses
negative:Poor wide open - must be stopped down to 7.2 or 8.0 for acceptable results.
Fringing is often very bad, though mostly easily removed in post.
Long and heavy
Slow aperture
Hood doesn't stay in place (though i'm sure it did when new)
comment:I got this more for the novelty, and because I don't have any comparable lenses at this length. It does beat some TC combinations, but for the most part a decent ~300mm with a 1.4 TC or just cropped in will provide better IQ. With careful use in perfect situations it can produce some OK photos, but that's at best. Worth picking up if you get a killer deal, but I wouldn't pay more than 60 or 70.00 for it.

* Small update after using this lens occasionally for the past year or so, and using the long tele range more frequently:

In perfect conditions, used exactly right, I could get acceptable results. That means a bright day, tripod, and stopped down to f7.2 or above. I put it directly up against the other lenses I listed above and took test shots with all of them in a few different lighting situations, and while the Sigma 400's images looked modestly OK by themselves, as soon as you compared them side by side with other lens combo's you realized how poor the resolved detail actually is when trying to shoot wildlife or sports etc where shutter speeds and ISO have to be cranked up.

I'm now looking for a better tool for these long shots. This one is too hard to use optimally, and the results require WAY too much doctoring in post before I'm happy with them.
reviewer#11886 date: Jun-30-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:
missing
price paid:£120
positive:Bought on Ebay, first prime lens, takes a bit of getting used to but great wildlife shots when stepped down for the price, AF fast, worked a treat on my A65 so didn't need it re-chipped, must be a good copy !
negative:Minimum focus, can't say anymore for the price
comment:Great first 400mm prime, as stated you need to work a little to get full potential out of lens but overall happy with purchase and definitely a keeper on my limited budget, also works great with X2 teleconverter 😊
reviewer#11649 date: Jan-30-2014
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:don't another lens for a direct comparison
price paid:£67
positive:Well built
AF and other systems work fine on my A350 and Daughters A450
Very cheap given the focal length there isn't anything comparable for the money
negative:Nothing really for me as yet, it may be limited compared to some other expensive long prime lenses but I can't afford to buy them!
AF gets a bit confused in low light bring on summer.
comment:I'm getting to know this lens and how to use it AF need to choose the right mode if not it can get a bit confused
Overall I'm happy
reviewer#10992 date: Mar-26-2013
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:98 euro
positive:costruzione molto solida
negative:pesante
comment:è un ottimo obiettivo,solido e ben costruito,non è molto luminoso (f5.6),non è velocissimo e necessita di 4metri per la messa a fuoco minima, i colori sono buoni ma non eccezionali, forse un po' morbido! tutto sommato se consideriamo il prezzo di mercato di questo obiettivo (se ne trovano in buono stato intorno ai 120euro) è un ottimo compromesso se si vuole avere un teleobiettivo dalla resa decente e non si vuole spendere un patrimonio!se si riesce ad acquistare sotto i 100 euro è un vero affare!!
reviewer#10448 date: Aug-11-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 500mm F8 Reflex
Minolta 100-300mm
price paid:50(£)
positive:Value for money
Light for a metal bodied lens of this size
negative:Well documented issue with AF gears
Severe purple fringing at low F stops
comment:Bought this lens on Ebay, whilst hunting for a Minolta 500mm reflex. Couldn't say no to that much focal length at £50. Mine was so cheap as the AF had failed and the focus was jammed, but thought it was worth the chance i could repair it!

Very easy to dismantle, and turned out the plastic AF gear had stripped and jammed. However only lost 2 teeth so cleaned it up and put it together as it was and it works perfectly. I've been using it on both an A330 and an A77 with no compatibility issues, and the AF has worked fine without a blip, so this is worth remembering. They are repairable!

However, a word of warning, i needlessly took the front 2 elements out when dismantling (the AF gear can actually be reached from the mount end) and had problems getting them back in. The metal body seems to be very sensitive to temperature, and after them sliding out easily, they wouldn't go back into position, or sit flat on their seats. I first put it together without them being perfectly in place, and the lens suffered HORRIFIC chromatic aberration. After trying again, and heating the body with a hair dryer, they fell in easily, and seated correctly.

Since then i have used it occasionally, but my copy still suffers from purple fringing and softness when cropping into photos taken with low F stops. It does improve notably once above F10, and i didn't have problems taking shots in the late evening.

As has been stated before, the lens hood has a life of its own, and seems too loose on my copy, sliding in and out as i pan the lens up and down, but apart from that, this lens has some great, almost Minolta like colour in the right light, and is an absolute bargain.

Who can complain about 400mm for £50!
reviewer#10232 date: May-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100 - 300
Minolta 70 - 210
But I have no other prime lens near this focal length to compare it to
price paid:82 USD (used)
positive:Cheap
Prime lens
AF Works on a700 w/o re-chipping
Can be hand-held in good light
Color quite good in decent lighting, surprisingly good actually.
negative:Probably not intended for professional photographer, but fine for neophyte like myself

comment:--Resolves distant detail quite well, even enlarged
--Slightly "soft" images can create interesting artistic impression
--Constant barrel length makes hand shots easier
--Lens is not that heavy, also makes hand shots easier
--My copy does not exactly resemble any of the three versions pictured here on Dyxum; thus I assume that it must be VERY old, but no SN# anywhere (it is NOT the APO version).
--I fully expected to have to re-chip to get AF to work on a700, but AF worked perfectly from the get-go.
--great value for minimal cash

reviewer#9812 date: Jan-18-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
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:SAL70400 G
price paid:280 USD (used)
positive:- Cheap
negative:- Build quality
- Poor sharpness and IQ
comment:My first prime for birding. However, very disappointed after few shots. Return immediately.
reviewer#9689 date: Dec-12-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6 Zoom (the cheap one)
price paid:149 USD (used)
positive:Built like a tank
Great IQ for the length and money
Good Bokeh
negative:Heavy, and takes up lots of room in my bag
Poor contrast, especially in bright light
Min focal distance very long
The extensible hood has a life of its own
comment:A surprise find at a camera repair shop. The lens was like new and works like it was designed for my A850. I like my 75-300 and use it a lot, but it gets really soft out at the long end, and with a FF, 300mm isn't always long enough.

(Update, Aug 2012): I just got back from an Alaska cruise and I used this lens a lot on the trip. I've learned a lot more about it since I posted my review.

I have had no autofocusing problems with my copy, unless you count when I bring the camera/lens to my eye in a hurry, and having to hold the sliding hood fully extended, I'll frequently brush my hand on the focus ring while the camera is trying to focus the lens. I haven't noticed any ill effects, but I'm sure it's not good for the motor. I assume that the reason the lens was at the camera repair place where I bought it was because it wasn't focusing right with the newer cameras, and that it had been re-chipped. It can hunt badly in low light, but for such a long and older lens, I have been relatively pleased with focus sharpness.

The biggest downside with this lens is that in spite of its size and heft, it ends up being pretty slow relative to modern lenses. It works well for shots that can be composed and where I can stop the lens down, but in anything with motion (birding, sports, whale watching), shooting wide open means contrast, fringing, and washed-out highlights can become issues, especially in hard daylight. This is the only lens I use on my A850 where I really find myself wishing I had better high-ISO performance from the camera.

I would love the Sony 300 f2.8 G or the announced Sigma 120-300 f2.8 zoom, but I'll never be able to justify the prices. This lens gets me shots my little 70-300 kit lens just can't get. And whatever else the lens is, it is rugged. I've never had a worry about having the lens be the reason I missed the shot, even if the end result needs to be touched up a bit in PhotoShop.
reviewer#9113 date: Jun-9-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:I have never had a nother 400mm lens to compare this with, but it will always have a place in my bag
price paid:£210 (new)in 1990
positive:Good quality build.
Built in lens hood.
Smooth fast focus
Mine did not need rechipping to work on Sony Alpha


No sign of gear stripping on my A700
negative:MFD of 4 metres
comment:Overall, for its age, it is a great performer.

focus from minimum to maximum distance is pretty fast on the A700.

The weight is no issue as compared to others it is fairly light.
I borrowed a friends Sigma 150-500, with the thought of buying one later, and put it on my A700 with grip and found the combination way to heavy.

I dread the day that my copy finally bows out,as I wont have a clue what I would (or the insurance company would if it was damaged/stolen) replace it with.........
reviewer#9112 date: Jun-9-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
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:beercan
price paid:$115Aust (used)
positive:Cheap
Sharp
Good external build
Bokah
negative:Rubbish AF drive (not prepared to risk using AF)
Purple fringing only partly goes away when stopping down
comment:Got this lens cheap on gumtree.
Interesting lens. Nice feel. Sharp
IQ at 400mm probably better than anything cheaper than 70-400G if there's no colour fringing
reviewer#7783 date: Aug-4-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 55-200
Tamron 70-300
price paid:£140 (Used)
positive:Long focal length
negative:Focus gears stripped by my A700
comment:I bought this lens of eBay on an impulse buy, first impressions weren't too good as a couldn't get a sharp photo, this was further compounded by the fact that my A700 stripped the focus gears the first time I took the lens out properly.

I think some of my issues were perhaps due to my inexperience with the long focal length as on a more recent photography expedition I have been able to get some pretty sharp photos with the lens stopped down to f/8, both handheld and on a monopod.

This lens is a fun focal length, although with a minimum focusing distance of about 4m it can be a bit of a hassle to find things to photograph which are far enough away but still warrant using the 400mm.

One other thing to note is that this lens needs rechipped to work on the Sony Alphas, the chip in mine reports the wrong focal length in the exif and the wrong aperture when wide open.
reviewer#6361 date: Nov-10-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Bigma 50-500
price paid:
missing
positive:Lightweight
negative:sharpness
comment:I replaced this lens with a Bigma to get better sharpness.
reviewer#6353 date: Nov-9-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:
missing
price paid:145 gbp
positive:Built like a tank.
Non rotating front element.
Good balence with the integrated tripod/monopod mount.
Fast AF.
Reasonably sharp stopped down to F8.
Easy manual focus ring if needed.
negative:Tends to over expose a little.
Long minimum focus distance (4M)
comment:I got this lens just last week for Ł145, its the one that was featured in a photography mag that had the James Lao chip conversion, I was alittle dubious but you just have to take people at their word sometimes! I have been very pleasantly surprised with the results so far, apart from having a tendancy to over expose (which is easily taken care of within the A350 menu)I cant really fault it. Its quite sharp by F8 and gets even better thereafter. My trial shots at the local nature reserve weren't terrible considering it was peeing it down at the time! Then I took it to Billing aquadrome at the weekend, the sun was out and it picked up and held onto larger birds in flight very easily, the AF never batted an eyelid! In low contrast shots the AF will hunt a little if the light isnt brilliant, but the manual focus is so good its not a problem so long as the object is not moving too quick.
I dont know if this lens is just an exception, but if anyone is thinking they might try the chip conversion I can thoroughly reccomend it!!!

400mm reach dont come much cheaper than this nowadays!!
reviewer#5899 date: Aug-24-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:110 USD (USED)
positive:All metal
Built in lens hood
Don't need tripod to use even in low light.
Pretty sharp when stopped down but could be a bit sharper.
negative:Lens hood slides back a bit too easily.
A bit slow AF on sony a200 but not on a700
Noticed some CA depending on the light conditions.
comment:Bought this lens on e-bay used but it was in mint condition in it's original carrying case, not a scratch. Takes descently sharp pics when stopped down and the light is right. Still one of my favourite lenses. Always carry it with me.
reviewer#4956 date: Mar-3-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
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 used to own this lens
compared to:sigma 400mm apo
sigma 400 telemacro
sony 70-200 SSM
price paid:250 euro
positive:relatively fast
cheap
light
excellent build!
sharpness at f5.6
negative:flare control
contrast
colour
f5.6
comment:Excellent lens for waking around and shooting from the hand. it is light, fast enough even for birds in flight.
the built is excelelnt! I feel you could drop this lens from your window and it would still function (don't try this at home :-)

You can find a lot of these lenses second hand, but prices are rising...
I owned all three of the sigma 400mm lenses, and I prefer this one to the APO version, because it is cheaper and better built.
reviewer#4224 date: Oct-12-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 28-100 d
Minolta 35-80
Minolta 70-210 f4
Cosina 19-35
Sigma 24 2,8
Sigma 28-80
Sigma 70-210
price paid:102 €
positive:nice build
metal completely
hood
negative:colors quite dull
slow AF
tends to have CAs
comment:Could not find a sweet spot below f9 really, which is not handy at that range. Putting high ISO gives even more ugly colors and CA problems. All in all, one should use a tripod anyway.

Colors are dull. Sharpness is not really great. The APO version is probably better in these regards.

The AF is having a long way but that is probably due to the long end. An AF stop button would have helped.

Still, for this price, 400mm are affordable, and with some post processing of pictures taken in nice light you can get some usable pictures.
reviewer#3802 date: Jul-3-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 75-300
price paid:140€ (used)
positive:Integrated tripod mount
Good build quality
negative:Soft at 5.6
comment:Shoud be used with a tripod or at least with a monopod to avoid open aperture!
reviewer#2737 date: Sep-16-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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:dont have anything to compare it to
price paid:free
positive:light for a 400
built in lens hood
cheap
really sharp when stopped down
negative:CA
not a zoom
the hood slides too easily
long minimum focus
comment:got it in a tamron lens buy... I didnt think this was going to work on the a100, Its prone to CA, but it can be avoided if you are careful, the colors are good and the sharpness starts to get really good at about F8. Focus is good and pretty quick with good lighting, but does hunt in low light-low contrast settings. I like the internal focus because since i have 1 hand onl i can rest it on things to geta steady shot.
Its light enouph to shoot without monopod. Handheld-with one hand, i get really good results...Since it was free, i would have to say that i got an excellent deal, I personally like the pictures from this lens, and at 400mm it gets out there on the a100 with 1.4 crop. My copy is black---serial 3047xxx

I think the metal ring is there to protect the manual focus ring while its in autofocus mode, so as not to strip the gears.

If your on a tight budget and can find it... pretty good, the apo versions are better, but this one aint bad.

Im keeping it and will use it. till i can afford an expensive one in this size
reviewer#2729 date: Sep-15-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 (D)
price paid:Ł66 UK (used)
positive:Sharp when stopped down a bit
Internal focussing
Hand hold at 1/200sec
Built like a rocket launcher
Good A/F and very easy M/F
No noticeable CA.
Slide forward metal hood
negative:Built like a rocket launcher (!)
Soft wide open
comment:Mine is serial number 304xxxx. It is non-APO,grey and built like a rocket launcher. The tripod mount is integral, also metal, and would hold steady the reflector at Mauna Kea. While it lacks the space saving optics of more modern lenses, this is Sigma at its best during the days when it was trying to compete with big beercans.
After some preliminary tests I reckon that this lens was built to operate at F8 and smaller, and that the only reason it has a F5.6 aperture is so you can actually see the subject in the viewfinder, because wide open it's 8x10" full frame if you're lucky with a bit of Photoshop work. Stopped down to F8 and it's pixel peeking sharp.
I managed to get a good enough image hand held at 1/200 F8 on my A100 but 1/125 F11 wasn't steady enough and suffered, so for me at least, less than 1/200 would need a monopod/tripod. But the front element doesn't rotate when focussing so propping the lens on a car window or beanbag is viable.
Compared to my 75-300 (D) telezoom at 300mm, it is softer at F5.6, but sharper at F8 with good crop capability. I don't know how well it does against the light yet, but with the sun behind, flare and purple fringing are well controlled and it works really well with my A100. I have no idea why, but the rubber focussing ring is hidden by a metal sleeve which is slid back to reveal it. There is room to grip the lens behind the focussing ring and, supporting lens and camera, focus manually with ease. AF seems quick and positive enough although I haven't tried it in poor light.

These lenses pop up from time to time on ebay and it's real pot luck as to what they sell for. Sometimes Ł50-60, other times well over Ł100, for no other reason than people are watching the sale, or not as the case might be. But watch out for early serial numbers and their potential incompatibility problems with later cameras.

Addendum. I've been out giving this lens a workover in variable cloudy conditions today. In poor light with the lens wide open and A100 at high iso it's not very good, with the A100's noise making a soft image worse. Later, a little brightness came into the sky and I was able to drop the iso and ran off a few shots of a squirrel that came out quite well.
Details are 1/200s F8 iso200, 10MP raw, auto WB, PP with Photoshop USM applied. The first and third shots in the links below are resized to 1024x685 with 100% crop of the same shots in the second and fourth.

http://members.lycos.co.uk/majorbludnock/Squirrel2.jpg
http://members.lycos.co.uk/majorbludnock/Squirrel2crop.jpg
http://members.lycos.co.uk/majorbludnock/Squirrel3.jpg
http://members.lycos.co.uk/majorbludnock/Squirrel3crop.jpg

Addendum 2. I've downrated flare control as shooting birds against the sky is virtually impossible without purple fringing. It's a great shame as with the right light and stopped down it can turn in quite respectable results.
reviewer#2213 date: Apr-26-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 200 f/2.8 G APO HS
- Minolta 300 f/4 G APO HS
- Sigma 135-400 mm
- Minolta 500 mm f/8 reflex (now sold)
price paid:175 Euro
positive:positive:
- pinsharp
- handheld
- light
- af speed (mostly; sometimes it hunts)
negative:negative:
- manual focus (hard to do)
- minimal focus distance (4 meters)
comment:I happen to own a white APO one (and the paint doesn't come of this one!!!). This is really almost a budget G lens (IMHO) It's as sharp as it can be. And pretty fast.
It's a real bargain. Super for Zoo's and wildlife. I have a lot of primes, but this is surely as sharp. It's sharper than my 500 reflex (which is sharp and now sold!) and sharper than the Sigma 135-400 (and focusses better). A just little less sharp then the two g lenses I use, but I still give it a '5' for sharpness. Sharper than the 200mm with TC 2 APO II...

The 135-400 has a better minimal focus distance.

It doesn't have the Minolta colours, but highly recommended!

Use it on the a100. Man, what a detailed photo's over a long range! And only 175,= euro. I consider that as a real bargain.

I bought the 2 G lenses later and thought I would sell this one, but it's staying for sure!

reviews found: 20   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 20
  • sharpness: 4.03
  • color: 4.10
  • build: 4.40
  • distortion: 4.30
  • flare control: 3.85
  • overall: 4.13

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