Minolta AF 75-300mm F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by macronut

reviewer#14241 date: May-5-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony sal75300
Minolta 70-210 beercan
Minolta 100-300 APO D
price paid:I forget
positive:built like a tank.
Minolta colors.
Limiter switch.
nickname. whats not to love about a big beer?
Some purple fringing and flare. Not horrible though.
Soft at the long end, but usable.
Did I mention long and heavy?
comment:let me offer this disclaimer...

i feel that lens ratings often are inflated because we cant choose half steps. when reviewing a lens, we are not given the ability to choose a half rating, such as 3.5 or 4.5, except for the sharpness rating. very strange we can give a half point to only one category in the rating. this lens is one such instance where i was torn between ratings. flare isnt so bad that i wanted to give it a 3, so i chose 4. but id like to give it a 3.5. The hood does help. that said, i wouldnt avoid this lens for any reason other than size and weight, if those are an issue for you.

in the last few years, this lens seems to be more readily available and the price has dropped. it represents a very good value, as ive seen it go for about $150.

compared to the modern sal75300 budget lens, the Big Beercan has pros and cons. the cons are obvious. this lens is considerably heavier. so much so that you may not like it. also it is really long. those factors aside, the build is fantastic. the pros are better colors, bokeh, and abit better sharpness. that being said, this lens isnt as special as some of the other classic Minolta lenses.

the 70-210 Beercan has superior bokeh. the Big Beer does have pleasing bokeh, but nothing special. color is very similar, with a slight edge to the smaller Beercan.

this lens is usably sharp throughout the range, but softens up at the long end. it is sharp enough for any casual user, but for the perfectionist it is not critically sharp at any focal length. this is a nice zoom for a nice price. you get what you pay for. i like this lens for what it is, vintage Maxxum metal. it is a good lens. but i must point out that the Minolta 100-300 APO D is a far better choice, given its small size, similar price, faster focus, Distance encoding chip, and improved sharpness. i find the APO to be the very best bang for your 300mm zoom buck.

in conclusion, this is a well built lens, capable of nice images. Its well worth the price, but isnt my first choice in the focal range. i like the lens, but somehow my own score seems slightly generous. that said, i enjoy it. you should too, but of course i am biased towards vintage Maxxum glass. its just my thing. not everyone has to scratch their Maxxum itch like i do.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 82
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.84
  • build: 4.89
  • distortion: 4.57
  • flare control: 4.18
  • overall: 4.60
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