Sony AF 70-300mm F4.5-5.6 G SSM A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>
reviewer#5055 date: Mar-19-2009
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:Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta AF 200/2.8 HS G
price paid:Ł450 (new)
positive:Fast, silent, accurate focussing
Sharp all the way.
Comfortable weight for hand holding.
negative:Only f5.6 for most of its range.
I'll have to consider selling my beercan as it's pretty much redundant now.
comment:A very useful range, for me the f5.6 limitation is well worth it for the convenience of a compact and relatively light package. I consider the price to be good value for the image quality it delivers. The plastic build doesn't bother me, it's high quality and feels solid.
reviewer#5041 date: Mar-15-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
price paid:675 USD (new)
positive:fast, quiet AF, focus limiter, compact, good detail @300mm/f5.6, no rotation with zoom or focus, price
negative:Relative to SAL75300: none
Relative to other G-lenses: aperture
comment:I bought the 70-300G as a replacement for my kit 75-300 and was amazed at the differences! While it is a bit heavier than the 75-300 and has the same aperture, it outshines the kit lens in all areas. The first difference I noted was the quiet, fast AF (even on my A100). Then there was the detail! The IQ was such that I could crop much closer to my subjects (typically birds) without loosing detail. I have noted little if any CA even with backlighting on small branches. I do not routinely use the hood, but have had no problems with flare. It took me about a week to get used to the reversed position of the focus and zoom rings (zoom forward, focus behind). I might consider the new 70-400G as a replacement, but for size and flexibility this lens will stay in my bag (and probably on my camera) regardless of the other G-series lenses I might acquire.
reviewer#5006 date: Mar-11-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:M70-210/4 beercan
M75-300 D
M 300/4 G
price paid:1315 NZD
positive:Sharpness
Image colours
Weight
SSM
negative:Loses sharpness at the long end.
Not compatible with Sony 1.4x TC.
comment:I got this lens as an upgrade for the beercan, and to take when I don't want the weight of the 300/4 G.

Together with the CZ16-80, this made a potent and useful travel combination.

Build quality is good, but I'm not prepared to test it under very rough conditions.

Colour rendition is good, slightly more neutral than the beercan but still with a touch of warmth. I've been able to use it on the Dynax 7 and the Alpha 700.

It suppresses purple-firnging very well, and in this regard is better than the beercan and 300/4 G.

It's quite sharp up to about 200mm, and then there's a fall-off to acceptable sharpness. It is not on par with the 300/4 G at 300mm. It is usefully sharp wide-open but seems to hit its sweet-spot at about f8.

Overall, it does what it does. It's a light, compact, travel-friendly telephoto zoom of high IQ. You don't take it to squeeze the maximum detail out of feathers on a distant bird. But it will capture enough detail for a lot of demanding purposes.

reviewer#4999 date: Mar-11-2009
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:Canon FD 80-300 lens (film)
price paid:
missing
positive:This lens scores 5/5 on all counts
negative:none
comment:This lens is difficult to fault. Nearing 300mm it goes a little softer than in rest of range. There is a hint of CA at edges but its only a hint. The main issue with any lens with an equivalnet FL of 450mm (in film terms) is controlling camera shake at 300mm in low light. Racking up the ISO helps and using mirror lock and a good tripod helps. I use a Sony A700 which has these features and good low light high ISO NR. A lesser camera would make this lens unseable in low light but thats no fault of the lens - just the laws of physics.
The lens is contrasty making the max aperure of 4.5 a non issue.
Recommended lens.
reviewer#4974 date: Mar-7-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-250mm
price paid:750 USD
positive:Silent
Sharp
Color
Contrast
negative:Hunts a little
comment:I bought this lens (and also a CZ 16-80) to replace my Sony 18-250 super zoom. I have been pleased with results. It is much sharper at long end. Focus is fast and silent, although it still hunts a little. I am not bothered by the long lens hood. It is designed to reduce flare. I carry it around with the hood reversed. I was also considering 70-400G. But its weight is a deal breaker because I do a lot of hiking. You can see some of my recent pictures with this lens and A700 camera at http://photocreation.zenfolio.com/p536951797
As a comparison, some of my older pictures with Sony 18-250mm and A700 at http://photocreation.zenfolio.com/p721103369


reviewer#4971 date: Mar-6-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:- beercan
- 200G + TC14
- 85 and 135 primes
price paid:
missing
positive:+Silent and fast SSM focusing
+ Good sharpness all range
+ Good colors and contrast
negative:- Lens hood too big and plastic
- expensive in canicon competitors
- extends on zooming
- no weather resistant
comment:I have some day experience with this lens. It have nice colors and very good sharpness all ranges wide open. The lens is big and lens hood no usable. Often i left hood at home.
reviewer#4970 date: Mar-6-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0 (BeerCan)
KM 75-300mm
price paid:559 USD
positive:Very sharp
Excellent contrast
Silent SSM motor
balances well on camera
negative:Small f5.6 maximum aperture for most of range (90-300mm).
Focus hunts in anything other than bright light.
Eats battery power.
Plastic build is too thin.
Focus speed just "OK".
Lens is "fat" and hood is much too large creating stowing problems.
comment:I bought this lens for my a700 camera at a Circuit City liquidation sale at a discount price to replace my KM 75-300 lens. After all I had read about the 70-300G, I was really excited when I first got this lens, but my excitement quickly faded once I began using it. Although noticeabley sharper than my cheap KM 75-300mm, I find the 70-300G is only a "competent" lens, and not "G" quality as I anticipated it would be. The biggest disappointment was discovering the f4.5 is gone by 90mm and you are left with a f5.6 lens from 90-300mm! This causes the a700's autofocus mechanism to hunt and not lock focus in lower lighting conditions, even outdoors on a heavily overcast day. This lens hunts more than any other lens I own in lower light conditions, even with the focus limiter engaged, and I find myself using manual focus too much of the time in these conditions. Yes the lens is sharp, but then again at f5.6 most lenses are sharp, including my old BeerCan lens. I found the build is disappointing as the plastic is much too thin and flimsy in the area of the focus distance window Sony really should have made the plastic thicker there, especially on a "G" lens. Also the hood doesn't match well with the lens - the length and diameter is unnessarily too large which makes the zoom and focus rings inaccessable when stowed in the reverse position. The SSM was another disappointment. It is just not as fast as I had expected it to be, and I suspect it may even be slower to focus than my old screwdrive Minolta 70-210mm f/4.0, but can't prove it.
Conclusion:
I think I would be happier with a Sigma or Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 lens with a x1.4 TC . I will probably keep this lens because I use shorter focal lengths most of the time and this range is not very important to me. If it were, I would be looking for something with a faster maximum aperture for sure.
reviewer#4885 date: Feb-20-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Tamron 70-300mm
price paid:Ł450 (NEW)
positive:Price
Build Quality
Focus hold and focus limiter
62mm
Sharp wide open and between 200-300mm
negative:Slight lens creep
Focus speed not quite as fast I had hoped (but not bad in anyway)
Only f/4.5 (Tamron starts at f/4) but I'd say 90% of my shots with this are at the long end.
comment:I bought this lens as I wasn't 100% happy with the results I was getting from the Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro, especially at the long end (200-300mm) - it was soft wide open (winter time in the UK frankly you don't always have much choice). Also I found the beercan although nice to hold (albeit heavy) too short for wildlife. So I sold the 'can and the Tamron and bought the 'G' in the sale. People have complained it isn't a real 'G' but from my point of view the build quality is very good, there is alot of (high-grade) plastic but it feels 'built' to me - it feels solid that my other lenses (except the beercan) don't). However my lens does have a slight bit of zoom creep. The zooming action is nice and smooth. When zooming there is a bit of a vacuum affect so this could cause dust problems (none for me so far though)

It is sharp wide open, with mininal purple fringing as far as I can see, and the focus is pretty quick (although it can hunt - but the 3m-infinity zoom option makes it much quicker and the instant manual focus you have with SSM (which is so quiet it is unnerving) makes this less of an issue imo. The focus ring and zoom rings being swapped around (the focus ring is next to the camera body) works well for manual override as well.

Now to the hood. Well firstly its massive! It makes the lens almost unusable when reversed for storage as it covers all the zoom ring and half the focus ring, however the hood is excellent, I have had no problems with flare etc. A sliding door a la the 70-200mm for a polarizer would be great though. The lens although not large on its own with the hood on does get a few glances on occassion I must admit...

All in all since I bought this lens (c 3 months ago) it has spent ALOT of time on my camera and taken alot of excellent shots.
reviewer#4852 date: Feb-13-2009
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:Sony SAL75-300
price paid:799.99 USD (new)
positive:Very sharp
Quiet
Solid build
negative:Would prefer fixed f4
Lens hood
comment:Really like this lens! Have found it to be sharp at all focal lengths. No problem learning the reverse positioning of the focus and zoom controls. Very quite SSM autofocus. Frustratingly long lens hood but, again, you learn to adjust. Not too heavy, but solid build. Would have gladly paid more for a slightly faster, fixed apeture. (Absolutely no comparison to the "kit" telezoom SAL 75300 lens - totally different league.)

You will not regret purchasing this lens.
reviewer#4824 date: Feb-9-2009
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:SAL 75-300
price paid:479 USD
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:Pretty stoked to try this thing out. Picked it up at Circuit City yesterday for $479! So far it seems like it's pretty much what everyone else says.
reviewer#4806 date: Feb-4-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 Big Beer Can
Tamron 70-300 LD DI
price paid:560. USD closeout
positive:Sharp at all apertures and focal lengths, Good Contrast, Silent operation,virtually no CA.
negative:Slow, only f4.5 at 70-90mm, effectively a f5.6 lens.
Huge lens hood. Reversed zoom-focus rings from other lenses. Focus can hunt at the long end
comment:Incredibly silent. If you have never used an SSM style lens it can be a bit unnerving. I'm not sure the SSM is faster than screw drive but since there is no audible feedback or vibration it is hard to judge. Incredibly sharp wide open at all focal lengths, my copy hardly softens at the long end wide open. Stopping down hardly affects the image so shooting wide open is no problem. Dimensionally it is shorter and lighter than the Big Beer Can but wider. There is absolutely no CA or purple fringing with this lens that I can detect on my copy.

As other reviews have stated the lens can hunt and fail to lock focus under certain conditions, with SSM you just grab the manual focus ring and go manual.

The hood is large and makes the lens look huge when attached.

This lens will become my primary for Police K9 photography
reviewer#4804 date: Feb-4-2009
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:SAL 18-250
price paid:550 USD New (CC)
positive:Quiet focusing, handy range, nice feel.
negative:Not a 2.8?
comment:I'm one of the many who got a nice deal at a CC closing. I had the 18-250 (best backpacking lens ever imo) so I wasn't convinced that I needed this one, but the price was right, and hey, 'everyone' was doing it. The quiet focusing is great, but then my A100 shutter goes off and scares all the birds away. Not the fault of the lens though. After a few quick test shots, I foresee 90% of my future pictures being taken with either this, or the 16-80CZ, depending on need. And the 100Macro will get the other 10%. I shoot mostly outdoors, so the slower aperture won't bother me in most cases, but I sure do like the clarity and sharpness!
reviewer#4803 date: Feb-4-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 30-300 f 4.5-5.6
price paid:580 euro
positive:Very sharp and practically no chromatic aberration,
easy to handle,
very fast autofocus and easy manual focus
negative:
missing
comment:A very fine lens, easy to handle

The price I paid was 680 euro and I got 100 euro cashback!
reviewer#4773 date: Jan-31-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Beercan (+1.4 TC)
Sony 16-105
price paid:599 euro
positive:Sharp over whole range, even wide open
Light weight
Fast AF
Manual foccusing easy and quick
negative:Zoom-creeping
comment:Very happy with it. I gave it a 4 for build-rating because the missing Zoom-Lock. The lens creeps very easy.

Price whas 599 Euro (699 - 100 cashback)in the Netherlands. After two day I ordered the lens, price was 30 Euros higher:-)
reviewer#4747 date: Jan-26-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-300 xi f4.5 Minolta
18-200 f3.5 Sony
16-105 f3.5 sony
price paid:700 usd used
positive:Immage sharpness and color
negative:Lens will change focal length when on camera hanging from neck strap
comment:It would be nice to have my cake and eat it too. I am keeping this lens and thinking about buying one lighter and smaller for back packing and hiking but finding one with this image quality may be impossible.
reviewer#4734 date: Jan-23-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 100-300 F4 EX DG (IF) APO/EX (IF) APO
Sigma 70-300 EX DG Macro
Tamron 55-200 Di-II
Tamron 70-300 Di USD
price paid:£450.20 (new)
positive:Bokeh
Silent AF
Build quality
Focus lock button and AF switch
Weight
Ease of use
CA control
negative:Packaging
IQ falls off over 250mm
Should've been constant F4 or better
Overpriced
CPL filter only with hood off
Poor performer under dull or overcast conditions
comment:Upon seeing the box for the first time, I thought the lens was going to be the size of my former Sigma AF 100-300 EX APO. On opening, I see Sony (in their wisdom) decided to pack the lens in one half of the box and the lens hood/lens bag in the other half. Why not just reverse mount the hood onto the lens and place in the lens bag and ship in a box half the size?

On using the lens on A700, I was impressed with the richness of colours produced, IQ (to a point), silent AF, weight (a fraction of the Sigma 100-300 F4 EX APO - or so it felt like), smooth bokeh and the overall general feel of the lens.

Value for money . . is it worth the retail price? Err . . no! Personally I think it's way overpriced, but for G grade glass (my first ever) I was prepared to invest in the critically acclaimed G lens . . but I soon found it wanting.

I took some samples under changeable overcast conditions with the lens hood on and off. I was surprised by the difference in shutter speed in A mode. Maybe the hood is too good - where did the light go?

F4.5 to F5 was at 85mm (not much - pretty pointless), and F5-F5.6 at 130mm-300mm.

I miss the constant F4 of the Sigma, but not the size or weight. This G lens should and could've been faster.

However . . in less than good bright light conditions, the lens doesn't perform at all well. It's simply not capable of dealing with dull overcast days and as such is pretty much useless under those conditions. In hindsight, I should've kept my Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX APO.

I've since now sold the SAL 70-300 G SSM lens and resorted to another Sigma AF 100-300/4 EX DG (IF) APO. It did a lot of things right, but at 300mm, it was far too soft and much to slow for my requirements and with the Tamron 70-300 Di USD now available, the Sony is overpriced and isn't any better than the Tamron, so how it got a G rating beats me, let alone the price tag. I can't recommend this lens as there are much better alternatives and for less money.
reviewer#4720 date: Jan-20-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70mm
Sigma 70-300mm
Sigma 105mm Macro
price paid:Ł427 (new)
positive:Great Bokeh
Sharp wide open even at 300mm
Fast quiet autofocus
negative:Long hood
Bit pricey
comment:I used to use a Sigma 70-300mm APO until it broke, then saw this lens in Jessop's sale and although not cheap I have not regretted it one bit. This lens is a massive leap forward in terms of use and image quality compared to my Sigma 70-300. If you get the chance to get it at a good price buy it!!
reviewer#4698 date: Jan-16-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- 135/2.8
- 200 HS
- beercan
price paid:560,- Euro
positive:- Great build lens
- light weight
- SSM
- good to work with
negative:- sharpness issues
- big when zoomed out + hood.
comment:Well, what do I have to say....I really like(d) this lens. It should be worth the money....but at this moment it isn't. After 2 false copies I don't know what to think. Both the copies will be send to Sony for service. I will update this review when I've got my lens back.

UPDATE: 11-02-2009. The lens is repaired bij Sony Service. Now it is up for its task. Sharpness 4,5 because it isn´t the best G in the field. Build rated 4 because of the 2 bad copy´s.
Sony Service did a great job, AF is on the spot with my A700, SSM is smoother then before, it is faster too. Now it´s worth the money.
reviewer#4676 date: Jan-13-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-200 mm f2.8 SSM
price paid:700 usd (new)
positive:Very light and compact...
Very sharp
negative:Lens hood is too long
comment:A very good lens all round...
Recently I just have a 3 weeks holiday, this lens is perfect for that purpose very compact, light, sharp and wide range.
reviewer#4673 date: Jan-11-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 100-200mm f/4.5
Minolta 75-300mm f/4.5 - 5.6 (new)
Sony 75-300mm f/4.5 - 5.6
Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8 APO G
price paid:
missing
positive:Light weight
Decent ergonomics
Consistent sharpness across frame
Minimal chromatic aberration
Good color
negative:Zoom action isn't Minolta smooth
Variable max aperture
Larger than comparable zooms
comment:
missing
reviewer#4660 date: Jan-9-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300 kit lens
price paid:450 GBP (new)
positive:Fast and quiet focus
Sharp
negative:
missing
comment:I wasn't going to buy this lens for some time being quite happy with my Sony 75-300 kit lens despite its limitations. Seeing it in Jessops sale at Ł450 was too much of a temptation so I took the plunge and picked it up as a birthday present. If I had searched a bit harder I could have saved another Ł20 with on-line vouchers but I am not complaining at this price.

I was expecting a negative to be weight but it isn't the house brick I thought it would be! It balances nicely on my A100 and I like the front mounted zoom ring which gives good handling.

The two biggest differences between the kit 75-300 and this is the lack of CA and the much faster and almost silent AF. I had got used to the focus noise of the kit lens but the difference is astonishing to me.

I have only taken a few shots so far so take my image quality ratings with that in mind and I will try and do a more comprehensive test v the kit lens in future.

Update: 18 Aug 2009. I have had time to use this lens quite a lot now and I think it is brilliant. It is very sharp and delivers high quality results. I can not recommend it highly enough.

I have also removed my comments under the negatives regarding build quality because strange though it may sound my first impressions were overly critical. It is a well built lens and inspires pride of ownership compared to the 75-300 kit which isn't badly built itself.
reviewer#4658 date: Jan-9-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Bigma
price paid:565 GBP (New)
positive:Sharp at all apertures
No visible CA
Fast and quiet AF
Good solid build
negative:None yet
comment:Good value for this quality of glass
reviewer#4618 date: Jan-3-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300
Minolta 70-210 F4
Sony 500 F8 reflex
Sony 18-250
price paid:
missing
positive:-A real winner from 70 to 300mm
-Sharp at the both ends at all apertures.
-Nice finish and built,good looking with the alpha bodies.
-Silent Af
-Focus limiter
-Smooth manual focus
-Great bokeh .
negative:-Exagerated hood size ,is easy to caught the atention from the croud(specially for candid`s shooters )
-Almost inimaginable ,how to change/put a filter the hood atacched.
-Not as accurate and Fast Af as a expected,but miles away faster from sal 75-300 kit lens.
-You`d better buy an extra battery pack (if you didnt)

comment: Theres no much to say about this lens.
Simply ,the best XX-300 around.
Great (just) colors and contrast,fast focussing ,specially when shooting to moving subjects.
After two months with it, I think I`ll keep it for a long time.i mostly use the long lenses at the long end. This one is sharp enough wide open at 300mm , and it`s not really necessary to stop it down hardly to get the best of this lens.
Its not the cheapest lens around,and not the fastest lens too.
In terms of value,i personally prefer 70-300g than the new 70-400.
2x the price for the extra 100mm (despite the deserved G build quality ) and size,is a little to much for me.For the same money I
prefer an
"easy to carry" nature Telephoto lens combo. 70-300G+AF 500 F8.
Both fits perfectly in my Lowerpro A200W bag.
When the hood is atached, its very frustrating to deal with a CPL
or change filters,because its long size.
The built quality its Ok, according to its price tag,but i dont think it has a G grade built quality. focus limiter switch seems to be made with cheap plastic,it seems to be like the a200`s MF/AF switch.
But overall is well constructed,feels good and balanced on the alpha bodies,enough to feel it strong,but not so heavy
Everything seems to be in the right place.I didnt notice any play regarding manual focus ring or other external controls.
Its very pleasant opperate a SSM lens.



.



reviewer#4591 date: Dec-29-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 (new)
price paid:£450 (new)
positive:No noticeable CA
negative:Lens hood is very big
comment:The SSM focusing is very fast and there is no zoom creep.

Performs great on my A700 but less so on my A850 where there is noticeable FF or BF depending on the focus distance when used wide open.
reviewer#4525 date: Dec-11-2008
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:Zeiss 16-80
Minolta 4/70-210
Zeiss 1.8/ 135
price paid:659 Euro
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#4343 date: Nov-8-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 200/2.8 G HS
Minolta 300/4 G HS
Minolta 100-300
price paid:850USD new
positive:Compact & light for the quality
Silent and smooth focus
Hood helps control flare
Accurate focus
Performance at long end


negative:Slightly sluggish AF speed
comment:I like to shoot wildlife and am not qualified to comment on other uses. This lens is the ideal light zoom for walking in challenging terrain. The 100-300 is the ultimate in light and compact, but quality is just not comparable. This is closer to my primes. I want a LONG zoom and given the quality of the images at 200-300mm, I consider this to be a really light lens. Also, for people like me who live and vacation in hot and sunny places, the long hood is a big positive and really helps control flare and save pictures. The fact that you can still have confidence in its quality wide open is an amazing plus. Build quality seems to decline proportionate to weight and for me the balance is right here. The SSM slows things down but it is accurate and the focus limiter helps -keep it on. Oh, and bokeh is good too. What a great thing to have in your bag.

One thing that some may find odd is colour - the colors are a little muted sometimes. However, I do not personally mind that.
reviewer#4340 date: Nov-6-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:70-300 APO DG sigma
50 1.4 Minolta
28-135 4 4.5 minolta
90 macro Tamron
price paid:€ 658 new
positive:compaired to 70-300 APO DG SIGMA, it's sharp and fast
negative:UUUUUHHHHH Don't know
comment:Wow what a difference compaired to the Sigma
sharp all the way even wide open
Not that long not that heavy
70-200 2,8 is off the wish list ( temporarly)

Paid €658 -/- €100 ( cash back Sony)
Anybody needs a Sigma
reviewer#4316 date: Nov-3-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL70200G SSM
price paid:$1160AU
positive:- Sharpness wide open
- Colours
- Pleasing bokeh
- Not overly large or heavy
negative:- Aperture range (should've been a constant F4)
- Not much else
comment:I've only had this lens for 2 weeks now and have had minimal time to play with it. However, a few shots around the house have proven that this lens is indeed sharp as a tack when wide open.

I was considering a 70200G instead of this lens and was seriously concerned about its small aperture, however I've been getting pleasing results so far - albeit at high ISO.

The reverse zoom is easy to get used to.
reviewer#4312 date: Nov-2-2008
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:10-20mm Sigma
16-80mm Sony
17-50mm Tamron
18-70mm Sony
28-85mm Beercan
70-210mm Beercan
100-300mm Minolta Apo
50mm 1.7 Minolta
24mm Sigma
500mm Reflex Minolta
price paid:Ł569
positive:Very Quite
Good Build
Sharp
Good Focus
My best lens by far
negative:Size (only a minor niggle)
comment:Love this lens, only had it 3 weeks and not had many chances to play with it. Impressive build compared to Sony 16-80mm, which is in the same price bracket. Still can't get used to the SSM focusing, it's so quite and pretty fast, especially compared to Sigma 70-300mm Apo. This is my favorite lens and looks the part on a A700. Will update this once I've tried it out more, but early results are very promising.
reviewer#4218 date: Oct-12-2008
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:BEER CAN 70-210 F4
MIN 50 F1.4
MIN 24-105D
price paid:799 USD (NEW)
positive:SHARP , NO CA , QUIET AF
negative:NONE
comment:SHARP SHARP WIRE OPEN ON MY A700 AND A100 . COMPARE TO BEERCAN IT'S A GOLD LEN .
reviews found: 168    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 168
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.25
  • distortion: 4.78
  • flare control: 4.79
  • overall: 4.66

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