Minolta AF 70-210mm F4 (beercan) A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 397    << 11 12 13 14 >>
reviewer#2111 date: Apr-4-2007
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:Sony AF DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Minolta AF 100-300 xi F4.5-5.6
price paid:pack.deal (+/- E45)
positive:SHARP
Built
negative:
missing
comment:I have been looking for a BIG Beercan for quite a while... but since yesterday, I've got him!
So I took some time today to compare the results of my four tele-zooms to decide which one(s) to sell.
Not an easy decision: all zooms are GOOD, but different. The Beercan and the BIG Beercan are both very SHARP, with the Minolta-glass CoLOURS. The xi is very light and small (nice for travel), and the Sony is very versatile (and light). Don't forget the Sony is a full-range zoom, starting at 18 and ending at 200.
There are also con's: The Beercan's are heavy, the xi has a (quite slow) motorized zoom and the Sony is not that sharp at both ends (particulary at 18).
I'm glad i finaly own a BIG Beercan. So this one is going to stay. Not only is it as sharp as the Beercan (or sharper), it is also faster due to the focus limiter.
The Sony also stays. Ideal for traveling "light".
So I'm afraid the xi has to go. If I can sell it for a decent price (probable together with my 3xi and 28-80xi).
And the Beercan... Although i won't use it that often anymore i'm pretty sure i'll keep it. As a "collectors-item".
reviewer#2093 date: Mar-31-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 70-300 APO, 70-210 3.5-4.5
price paid:120€ mint
positive:Sharpness
colors
constant f4
1:4 macro at long end
build quality
bokeh
negative:focus speed
weight and size
prone to CA
comment:A mythical old school minolta lens, which shines by its sharpness, colors, bokeh, build quality and constant aperture.
On the downside, focus speed is pretty slow and CAs are visible. Size and weight are substantial, but it balances well on 5D and this gives stability. Makes a good portrait lens and general telephoto lens except for fast moving subjects.
Sharper than its sibling the 70-210 3.5-4.5, equivalent to sigma 70-300 APO in the overlaping range (in sharpness).
reviewer#2086 date: Mar-31-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MinRS 50mm/1.7, Sony kit 18-70/3.5-5.6
price paid:185 USD (used)
positive:3x zoom at useful focal length
Works well hand held
Good sharpness for a low price
negative:Slow autofocus, hunts in low light
Some Chromatic Aberration (CA)
comment:Great lens. Having a relatively wide aperture (f4) and 1:4 macro at 210mm is great. Despite occasional CA and the disappointing AF, the lens is very usable and well worth the price. Perfect lens for a photographer on a modest budget to complement the 18-70 kit lens. The lens is fairly heavy, but built well and still not too big to use hand held.

I've noticed that on sunset photos flare is more of a problem with this lens than on the kit lens.
reviewer#2080 date: Mar-30-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:Konica Minolta 28-75 f2.8 (D); Sigma 100-300 f4 EX DG
price paid:
missing
positive:Sufficiently sharp. Great Build. Smooth zoom ring and focus ring. Usually fast AF.
negative:Front element rotates. Clip on lens hood is kind of hokey (but it does the job). Chromatic aberration at f4 and high contrast scenes. Sometime AF has problems while doing Macro work or when shooting in dim light.
comment:The 70-210 f4 is sufficiently sharp wide open through the zoom range, but f5-5.6 is better. I also find that it can not match my Sigma 100-300 f4 EX DG zoom lens.

Chromatic aberration can be a problem with the "Beer Can." Something that the Konica Minolta 28-75 f2.8 (D) and Sigma 100-300 f4 EX DG does a much better job with. Auto focus sometimes has a problem depending on what you are trying to shoot. I have problems when trying to do macro work with the lens at 210mm.

I believe the "Legend" will remain a legend. It was a good lens back in the day, even currently. However, it is not some mythical wonder. You would be better off to get a Sigma/Tamron 70-200 f2.8 or a Sigma 100-300 f4 EX DG.
reviewer#2044 date: Mar-26-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 f/3.5-5.6
Sigma 30mm f/1.4
Tamron 90mm f/2.8 Macro
Minolta 200mm f/2.8 HS
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Beautiful Colors
Nice Bokeh
Built like a tank
negative:Slow AF in low light
comment:A classic for a reason - but don't go blindly. This lens is excellent if you don't mind lugging around a big piece of glass and metal. That being said, the next step up is the Sigma 70-200 f/2.8, which is $800, or the Sony SSM ($2300)

Update 3/19/08: Compared to the 200mm f/2.8G, all the positives of the beercan are met and exceeded by the G lens. The G has a significant advantage in terms of sharpness and color at all fstops below f/8. This doesn't mean that the beercan is a bad lens, but it has lead me to drop its sharpness and color ratings by one half and one point respectively.
reviewer#1967 date: Mar-15-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 17-35/2.8-4.0 (D)
Minolta 28-70/2.8 G
Minolta 28/2.8
Minolta 135/2.8
Minolta 100/2.8 (D) Macro
price paid:160 €
positive:Sharp.
Solid build.
Beautiful bokeh.
Constant aperture.
Cheap.
negative:Slightly slow focus.
comment:One of my favorite Minolta lenses. Always a pleasure to take photos with this as it fits so well in my hands and looks good too on a Minolta 5D! Produces sharp photos with lovely creamy bokeh and wonderful contrast. Acceptable sharpness even wide open. Focus is not blazingly fast but adequate for my needs but people doing birding or sports might find it to be slow for their needs. The build is top notch with the old Minolta all metal build quality. A little on the heavier side. My copy is only a few years younger than me but still functions without a hitch!

A steal when one considers their price on the used market. If you cannot afford the many times more expensive 80-200/ G or the 70-200 SSM then go for this. You will not be disappointed. I wasn't! I hope Sony will upgrade this and come out with a G version. Will definitely be a big hit.
reviewer#1950 date: Mar-11-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-85
50/1.7
28-105
price paid:150 EUR
positive:
missing
negative:AF-speed
Size and weight
CA's
comment:
missing
reviewer#1936 date: Mar-10-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:100 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness
Color
bokeh
negative:slow auto focus (better with a700)
comment:The sharpness of this lens is what impressed me the most. In low light situation the AF is slow but thanks to a dyxum member (sorry don't remember who) when used in continuous focus the lens is easier to use (but forget about re-composing after focus)

Tried this lens with a700 and it is faster and hunts a whole lot less.
reviewer#1929 date: Mar-8-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 75-300 (D)
price paid:150 usd
positive:Build Quality
Quick AF
Sharp
negative:None
comment:I have heard all about this lengendary lens the Beercan since i got my KM 5d and i wasn't sure what made it so good. I was selling something at a ebay retail store and someone had brought in an old box labeled camera's. So i opened it up and it was filled with minolta lens i spotted a 70-210 f4 box and i opened it up! It was brand new orignal manual in wrapper. I was in aww! The build quality was amazing and it felt right. We walked outside and i told him 150 and he okayed it. Great lens quick af. Sharp wide open and must have lens. Price has shot up lately due to sony but keep an eye out for a cheap one.
reviewer#1882 date: Feb-23-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 18-200
Minolta APO 100-300
price paid:$145ish USD (used)
positive:- Razor sharp
- Reasonably bright for the price and range
- Great color
- Great bokeh
negative:- Extremely pokey AF
- Heavy and long
comment:The beercan is everything they say it is: sharp, colorful, reasonably fast, built like a tank (the 4 on build above is a reflection of bulk, not build quality) and a bit of a burden, more due to length than weight. The length is the price paid for internal zooming. This lens takes an eternity to focus, but when it gets there the results are razor sharp. It's worth mentioning that the 100-300 APO easily rivals the IQ of the beercan, but it's not as fast nor as cheap. A great lens.
reviewer#1838 date: Feb-15-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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:70-210 F3.5-4.5
100-300 APO D
price paid:Ł80 (used)
positive:Sharp, superb build quality, colour, continuous F4, useful range, silky smooth zoom
negative:Weight, too long for some bags when attached to body.
comment:Looking for reviews of this lens led me to this site. I bought the lens as a result and will never let go of it again.
Build quality is superb- it feels 'right' as soon as you pick it up. Though testing it with a test strip shows it isn't quite as sharp as the 100-300 APO D, it produces results which appear just as sharp when I use it in the field, -the results on film are excellent. I think this is probably to do with its idiosynchratic rendition of colour, which I personally like very much.
You need a wheelbarrow to cart it around in, (it is too big for most camera bags when mounted with the hood on- I prefer to take it off when travelling to avoid its weight straining the mount)but it is worth the effort- I happily carry it around on my camera all day at race meetings. I don't find it hunts any more than the APO D 100-300- if anything,it hunts less. It may focus a little slower than some modern lenses on my D7, but focusses quickly and accurately on my D9 even in low light, possibly due to the D9 being a bit more butch in the motor and better able to cope with the beercan's weight. At the first race meeting I took it to out of about 250 shots all bar two were in perfect focus, and at least one of those was my fault...
reviewer#1826 date: Feb-13-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:99 USD
positive:Very sharp
Great saturation and contrast
negative:
missing
comment:Another vote for the beercan. I picked one up for $99 in excellent condition at a local photo store despite the recent price increases. I opted for the beercan over the 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 after finding several tests that showed while center sharpness between the two is about equal, the beercan is much sharper in the corners. No regrets over the increased size/weight (which is not that bad) - after my first set of pictures I am sold!
reviewer#1793 date: Feb-8-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 APO DG
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Cheap
Good color
Nice bokeh
Built like a tank
negative:CA and flare
As heavy as a tank :)
comment:Hard to believe this is such an old design...the results are outstanding. Very good color and the bokeh is very nice. The weight doesn't bother me because I am used to schlepping a a Tamron 200-500 around.

I am finding that my images are of better quality than my recently departed Sigma, but the Sigma controlled flare and CA/purple fringing better.

This will be a short termer for me until the new Sigma 70-200 2.8 is available, but I will enjoy every minute of its time in my bag.
reviewer#1782 date: Feb-7-2007
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:Minolta AF 70-210 F4.5-5.6 2634-110
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 II 2665-110, 2665-160
price paid:150 USD (used)
positive:Clarity.
Constant f/4.
Solid build.
negative:Heavy.
AF a bit slow on the far end.
comment:I love this lens. I didn't think that I would have great joy with this lens...because I bought it used and thought it may be too heavy for nature photography (birds).

I find the colors sharp with great bokeh. I have attached my Vivitar 2x teleconverter and although I lose 2 f-stops, the results produced with an f/8 are great.

I recommend this lens to anyone and it is much sharper and crisper than my AF 70-210 f/4.5-5.6
reviewer#1778 date: Feb-7-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:100/2, 135/2.8, 200/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Cheap, build and light compared to build
negative:Slow AF, soft wide open, rotating front, not so compact.
comment:Good (only?) alternetiv to heavy and expensive 70-200/2.8 zooms.
This is my slowest lens and I tend not to use it that much.
Results from it can be excellent, little soft wide open.

reviewer#1753 date: Feb-6-2007
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:Sigma 70-210/3.5-4.5 APO macro
price paid:100 EURO (used)
positive:Aperture of F4, color representation.
negative:Hunts at 210mm in low contrast situations, no present follow-up.
comment:The beercan, what can i say what isn't said before? ;-)
reviewer#1749 date: Feb-5-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-200, Phoenix 100mm macro, Sigma 30mm f 1.4.
price paid:200 USD
positive:Tremendous build quailty, very nice bokeh, can focus fairly closely, nice color, and good image quality.
negative:Heavy, AF isn't the fastest, tiny focusing ring, design of lens hood.
comment:This is a fun lens to use. Its become a nice choice for photographing larger flowers or for some light portrait work. It really is built like a tank. An amazingly solid feel you just don't get on most modern lenses. The color is nice and the out of field areas are rendered in a very pleasing way. The down side is that its a little big for a walk around lens, the focusing ring is tiny, and the AF is much slower than on most of my lenses. But you can't beat it for the price.
reviewer#1748 date: Feb-5-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:- sharp.
- very well built.
- fast AF.
negative:- maybe too heavy, but you can get used to it.
comment:My copy is sharp at all apertures, center to corner, and it has fast AF (less than 1 sec. - Is this fast? Maybe I'm wrong). No regrets at all.
reviewer#1697 date: Jan-25-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:
missing
price paid:Ł60 used
positive:Build quality
Constant f4
Sharpness
negative:They don't make them anymore
comment:Not really much to say that hasn't been said before. A legend. Built like a tank and renders crisp colourful results. Maybe a little slow on AF but hey, all things considered, that's a VERY small price to pay.

reviewer#1632 date: Jan-10-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:minolta 100mm f2
minolta 135mm f2.8
minolta 200mm f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:pretty good color and reasonable sharpness from f5.6 onwards
negative:- a bit soft wide open
- a lot of ca
- slow AF
- flare
comment:A pretty good all round lens , with good color and reasonable sharpness from f5.6 onwards. Sharpness cannot compare with a good prime. There is also too much CA on the a100. Still havnt used it much on the a100, I noticed the flare when using it on film. havnt really looked at the distortion either, so I just entered an average number.
reviewer#1614 date: Jan-4-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:189 USD (used)
positive:Constant f4 aperture
Very sharp in f8-f16 range
Beautiful bokeh
negative:A little soft at f4
Focus can hunt some in low light
Some CA in high contrast areas
comment:Beautiful lens, I have been very happy with mine. There is a little flare on into the light shots, but not really bad. Very little evidence of distortion. Good performance center and edge of frame (on APS sensor.)
I ran a test series (f4, f8, f18, f22 at 75mm, 130mm and 210mm, 100% crops)
Click here to view test.
For some real world sample shots, click here
reviewer#1607 date: Jan-3-2007
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300/4-5,6 DG
Minolta 75-300 (first gen)
price paid:110 €
positive:Very sharp
Nice colors
Good buildquality
Internal zoom
negative:Quite small focusring
Rotating front element
comment:I like this one better than the "big beercan" do to the constant f/4 and the sharpness. I highly recommend this lens, it's the best preformance/price I have.
reviewer#1605 date: Jan-2-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Rokkor Lenses (many)
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28-85 f3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm f4
price paid:100 USD exc. cond
positive: - magnficient color rendition
- sharp
- Internal focusing
- superb build quality
- Constant F4
- Excellent tele range on digital
- CHEAP, CHEAP, CHEAP!!!
- Excellent outdoor portrait lens
negative: - It "hunts" for a focus lock in low-light
- A bit flare-prone
- Manual focus ring too small
- miniscule purple fringing
comment:EDIT: 18Nov2008 After a few years of use, i still find this lens to be an excellent performer. There are faster lenses (i.e., usually they are the expensive f2.8 variants). There are sharper lenses (for more money of course). However, these caveats notwithstanding, this lens has permanently cemented it's place in my camera bag. Given my experience with this lens, i would buy another without hesitation.

INITIAL REVIEW:
These old lenses are a pleasure to use and while i don't use my 70-210mm's (the "beercan") everyday (almost though!), both of mine give beautiful, consistent results. Sharp, rich colors and contrasty images are the norm with them. These lenses also make for exceptional portrait lenses.

Incidently, one of 70-210's has some front element coating scratches and the other does not. The images from them look identical - even at 400% magnification.

The "beercan" feels like what ALL lenses should feel like - in a word - SOLID. They are reasonably sharp and have beautiful colors - neither overly saturated/rich or flat. As pertains to colors, the legend lives up to the name!!!

The out-of-focus exposure rendering is smooth/creamy with nice colors - ESPECIALLY when employed in outdoor/"natural light" portraiture. The constant F4 really helps to provide a nice background.

These lenses are not what i would call fast focusing. Not slow, but not fast and the MF ring is really a bit too small to use very well for quick-switches from AF to MF. Also, they "hunt" for a focus lock in lower light/contrast situations.

These lenses also do not have the truly magnificient attributes of Minolta G-Series or Sony Zeiss lenses such as constant f2.8 (or wider) aperture, FAST focusing, HUGE price tag, etc. Staying within the Minolta manufactured brand, the Minolta (now Sony) "G" lenses and the Sony Zeiss lenses are the obvious next step up.

IMHO, the Minolta CONSTANT F4 70-210mm (beercan) is the best "bang-for-your-buck" lens in the Minolta (now Sony) A-mount lens lineup.
reviewer#1602 date: Jan-1-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp.
Good Build.
Constant f4.
CHEAP!
negative:Some bad CA wide open.
Rotating front element.
comment:A great telezoom, the best choice if you don't have the money for a 2.8.
INTERNAL ZOOM! I love that, that's why it gets a 5 on build even though the front element rotates while focusing.
Not the best colors and contrast, but pretty good, can be fixed in PP.
CA on large apertures is quite bad.
reviewer#1585 date: Dec-28-2006
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70
Tamron 90/2.8 Macro
price paid:100 Euro (Used)
positive:Sharp
Built to last
negative:Some CA
Lousy MF ring
comment:First of all I love this lens! It is almost as sharp as my Macro and it is solid as a rock. It works very well with a 1.4 converter (CA can be a bit of a problem in pictures with much contrast) making it a very good telezoom with almost 1:2 magnification. Great for butterfly photography! Only wished it had a little better MF ring but considering what you pay for it it is a must have in every A-mount arsenal =)
reviewer#1577 date: Dec-27-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 18-70
Minolta 28-75D
price paid:$150 used
positive:Fast enough, great build, color, handling. Just a great lens for the money.
negative:Chromatic aberration can be severe in high contrast areas, focus is slow.
comment:Unless you're fortunate enough to have the 80-200 2.8 G, this should be in your camera bag. It's cheap, fast enough, and delivers. Unbeatable price/performance ratio.
reviewer#1569 date: Dec-24-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 200-400
KM 28-135
price paid:110 USD (used)
positive:sharp at all aperatures and focal lengths
constant f/4
beautiful colors
beautiful bokeh
built to last
negative:slow AF which hunts alot
big and heavy
Prone to CA
comment:This lens alone was a big reason why I bought a KM 5D. Last year I was purchasing my first SLR ever, and the quality and price of used KM glass was the best I thought. My camera budget is small, and this quality of focal range was going to cost several times what I paid for this lens in any other mount, same story with my KM 28-135. This lens may be old, slow focusing, and prone to CA, but it produces stunning images and that's what really counts. Prices have gone up since I bought mine but it's still a heck of a deal. Highly recommended.
reviewer#1567 date: Dec-24-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105/3,5-4,5
Minolta 35-70/4
Tamron 18-200 (Minolta A)
Sigma 70-210/4,5-5,6 (FD)
Danubia 135/2.8 (FD)
price paid:50 € (used)
positive:impressive sharpness
beautiful bokeh
built like a tank
design of classical beauty
the weight can be regarded to as positive
negative:chromatic aberrations
front lens turns while focusing
for some the weight might be negative
comment:A great lens. The price/quality-ralation is unbeatable! Its build is great. The high weight is for me, personally, a pro-argument.
Optically it's better than any of the above cited lenses. At 70mm better than the old, but very nice 35-70/4, which is, as far as I know, from the same first A-generation.
It's not by chance that Leitz, while collaborating with Minolta sold it as "Vario-Elmar R".
reviewer#1559 date: Dec-22-2006
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:90 USD
positive:Sharp even wide open
Low distortion
Color is excellent
Flare control is ok
negative:slow AF and may hunt a little when focus in darker situations or close to the subject.

Heavy
comment:No complian given that I paid so little for this Leica equivalent. This is one of must have legacy in the Minolta lens system. I will buy a 70-200/2.8SSM or 80-200 G HS soon. But I don't think I will let go my beercan...
reviewer#1517 date: Dec-7-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:- M 50/1.7, M 35/2, KM 17-35/2.8-4
price paid:130Euro (used)
positive:- very sharp
- colors
- price
negative:- very strong CA in some situations, very hard to recovery in post-processing
- autofocus not fast, sometimes hunts
comment:A very good lens, sharp even at maximum aperture. You can't have more for that price.
The major cons are the strong CA in high contrast photos (I have many ruined by this defect), that is very hard to correct in post-processing, and the autofocus that is not very fast, sometimes hunts.
When I'll have more money, I will buy a 70-200/2.8 (Minolta? Sigma?).
Recommended.
reviews found: 397    << 11 12 13 14 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 397
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53

to add your review
you need to login

Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania