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

reviews found: 391    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
reviewer#7661 date: Jul-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF24 f2.8
Sony AF50mm f1.4
Sony AF100mm f2.8 macro
Minolta AF28-85 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF28-135 f4-4.5
Minolta AF35-105 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF35-105 f3.5-4.5N
Tamron AF28-300mm XR f3.5-6.3
price paid:85.00USD
positive:f4 availability, all focal ranges
Renders lovely saturated colors and contrast
Nice bokeh
Great IQ
Is ideal FF companion to 28-135
Has a solid construction and balances well on FF
AF is sharp
Availability on e-bay
negative:CA in high contrast
Weightier than some comparable zooms
Not coated for glare. Don't shoot directly into sun unless you seek flare. Invest in a hood.
comment:Another gem of Minolta 1985 vintage, built with premium materials, the Minolta Maxxum AF70-210mm is a must-have lens for FF owners. First impression handling the Beercan was puzzling. I found the ribbed zoom grip ring movement and tension to be comparatively loose. Am convinced now that this is somewhat expected and not a problem at all. While it's not as positive a zoom movement as the 28-135, the Beercan's action may be a trait. This lens does not extend itself as other zooms, so it is not prone to go creeping out. I like it that it has this action. As with the best of these old Minoltas, you must appreciate the Beercan for what it is, even today, another well-crafted optical. It was built to last with good care. The range is a perfect complement for the 28-135. Its rich saturated colors are uniquely Maxxum. I use other lenses sharper than the 70-210, but these are primes, or in the case of the razor sharp AF100mm, a true macro. CAs appear in the images of the Beercan. For example, they are detected between strands of hair with contrasty back light. These anomalies can be handled nicely in post processing with Lightroom 3. The Beercan holds its own against the increasingly rare and uniquely stellar 28-135. The Beercan is not nearly as sharp in the corners and across the image at all focal lengths, not as versatile, but nevertheless, it remains the most sought-after lens with its cult-like following of bargain buying admirers. Their praises appear in preceding reviews and in many forums. As a user of vintage medium format film cameras, I can say that these 1985 era lenses produce lovely images on the full-frame DSLR. The Beercan is one of the essentials in my ideal array. This lens will stay in the ready bag along with the others listed above as one of my Minolta Maxxum keeper lenses.
reviewer#7660 date: Jul-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Solid build
Smaller than a f2.8 zoom
Great IQ for the price
negative:
missing
comment:This lens has stopped me from getting a 70-200 f2.8 so far. All my other lenses have been upgraded/swapped over the years such as my move to the Zeiss 24-70 and 85 but this one still stays. I rarely use it for low light work now (the 85mm does a fine job ) but its possible to get away with 'only' f4. It works great for the music festivals and outdoor events I cover where light isn't so much an issue.
reviewer#7658 date: Jul-4-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 18-70/3.5 - 5.6
MAF 35-70/3.5 - 4.5
MAF 24-50/4
Some m42 lenses (58/2, 135/3.5, 200/4)
price paid:Equiv. of 200 USD
positive:+ very sharp
+ very solid build
+ fantastic colours!
+ great contrast
+ very good IQ in all range (and especially on 210 mm, wich I use the most)
+ 55 mm filter (the same, as my other lens, 24-50/4)
+ does not change size, when zooming
negative:- maybe a little bit slow autofocus
- some CA, when shooting in specific situations
- there aren`t any more, for me! :)
comment:This lens is absolutely fantastic for me! All that comments, saying about the magic of the Beercan are really true - colors, contrast and sharpness are very good, and sometimes I haven`t got to make any larger corrections of colors and contrast of my shots.
This lens can give very impressive results, even at long end, which I use the most - all dragonflies in my posts at the damsel/dragonflies thread are made with Beercan at 210 mm.
Overall, I think, that the Beercan is one of lens, of wich Minolta should be very proud, and today, when You can get it for very nice price - it`s a fantastic choice, giving really lovely results :)
reviewer#7635 date: Jun-28-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:TAMRON 70-200 2.8
SONY 55-200
price paid:$138
positive:BOKEH
SHARPNESS
CONSTANT F4
negative:FLARE IN BRIGHT LIGHT
AF COULD BE FASTER (GETTING PICKY HERE)
comment:I WAS READY TO SELL THIS LENS, HAD NOT USED IT TO MUCH. THEN I TOOK IT SHOOTING ONE DAY AND WOW WAS I SURPRISED.
SHARP PICS WITH GREAT BOKEH. THE SONY IS NICE SHARP, AND CHEAP ALTERNATIVE. THE TAMRON IS A BEAST, BUT A GREAT LENS. THIS LENS IS HARD TO FIND A FAULT ON ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING MY INVESTMENT AMOUNT. I THINK ITS BOKEH IS BETTER THAN THE SONY BUT IT IS BIGGER. I THINK ITS COLOR IS BETTER THAN THE TAMRON AND IT IS SMALLER. I WILL NOW BE KEEPING IT FOR SURE.HARD TO SAY ANYTHING HERE THAT HAS NOT BEEN SAID BEFORE ABOUT THIS LENS. GREAT VALUE FOR SURE
reviewer#7582 date: Jun-17-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:55-200,100-300xi
Sigma 70-200 2.8
price paid:150
positive:Build quality, bokeh, sharp, great colors
fast A/F fixed f/4 on A700
For the price of this lens you can't go wrong with it.
negative:Bad CA
comment:I bought this lens based on all the reviews on Dyxum as well as other sites. I was intrigued that a lens of aproxx. 25 years old was so popular.This lens will not dissapoint you. You get alot for your money
reviewer#7581 date: Jun-17-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Minolta - AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6
Sigma - 135-400 F4.5-5.6 APO Aspherical
Minolta - AF 100-200 F4.5
price paid:120 GBP
positive:Sharpness
Colour
Build quality
negative:Bad chromatic aberration in high contrast situations
comment:I got a copy of this on ebay that had a small scratch on the centre of the front element which the seller kept quiet about.

I think the scratch deterred me from using it seriously for sometime and initial tests indoors left me unimpressed. However, once used outdoors I was blown away by the sharpness and the colours. I have not noticed any detrimental effects of the scratch by the way.
reviewer#7578 date: Jun-17-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:107GBP
positive:Sharpness
Colour
Contrast
Build
Smooth internal zoom
negative:Auto focus tendency to hunt & slightly noisy. Rotating front lens.
comment:Managed to pick one up in absolute mint condition c/w original end caps & lens-hood. So far am unable to find fault with it. No visible CA and appears to be sharp at all zoom levels & apertures. Am well pleased!!!
reviewer#7490 date: May-26-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-135
35-105 org.
70-210 F/3.5 - F/4.5
Big beercan
75-300 'new'
135mm prime
price paid:85 euro
positive:legend lens.
F/4.
Sharp wide open.
Even sharper stopped down.
Build quality.
negative:Prone to flare at direct sun.
comment:Another must have next to the 50mm prime. Well deserved legend status and looking very sexy on a 7D body. Already sharp wide open and even better stopped down a stop. Lacks some micro detail compared to my 135mm prime. The IQ and bokeh are excellent. I had several samples which were all comparable in sharpness and IQ. Won't rate the sharpness a 5 since I expect the 80-200 and 70-200G to be sharper.
reviewer#7327 date: Apr-21-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:255 US
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:Amazing lens!
reviewer#7323 date: Apr-21-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:All others in the same range group..
price paid:325 USD
positive:Sharpness
Excellent Minolta Color
Built Like a Tank
Attractive Bokeh
Constant F/4 Aperture
Smooth Autofocus
negative:Weight
Price
comment:I was able to buy a like new copy of this lens. I paid a premium on the price, but it was worth it to get one without any wear and tear. It handles like it should and the resulting pictures are crisp and eye poppingly sharp. It is quite heavy compared to lenses with plastic builds, but it is not as heavy as some other telephoto zoom lenses in this range.
If you are going to buy this lens, make sure you buy one in excellent condition. From my experiences with other beercans, the picture quality really depends on the condition of the lens. Do not settle for anything less than perfect!
reviewer#7298 date: Apr-16-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
Tamron 55-200
Sony 18-250
Sigma 28-200
Sigma 70-300 Apo DG
Sigma 70-300 Non Apo
Sigma 28-300
price paid:100 GBP
positive:Sharpness
Build Quality
Constant F4
Bokeh
Image Quality
Natural colours

negative:Sony don't make a new version.
comment:Many moan about the weight and a lot moan about the focussing speed, weight; here’s a revelation; it’s made of metal, not cheap plastic and even though mine’s about 20 years old, it’ll still be here in 20 years time, can anyone say the same of the latest Sigma APO DG ?. Focussing Speed; on an A500 it’s miles faster than both the 70-300 Sigma Apo & 70-300 Tamron & does’nt hunt anywhere near the amount they do either.

Image quality is in a totally different league, bokeh is smooth & creamy, colours are natural and as for sharpness, my beercan is far sharper than any of the cheap lightweight plastic lens I’ve used up till now, (f5 is way sharper than f8 on my Tamron).

Here’s my run down on the 5 zooms I’ve had thus far;

Sigma 70-300 Apo great value & good IQ, but cheap parts means it’ll last weeks on decent camera (mine lasted just 2 weeks on an A500 before the Camera stripped the gears).

Sigma 70-300 Non Apo, cheap and not very cheerful.

Tamron 70-300, excellent value (got mine for Ł99 from Jessops), good macro, looks gr8, very good IQ when stopped down (f/5.6 – F/9), long end not great.

Tamron 55-200, excellent value & image quality, shooting way above it’s price range.

Minolta Beercan; constant F4, smooth bokeh, excellent IQ, very sharp @ F/5.6 natural colours, only Ł100-Ł150, no lens creep & silky smooth operation.

How long have I had my Beercan ?, A day and with the exception of the Sony 18-250 it makes all the others look stupid, overpriced, & lightweight plastic has beens.

Put a Ł100 beercan up against a brand new sigma apo (Ł170+) & it won't even be close, A new version would cost nigh on a grand, got one yet ?.
reviewer#7221 date: Apr-1-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135 F4-4.5
Tamron 55-200 F4-5.6 (APS-C)
Sony 70-300 G
CZ 85 F1.4
Sony 100 F2.8 Macro
Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 135 F2.8
price paid:GBP 110 I think
positive:+ As sharp as 70-300 G, sharper than 100-300 APO
+ Great colour
+ Great bokeh
+ Works well with Kenko Pro 300 1.4x TC
+ High availability used, and still a bargain
negative:- CA
- Soft wide open F4 (but usable and improves tremendously by F5
- Slow AF
comment:I think I got lucky and my copy of the beercan is sharper than average. Anyway, I sold my 100-300 APO as the beercan was sharper and had better bokeh. I tested this lens vs a 70-300 G, took about 50 shots with both lenses and realised the only real advantage of 70-300 was in the 210-300mm range :-)

Impressive full frame performance.
Images have a similar look to 28-135.
reviewer#7217 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:Sigma 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO
SAL 70-300mm SSM G
Sigma 70-300mm APO DG Macro (red ring)
Tamron 55-200mm Di-II LD
Sigma 55-200mm DC
Sigma 24-70mm F/2.8 EX DG
price paid:£24.50 (used)
positive:Build
Smooth Bokeh
Constant F4
Weight
Classic Minolta Colours
IQ
negative:How much better could this lens be if Sony re-introduced it with 21st century technology and optics akin to the SAL50F18?
comment:Having bought this lens, I was sceptical about the reviews and ratings but all that changed after using it for the first time.

Weight is featherlight compared to Sigma AF 100-300mm F4 EX DG (IF) APO, so I don't understand why it's reported negatively as it's not 'heavy' at all by comparison. It's not plastic people . . . it's made of metal and glass, get over it!

It does what it says on the tin very nicely with smooth bokeh, classic Minolta colours and great IQ. Tactile feel of the lens is nice as you can feel the quality of build.

Though I don't use it extensively, it's an absolute joy to use and I can now understand it's following. If you can bag one of these at an affordable price, the investment is well worth it. Not much of a 'review', but one of those gems much like the revered Minolta AF 50mm F/1.7, though with the introduction of the SAL50F18 prices for that lens have begun to plummet.
reviewer#7216 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
Tamron 55-200
Minolta 100-300xi
Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:Ł90
positive:Beautiful
Built like a tank
Nice colours
Handles well
Doesnt change length when zooming
negative:noticable CA
not always sharp, particularly at 210mm
A bit too heavy
A bit too long
comment:In these days of plastic, throwaway lenses, the beercan is a wonder to behold, but I am not sure it lives up to its awesome reputation. Firstly, I was shocked by the purple fringing compared to the others. Secondly, it is not as sharp as the Tamrons, particularly the 55-200. Thirdly, it is much bigger and heavier than all the others. Fourthly, it is limmited in its range. Ok, it is easily the best built and best looking and the fastest, but I think it is showing its age now. Maybe one for the purist or collector, but not for me, and it will have to go, reluctantly.
reviewer#7200 date: Mar-30-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300, CZ 16-80, Minolta 35-70, Sigma 55-200
price paid:Ł32 and Ł160
positive:Solid Build, Really nice Bokeh, Sharp (even at f4), accurate AF
negative:A little heavy, Mid-slow AF, Focus ring rotates when focusing,
comment:I have two copies of this lens, both are very good clean examples. I have used them in varied light and situations and been extremely pleased with the results.

Although it is a fairly heavy lens, the build quality is superb and it feels right in the hand. The large focus rubber enables you to easily use then lens with gloves on in cold weather.

I would recommend the beercan to anyone.
reviewer#7199 date: Mar-30-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 D
Sony - AF DT 55-200 F4-5.6
Many others, and M42 lenses
price paid:160 USD (used)
positive:Sharp, great bokeh, F4, classic Minolta color, internal zoom
negative:Slow focus, front turns with focus
comment:I have been very happy with the Minolta 75-300 covering this range, but I wanted to see if there is anything to the Beercan legend... there sort-of is.

The build is actually slightly inferior to my 75-300, but it zooms internally and is thus better sealed, so it is still a 5 overall. Internal zoom makes it a tad larger to carry; it isn't heavy by M42 lens standards. Focus is slow, but seems reliable. However, the IQ suits the legend, even at F4, with sharpness, very nice bokeh, and Minolta color. Sharpness notably improves on stopping down a little, with f/5-f/5.6 bringing it very close to the 14MP sensor resolution limit. Unlike other reviewers, I have not yet seen problematic CA... but I am using it on APS-C, not full frame.

An update: on 24MP APS-C, the beercan is a little soft. However, on 24MP FF, it's very nice -- even wide open.

Bottom line: for what I paid for a clean copy with the hood and shipping, this has no AF peers. However, that is largely because it is a usable F4. My 75-300 starts at F4.5 and becomes F5.6 early, and it is not quite as good, especially at 300mm. However, it does go to 300mm, so I will keep it. The 55-200 has only size in its favor, and that's not really enough.
reviewer#7175 date: Mar-28-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 75-300mm kit lense
Maxxum 75-300mm "big beercan"
price paid:160 CAD
positive:solid build
smooth focus/zoom
good colours
negative:weight
CA
bit slow
comment:SOlid lense. Have a lot of CA on this one. Weight for some reason dictates that MLU needs to be used on an A850 even if used on a tripod with remote trigger.
reviewer#7155 date: Mar-25-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-200 f4.5
Minolta 75-300
price paid:Ł180 GBP (used)
positive:Great build quality
Sharp
F4
Stunning picture
negative:quite big and heavy
comment:One of my favourite lenses. I got a good one and it produces beautiful results. Technically it may not be perfect but the pictures speak for themselves. Colours, depth and richness is just lovely. The only downside is that this is a big, heavy lens compared with plastic modern APS-C lenses around but not compared to something like the the Canon 70-200 F4.
reviewer#7003 date: Mar-5-2010
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:-heavy
comment:
missing
reviewer#6999 date: Mar-5-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kitlens
70-210 kitlens
Big beercan
100-200 F4.5
55-200mm SAM
price paid:110GBP
positive:Sharp at F5.6
Very sharp at F8
build
design
very smooth zoom
F4
negative:A bit heavy on both 5D and A700
Not as contrasty as 16-105
comment:Once i removed the uv-filter that was stuck the lens really delivered. It's amazingly sharp at F8 from wide all the way to tele and ok sharp at F5.6. F4 can be bit soft. I love how it looks and feels. It's much sharper than my big beercan which needs to be stopped down to F8 for the same sharpness as F4 on the beercan. Highly recommended.

"Edited": It's sharp but I must say it gets a bit heavy on the long run. I replaced it with the 100-200, wich was way more portable, but not nearly as sharp. The beercan was much sharper up to F6.7 and just a tad sharper at F8. I then got the 55-200 SAM which is at least as sharp as the beercan, and below F6.7 actually sharper with next to no CA and it weighs nothing compared to the beercan. It's still a beautyfull lens though. It's still recommended, but try the SAM too.
reviewer#6865 date: Feb-4-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł101
positive:F/4.0
Sturdy (VERY)
Classic looks
Captures great colours
negative:Bit weighty
Bit long
comment:just paid Ł101 for one of these (on ebay.co.uk) in mint condition with with caps and the hood...to say that i'm happy is an extreme understatement.
love the colour that this lens produces.
reviewer#6844 date: Jan-28-2010
sharpness: 2
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 1
overall: 2.6
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:Sony 50 1.4
Tamron 17-50 2.8
price paid:150€ mint
positive:f4, very solid, very nice bokeh.
negative:Big and heavy. Sharpness falls a lot in longer focals (f4 "real", but 210 mm not so real). AF very slow, heavy problems with CA. Focus ring is a disaster, and it moves during AF.
comment:It´s big and heavy for its quality. f4 is good at 70 mm, 100... but sharpness is very, very low in the longer focals. Focus ring and CA control really bad. AF very sure, and veeery slow too. I like its soft bokeh.

Good quality and luminous for the price, but the "beercan legend" is too big in my opinion.
reviewer#6826 date: Jan-26-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200-2 (SAM)
Minolta 100-300 APO D
Minolta 75-300 (Big Beercan)
price paid:L135
positive:Build
Sharpness
Colour
negative:Weight
PF at larger apertures
comment:Lovely lens but needs hood to minimise flare.

Both of my beercans have been relegated to occasional use mainly due to portability issues. I tested this and the three lenses above and IQ was virtually identical upwards of f7.1. Below this aperture PF becomes noticeable on this and the big beercan.

Prices appear to be falling for this lens and a good copy under £100 is still a good investment.
reviewer#6817 date: Jan-24-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-200mm f4.5
Tokina 24-200mm f3.5-5.6
Sony 55-200mm SAM
price paid:120 USD (used)
positive:Build (excellent)
Image color
Bokeh
negative:Build (too long)
CA
Sharpness only mediocre compared to the 100-200mm
comment:I love the build of this lens. I have a like-new copy with hood, and its looks and feels great. I don't find the weight an issue, but the length of the lens makes it a little awkward.

This lens is a dream to use with a great range and a wide aperture. It has the same tank-like build of the Tokina, but much superior image quality. The bokeh is the best of any consumer lens you would be able to find, but then again, so is the 100-200mm.

My copy is a little soft at 210mm and max aperture, and has a fair amount of CA, but nothing that would ruin a print. The 100-200mm beats it in both sharpness and CA.

I tend to test these lenses at max aperture because why else would you want a f4 lens vs a f5.6 lens??

UPDATE 11 June 2011: I recently obtained the Sony 55-200mm SAM, and it beats the Beercan in every aspect that matters to me. The build and internal focusing of the Beercan are great qualities, but contribute nothing to image quality. Therefore, I'll be reluctantly selling the Beercan.
reviewer#6814 date: Jan-23-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina SD AF 70-210
price paid:80 CHF (used)
positive:Price
Color
Bokeh
negative:Slow AF
Heavy
comment:Got my lense really cheap (75$) So I should not crticise. It was my first Tele Lense, i bought it just after having bought my Camera with the Kit Lense.
I heard about it, but I did not knew so much about it. I got it from someone who used it with his Minolta camera for some 20ish years.
I used It for some days, then I started to realise what deal I got.

I like this lense, because of the f4, i use it a lot outside, so it is bright enough, i like the bokeh. It is lots better than the Kit lense I have. Unfortunately the AF is slow and really loud! (Probably it is just my copy, due to the age)
reviewer#6770 date: Jan-18-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 75-300
sony 75-300
Sony 70-300G
Minolta 100-200
price paid:$120 Canadian
positive:Very sharp from 5.6 on
great color
great bokeh at long end
constant aperture
negative:heavy and tad awkward because of length
a hair soft at f4 but still very usable

comment:I went through 7 copies of this lens, and can honestly say that I now own a perfect one. It has perfect focus on my a300, and this copy seems to have next to no CA or purple fringing. A few of the 7 copies I had were horrible in this regard. Sharpness seemed to vary a bit between copies as well, especially at or near wide open. This copy is as sharp at 5.6 as many of the copies I had were at f8-f11.
Color is excellent, and at the long end for zoomed in close-ups the bokeh is terrific. Search for a good copy as it can be a terrific find, it may require some buy and selling it it will be well worth it in the long run. I was so happy with this copy I sold my 70-300G as i could no longer justify it.
reviewer#6738 date: Jan-13-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
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:- SAL 55-200mm
- SAL 75-300mm
price paid:
missing
positive:- Constant F/4
- Internal zoom
- Sharp (mostly)
- Should work with the "paired" 2x TC, and is fast enough for AF to work
negative:- Nasty CA
- Flare, at least if you don't have the (somewhat hard to find) hood
- Bulkier than modern alternatives
- Filter ring rotates on focus
- Overpriced
comment:On my A200 it's pretty sharp at f/4, though it can't quite keep up with the 10 MP sensor; stopping down to f/5.6 helps, especially at 210mm where it's at its softest. Sharpness is similar to the SAL 55-200mm f4-5.6.

"Bokeh" looks OK. Nothing magic, but F/4 at 210mm gives a pretty shallow DoF so you can coax a bit more blur from this than with slower lenses. Otherwise it's mostly comparable to the SAL 55-200m (though the latter has a circular aperture for round OOF highlights). Colors are similar to other Minolta lenses of that era.

CA is bad on the long end in high contrast shots, as bad at 210mm as the 75-300mm is at 300mm. Stopping down to F/8 or so helps somewhat but you can't get rid of it all. Plan to fix this in PP if you're cropping such an image, although small prints should be fine.

Flare is troublesome, but I don't have the hood so I'm uncertain how to rate it.*

My copy has clearly been around the block a few times, and my manual focus ring is not very smooth or well dampened. Manual focus feels (and autofocus sounds) rather "grindy." I'm unclear whether this is just a problem with my copy, so I'm not penalizing the score.

Bottom line is this: do you need a constant f/4 zoom that gets you to 210mm? If so, this is one of the few options out there. If you can handle f/5.6 on the 200mm side, then I think modern entry level SAL zooms (55-200mm or 75-300mm, depending on your range preference) are better (and, oddly, cheaper) options.

* If you buy this lens, be sure to note whether it includes the hood or not and value it accordingly. You'll have a lot of trouble finding a replacement if you don't get one with it.
reviewer#6687 date: Jan-5-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 55-200mm f/4-5.6
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8
Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5
Minolta 80-200mm f/2.8 HS G
Sony 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SSM G
Sony 70-400mm f/4-5.6 SSM G
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:* Solid build
* No extension while zooming
* Classic Minolta colors
* Constant aperture
* Full-frame compatible
negative:* Soft wide open with chromatic aberrations
* Heavy
comment:I love this lens. The focal range is great, long enough to be a meaningful zoom but not so long as to be unusable hand-held. Though image quality isn't great at f/4, I've taken plenty of great shots at f/4.5 or f/5. Colors are fantastic, with nice tones and saturation. Given how cheap and common this lens is on the used market, it's a very nice alternative to the Sony 55-200mm f/4-5.6.

Though I have picked up "nicer" glass since buying this lens, the Beercan has a certain look to its shots that I just can't describe. For that reason, it still finds its way into my bag from time to time.
reviewer#6674 date: Jan-3-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Big Beercan
Minolta 135 AF 2.8
Minolta 35-105 old
Jupiter 21M (M42 200mm f4.0)
Jupiter 37A (M42 135mm f3.5)
price paid:120€
positive:internal zoomin mecanism
Sharpness is OK at 70
constant f4.0
slow AF in low ligh
negative:my 2 copy of this zoom are not very sharp particularly at the long end.
comment:This lens is a legend. It is really a beautifull object.
But I have been disapointed with my first copy which was certainly faulty. So I purchased a second one in mint conditions.
The results were goods but not as I could expect considering the hype there is on this zoom. The constant f4.0 is a nice feature, but for low ligh or DOF management I prefer the minolta 135 2.8
The sharpness is not as good as with the minolta 35-105 old (same era)
The big beercan is better also
I compared it with a few M 42 lenses particularly the jupiter 21M wich is a 200mm f4.0 prime mf lens. The J21M is far better in all aspects (color, sharpness, 3D effect bokey). I think it would be intersting to compare it with the tamron 55-200
reviewer#6645 date: Dec-26-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:24-70z
50/1.4
17-80kit
canon 70-200/4 L IS
price paid:180
positive:great color
great bokeh
solid build
negative:heavy
rotating filter
soft at f4 but sharpens up
comment:Great lens for the price sub 200 dollars. It is not the sharpest lens, and theres a bit of CA and flaring but nothing horribly bad. Stopped down it is sharp and with great colors to boot. Probably has the best bokeh out of all the lenses I have.

But it does show its age. When compared to the canon 70-200/4 IS, AF is slower (could be due to a200 vs 40d), and sharp wide open is significantly worst. Tho, I personally like beercan colors more then the canon.
reviews found: 391    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 391
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.79
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53

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