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

reviews found: 396    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
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; 61MP61 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; 61MP61 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; 61MP61 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; 61MP61 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; 61MP61 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.
reviewer#6644 date: Dec-26-2009
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:kitlens A200
price paid:150 USD (used)
positive:- sharp focus
- fast autofocusing in daylight
- nice colors
- nice bokeh
- constant F/4.0 is good
negative:- slow autofocusing in a low-light condition
- quite heavy
- chromatic aberration
comment:This is a very good lens for you to try, maybe for a beginner. I love the bokeh very much. It's quite heavy and big too. The built is good, sturdy. Chromatic aberration is a problem. If you can get this lens for a cheap, go for it, you won't regret.
reviewer#6637 date: Dec-25-2009
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:55-200 mm f4.5-5.6
17-50 mm f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:1) very good color
2) contrast and saturation also very good control
3) f4 from 70-210mm
4) sharp
negative:1) focusing a bit slow
2) heavy
comment:this is consider very good lens...
excellent build up quality...
very nice and natural color produce...
can use it for full frame and aps-c...
good for portraits also..
high recommended...
reviewer#6628 date: Dec-24-2009
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:sony kit 18-70
price paid:180 USD
positive:solid built
excellent for portrait/close-up
internal zoom
focus window indicator
negative:heavy
soft, CA at full length
comment:this is my first tele-lens also my first 'other' lens!
perfectly complements the kit lens in focal length, although i want longer zoom (big beercan) but after reading some review and price consideration i finally pick this.
i'm a bit shocked about the pictures i've taken at full length, it's quite bad! very soft, and CA is annoying. but well, maybe i'm just new to photography world.
it shows excellent result taking some portraits/close-ups.
bright color, nice sharpness (just to remind, definitely not at 210mm)

reviewer#6468 date: Nov-26-2009
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:
missing
price paid:10 USD most recent
positive:Build
colors
build
range
build
negative:None
comment:I have owned a beercan or two since they came out back in 1985. It is a great lens that has a decent zoom range and my copies have been tack sharp. Taken photos with Maxxum 5000, 7000, 8000i bodies as well as a Sony a-200 body. focus is slightly quicker on the digital body than the film bodies. It can get a bit heavy to carry around all day, but the quality makes it seem a small trade off.
reviewer#6286 date: Oct-28-2009
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:Minolta 100-300 4.5-5.6 xi
Minolta 80-200 2.8
Sony 70-300 G 4.5-5.6
price paid:179 USD
positive:f4 throughout range
Internal focusing
all-metal build
Colours are typical Minolta: beautiful
Bokeh is gorgeous
negative:Hunts a little in low light
Noisy auto focus
comment:This was my first tele-zoom and well worth the money. If you can find a decent copy of this classic Minolta lens, snatch it up. You won't regret it. Much more useful than the new Sony 70-300 G 4.5-5.6. The constant f4 will help you in low-light situations.

Sure, it's a tad noisy in auto-focus mode, but for one quarter the price of the Sony with it's fancy SSM, you're getting a solid, all-metal built lens.

I've shot some truly awesome concert photos with this lens back when I just got my a100 and it really shines outdoors as well, shooting sports. Decent for portraits as well. All-round most useful zoom. Especially for the price. Did I mention the bokeh is gorgeous?
reviewer#6222 date: Oct-14-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:Sigma 70-300 APO
Min 135/2.8
price paid:160 USD
positive:-Built like a tank
-Sharp
-Internal zoom (see below)
-Constant f/4
negative:-Can become heavy after a while
-CA !!!
-Internal Zoom (see below)
-Rotating Filter
comment:Got this used from a Dyxum member, to replace my busted-AF Sigma 70-300 APO.

Range is a little short, I miss the extra 90mm sometimes, but the constant aperture is really nice, and it's sharp enough wide open.

Internal zoom is a 2 sided blade... I like the fact that it does not extend when zooming-in, but it makes for a pretty bulky lens that BARELY fits in my bag. Build is amazingly solid, all metal, which makes for a pretty heavy lens to carry around all day.

AF is rather slow, but still acceptable in good light.

A nice lens to use, operation is buttery smooth, IQ is good and built can't be beat !

reviewer#6193 date: Oct-7-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-Sigma 70-300mm APO
-Big beercan
price paid:$50.00 USD
positive:-Great color
-Great build quality
-Zoom doesn't extend lens
negative:-A bit bulky
comment:
missing
reviewer#6161 date: Oct-2-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 55-200/4-5.6
Tamron 70-200/2.8
Minolta 100-300/4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 75-300/4.5-5.6 *New*
price paid:$110 USD with 50/1.7
positive:Solid feeling
Constant f/4 aperture
Accurate AF, very little hunting
Sexy looking
negative:Bad focus ring design (see comments)
210mm is soft
comment:I am judging this lens on the fact that it is just a lens, and I won't let the legend of the Beercan influence me.
Sharpness I would rate a 4, because it is a 5 between 70mm and 135mm, falls off to a 4 at 150mm, and falls to a 3 at 210mm. It is wonderful at f/8 for the entire range of the lens, but it seems to me that the sharpness at infinity never got to be as sharp as the 100-300APO. F/4 is nice to use at a MLB baseball game, but using it at 210mm was not an option, I had to stop down to f/5.6 and ISO1600 for a night game, and there was still plenty of purple fringing on the numbers and names of players.
My pet peeves about the build of the lens:
The focus ring travels with the front element. That is the weirdest thing to me. I have never encountered that on another lens, so it's just weird. The snap on lens hood is just weird too, because it isn't the most secure and seems like the clips could break easily. Aside from those flaws, the build is great. You know you are holding a solid lens the moment you touch it. There is NO zoom creep, and it's amazing how smooth the zoom ring operates. The rear element stays put during zooming action, so there's less of a chance of dust being brought into the lens.
I know I will be shunned for making this comment, but I wish the colors were more true to the actual scene, instead of the Minolta colors. You can definitely see a difference in color when looking through this lens, and it's the only lens of mine where it was a pronounced difference.

I prefer using the Sony 55-200 over the Beercan because of the 55mm end, and the Sony carries f/4.5 deep into the focal range (to about 150mm). And when absolute sharpness and speed is needed, the Tamron 70-200/2.8 is up to the task.
reviewer#6111 date: Sep-23-2009
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:Big Beercan.
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast AF. Good picture quality and great color.
negative:Heavy, I can never get this thing steady without a tripod.
comment:
missing
reviewer#6060 date: Sep-16-2009
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:Minolta 135mm F2.8
Minolta 28-135mm
price paid:50 USD
positive:Sharp
Great color
Solid build
Bokeh
negative:A touch of CA on occasion
comment:I purchased this lens at a steep discount because it has a bit of fungus inside the front element. Despite this, its been a great lens, very sharp with great Minolta color. This is my go-to lens at sporting events, or with the dogs at the beach. The AF is pretty fast once oriented, and generally pretty accurate on my A300. The build is amazing. My girlfriend dropped it from 5 feet and, despite my horror, it was unaffected! This is the best telephoto lens in that focal range that I can afford and I'm very content with it.
reviewer#6048 date: Sep-14-2009
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:Minolta AF100-400
Minolta AF100-200
Minolta AF28-135
Sigma AF70-300APO
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp within its limits
Excellent saturated colours
Constant F4
Nice bokeh
negative:Heavy and large lens
Slow autofocus
comment:A fine lens - however, current prices reflect the hype around this lens to an extend that is not really justified.

None the less especially the colours are very nice and well saturated meaning that close-up shots (isolating a person or an object in front of the background) always looks very appealing to the eye.

Used as telelens at long focus distances e.g. at infinity it's nothing "special" - it's okay, but not excellent.
The main advantage is seen at relative close focus distance with a lot of bokeh out of focus (low depth of image) - this is what this lens is excellent for.
reviewer#6025 date: Sep-10-2009
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 135mm f/2.8, Tamron 90mm f/2.8 1:1, Minolta 100-300mm xi, Sigma 70-300mm DL
price paid:80 USD (consigment)
positive:Nice bokeh, beautiful colors, sharp detail for zoom lens, built like a tank
negative:Heavy
comment:Colors and bokeh produced by this lens are beautifil. Detail sharpness is good from f/4 up to f/22.
Of course, detail is not as good as prime lenses produce, but as good as zomm lens can go. If you find good copy, colros, f/4-5.6 bokeh quality at 210mm end, will please you big way. For reasonable pice this lens is worth of buying.
reviewer#6019 date: Sep-9-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 kit lens
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28mm f2.8
price paid:128 GBP (used)
positive:- f4 all the way through
- Tank like construction
- Pretty sharp all the way through
- Great range for APS-C sensors
negative:- some chromatic aberration (red/cyan)
- Fairly slow AF
- Really quite heavy
comment:Well for the price you can get it for it really is extremely good. It can be amazingly sharp at f4, but other days the AF won't quite do it justice and it'll sit there hunting for ages. I generally stop it down to around f7 to keep it as constantly sharp as possible. The weight really does ruin any chance of balance on the grip of my a300. Hopefully that'll change as I upgrade bodies.

All that said, I love it...
reviewer#6009 date: Sep-7-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:tamron 28-300 xr ld
minolta 18-70
minolta 28-80
(on canon) kit 55-200?
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp all the way through
constant apeture good
build
satisfying weight
sharper than the tamron 28-300
negative:slow af
filter rotates when focusing
comment:I miss my beercan, I might be the only person who has had one fall apart.

I got it for $150 au some years back so it was cheap

I found it to be a great portrait lens. and much sharper than the tamron I replaced it with.

Af was pointles on my old 404si but not so bad when i got it on my 5d.

One day I may own one again.
reviewer#5957 date: Sep-2-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 100-300mm f/4.5-5.6 APO
- Sony 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 SSM G
- Sony 75-300mm f/4.5-5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:- built like a tank
- f/4 all the way
negative:- chromatic aberration
- mediocre AF speed
- a tad soft wide open, stop down for max resolution
comment:What a beautiful piece of equipment built by Minolta in the 80's! A major step-up from the 75-300/4.5-5.6 kit lens, imo the beercan is even better than the Minolta 100-300/4.5-5.6 APO which by itself is a nice piece of glass. But both are outpaced by the 70-300/4.5-5.6 SSM G now.

Pity, no modern equivalent from Sony so far.
reviewer#5941 date: Aug-30-2009
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:Tokina 19-35
M35-105
M50/1.7
M135/2.8
Sigma 105Macro
M28-85
Vivitar Series1 105/2.5
Sony 75-300
price paid:239 USD
positive:Sharp
Colors
Fixed Aperature
negative:Heavy
Slow
comment:Wow! Stopped down to f5 this lens becomes a marvelous tool for taking lovely photos.
Yes its heavy, but so what. I wish the focus was faster but i bought this for the lovely colors, bokeh & sharpness. & they are all there. I have had no problems with flare but i do use the hood always.
reviewer#5765 date: Jul-27-2009
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:Minolta 80-200/2.8HSG
Mini Beercan
Sigma 70-300DL macro
price paid:240AU (used)
positive:Fairly sharp
Built solidly
negative:Some CA at long end
comment:I still own this lens, so thought I would do a review.

If you can get one cheap, its well worth it, better than kit lenses. I would say its sharper than the Mini Beercan but not sharper than the 80-200/2.8HSG. Much sharper than the Sigma 70-300DL macro. Softens a touch as it gets closer to 210mm.

Can suffer from a bit of flare and CA with strong lighting, but generally the colours it produces are very good.

It seems to be built well and I have found it to be reliable.

If you ask would I buy the beercan or the new 70-300G, I would say buy the 70-300g if you can afford it, otherwise get the beercan if on a budget.
reviewer#5747 date: Jul-23-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:16/105 - 50f1.7 - 100/200 - 75/300New
price paid:128 €uro - 156 €euro
positive:Colore - Contrasto - Costruzione - AF abbastanza veloce considerando l'etŕ
negative:A f.4 non offre il meglio - Aberrazione cromatica a tutte le focali - Peso - Ingombro
comment:Ok!! la fidelizzazione e l'amore per Minolta (tanto di cappello e oso anche inchinarmi), Ok!! il fatto di prendere un F.4 a buon prezzo ma francamente con un comunissimo 55-200 di Sony o Tamron si ottiene la stessa resa senza il problema del peso e dell'aberrazione cromatica (bordi viola). Avere un F.4 che non offre la migliore resa a quel diaframma equivale a rinunciarci, anche perche con le nuove fotocamere tipo la mia Alpha700 uno stop di diaframma mancante fa solo ridere se coniugato anche all'antivibrazione. I fedelissimi del marchio avranno tanto da ridire su quanto affermo ma all'atto pratico e senza troppe pippe mentali la realtŕ corrisponde a quanto descritto sopra.
reviewer#5735 date: Jul-20-2009
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:Tamron 17-50, Sony 70-300G, Minolta 80-200G APO,
Tamron 11-18
price paid:
missing
positive:sharp, nice color, creamy bokeh
negative:focus not so fast
comment:I use this lens a lot for portrets. There is just something special about it. I also take the beercan with me when I want to travel light and I don't want to carry the Minolta 80-200. I think I will never sell this lens.
reviewer#5720 date: Jul-18-2009
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:18-70mm Sony kit lens
28-135 4.0-4.5 Minolta beercan
50mm 1.7 Minolta
price paid:40.00 USD
positive:Very sharp photos, overall an real good lens
negative:heavy, hunts in low light
comment:I got this lens along with the 28-135 and 50mm for 40.00 USD at a pawn shop. All three lens were in mint condition. I thank God for getting such a great deal.
reviewer#5713 date: Jul-16-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 28-75 2.8 D
Minolta 50 1.7
price paid:100
positive:Bokeh is nice.
When everything works it makes very emocional images
negative:I think there are too few keepers with this lens.
Flare.
comment:I'm not sure if I got a bad version or not. But I get many blurred images with this lens - even at 70mm. Some seem fine, but not that sharp compared to images taken with the two others. The focus time is fine with my a300 - actually quite fast. I daren't use this lens for weddings since there are way too many misses. The two other lenses gets the job done with very few misses.
The feel can be quite magic - but the magic of the 50 1.7 is stronger :-)
KM 28-75 2.8 is just shaaarp and really fast.
Kinda dissapointed with the mighty beercan...
reviewer#5707 date: Jul-16-2009
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:Sony 55-200 4-5.6
KM 75-300 (big beercan)
price paid:165
positive:Fixed length!
Very sharp!
Constant aperture!
GREAT boken!
VERY well built!
negative:No Internal focusing.
Flare
comment:I love this lens! But now that I have a KM 75-300 Big Beercan it has seen a little less use(I do mostly birding.).
This lens is sharp from F5 up! Its sweet spot is F8(about as sharp as it gets!). I am what some people call a "pixel peeper". If the photo isnt sharp...I wont use it. Now that I have went from my sony 55-200 to this...I have alot more acceptable photo's! If you dont need the 300mm and your shooting in a lower lit enviroment then this is the lens to have! But for birding I find that my Big Beercan is just as sharp (I usually on shoot at F7.1-F9 when birding). But I LOVE the internal zoom! When im walking around...I have this lens and my 28-75 2.8 with me! This lens has never flared on me, But I also ALWAYS use the hood(even indoors).
reviewer#5704 date: Jul-15-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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:- Sigma 70-300 F4-5.6 Macro Super II
price paid:130 EUR on eBay
positive:- Built like a tank.
- Very sharp.
- Fantastic bokeh.
- Internal zoom.
- f4 all around.
negative:- Bulky & Heavy.
- Slow focus on my A100.
- Purple fringing on highlights.
comment:Ahhh the beercan, the lens that is so mythical that everyone should have one...

Bought it on eBay without the metal lens hood... bought the lens hood on eBay separately; never had any flare issues with it.

You'll have a hard time finding a lens built like this one, it really is a tank and to prove it mine is mint condition and is probably 15-20 years old.

Very sharp results on 70 or 210, extremely good bokeh which makes an excellent portrait lens.
Although f4 at 70 is nothing specially, f4 at 210 is; but I do tend to stop it down a bit from f4.

I only have to issues with it:
- If the camera misses the focus point, it takes a very long time to cycle back to the focus point... can be frustrating in a Airshow for example.
- In my lens I have a noticeable amount of purple fringing on high-contrast highlights (sun reflection on metal surfaces for example). The lens is known to suffer from that a bit and also happens to the beercan of friend of mine but to less extent...

Guess I just got unlucky with the purple fringing bit..

Strongly recommended.
reviewer#5561 date: Jun-20-2009
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:
missing
price paid:gift
positive:Very sharp in good light
Great color and bokeh.
Build like a tank.
negative:Hunt a little in low light
comment:This was given to me by my Dad and this lens is everything you read about. An awesome lens for 25 + year sold.

For flower pictures, the colors are great. I wish it had a shorter MFD but its workable.

I found it too slow for hockey pictures in dimly lit rinks so I purchase a Sigma 70-200 f2.8. In bright light, the beercan is every bit as good as the sigma without the weight.
reviewer#5494 date: Jun-2-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:100-200mm F4.5
100-300 APO
price paid:125
positive:Bomb proof
Constant F4
Sharpness
negative:It's a bit like a full beer-can
Occasional cold cast colour
comment:Good lens overall and a very satisfying step up from kit but the similar reach 100-200 F4.5 got more use. It was easier to carry, didn't sacrifice much if anything in terms of IQ. This was closer focussing though which can be handy. AF on the 5D in poor to average light was slow (prob more due to camera than lens) but for objects in decent light this produced the goods. The danger of hyping this lens too much is that similarly good lenses of the first AF generation become under valued.
reviews found: 396    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 396
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53

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