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

reviews found: 389    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
reviewer#5328 date: May-2-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 (Big Beercan)
price paid:200 Euro
positive:Razor sharp
Very good build quality
Superb Bokeh
Vivid colours
negative:Heavy
On my Dynax 7D, AF is to slow in many situations ....better on my Dynax 7
comment:This is my number one lens for portraits. Every time I use it i´m amazed about the crisp sharpness and the creamy bokeh this fine piece of glass produce. The colours is of course as vivid as you expect from original Minolta glass.
I haven´t tried any G lenses, but when I look at 100% crops from the Beercan, it´s hard for me to imagine anything that could be sharper.
reviewer#5322 date: May-1-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Min 200/2.8
Min 135/2.8
Sony 16-105
price paid:
missing
positive:That smooth Minolta look. Constant f4.
Colour.
55mm filter size.
Widely available.
negative:Flare control.
Weight.
Slow focus.
comment:Ah, the beercan. You can't go wrong with the smooth and natural 'Minolta' look of its images. The constant f4 is great and a nice affordable alternative to big and expense 2.8 zooms; this includes the advantage of a cheaper 55mm filter ring. I've had two, and many of the shots with my beercan compared to the 200/f2.8 and 135/f2.8, particularly out shooting flowers and such. But the beercan lags when you get into higher contrast settings and exposure to harsh lighting and flare. But it's cheaper by miles. I just wasn't using mine because of the other lenses I have. It's a lens formula that would be a winner if Sony updated it with new coatings and faster focussing. Everyone should try one out at least once, and they're easy to find.
reviewer#5303 date: Apr-28-2009
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:Minolta 28/2, Minolta 50/1,7
Minolta 18-70/3.5-5.6
price paid:140 €
positive:f4 through
price
negative:heavy
comment:I like this lens very much and I think its a must have for beginners. Its quite cheap and you get a lot for your money: The Bokeh is nice and it is a lot of fun working with this lens. Even though its an AF lens I use it in MF all the time as AF is hunting sometimes and not that precise @ f4.
So if you dont have a tele zoom lens get this one, its worth it.
The size and wheight is a drawback for me. Its quite hard to hold the camera with this lens attached for longer.
Sharpness rating 4 as it is quite soft @4. But its perfect on 5.6 and f4 of course is still very usable.
reviewer#5269 date: Apr-21-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 Kit
Minolta 70-210 4.5-5.6
Minolta 50 1.7
Minolta 75-300 (BBC and non-BBC)
Minolta 35-70
Sigma 17-70
price paid:$150 USD mint
positive:Nice range
Easy to find
Good bokeh
Sharp
Constant aperture
Build
negative:Heavy
Old
Rubber grip is prone to the white 'stuff'
comment:This is a very nice lens that is pretty easy to find. The prices seem to keep going up (staying around $200 now), but you can find a good deal every now and then.

This lens is very hyped up, especially on this site, so I think I am biased towards it a little bit. I have the 70-210 4.5-5.6 lens as well and aside from the slower aperture, I'm not sure which one I would like more. The other one is much lighter and smaller (when not zoomed out), but the beercan is....well it's the beercan! It has great sharpness, great bokeh, and good range. It is also built really good, so I feel confident mine will last as long as I stay with the a-mount system.
reviewer#5202 date: Apr-9-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta Beercan AF 70-210 1:4
Minolta AF 35-70 1:4
Minota AF 50 1:1.7
Sony (Kit) AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
price paid:eur 100.17 ebay
positive:nice, nice, nice =o)
negative:Big and heavy
comment:If it hadn't had been for the forum, I'd still have been happily using my Sony 18-70 kit lens unaware of other much better lenses that I now own. I may have also bought some lemons had I not taken the reviewers' advice first.

My wife can also blame all you reviewers for talking me into spending the housekeeping on all these older Minolta lenses...

What I like about this lens is the the Bokeh, the range, the build quality and the general picture quality. Without wanting to sound naff, you can really take some nice pictures with this.

Of course all the Canon/Nikon owners are going to make fun of you with this antique drainpipe wrapped around your neck. However you can sleep happy with the knowledge that you stiff neck and back you are going to get will keep the orthopedics in business despite a world recession, as well as netting you some really nice photos.

There is nothing that I can say that hasn't been said already by one of the real experts in the forum. If you can live with the weight and size of this lens, you will love it from day one. As far as optics go, I can't fault it. And if you don't like it, you'll probably be able to get your money back by selling it again on Ebay without a problem.

It is great as a zoom, and also makes a great portrait and macro lens. If it wasn't for those other users who convinced me in their reviews that I should also get a 50mm 1:1.7, I would even say you don't need another lens for portrait if you have this. However the great Bokeh achievable with the Beercan is blown away by the portrait Bokeh of the 50mm. However if I had to decide to part with one or the other, the beercan is too versatile to lose, and the slightly pricier prime would be the one to go.

Basically, it gives great macro and great telephoto with creamy Bokeh without much effort. As portrait it is also good, but the 50mm 1:1.7 has the edge on that by a long shot.

Tip... if you can pick one up for a fair price, you'll be happy as Larry for what you get. I love this lens despite its dated looks, size and weight... but with this lens beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, as well as in his (or her) viewfinder.

Finally, a huge thanks to all who contributed to the lens reviews. I bought all my Minolta lenses as a result of the advice and tips picked up by reading this great web site. Having found another 2 Sony Alpha users at my workplace, they are now also avidly scanning such reviews to upgrade their kit.
reviewer#5197 date: Apr-9-2009
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:70-200 F2.8 APO G
70-210 F3.5-4.5
80-200 F4.5-5.6
Sigma 70-300 F 4-5.6
price paid:can't remember
positive:Sharpness
Color
Bokeh
built like a tank
negative:bit of flare in direct light
comment:great lens! It was a lens i used daily until it was stolen.
reviewer#5074 date: Mar-22-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 75-300mm
minolta 135mm F2.8
price paid:110 €
positive:- superb bokeh
- sharp
- heavy metal
- F4 all the way
- did I mention bokeh?
- price
negative:- really heavy metal
- slooow AF
- purple fringing
comment:This is one superb lens. Built like a Panzer but also moves like one. The photos have really dreamy bokeh making this lens perfect for candid portraits, sports or even concerts considering that digital cameras have better and better ISO performance.

Image quality:
- bokeh is simply indescribable. The photos look very natural.
- colors are just amazing, minolta classic.
- the lens is sharp... very sharp. Wide open it will give you excellent results until 200mm where it gets a tad softer. It has better results than the 75-300 at every focal and marginally worse than the 135mm.
- puprple fringing and longitudinal CA's are visible so I hope you either have a good RAW converter or a lot of patience.

Handling and build:
- it's all metal, which means it's build like a tank but it's also heavy and very slow to focus. Even the almighty Dynax 7 has some trouble spinning the beast sometimes.
- it's F4... this means just 1 stop from F2.8, so it's a fast lens in my book, very usable in concerts with the A700 + SSS + ISO 1600 - 3200.
- Internal zoom - big yay but it has front element focus... so it rotates when you focus... which is not particularly pleasant (especially when using polarizers )

All in all a pleasant lens to use if your job doesn't depend on it. It's miles away from the built quality of a canon 70-200 F2.8 L or the image quality of the sony equivalent but for about 200$ (10x less) you sure do get your bang for the buck. A must-have.
reviewer#5023 date: Mar-12-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:AF 17-35mm 2,8-4 (D)
AF 24mm 2,8
AF 28-75mm 2,8 (D)
AF 28-85mm 3,5-4,5
AF 28-135mm 4-4,5
AF 35-105mm 3,5-4,5
AF 50mm 1,7
AF 70-210mm 4
AF 75-300mm 4,5-5,6 1st
Tamron AF 11-18 4,5-5,6
Beroflex 400mm 6,3 1st
price paid:130 € (used)
positive:sharp
f4
size
build
price
negative:weight (not really)
comment:Not much to say... very good lens, one of my favourites. Smooooth zoom-ring.
In my opinion this is the 3rd „must have“ lens (1st =17-35mm 2,8-4; 2nd =28-75 2,8D)
reviewer#4954 date: Mar-3-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
price paid:
missing
positive:*Sharp
*Smooth zooming
negative:*Heavy
*Slow AF
comment:I've had this lens for a long time now, and it's still working perfect.
Since the lens seems to be sold fairly cheep, it's definitely worth gettinge one.
reviewer#4935 date: Feb-28-2009
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-210 F2.8 APO
Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 D APO
Minolta 75-300 F4.5-5.6 New
price paid:
missing
positive:sharp even wide open, colors
negative:weight and size
comment:Great lens. Very good even wide open. Sharp and good colors. It is build like a tank. And it is hard to beat. I tried three other lenses before I found a more compact but equally good lens.

It beats the Sigma 70-210, 1:2.8 (older version) by far in every aspect and is better than the Minolta 75-300 concerning sharpness and flare.

I didn't like the size and weight, so I was looking for a more compact lens to replace it. But I wanted at least the same level of sharpness and the Minolta colors. So I bought the Minolta 100-300 APO D and I'm settled now. Sold my beercan recently.
reviewer#4914 date: Feb-26-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-200
Minolta 80-200/2.8 HS
Sony 18-250
price paid:180 USD (I think)
positive:sharp as of f 5.6
mfd 1.1 meter
~1:4 close focus
Build like a tank
negative:soft at f4, especially at long end
Heavy CA, especially wide open
comment:Got a nice copy from a fellow dyxum member about a year ago
Very happy with it, allthough hesitatnt to use it wide open.
Much lighter than 80-200HS and in print not distinguishable IQ as of f5.6. Pixel peeping you can spot the difference.

Can have heavy CA with high contrast, mostly recoverable with PTlens I found (but not all)

Will keep it for cases I want to travel light and or need the closer focus. A real classic at low cost

reviewer#4868 date: Feb-17-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:M-200G, among many other..
price paid:
missing
positive:Get one and make up your own mind.
negative:too cheap..
comment:I might have a good copy of this lens, but she has surprised me more than once. The sharpness is on top score and the OOF is to cry fore. The colour is outstanding. I for sure not gone buy the SAL70200G, but I have bought the SAL70400G which seems to have some of the same qualities. If you don’t have to have a white leans in this range and you are shooting with A-900, get a good copy of the beercan and you will love this leans forever.
reviewer#4861 date: Feb-13-2009
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł149
positive:Build
Sharp
Colours
Bokeh
quick AF
Smooth action
negative:None
comment:If you can get a nice copy of this lens you won't be disappointed. I picked up a boxed mint one from LCE Manchester with a 6mth warranty, a bargain compared to ebay stuff. The feel of this lens is outstanding, the focus and zoom are like silk and the image quality, even wide open is excellent, nice bokeh as well. Yes i'm sure that there is 'sharper' glass out there but at a far sharper price, for quality per pound you can't beat it. Only given it a 4 for flare as i've not had chance to try it in sunny conditions yet. A very worthwhile investment that won't be leaving my collection anytime soon. Get one quick, they don't make 'em anymore!!!
reviewer#4847 date: Feb-12-2009
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- 100-300 APO
- 70-300G
- 70-200G
- and primes 85, 100, 135, 200
price paid:150 USD (used)
positive:+ Image quality at 70-150mm
+ bokeh for zoom very good
+ colors
+ feeling lens in hand and on camera
negative:- Slow AF
- A lot of CA
- rotates front lens
- narrow focusing ring
- extends on focusing
comment:Must have lens in cheap lineup for portraits work and as walkaround lens. Produces very good images, colors and bokeh are very good. Sharpness excelent at wide end even wide open but after 150-170 this lens soft wide open. Slow focus on a100 and some faster on a700. Produces a lot of CA wide open but stoping down solves this.
reviewer#4814 date: Feb-5-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 100-300
Tamron 28-200
Sigma 28-200
price paid:145 EUR
positive:solid
sharp
nice colors
bokeh
negative:too popular
too expensive nowadays
only available used
it's becoming a hype
slow focus
comment:Finally, i got one... The beercan is becoming a true cult-lens, and for that, prices are rising, and rising...and rising!! Flawless beercans are much too expensive (in my opinion, as it is still very old ), for it's age..Bought mine for 145 EUR, it had sticky aperture-blades, zo i brought it away for a thourough cleaning.. It's worth it, because i'm gonna keep it forever.... Very, very heavy build, a nice must-have lens, sharpness is very good, when stopped down to F/8, but i do this with almost all of my sony/minolta lenses..I feel sorry, that a lot of salesmen are now buying almost all beercans away from e-bay or marktplaats, and after a few weeks they sell it again for a lot more...
reviewer#4774 date: Jan-31-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 18-125
sony 18-70

price paid:80Ł
positive:solid as rock
sharp if stepped down to f8

negative:slow focus in low light
no focus limiter

comment:great sharpness if stepped down to f8 in the 210mm and f 5.6 in the 70mm.
I think it's worth each penny paid for it
I bought this lens 3 weeks ago and after many test shots I decided to keep it. if you can afford it with cheap price, give it a try, you wont regret it
reviewer#4695 date: Jan-16-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony/Minolta 75-300
Tamron 55-200
price paid:90 EUR (used)
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Build quality
Colors
Constant f/4
MFD
negative:CAs wide open
Flare
comment:One of the most lovable lenses you can own. This lens has been raved about everywhere, and it's almost pointless to add more to that. But one thing is certain: if you get hold of one, never let go of it.

It has two downsides though:

1. Chromatic aberrations are quite pronounced wide open. To make things worse, they are blurred in character, making them hard to completely eliminate in PP. However, stopping down to f/8 almost completely eliminates the problem (and if it should be noticeable in a scene, it is very easily removed afterwards).

2. Like all lenses with many elements and old coatings, it is prone to flare - but mostly when the sun is in the frame. In normal shooting conditions, it isn't a problem.
reviewer#4667 date: Jan-10-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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:Vivitar 70-210 F4.5-5.6
Minolta 75-300 F4.5-5.6
price paid:135Euro
positive:Sharp
Colors
Constant F4
negative:Bought it to late
comment:Mine has a loose front end (i can't fix it as my screwdrivers are to big for this tiny work). Still it performs making very nice warm shots! Altough i don't use it at the moment because i'm to scared the screws inside drop out locking the lens (fortunatly i'm the lucky owner of a Big Beercan too)!
Mine didn't have a lenshood (i'm using my Big Beercan lenshood (wich is the same?) and use an 70-210 F4.5-5.6 for that one....lenshood database anyone?).
Wish i had bought one much earlier (and new!)!
reviewer#4662 date: Jan-9-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 kit
price paid:240 USD (used)
positive:Range
Build
Sharp
negative:Weight
Narrow focus ring
comment:this lens is alot of fun! I use it for many things: portraits, flowers, insects, birds and landscapes.

Got mine for $240, maybe I paid too much but I'm still happy with it. It will be in my bag for the forseeable future until I can afford faster or G spec glass.

UPDATE: I'm still in love with this lens! took it to the beach yesterday morning to shoot horses in the waves, the detail it captured is incredible.
reviewer#4644 date: Jan-8-2009
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:150
positive:excellent sharpness
good bokeh
negative:fairly heavy
comment:
missing
reviewer#4607 date: Jan-1-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:-Kit zoom 75-300
-Sony 70-200G
-Sony 500 F/8
price paid:0 €
positive:-Amazing Build, even more amazing simple design.
-Color Rendition.
-Price!
-Peter Ganzel's guide will guide you through solving most of the problems you could find with this lens.
negative:-Flare Control.
-AF Speed.
-Chromatic Aberration.
-Rising Prices.
comment:I was given this lens for free, and I had the chance to try it, dismantle, fix and try it again before selling it for 270 euros (w00t!).

The quality of the build is out of the question seeing as how this lens seems to resist the past of time pretty well. It does feel solid in your hand, and not too heavy on the camera.

My sample had a bit stiff focusing ring at first, as well as some AF problems. However, there are several resources online where one can find a DIY solution for the more recurrent issues.

The best point in favor of this lens, price aside, is the color rendition. The tones tend towards the warmer end of the spectrum and that shows on the pictures, of course. They have what's often defined as the "minolta color" in them, which is a nice balance between color, contrast and tone.

The problems of this lens come from the obvious. The lens' coatings of the sample I tried seemed to do extremely poorly when trying to fight CA and flare; with or without the hood on, stopped down or not. I guess 23 years weight a bit on a lens.

That being said, the lens offers a lot for the price you may pay for it. I wouldn't call it "perfect" by any means, but if you look for a budget friendly zoom you may want to consider this one.
reviewer#4548 date: Dec-14-2008
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210mm 4.5-5.6
price paid:70€ 2hands
positive:well known lens..
built massive
negative:sunhood system not so good to stay on the lens...
comment:Like the other reviews! A+++++ you find them on ten internet....ebay etc.....for a nice price
Good results on the circuits (cars)
Not so fast AF, but good for me!
reviewer#4529 date: Dec-11-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 75-200mm f2.8-3.5
Sony DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6
price paid:€ 115
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:I think it's very clear how this lens performs, I do not have to repeat what everyone is telling here.

I bought this lens a while ago for € 110 (incl. filter). The lens hood was missing, but I went to a shop I didn't know yet just to take a look around. All their Minolta stuff was sold, except a Beercan lens hood! So I bought it immediately for just € 5!

I really recommend this lens to everyone! But I'm amazed about the prices people are paying. I think € 170 is too high for a lens from the 80's!

Compared to the Sigma 75-200 f2.8-3.5 the Beercan is the absolute winner! The sharpness and the contrast are a lot better.
reviewer#4528 date: Dec-11-2008
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:75-300/4,5-5,5
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Build like a you now what
Heavy
negative:Non worth mentioning so far
comment:This is my favourite lens so far, the first one I put on my 7D and it was love at first sight. The only downside is that´s it´s a beast to carry around on the camera, but that´s a price I gladley pay for the superb balance when in action. I use it for pretty much everything but now it´s going to get some competition from my 28-135 (I´ll get back to that one when I´ve tested it properly)
reviewer#4518 date: Dec-11-2008
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:Promaster 70-300mm
Sony 17-70mm
price paid:100 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness
DOF
Build quality
Bokeh
Price
negative:Weight
Hood
comment:I really love this lens. Yes, it's heavy and, hey, it might not be a 'G' lens or be particularly fast. But even my wife, who knows very little about photography, calls this the 'beer can'.

Great for portraits and candid shots of the family when they are unaware.

I really have to crank down the ball head of my tripod to keep it from slipping when this is on. Can't wait to get an A700 and slap this on!
reviewer#4439 date: Nov-27-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- tamron 70-200 f2.8
- mino 100-300 APO D
price paid:220
positive:- strong solid built!
- excellent bokeh
- good color
negative:- bad CA and flare
- front element rotates and extends when focusing
comment:its built like a tank so strong i think you can defend yourself with it if someone tries to rob your photo gears! i don't know what more to say about this legendary lens as there are so many reviews already. amazing bokeh and at the same time some strong CA and flares. its a "must try" lens if you have never had one on your alpha. i also own a tamron 70-200 f2.8, but i will still keep a beercan!!!
reviewer#4429 date: Nov-25-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:24-85/3.5-4.5 RS
75-300/4.5-5.6
70-200/2.8 G SSM
200/2.8 G
price paid:600PLN used (220USD)
positive:Build
Good minimum focusing distance
bokeh
negative:Weight
Slow AF
Strong CA on digital on high contrast scenes
comment:Very good mid-range zoom. When I first took this lens in my hands (previously owning 24-85 only) I was surprised that you can actually produce so well build peace of glass. It's all metal, all rings turn smoothly. I had to buy it and I did ;) This build comes at a price of its weight, but it's worth it.
It's not damped in any way - hence 4 for build.

The AF is clumsy, but - believe it or not - on A700 beercan was faster than 70-200/2.8 SSM (I tested central AF sensor only, as that's what I normally use).

Sharpness - no revelations here like in 70-200/2.8 SSM or 200/2.8 cases, but it's good.

It's very hard for me to rate colour - I have never complained, and I like the results that this lens is giving me in general.

CA - BAD on my A100 when shooting high contrast scene. But it's still better to what I got from my friend's 75-300 on film. Beercan on film is very good. It is clearly at home there.

There is some distortion on tele end, but you won't notice it unless you shoot straight horizon in the upper part of the frame. It doesn't really disturb. I cannot give 5 because it's there if you look for it, but I wouldn't worry about it.

Flare - if you try, you'll catch it ;) But it's not a big problem with the hood on.

Overall a decent peace of glass worth more than it's sold for when shooting on film. If you shoot digital and like high contrast pictures - skip it and get anything else. But if not - it's a great lens for everything else. You may wonder why I gave all 4's then - well, it's not a G or Zeiss, right? :P We've seen better glass :)
reviewer#4427 date: Nov-24-2008
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 APO Zoom D 100-300 4,5-5,6;
- Minolta AF 100 f/2;
- Minolta AF Zoom D 28-75 f2.8;
- Minolta AF APO Zoom D 24-105 3,5-4,5;
price paid:200 euro used
positive:- surprisingly very sharp at all focal lengths and apertures
- surprisingly beautiful bokeh
- useful in close-ups
- relatively fast lens but very portable yet
negative:- there isn't a depth of field scale like the older manual version MD Zoom 70-210 f/4
- fiter mount rotates when focusing
- some CA at corners at 210mm
comment:This tele-zoom, with an optical design coming from Leica-Minolta collaboration era, is a true gem.

The (legendary) beercan is surprisingly very sharp center to corner at 210mm, even at f/4, on Sony A900: at this aperture only vignetting is a visible issue. This is very impressive for a zoom.

The bokeh is the best among the Minolta AF lenses I own: I found beercan bokeh better than Minolta AF 100 f/2 or AF Apo Tele 300 f/4. I think this tele-zoom could be on pair with lengendary MC Rokkor 58 f/1.2, talking about bokeh.

I loved very much the older manual version MD Zoom 70-210 f/4 and this AF version too on film, but on Sony A900 the beercan really shines.

Praise to Minolta for this strong perfomer.



reviewer#4382 date: Nov-15-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Minolta 75-300
- Tamron 70-300 LD
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:- Sharp at shorter focal lengths
- Nice bokeh
- Constant F4
- Good build quality
negative:- Rotating front element
- Focus ring small
- A little soft at max focal lengths (but can actually be good for portraits)
- AF speed isn't the best but usable
comment:I like this lens and I think it was a great deal at $200. I've used it for all different applications - sports, portraits, landscapes - and it has performed well in all of them.
reviewer#4368 date: Nov-13-2008
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 D
Minolta 300 G
Sony CZ16-80
price paid:$200 NZD (used)
positive:Robust build
Colour rendition
negative:Rotating front element
Small manual focus ring
comment:This is a nice zoom lens. It's sharpness is not however on par with the more excellent G and Carl-Zeiss offerings. Nonetheless, it is typically a noticeable step up from most budget-level telephotos. At the long end the fall off in sharpness becomes more noticeable. Distortion is negligible at the long end.

Smooth, rich colours are nicely generated in both film and digital format. It is not a lens that is prone to flare, but is not immune either. Flare is a risk in bright conditions.

For some reason I haven't been overly bothered by chromatic aberrations (purple fringing), but that is probably due to the subjects I take (not high contrast).

I ended up getting a lens hood from KEH for $25 USD. It's a useful adjunct.

It is a bit slow to auto-focus, which is why the small manual-focus ring can be an annoyance. The build is solid and reassuring, if a bit heavy.
reviews found: 389    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 389
  • sharpness: 4.49
  • color: 4.79
  • build: 4.84
  • distortion: 4.56
  • flare control: 3.98
  • overall: 4.53

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