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

reviews found: 389    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
reviewer#4364 date: Nov-12-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300/4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 75-300 new
Minolta 24-85 new
Minolta 85/1.4G
Minolta 200/2.8 HS APO G
MC APO Telezenirar 135/2.8 (M42)
Helios 40-2 85/1.5 (M42)
price paid:129 EUR (LN in 2002)
positive:Good bokeh
Constant size when zooming
Cheap portrait lens
f/4 at 210 mm !
negative:Big and heavy
Very slow AF
Bad flare control
CA
Rotating front element
comment:Very good lens for beginners - portrait and telephoto all-in-one lens with reasonable price (IMHO bit overpriced now). Nice bokeh, but only f/4 :(
Practically does not work against light sources.

I'd used it for 5 years and change to 85G and Minolta 200/2.8 HS APO G to separate portrait and telephoto functions.
reviewer#4247 date: Oct-14-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł70
positive:Build and great colours
negative:
missing
comment:The best Ł70 I have spent on photographic equipment, I have this lens on most of the time now. Portraits are just so much easier to take with this lens, backgrounds just melt away. Colour reproduction is amazing. If you haven't got one then you are missing out!!
reviewer#4221 date: Oct-12-2008
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 28-100 d
Minolta 35-80
Cosina 19-35
Sigma 24 2,8
Sigma 28-80
Sigma 70-210
Sigma 400 5,6
price paid:114 € + 45 €
positive:beautiful colors and bokeh
great at f4 already
build quality - like a tank indeed
feels simply good in the hand
negative:slow AF, esp. in dark surr.
comment:After reading all the reviews, I am glad I followed the suggestions and got myself a copy, too. Everything said is true about this lens.

The build quality is fantastic, as everyone says, it comes from a time when things were produced to last. Solid like a tank.

My copy arrived in good condition, bought on E-Bay, unfortunately the aperture blades were smeary and the lens needed disassembly (could use it only wide open). Following Pete Ganzel's GREAT guide, I made it to the blades but did not dare to go furher myself. Paid 45 € for the cleaning and now the lens is in mint condition.

Quite heavy and big, this actually helps keeping a steady hand. The AF is slow, not every picture will be sharp therefore. But taken that this lens is from the mid-80s, it still is a fantastic lens even on the newest Alphas.

Bokeh and colors are flawless.
reviewer#4196 date: Oct-9-2008
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:Minolta 100-200 f4.5
Minolta 100-300 xi
Rokinon 75-200 f4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:Results
negative:Heavy
comment:I find it a bit bulky for general use, so it tends to just get used for sports (football and mountainbike races). It really does give some nice results.
reviewer#4164 date: Sep-30-2008
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Modern zooms,
Minolta AF tele primes
price paid:Ł100
positive:Colours
Bokeh
Range
"macro"
negative:Mine was not a sharp copy
Only useful outdoor
Bulky and heavy
comment:Maybe I've been spoilt by more expensive Minolta primes, and maybe I got a duff copy, but I never found the kind of sharpness (particularly at the long end) which I wanted. CA was a problem too. I'll buy another one soon , because I hear so many good things about this bargain lens. but in the meantime I'm replacing it with a new-in-box 100-200 f/4.5 until a mint Beercan comes up at the right price.

For the price, the colours and contrast are terrific, and it produces very good bokeh too. But I guess it sounds like you have to be choosy, and try a few for a good sharp copy and have a good look at the CA it produces.

Big heavy build not really a problem for me. It's a very substantial lump.
reviewer#4107 date: Sep-18-2008
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:T17-50/2.8
Kit len
S70-300
price paid:160 USD (used @2006)
positive:Great build, all metal
Great optic, all glass
Sharp image with decent price
negative:nil, with this price
comment:great len if you don't have $$ for 80-200/2.8. Just 1 stop less than that. With the development of latest sensor, F4 should be sufficient.

Great minolta glass with minolta colour. Mean less photoshop is needed :)

20+ year old len but still work like a jewel... why... all metal build. no worry about that the len will spoil.

sharper than sigma zoom and kit len. A len that you should not miss is you are using alpha mount.
reviewer#4065 date: Sep-7-2008
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:Tons of stuff.
price paid:~200 USD
positive:- Super classic "Minolta colors"
- Great sharpness, even at the tele end, even wide-open
- Internal zoom
- Fantastic build quality
- Macro range is very useful
- Constant f/4 is great
negative:- External focusing
- Really quite big and heavy
- Internal zoom makes the lens very long, too, and can get in the way with flash on the wide end
- F/4 isn't terribly fast for the wide end
- Sometimes flares, even with the hood
comment:This is the only tele-zoom lens many Minolta and Sony users will ever need. It is just about as good as all the reviews say. It's definitely not without its flaws, and I don't just mean in the way that every lens has some kind of flaw, but for all the factors combined together, it's one of the best lenses ever made. I have had literally dozens pass through my hands, and thanks to the great vintage quality-control at Minolta, they've all been super performers.

If you don't mind a big and heavy (but very, very sturdy) lens, and shoot most of your shots after 6am and before 6pm, you'll never want to look for anything else!
reviewer#4029 date: Sep-2-2008
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:Tammy 200-400 F5.6
Minolta RS 50 F1.7
Minolta 35-70 F4
Konica Minolta 17-35 F2.8-4.
Minolta 135 F2.8.
Minolta AF 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
Sigma 70-200 F2.8 EX APO IF
price paid:350 AUD
positive:Sharp for what you Pay
Built like a brick dunny
Quick focus
negative:Getting pricier
Sony isnt making them!
outer glass rotates
CA
comment:Great Unit if you can find one for a decent price, quick focusing on the a100. CA can be bad a high sunlight times. This is probably due to the outdated coating on the glass.
reviewer#4019 date: Aug-30-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300 f4-5.6 LD DI
Minolta 75-300 f4-5.6 big beer can
price paid:$165.00 USD used
positive:Great build, fantastic sharpness, decent autofocus speed. Pleasing colors.

constant speed aperture.
negative:heavy, my copy has a zoom ring with a bit of wobble (early model,CROSSED xx).
comment:What's left to say. You have to get one.

Images are crisp and very sharp right out of the camera even without PP, contrast is just where I like it

Color is very nice and pleasing to the eye. Focus seems to be reasonably fast and precise. stop her down a few stops and even at 210mm it is very sharp across the frame.
reviewer#3987 date: Aug-20-2008
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:130 USD (like new)
positive:Sharp
Bokeh
Colors
Constant f4
Bulletproof
negative:CA
Flare
comment:I bought this lens just to see what all the fuss was about. I was pleasantly surprised. It is sharp especially above f/4. The colors are just beautiful. The bokeh is great too. At this price I would say it's a must have. The build is very solid. I took some macro shots that astonished me. The CA and flare can sometimes be very bad, but stopped down it's gone.
reviewer#3980 date: Aug-18-2008
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:
missing
price paid:260 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness
Build quality
Colors
Bokeh
Price
negative:CA & flare
Focus ring too slim
comment: I just love this lens - I tend to keep it all the time on my A700. Very sharp wide open on film and 6MP, still sharp on A700's 12MP, gets even better stopped down a bit. CA and flare at f/4 can be a real problem though; in bright light, pay attention to metal objects, water reflections and any sharp contrasty edges. The good news is that once you stop it down to f/5-f/5.6 these problems seem to disappear.
Colors are pretty neutral and pleasing and bokeh is smooth IMO. Build quality is very good, you can defend yourself with it :-) Being made almost 100% from metal (except the zoom ring) it's a bit heavy too, but it ain't gonna break your hand.
Focus speed is ok on A700 since it seems to have quite a powerful motor; on KM5D is so-so. Focus and zoom rings are well damped and I didn't notice any zoom creep. Focus ring could be larger, though.
To sum it all up, go for it :-) Although the price has upped a bit on these, it's still worth it IMHO.

UPDATE: Today was a really bright sunny day and got some CA even @ f/7.1 on some white objects :) Well, camera should be on holster in these conditions, anyway :)
reviewer#3951 date: Aug-10-2008
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 Kit lens
Minolta AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Sigma UC 28-70 f2.8-3.5
M42 CZ Jena Flektogon 35 f2.4
price paid:Ł90
positive:Sharp
Neutral but very pleasing colours
Superb build quality
negative:Heavy
Slow autofocus
comment:Disclaimer: I'm fairly new to the world of DSLR photography but...

This is a lovely lens. Someone below said that they found that they tended to keep more of the shots they took with this lens. I've found exactly the same thing. I love the colours it produces - not ultra-bright but warm and neutral and pleasing to the eye. The bokeh is also very nice. For a zoom at this price, the sharpness is very impressive. I did some very non-scientific test shots recently with the lenses listed above (all I have currently) all at f4 and it comes very close the the flektogon prime (when I get the manual focus of the m42 right - which is tough!). The Sigma is not in the same ballpark. Which is why I've just bought a beercan-a-like AF 28-85 f3.5-4.5 to replace it. Highly recommended but going up in price quite fast it seems.
Not had any problem with flare so far but I can only really rate it 4 because I don't think I've used it in enough challenging situations yet.
reviewer#3887 date: Jul-26-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 75-300 New
CZ 16-80
price paid:220 USD
positive:Beautiful pictures (color, bokeh, contrast), very good sharpness, tough build
negative:A bit heavy, paint comes off a bit, AF could be faster and drains batteries
comment:I got beercan at last! Not a mint copy (glass is excellent, lens metal barrel with some scratches), but even with scratches, this lens seems to be a perfect self-defence tool!
Compared to my old minolta tele zoom, beercan produces much much nicer pictures. Sharpness @210/f4 is ok, stopped down to 5.6 its perfect. Colors and bokeh beautiful, very good portrait lens!
I expected slower AF, to my surprise it's not that bad (but could be even faster), but it drains A700 battery much faster than my Zeiss zoom.
I'm planning to buy new Sony 70-400 to get perfect sharpness and long reach, but I will keep beercan for portraits for sure!
reviewer#3878 date: Jul-25-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:tam 17-50, minolta 50mm, 24-50mm, sony 18-250mm, min 100-200mm
price paid:gift
positive:nice bokeh
colour
Build quality
negative:CA
front element rotates
very slow AF
sample variation
comment:The beercan does have a certain x-factor to it a lot of the pics are just nice straight out of the camera and f4 gives you a little more DOF control for outdoor candids.

It's sharp but not quite as crisp as many would have you believe. My sony 18-250mm can edge it on sharpness and CA control, which is a pity as the image quality isn't strong enough to combine it with a 1.4x teleconverter. Never the less the beercan produces a very nice picture it's main weakness is CA if you have a image with a lot high contrast, purple fringing will distract from the image it simply cannot match the CA control of even inexpensive modern entry level lenses. Note however with a good copy once stopped down to f4.5 most of the CA is gone

the build quality of the beercan can be summed up as "they don't build them like that anymore" it puts to shame most of the expensive modern day lenses. That said there is a lot of sample variation and there are poor copies which have stopped down to f5.6 to control CA. It's not that large a lens really but can only fit in the main section of a camera bag.

The problem with the beercan is most copies need stopping down to keep control of CA the other weakness of the lens is the slow AF meaning you will miss moments because the beercan hasn't locked on.
reviewer#3851 date: Jul-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:Tamrom 17-50 2.8
Sigma 10-20
price paid:130 (euro used)
positive:IQ, build quality, feels solid like a tank.
No lens creep, well it it does it's a internal zoom anyway
negative:some, but minor. large and looks vintage (so what), frontlens rotating while focussing.
comment:Just bought this babay second hand, it is in stunning condition. If your looking for a telezoom for your Sony Alpha I think this is the best choise. It beats the Tamrons and the Sigma's. To bad that Sony not renew this one with modern coating and redused weight an size it would be a winnar.
reviewer#3830 date: Jul-10-2008
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:Sony 70-300 "G"
KM 28-75 F2.8
price paid:160 (used)
positive:Love the Build
Great Colours
55mm Filter thread
Bokeh
negative:Rotating front Element
comment:If you consider weight a negative then you might have a problem with this lense. I got mine used and it is in amazing condition for such an old lense. Bokeh is truly amazing.
reviewer#3807 date: Jul-5-2008
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:70-210mm f:4 Beercan
Sony 18-200mm
price paid:50.00 USD (used)
positive:Solid Build
Sharp Wide Open
Bokeh
Colors
negative:Focus ring turns filter
comment:Bought this lens in pieces. Pete Ganzel has once again made owning Minolta lenes a good thing. Was easy to reassemble and no parts missing. Glass is exceptional and the colors are of quality compared to Sony 18-200. Good balance on the A700 and actually much, much faster focus than on Max 7000. Flare is minor when shooting Sunrises on the Massachusetts coast and CA is negligable.

I can't believe that a lens as good as this has not been remade since the 90's. Sony would do well to re-introduce the same build in all their lenses. Alas, that will not happen until we get a large enuff group to complain about the cheap plastic that they are useing now.

This is my second Beercan, the first one was purchased new in 1990 and it is still in beautiful condition. I have compared the two of them side by side and can't tell the difference in quality. This makes me believe that I will always have at least one of them in my kit.
reviewer#3783 date: Jul-2-2008
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:Sigma 70-210
price paid:~Ł70
positive:Good Colour reproduction
Sharp focus
Not too heavy
Good for 'macro' type shoys
negative:low focus in low light
Small amount of vignetting at f4 on film
comment:Bsically a very good lens that can still be obtained (second hand) for a very reasonable price.

I had a DYNAX 450i film camera and bought this lens in about 1999 (second hand) and had no real concerns using it - except for some vignetting when using wide open. I then obtained a Sigma 70-210 (new) as a potential replacement. However I sold the Sigma two years later. It just didn't come anywhere near the sharpness and colour rendition of the beer-can.

If you don't have one yet - get one if you can - you won't be disappointed.

Focussing speed on my A100 is more than acceptable (in good light). It can have problems in low light.

As a 'macro' lens: (it doesn't have a macro setting) but on a tripod it produces very sharp closeups of flowers etc. Stop it down a notch or two to get the best results.
reviewer#3720 date: Jun-15-2008
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 80-200/2.8 G
price paid:220 USD (used)
positive:Solid build
Sharp
Excellent bokeh
negative:Filter ring rotates when focusing
comment:This is a great lens and was one of my favorites. It's reputation is well known globally. You can't get more bang for the buck. The only reason I sold my mint copy was that I acquired a gorgeous 80-200/2.8 (G) which guaranteed the beercan always got left at home. I've also read that the high MP of the pending A900 will show the flaws in this lens which were not discernable with film or 12mp and below. If you're just shooting for fun and don't want to make a huge financial commitment this is the lens for you. Minolta produced a lot of these so there are still excellent copies available.

Update 11/30/2008 - Although you can force the issue, this lens is best used in ideal conditions or with a flash. High ISO shots are very noisy on an a100 so if you're going to shoot in low light conditions without a flash, this lens is probably not for you. Compare these two night shots. One with flash at ISO 400 and one without at ISO 1600.

http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll87/netqwik/DSC00116.jpg

http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll87/netqwik/DSC01544.jpg
reviewer#3682 date: Jun-5-2008
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:Sigma 75-300/4-5.6 non-APO
Minolta 28-85/3.5-4.5 macro
KM 18-70/3.5-5.6 "kit lens"
price paid:$159.00 USD (used)
positive:Sharp wide open, even sharper stopped down 1 to 1 1/3 stops.
Great contrast.
Fantastic bokeh, esp. for a zoom.
Focuses faster than the Sigma 75-300 (non-APO ver.).
Heavy build quality, smooth zoom/focus.
negative:Noticeable vignetting at f/4 at 70mm.
A little CA with my copy, not as bad as some have reported.
Average to slow AF on A100.
Heavy (heavier than other copy of beercan I tried).
comment:I've had the chance to try two used beercan lenses -- but the first had fungus, so I returned it -- the one I kept is definitely heavier and of better build quality (or perhaps was more gently used). The lighter one had a slightly loose zoom ring and turning the zoom and focus rings felt like the gearing inside was not as refined. But the lens I kept has extremely smooth zoom and focus movement, like a Swiss watch!

I believe this heavier beercan is an older copy ('original' design?), for, among other things, it has a metal hood. It might be noteworthy that the lighter beercan, with the fungus, had much worse CA. Perhaps the newer copies are more prone to CA? Or was the extra CA a result of the fungus? Don't know.

Edit: further investigation has convinced me that the difference in CA was not that pronounced, and the little extra harshness could've been due to sample variation, or the fungus that was in the lens. That the older beercans are a few grams heavier, was verified for me by a Dyxum member who owns several beercans of different vintages; the same person pointed out that the lens coatings vary in color from one lens to another.

I was a little surprised to note there is significant vignetting at 70mm, wide open. Much less at f/5.6, and disappears after that. I have not noticed vignetting at 210mm, so far. I have not seen many reviews that mention the vignetting, but it does seem to be a characteristic of this lens design.

Otherwise, despite others' complaints of slow AF, I find it is significantly faster than the Sigma 75-300/4.5-6.5 (non-APO). Of course, the beercan is still quite slow, but it has a long focal range to travel and the A100 has a slow AF motor.

The beercan is sharper than my other lenses at f/4, and gets even sharper stopped down to 5.6, and sharper still at 6.3. The great contrast this lens produces makes image detail stand out, as well.

Colors may not be neutral, but they are pleasing and sufficiently saturated without adding saturating in camera or in PP. The Sigma's colors were more neutral, but I don't mind making the adjustment.

The bokeh is outstanding, maybe even better than that of the Minolta 28-85 macro.
reviewer#3680 date: Jun-5-2008
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 100-300 APO
nikon 70-200 2.8 VR
price paid:
missing
positive:build
sharpness
bokeh
range
size/weight
colors
brightness
negative:not a 50-210 ;)
comment:After long time spent on looking for best lineup, I discovered something, that was known for very long time... If You need portrait/tele lens with A-mount, YOU SHOULD BUY BEERCAN!!

Now, as new sony 75-300 SSM has arrived, there would be people who will say "go for new lens".

I won't listen to them.... Why? Because beercan is a legend and it is for a REASON!!! I never had better build lens in my hand. And yes, I had a LOT lenses in my hands, mainly Nikon very top shelf ones...

It ALWAYS produce photos that are unique and beautifull, full of colors and with well ballanced contrast...

On A700 it focuses fast as hell, and I would risk and say, that it is quicker than 70-200 nikon lens on nikon d200 body...

What else to say... I just felt in love in those old minolta glass and for the first time in my life I'm sure that lens I have is lens that never dissapoint me, when I need it the most. For the first time in my life I don't have thought like "maybe I should sell it and buy....."

This lens and minolta 24-50 makes me happy, very happy... And I recommend those two as masterpieces of optics, that only A-mount users can use :)
reviewer#3589 date: May-13-2008
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:K/M 75-300 Big Beercan
K/M 35-70 4
Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
K/M 50 1.7
K/M 70-210 4.5-5.6
K/M 70-210 4 Beercan
K/M 28 2.8
K/M 28-80xi
K/M 28-135 4-4.5
K/M 35-70 3.5-4.5
Tamron 200-400 5.6 LD NEW
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
K/M 80-200 2.8 HS G
Sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
price paid:165.00
positive:Sharpness
Build
Bang for Buck
Amazing Color
Not Difficult to Tune Out Negatives
negative:Probably a 4.5 for flare
Diminishing supply
comment: Wow. This lens has an amazing ability to produce great shots on auto, seemingly accidentally. The sharpness, as previously mentioned, is stellar above F6.3 or so. Wonderful for taking pictures of outdoors if flare is controlled properly.The colors reproduced by this lens are 100% Minolta, really attractive. I would recommend one to any one. I have used it to do everything from portraits to flowers and have always been happy with the results.
reviewer#3580 date: May-10-2008
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:Sony kit
Sigma 24 60 (returned)
Sigma 24 70 2.8 (ok)
price paid:230
positive:Exceedingly sharp for a zoom. Way faster than I expected based upon other reviews (on an A300 at least). Great bokeh, and built like a tank.
negative:Rotating front glass, wish it was a little faster, though it isn't bad at 4.
comment:What a GREAT lens for the price. I sent the seller a quick pic of a flower that blew him away, given that it was a 2 minute test photo.

Ditto to what most say about the beer can. Great lens for a great price.
reviewer#3579 date: May-10-2008
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:MAF 70-210/3,5-4,5
MAF 75-300/4,5-5,6 NEW
Sigma 70-210/3,5-4,5 APO Macro
Sigma 70-300/4-5,6 APO Macro
Vivitar 60-300/4-5,6
Tokina 24-200/3,5-5,6
price paid:190 euro (as new)
positive:All optical aspects
Build quality
QUALITY!
negative:AF slowish in unperfect light conditions
AF very slow in dim light
AF tends to hunt in above situations
(tested only on Dynax 5D)
comment:Great lens, built to last, above average optics. I had many lenses in similar range before i took my beercan (perfect condition). I must say I never really belived in this greatness and all that cult around it. But it is deserved in 100%! IQ is great in all aspects, even CA is MUCH MUCH lower than I could ever expect! It is almost non-existent in my sample. AF speed seems to be a problem on older bodies only - on A700 its alright. I heard of people that didn't leave Minolta System ONLY becouse of this lens, now I think I can belive it :)
reviewer#3575 date: May-9-2008
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 50 f/1.7
Minolta 24-50 f/4
Minolta 28-85 f/3.5-4.5
Sony kit 18-70 f/3.5-5.6
price paid:~50 euros
positive:+built like a tank
+very cheap
+nice bokeh
+constant f4
+sharp


negative:-using of polarize filter is tricky
-maybe a little slow AF
comment:I really like this legendary lens. I've bought it with pile of other Minolta lenses in my backpack. Actually it was a steal (I've paid four Minolta lenses in mint conditions about 200 euros...) and I was almost shaming after baying, but I saved this jewel from forgetting and at the end I could not hide my happiness. I'm a mechanical engineer and I prefer metal lenses like this one.
I was very pragmatic, I think, for similar Canon lens with F4 and stabilization I need about 1000 euros (of course, beercan is not sealed but I'm not pro and I can stay at home during rainy days...).
Considering that, I think it is a dirty cheap and I'm free to recommend this lens for everyone.

reviewer#3570 date: May-8-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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:Compared to:
Minolta 135mm f/2.8
Minolta 35-105 f/3.5-4.5 (N)
Sigma 24-70 f/2.8
Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4.5
price paid:borrowed
positive:+sharp
+cheap
+great build
+colour
+good bokeh up to 135mm
+metal hood
+55mm filter diameter
negative:-rotating and extending front element
-frustrating focusing ring for a lens of this size
-slow and loud AF
-pincushion distortion towards long end
-some zoom creep at the wide end
-all sorts of lateral and longitudinal chromatic aberrations
comment:This is my general consensus after using three copies of the Beercan:

From 70-135mm this Beercan is sharp throughout the aperture range. At f/4 contrast is a bit low and there's some mild pink fringing but all is good by f/5.6. Stopped down to f/8 to f/11, the lateral chromatic aberrations are really pronounced, making this lens useless for studio and product shots. Bokeh at this range is pleasant and smooth.

Around 200mm is where this lens is weakest. Corner softness is an issue and there are all sorts of Lateral (pink) and Longitudinal (green) CA that barely goes away when stopping down. The LoCA really interferes with bokeh by making it very busy. Backgrounds just do not blend well. Also pincushion distortion is an issue the closer you zoom to 210mm, especially on fullframe. Avoid shooting subjects with straight lines.

This lens is a great piece of kit for those who don't need to spend a lot on a 70-200. It's relatively compact, sturdy, and affordable. And most importantly it produces beautiful images.
reviewer#3564 date: May-6-2008
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:SAL-1870
price paid:$300 usd (used)
positive:* Really sharp for a zoom
* Build quality is superb (read - metal)
* It might be older than me and it's still working fine :)
negative:* Build quality again, it's heavy and pretty large
* Flare control is poor, always use the hood
* Minimal focus distance, this isn't a macro lens
* Not that fast AF
* AF hunts on a200
* Purple fringe
comment:I love this lens, It beats both the kitlens and my previous panasonic fz7 in sharpness.
As said above, it's built like a tank, steady rocking :)

It displays some CA (mostly orange in color) as well as a considerate amount of purple fringe, but both are dealt with easily in Gimp/PS.
reviewer#3513 date: Apr-25-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:10-20mm Sigma
16-80mm Sony
18-70mm Sony
28-85mm Beercan
90mm Tamron
70-300mm Sigma Apo
100-300mm Minolta Apo
50mm 1.7 Minolta
24mm Sigma
500mm Reflex Minolta
price paid:Ł70
positive:Sharp
F4 throughout range
Build quality
Doesn't extend much when zooming
negative:Heavy
Long
Filters rotate when focusing
comment:One of my favorite lenses, sharp when you stop down to f8. Got mine 2nd hand, looks like it's been through the wars, but still handles well. Silky smooth focusing (if slow). Sharper than my 16-80mm at 80mm. Built like a tank, which is not something you can say about modern lenses.
reviewer#3420 date: Apr-1-2008
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:Sony 18-70 Kit lens
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6
Sigma 24 2.8
Canon 18-55 Kit lens
price paid:Don't remember
positive:Colour
Sharpness
Unbeatable in Portraits Outdoor
Versatile
negative:Heavy weight
Big size
Slow AF in low contrast or specially hard conditions
comment:I own this lens since 1985, and it has been a hard-worker, from my begginings in photography, and until date it always worked well, even with some scratches in the front glass (A fall from my father hands at Iguazú Falls)

It works normally quite well but from time to time it makes historic pictures, specially in portraits (maybe light conditions, or personal inspiration, don't know) that no other lens could beat.

I use it also for nature pictures and macro, with good results.

My collection best, undoubtedly.
reviewer#3418 date: Mar-31-2008
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:18-70 sony kit lens
50mm f1.7
Canon 100mm Macro f2.8 USM
price paid:$150 CAD
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Build quality
Good aperture (f4 straight)
negative:AF speed
Older lens coating technology
Purple Fringing
comment:Just unbelievable.

Sharpness: Amazing from f4.5-6.3 I haven't really tried it past that and at f4 it's not super. However the sharpness goes through the roof once you stop down any bit. I would even say this lens is sharper than my 50mm f1.7.

Bokeh: Is amazing at close-focusing, between f4-6.3. I usually use this lens in aperture priority and set it to f5 and forget it. f5 is very sharp and retains some shallower depth of field, as well as this lens' excellent bokeh. After f5 you see the need for circular apertures.

Lens coatings: I rated this lens a 4 on flare not because of flare, but because the coating technology is older and it shows. Flare is dependent on coatings so thats where I docked the mark. This lens will show "sensor reflection", I was shooting the moon in october (when is it brightest) and in some of the images there would be a ghost white circle beside the moon. This would be because the rear of the elements aren't coated. This can also cause problems with using low quality filters, where the image loses all sharpness (this is more to do with filters though) and looks like its a crayon drawing and your sleeve ran over it by mistake. Also in this category I would like to say, purple fringing is married to this lens. It's everywhere in bright situations, not so fun to see actually...

Auto Focus speed: Is a little on the slow side when using a slow body, on my a100 it's manageable, though when shooting sports games it can be tricky to work with. On my maxxum Htsi (dynax 505) the AF is as slow as I would ever want to go, anything slower is too much. This is because of older gearing in the lens and big heavy elements. I would like to see this on an a700 or a maxxum 7.

Build quality: What can I say, all the original maxxum lenses have excellent build. I would never worry about how I handled this lens, except for the fact that it's probably older than I am because I have the crossed XX's which means it's 24 years old now? The zoom glides so smoothly I love it. Focus has a rotating element, but really I don't care too much.

I would recommend this lens to anyone who is on a budget and has a camera with a fast AF motor. I would recommend it for it's good aperture, extreme sharpness, great macro ability due to the 1/4 reproduction combined with excellent bokeh. And it's easy to find and cheap!
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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