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

reviews found: 391    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>
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!
reviewer#3361 date: Mar-14-2008
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:Sony - AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6
Sony - AF DT 18-200 F3.5-6.3
price paid:70 US$ (used)
positive:Very sharp stopped down. peaks at ƒ8
All metal construction, sturdy and rigid
internal zoom.
Beautiful colors. magic minolta
negative:A bit soft wide open, but that has it uses.
can hunt a bit in low light.
Focus is a bit slow, but ok on A700
comment:I was lucky to find this lens used in a store for only 70 US$. my copy is in absolute mint condition. it looks/feels new. both zoom and focus is perfectly smooth and NO dust inside it. I use it as my telezoom, since it's the only telelens I have at the moment. I find it very useful for my wildlife photos. Only major drawback as I see it, is the green/magenta fringe, especially in the winter/spring when the sun is low. other that that, I love it. I'm waiting for the new 70-300 G lens from Sony, but I will still use this one in time to come. I will never sell it. It's a must for all Sony/KM/M users, new to SLR or not. A true gem with very little competition, regarding IQ vs. money spent. I like the fact that you don't "own" a beeran, you're merely taking care of it for the next generation..
reviewer#3320 date: Mar-1-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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:- Sony 18-70 3.5-5.6
- Min 70-210 3.5-4.5
- Min 50/1.7
price paid:$150 USD (used)
positive:- Great image quality
- Amazing bokeh -- see it to believe it!
- Build quality
- Internal zoom
- Cheap for the image quality it delivers
negative:- Heavy & big!
- VERY Slow AF
- Some Chromatic aberration & Purple/green fringing
comment:Legendary, and well deserving of the title: excellent sharpness even from f/4 and superb bokeh (probably enhanced by the sharpness of the in-focus area). This lens makes great photos.

But this is a lens from a different era, and it definitely shows its age in some areas. Focus can be agonizingly slow at times -- you're not going to use this for sports or wildlife unless you use manual focus.

The bokeh is also well-renowned, but I've also noticed some green-fringing in the background of certain images. This definitely detracts, especially if you are shooting against a differently-colored background (in my case, sand, where the green fringing was sometimes quite pronounced).

All in all, a wonderful lens for the price that every Sony/Minolta owner should try.
reviewer#3310 date: Feb-26-2008
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 75-300
Zeiss 85
Zeiss 16-80
price paid:$100
positive:Built like a tank
great colors
Super sharp
negative:Heavy as a tank
slight CA
comment:This lens handles great in combination with the A700. Fast focusing, no hunting at all. Sure, newer lenses focus faster, but for a 25-30 yr old lens, this is a gem. Vibrant lively colors, excellent contrast, one of the best values for the WOW factor.

Under certain lighting combinations I get a tinge of CA.

This lens is absolutely the best bang for the buck, a must in any camera bag.
reviewer#3287 date: Feb-19-2008
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 apo
Tamron 70-200/2.8
Tokina 80-200/2.8
Sony FE 70-200/4 G
price paid:80€
positive:Great build quality (all metal)
open at 4
best quality at that price
Light
Minolta colors (purely presonnal pov)
negative:Subjectif to flare
comment:I always use that lens for photo of judo competition

As I have seen it still work great with 10, 12 and 14 Mpix, I will keep it for a long time

Passing from the 5D to the A700 boost this lens

Bought another one for my alpha7 with la-ea4
It performs well. This is due to à lack of compatiblity with my tamron 70-200/2.8

after some time I bought the sony FE70-200G
There is a huge difference interm of quality (build and IQ)
however if you have a LA-EA4 (or 2 for APS-C) this lens is a cheap opportunity to get good results
the best price/quatliy ratio
reviewer#3264 date: Feb-15-2008
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:18-250, 50 f1.4, 28-75 f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:- sharp
- excellent build
negative:- heavy to carry around neck
- awkward size
- green fringing sometimes
comment:Excellent build quality. Even after 20 years of continuous use, my copy is still in great shape mechanically and optically. Zoom ring is very very smooth, and focus is accurate albeit a little slow, but not a big deal.

Outstanding for portrait work, even wide open, results are impressive. Sometimes, in high contrast situations, there can be green fringing in the defocussed areas, but this is not very common, and the excellent performance otherwise more than makes up for this.

On the downside, it's rather long physically, and can be a beast to carry for the day around your neck since it's fairly heavey.

Conclusion: A must have. For the price, it's a steal. Very nice addition to any collection.
reviewer#3207 date: Jan-25-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:lots an lots
price paid:60 Euro
positive:SHARP, SHARP, SHARP
negative:AF not as fast as newer lenses but still acceptable
comment:I picked this up so cheap I couldn't say no. Haven't taken it of my Alpha 700 since I got it

edit 02.06.2009 every Sony/Minolta user should have this lens in their camera bag.
reviewer#3188 date: Jan-16-2008
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 AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 50 F1.7
Sony 18-70 (SAL1870)
Sony 75-300 (SAL75300)
price paid:$150 (great condt)
positive:Very sharp.
Internal zoom (no length change).
Solid construction.
Constant aperture.
Inexpensive!
negative:External focus (length change during focus).
Front element rotates during focus.
AF is a slow and noisy.
One stop slower than the 70-200 F2.8, but 5-10% the price.
Element coatings are dated. I wish Sony would remake this lens at a reasonable price.
comment:The beercan is a very respectable lens. I initially thought there were some color issues but some more shots taken tonight have confirmed that something else must've been a problem in my first few batches. No problems now.

Build quality is very high. The lens has all metal-construction, smooth operation, and is very durable.

Little to no distortion from what I've observed. Less than that of my favorite lens, the 28-85 F3.5-4.5. I have observed no CA.

Flare control can be a bit of a problem from what I've seen and heard. If you get one that includes a lens-hood, you'll have less trouble.

Very good for taking portraits.
reviewer#3106 date: Dec-24-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma DG 70-210 f4-5.6
Sigma DG 75-300 f4-5.6
price paid:90 USD +tax
positive:Price
Build Quality
Portrait Use
negative:Slow on focus
Does not always lock on first try.
Small focus ring
comment:Love this lens, gives me excellent dependabe bocah on almost all shots. This thing is built like a tank!!
I bought mine for under $100 before the sell to sony.
Lens does hunt alot if no good contrast to lock focus on.
Smll focus ring can be awkward at first tryng to manual focus. overall, one of my favorite lens to shoot with.
reviewer#3071 date: Dec-13-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 75-300: sony 18-70 , sony 50mm F/1.4
price paid:320 USD (used)
positive:excellent sharpness , color saturation, build quality
negative:sometimes CA is a problem
comment:I am extremely happy with this lens.It's sharpness and color saturation are amazing. AF of my copy is surprisingly fast. May be my copy is nearly new ! I do not think that now I need 70-200mmF/2.8 . My claim about this lens can be confirmed by viewing two shots I have taken yesterday.(1) http://www.pbase.com/dctrkaushik/image/90283469 and (2) http://www.pbase.com/dctrkaushik/image/90238919
reviewer#3066 date: Dec-12-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-300
Sigma 70-300
Canon 75-300 USM III
Nikon 70-300 G-ED
price paid:200 USD (2nd)
positive:very sharp even at f/4, produce very appealing color, especially when obyect's under shade, the color's still very nice.
negative:noisy focus, f/4 is the softest (of course...!) but still amazing compare to other brands mediocre tele-zoom.
comment:i love this lens.. great sharpness! amazing natural color!
reviewer#3063 date: Dec-11-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300 D APO
Sigma 70-300 DG APO Macro
Minolta 75-300 Big Beercan
price paid:200 USD
positive:Bokeh
Constant f4
sharp for a zoom
negative:weight
length
comment:My version doesn't even have "Maxxum" stamped on it. Maybe that's why it's such a good copy? Anyway bokeh and sharpness are outstanding. Although not the fastest lens, the F4 aperture helps. Macro feature is useful, but if serious macro is needed, I'll grab the 100 2.8

This is a heavy lens, but metal construction will do that. It's also kind of long, but that hasn't been a problem most of the time.
reviewer#3058 date: Dec-9-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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 75-300 f/4.5-5.6
Sigma 75-200 f/2.8-3.5
KM 18-70 Kit
price paid:139 USD (used)
positive:Colour
Bokeh
f/4
Build
Internal Zoom
negative:Soft at long end
Purple fringing at long end
comment:Great bokeh and colour rendition running wide open with just the right amount of softness for pleasing portraits but with enough contrast to give things a bit of punch. Long end isn't as useful on my copy, seems a bit softer and suffers a bit of chromatic aberration. Focus speed at similar subject distances is fine, picking your moment judiciously and taking care to keep a high contrast edge near a focus point is advisable though as hunting to infinity and back if you miss is pretty slow.
reviewer#3031 date: Dec-4-2007
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 75-300
Sigma 70-300
price paid:270 cdn new
positive:F4 speed throughout the zoom range.
Cheapest F4 lens in this range you will find.
Sharp pictures.
Nice colour.
Classic well made quality construction.
negative:Size, weight.
Rotating front element when focusing.
comment:One of the few older Minolta lenses that I have hung onto. Definitely a bargain in the used lens market for it's speed and zoom focal range. Although it is heavier and bulkier, compared to today's modern compact 200mm zoom designs, it is far faster with a constant F4 throughout the range. Focuses quickly because of it's faster speed in lower light. Extremely well made lens that has been reliable for over 20 years without a single problem. I've used it on Minolta film cameras, Sony A-100 and now the A-700. I have had no problem with the focusing accuracy or focusing speed, as mentioned by a couple of other reviewers. A great classic Minolta lens, worth keeping or picking up used for a Minolta film or Minolta/Sony digital.
reviewer#3020 date: Dec-2-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 2
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:Minolta 100-400mm APO
price paid:Ł95
positive:Build
Colour & bokeh
Constant aperture
negative:Imprecise AF on A700
Weight
Purple fringing
comment:Given all of the hype, I must admit to being somewhat underwhelmed by my Beercan! I have tested back-to-back with my 100mm-400mm APO, expecting similar results over the 100-200mm range. However, in none of the flower shots that I took on a wet November day, did the Beercan produce a better result than the APO.

Using AF on the A700, the Beercan shots were all softer. Only when I switched to MF could I product a decently sharp photo, but even then, the APO still had it beat every time!

AF on the A700 is reasonably fast with the Beercan (if a little imprecise) and much faster than with the APO.

However, the main problem with the Beercan is purple fringing. It is there (and noticeable) on virtually every shot, whereas the APO never has any.

Maybe I have a duff copy, but it is clean, unmarked and appears to have had an easy life. There is a lot of evidence that this lens is generally better than I have found it, however, for me it remains a bit of a disappointment.

In hindsight maybe I should have spent my money elsewhere...

reviewer#3019 date: Dec-2-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50\2.8
Minolta 50\1.7
kit KM 18-70\3.5-5.6
Sogma 100\2.8 macro
price paid:$260
positive:Sharp from f4
Bokeh!!!
Built
negative:Slow AF
Rotating front element
Large and heavy
Some CA
comment:Nothing to add! It's a must have lens for every minolta\konicaminolta\sony fan!!!!! It is LEGEND!
I have got a crossed "XX" version))))))
In comparison with the Sigma 100mm, Minolta has yellowish tint, but focuses faster.
reviewer#2973 date: Nov-25-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-200 f2.8-3.5 sigma
100-300 4-5.6 apo minolta
price paid:50£+ 50/1.7 & 28/2.8
positive:sharp, heavy, bokeh, build
negative:discontinued, AF speed.
comment:i hope someday beercan will reborn :)
reviewer#2940 date: Nov-20-2007
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:- 70200 G
price paid:
missing
positive:- sharp
- superb IQ
- nice bokeh
- build solid (battle tank)
- macro 210 nice
- focus average
negative:- none
comment:I am one happy owner of this beautiful piece of glass. This will take a permanent space in my dry box.
reviewer#2939 date: Nov-19-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sigma 70-300 APO
- Big Beercan
price paid:135 Euro
positive:- Buid like a tank
- Very nice colors
- Very nice Bokeh
- Fixed length, internal zoom
- Sharp from F4
- Good IQ for this oldie
negative:- AF tad slow, but not as bad as sometimes described
- Second hand, no new examples anymore
comment:I bought this lens from another enthousiast and as he did I absolutly love this lens. It's good build, not as heavy as the Big Beercan. It had a few scratches, but all in all a very good second hand lens.
I like the constant F4 and the sharpness at this F-number. I also like the zoom control and the fixed length of the lens, so no extending zoom.
The AF is a bit slow compared to new lenses, but it has good IQ. It does the job just fine.
Colors, bokeh and sharpness are excellent. Nothing to add... This lens is more neutral in color reproduction than the Sigma. The Sigma has a yellow/brownness thing going on.
In the end I have to recommend this lens to anyone. Shop for this lens first before looking for a new lens in this range. It is absolutely fantastic.

reviewer#2924 date: Nov-10-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ1680, CZ135/1.8, Minolta 75-300 Big Beercan
price paid:USD 280 (Used)
positive:Sharp, Beautiful colours, Smooth bokeh, Size
negative:AF is a little slow compared to the CZ1680 and Sony 75-300.
Hunts in low light but manageable while focusing using ISO1600
comment:It is a lens that I have been craving for after looking at sample images from this superb lens. I had often lost bidding for a good copy. But finally, I decided to offer a dyxumer at USD 280 plus shipping for a good copy that he could not resist and ended up owning one.

It is a sharp lens with sharpness as sharp as the CZ135/1.8 and CZ1680. Sharp at f4 wide open too and no doubt about it. So the beercan compliment the CZ1680 very well for the longer reach. Colours are 'minolta great and legendary'. I love the smooth bokeh too. I have been using this lens more often compared to the sony 75-300 unless I want the extra reach.

It is the next budget lens after the more pricey 70200/2.8 SSM and 80200/2.8 APO HS
reviewer#2921 date: Nov-9-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kit
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron 28-300XR
Tamron 17-50 2.8
price paid:225 USD
positive:Sharpness
Build
Color
negative:AF speed
comment:I looked at beercans forever before purchasing one, then paid a premium to get a pristine copy. I'm so glad I did, because I'll be using this lens for many years to come. I'm using it to shoot football, which I previously had to attempt with the Tamron super zoom. With the Tammy, I could only get good shots in full daylight, when I could be very selective about aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. With the beercan, I get better shots (color, sharpness) in these perfect conditions. And when the light dims, I can get usable shots long after I had to quit with the Tammy. When I realized that 200mm cropped from the beercan was much sharper than 300mm straight out of the Tamron, the Tamron left for ebay. With the beercan, I can even shoot flash under the lights in a badly lit lit stadium, and still get decent results. The autofocus usually keeps up, but I do miss a number of challenging shots that I'm sure I would get with a faster focusing lens. Given the lack of affordable 70-200 2.8 options at this time, this lens will remain a workhorse for me, and do a very decent job of it. In fact, if I had the money to spend, I'd probably invest in an a700 to get the improved hi ISO performance, rather than invest in a 70-200 2.8 for a single stop of speed improvement (albeit with much faster focusing); I'm that pleased with the optical performance of this lens.

Update: Even better on A700. Faster and more accurate focusing even in low light (still wouldn't call it fast). Also, my guess about the need for a 2.8 has proven true. Unless you shoot sports in bad light, or need the narrower depth of field, it's hard to justify the expense of a 2.8 because the beercan/A700 combination is so good.
reviewer#2920 date: Nov-9-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 70-300 DG APO, Sigma 70-210
price paid:127.00 (US)
positive:Very sharp and focuses better than I thought it would
negative:Heavy and can be a bit tricky to hadle at first. It does also hunt in some lower light situations.
comment:So far so good with my beercan mated to the A100! I 've had it for about 3 weeks now. I'd say it's been a good investmenbt so far. Like to comeback and repost again in a year to see how I've adjusted to the Can.
reviewer#2862 date: Oct-21-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:75-300 (D)
18-70 (Sony)
35-70 F4
price paid:Ł77 with 50mm prime
positive:Sharp
Built like a tank
negative:Built like a tank
comment:I bought this lens in a job lot from an ebay dealer that should have been shot for non-disclosure. I had intended to sell it on but it was shabby to say the least, with a terminally slow aperture, multicoating on the front element scratched all over the place, scuffing around the front barrel, missing hood and front cap, and even the little red pimple for attachment gone AWOL. But after partially dismantling it as described in links found in these very pages and fixed the sticky aperture leaves, my goodness, despite all the abuse it had received, it still takes superb pictures!
In initial testing I found that at 70mm it bettered the 35-70 F4, the Sony 18-70 and the 75-300. At 210mm the 75-300 was sharper, surprisingly, but this lens does have a sweet spot at that focal length. But take the beercan out and just take photos with it and you'll hate the weight but love the pictures.
Here's an example, reduced from full frame, shot using my A100 with no attachments from about a meter or so away (that's about 3 feet 3 inches in old money):

http://images.fotopic.net/fullsize/yqdxdv.jpg

and 100% crop from the same image:

http://members.lycos.co.uk/majorbludnock/red_admiral_crop.jpg

Aperture was F8 I think.

For me, this is a peerless lens, and despite the interest in it on ebay you can still pick up a pristine example for a little over Ł100UK. With my example, shame about the front optic damage, but for my part I got a bargain despite the rather shifty seller, and as long as it still takes good pictures, you ain't having it. :)
By the way, with regard comments about the actual zoom range, I would say that it DOES appear to be a bit longer than 70mm when compared with the 35-70mm F4, but it's definitely shorter than 75mm when compared with the 75-300 (D). So perhaps it should be called a 70 and a bit to 210.
Edit: I've knocked the sharpness rating back 1/2 point, not because this lens isn't sharp, but because I now have a Sigma 105 macro that is sharper still, and I can't mark that as 5.5. :)
Edit2: Worth adding that a friend has recently purchased a Sony 70-300 f4.5/5.6 'G' with his A350. We did a quick pixel peek comparison from raw images from his A350 and my A700 at 70mm f8. Optically, there was no noticeable difference on my A700. The extra resolution of the A350 14MP sensor showed a very small difference, with the 'G' lens being marginally able to resolve more shadow detail. On the basis of this quick comparison, the beercan isn't quite as good as the 'G' but it's not far behind. If you don't need the extra reach or quiet AF of the 'G' a beercan gives a lot more bang per buck. It also seems to focus quicker than the 'G' on my A700. I have tracked dragonflies and large birds quite effectively with it.
EDIT3: Since writing the first and second edits of this review I have had to strip the lens right down twice to clear sticking aperture leaves. Not having the ultrasonic cleaning kit that Pete Ganzel recommends, I inevitably left a smear or two of oil behind during my first attempt that eventually worked its way back into the leaves. It's not a difficult job to do provided you take your time and take extra care that you don't lose small components. The lens is still taking superb pictures and well worth these small setbacks. I only hope that I have cleared the problem for good.
reviewer#2831 date: Oct-7-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:100-300 APO, 70-200/2.8G
price paid:
missing
positive:Constant f/4
negative:Shape, dimensions
CA
comment:Great original lens. Well worth it if you can find one at a fair price.
reviewer#2786 date: Sep-27-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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:tamron 28-105 2.8
sigma 75-200 2.8-3.5
18-70 kit lens
price paid:165.00 USD used
positive:incredible colors
great sharpness
photos with personality
super bokeh
negative:kinda heavy
a little slow on focus
hunts in low light
did i say heavy
comment:I bought this on ebay for 165, it had some slight scratches which were not mentioned in the sale. Even with the scratches, i love this lens. The colors are incredible, and if you have the light and stop it down a bit, the sharpness is really something. It beats every other lens i have easily (if i have the light of course), but i know there are sharper lenses out there. It does have a tendency to lose focus and hunt in low light. I got an aftermarket hood for mine and i does wonders with flare control. I havent noticed any CA yet.

If you learn how to exploit its strengths and avoid the weaknesses, and use the camera features well... you can take pictures in almost total darkness, (got some great shots at the circus)

The build quality is extreme on this thing. I love it, when you hold it in your hand, you know you have an original minolta in your hands. Built like an M1 tank.

There are plenty floating around, im in the process of hunting down a Big Beercan. Get one!!!!
reviewer#2744 date: Sep-17-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:- Minota AF 50/1.7
- Minolta AF 28-135/4-4.5
- Minolta AF 24-85/3.5-4.5
- Konica Minolta 17-35/2.8-4
- Sigma 90/2.8 Macro
price paid:120 €
positive:- great built quality
- sharp
- bargain buy
- nice bokeh
negative:- heavy
- slow AF
comment:I think it is the one of the best tele-zoom for its price. Very sharp, good quality lens, as like his "brother", the 28-135/4-4.5.
reviewer#2650 date: Aug-23-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35-70 f4, 28-80 f4-5.6 xi zoom
price paid:
missing
positive:A ledgendary lens
Great for collectors
Awsome price for fixed apature
Brilliant Optics
Built like a tank
negative:Autofocus is a little to slow, although it was one of the first ever autofocus lenses.
Lens hood restricts focus when back-mounted.
comment:I would not part my beercan for the world. It is my pride and joy, (that is aswell as my 9000!) It performs so well for its age and is a genuine classic. Mention the word "beercan" and instantly any camera-adict will know what your talking about.
For 21 years this lens has served me well and even when I dropped it off a tripod onto tarmac it was fine! (a little nick out of the filter thread said by-by to the hood though).
If you want a brilliant telephoto zoom for a low-price, this is the best! yb
reviewer#2645 date: Aug-21-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 70-210 f3.5-4.5
price paid:US$110 used
positive:Sharp
negative:Slow focus
comment:Comparing the beercan to the Tamron - the differences are minor :

The beercan is lighter, ever-so-slightly sharper, with a tad more contrast, and has a fraction less CA. It is longer (slightly more bag space needed) but then it has a constant aperture and doesn't grow when it zooms. Identical macro, filter size, focusing distance, number of elements etc etc. The Tamron feels very solid but the zoom action on the beercan is a little smoother at the tele end and it doesn't creep when pointed down which I can get the Tamron to do, so the beercan has better build quality. I can't tell colours apart. Neither are digitally optimised so sunsets can produce a ghost reflection from the sensor going back into the lens - and this is a major flaw to me.

Unfortunately neither are a 'travel light' lens or an outstanding performer (optics are good overall but focus speed is just too slow). But they are a good compromise if your budget can't stretch to both an f2.8 and a travel lens.

Personally the focus speed and ghosting are a problem to me so I'm going to trade them in for the travel lens and wait for the Tamron and Sigma f2.8's.
reviewer#2643 date: Aug-20-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 100-300 f:4.5-6.7
price paid:200 USD (mint)
positive:- Constant aperture
- Sharp wide open
- Great bokeh and colors
- Not expensive
negative:- Excessive CA
- Size
- Weight
comment:What else to say, this is the famous beercan. It has a range that matches perfectly to Sigma 17-70 or even the kit lens. It is sharp wide open througout its entire range, and has great color rendition and bokeh.

However, you may have lots of CA, particularly at 210mm when you shoot high-contrast subjects in color (mine has) which are really difficult to get rid of. Also, its size and weight don't make this a "discreet" lens in no account - if you paint it white you'll be taken as pro-photographer, no doubt about it.

Anyway, this is a great lens for the money in any way. Think about it: Canon has 70-200 f:4 L, which is much like the Minolta version, costs around US$ 600.00 and has no image stabilization; on the 5D/7D/Alpha you spend like 1/3 of the money, have the same coverage AND still have AS/SSS for stabilizing the lens - something the Canon version does not have.

If you don't have neither the money or the access to the more expensive 80-200 f:2.8 G or the 70-200 f:2.8 G SSM, go for it. You won't be disappointed.
reviews found: 391    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 >>

rating summary

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

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