How good can a 70€ 100-300mm lens be? REVIEW


This post is about my vintage lens the Minolta APO 100-300mm F4.5-5.6 which i got second hand in a photostore for only 70€

This old telephoto zoom lens is from the year 1993, so when this lens was released i was a 14 year old kid , never would have thought at this age i would ever buy such a lens 🙂

The Minolta APO 100-300mm has 9 aperture blades and weighs only 435 gramms, so its really not heavy for such a zoom range and also not big, and that was also one reason why i bought this lens for my Sony A7II.

Here is a picture how it looks in my small sony bag:


Now to use this lens on the A7II you need an adapter, i chose a cheap 19€ manual Sony Minolta MAF AF to Sony E-Mount adapter with aperture ring (link to amazon down in the link list) This manual adapter is made all out of metal and works great, the lens snaps on very easy. If you buy a manual adapter make shure it has an aperture dial, otherwise you will not see anything and it will be very difficult to shoot your pictures 🙂

This lens has autofocus if you want to use it, you will have to buy the Sony LAEA3 or the LAEA4 adapter, depending on how quick you want the autofocus to be and which camera you have. On the A7rII the LAEA3 should do it.

I´m using it manual only on my A7II, the focusring is very smooth and precise, manual focusing with the A7II works great, just use the focus magnifier and the focus peaking. This lense gets stabilized by the IBIS in the A7II which is fantastic and it works also great! So you can handhold this very easy, but if you want the absolute best results it helps to use a monopod.

Now what can you expect from a 70€ 22 years old lens in terms of image quality?!

I was very, very surprised shooting my first sample shots and i´m still surprised what this old lens is capable of, but lets look at some samples (no sharpening applied, vingnetting in post)

This lens is pretty sharp and can resolve enough resolution for the 24 MP of the A7II, haven´t tested it on an a7rII but i think this is very good IQ and very usefull! There are some other old Minolta tele lenses that maybe have better IQ, but they are also much, much heavier. You could also try this lens on a crop sensor camera like the Sony a6000, which will result in a longer focal length.

You wouldn´t expect that probably, but also the bokeh looks very bokehlicious, now lets see some streetshots:

No doubt that, this is also a nice lens for street photography, not the fastest but on a sunny day it works  also for Bird shots.

Okok..thats nice, but what about portraits and night photography!?!? Lets see some images!


My conclusion: having shot so many photos with this lens, i was never disapointed, it surprised me everytime how good the results are with my A7II. Its so much fun shooting with such a lightweight telephoto lens, knowing what IQ you can get with it and having payed only 70€ for this 🙂


Video Review on Youtube, please like and subscribe to my youtube channel:

Here is a testvideo i shot with this lens on the a7II handheld:


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