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Minolta AF 70-210/4 macro VS 100-200/4.5 ?

ian green , Feb 20, 2006; 04:16 p.m.

i am choosing between these two lens to add some tele lens to my starting collection
using film Minolta Maxxum 5 body for landscape nature travel photography
i've found good reviews on 70-210/4 in the archived forum posts
but 100-200 have 49mm filter mount which i can use for all collected filters
i am writing this in search of personal opinions experience and may be some examples
mostly interested in durability of those lenses in the field ;)


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Thomas Morgan , Feb 20, 2006; 05:49 p.m.


I put a sample of the 70-210 F4 for you to look at here. The camera was a 7D, hand held, with the image stabilizer running.(*)

I can't compare the two lens, but maybe this sample will be useful to you. In terms of durability, the 70-210 is built (and weighs) like a tank; it could double as a field expedient weapon, should need arise :-)

In general, I have been pretty happy using the older Minolta lenses purchase used. I like the look they give images. The main drawback to this one can be slow or cranky auto focus.

   ....Tom M

(*)If you are wondering where I got the model, I happened to be down under the Manhattan Bridge and came across a commercial shoot. It offered a nice test of the lens and the image stabilizer

ian green , Feb 21, 2006; 10:05 a.m.

Thomas, i checked your sample image & it is something i hoped to get here
+1 for the Minolta AF 70-210/4 side
slow AF is not bothering me as i usually MF
and "should need arise" i hope to threaten some bears with it away ;)
thank you

Ivan Dzo , Feb 21, 2006; 11:36 a.m.

They're chalk and cheese. The 70-210 is huge and heavy. Brilliantly sharp at all apertures and lengths. Recommended++

The 100-200 is small and light. Brilliant at 100 but not very good at 200mm. Good travel lens, but the 100-300 apo D is a better lens at all lengths except 100mm. Slightly bigger but similar weight.

So from home 70-210, for travel 100-300 (100-200 very much second choice).

Hope this helps. I own, use and have tested properly all three.

Ivan Dzo , Feb 21, 2006; 11:38 a.m.

ps don't bother with 49mm threads. Most minoltas use a 55mm. So get this size and use a step up ring if you have any 49mm.

Ed Rice , Feb 21, 2006; 02:42 p.m.

Hi Ian,

My mileage varies. No doubt The 70-210 is a good lens but it has a cult status I'm not quite on board with.

First off, being a hiker and backpacker, my lenses will all be compact and light. It's a requirement. The 70-210 would stay home in a closet. It's a monster. I've had the 100-300 APO D and was not satistfied with it at the long end, so sold it.

I now have the 100-200 f4.5 and think it's one of the best values I ever gotten. Regardless of comments that it's "not very good at the long end," my sample has been spectacular at the long end, the short end and at most any aperture. I am amazed at what a sleeper this lens is especially for the price.

Here are some sample test shots a guy posted in another forum for the 100-200, two 70-210s and the 100-300 APO.


Decide for yourself. The 70-210 is a good lens but I don't see why it's better than the 100-200, especially at the size and weight and price. I just don't see a heck of a lot of difference, especially in actual photos and can't be bothered with all the hype. My 100-200 takes pictures in locations a 70-210 would never see the light of day. I do that have that lens in the older MD version and it is a good lens but not magic. ("heresy" they say...)


Stefan T. , Feb 22, 2006; 02:54 a.m.

I just love my 70-210!!! Sharp and beautiful bokeh.


ian green , Feb 22, 2006; 09:54 a.m.

thank you everybody for your comments and provided sample links
really there's some more data to consider before parting with cash

as some of you use(d) those lenses let me ask one more question:
what can you say about manual focusing of 70-210/4 100-200/4.5 and 100-300?
i saw some comments about not handy focus on 70-210....

Ivan Dzo , Feb 22, 2006; 09:59 a.m.

All minolta af lenses have rather narrow manual focus rings. You just have to get used to where they've put them. The 100-200 is probably easiest simply because it's the smallest. Not a lot to choose between them on this score.

ian green , Feb 22, 2006; 10:12 a.m.

Ivan, do you mean "All minolta af" zoom "lenses"?
i am using AF 50/1.7 and 28/2.8 and manual focusing is easy
(that is my reason to look for 49mm filter mount at first)

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