Every Minolta collector knows about this lens and will probably own or want it; at least I did, but the exorbitant prices for this thing always put me off: there’s no way I’m going to splurge a thousand euros for it.
This one came as part of a rather large setup that I had to buy as a whole, only to acquire a slide copier unit and macro stand for my Minolta Auto Bellows III. Meanwhile I sold most of the setup, putting me at the breakeven point so now it doesn’t feel so bad to have an expensive thing like this mirror lens sitting in my drawer. Might still sell it though. And indeed, it was sold in the meantime, too much money was just sitting in a drawer.
Some image samples made with my A7R2. You can find full-resolution images here.
In actual use this lens is of course very light and small considering it’s a 250mm telephoto. Peaking on the A7R2 is quite effective, allowing me to get critically sharp pictures, but the use of magnification is more reliable; the lowest magnification is still useable without undue jumping of the viewfinder image. The in-body image stabilization is also fairly effective, shutter speeds of 1/125 s yielded good results, didn’t try longer shutter times.
Image quality is very good, I’d say. It’s just about sharp enough on the very demanding A7R2, which is a feat in itself, but I think I’d get better results from the Sony FE 4/70-200mm with a little cropping to get to the same coverage. To be honest, the doughnet-shaped out-of-focus blur is mostly disturbing and even the slightest misfocus makes for an ugly picture. Combined with the inability to stop down the lens it isn’t very useful in my book. A fixed 250mm field-of-view is also very limiting, I consider a telephoto zoom an essential part of my arsenal.