Sony 55-300 Comparison

Started Sep 29, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP jcurtistx Regular Member • Posts: 462
More thoughts on the Sony 55-300mm

So I have had the weekend to use the Sony 55-300 lens and play around with it more and compare it further with the Minolta 100-300mm APO. The more I use the Sony the more it becomes apparent this is not a lens for fast action or moving subjects (at least not in my experience). The SAM motor often times would lose focus when trying to keep up with fast moving subjects such as a Bird in flight and have trouble finding it again.

The Minolta is clearly faster on the A57 in focus speed, however the Sony did a little better in focus accuracy in lower light (neither are great in low light)

About image quality. I will take more pictures and post them later today or this week. I must say that the image quality is very close between these two lenses. I was photographing the moon last night and under extreme cropping it was difficult to tell a difference. Both resolved a decent amount of detail for a lens of this price range. Better than I thought the Sony would to be honest. The Minolta had a greenish hue to the moon in CA where it was better controlled on the Sony. However, there is CA on the Sony lens and I noticed it when capturing a photo of an white egret and a dark background - not too bad though.

So to make things a little more confusing for me I went ahead and ordered the Tamron 70-300 USD again to compare this week. I am not sure the advantages that the Tamron has in focus speed will outweigh my opinion of its size. Also, the first copy I had 6 months ago was not as sharp as the Minolta at 300mm, so I will see how this copy does.

The good thing is we have decent choices for good prices. All three of these lenses have pluses and minuses and any decision you make would be based on your use of the lens.

I still think the Sony 55-300 is great value for the money (depending on your needs). The added focal length on the wide end of the Sony is nice to have and the quieter motor helps in video. I also still think the Minolta is just as good of a choice if you need faster focus in a smaller package.

It is difficult for me to choose right now which lens I like better between the Minolta 100-300 APO D and the Sony 55-300 SAM. There is no clear cut winner for me.

I am no pro, so my reviews are in my limited use, so hopefully this helps some of you.


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Sony A57, Sony 18-135, Tamron 60 f2, Sigma 50-150 f2.8, Tamron 70-210 f3.5-4.5 (Circa 1988), Minolta 100-300 APO D

 jcurtistx's gear list:jcurtistx's gear list
Panasonic ZS100 Sony a6000 Sigma 60mm F2.8 DN Art Sony E 55-210mm F4.5-6.3 OSS Sigma 30mm F2.8 EX DN +1 more
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