Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Started Mar 15, 2016 | Discussions
mfriesenm Forum Member • Posts: 66
Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

for 500 $ I can get the Sony

For under 300$ I can get a third party.
Since I am shooting birds on my a77, I was wondering which one would keep the quality and the speed I need.
Thank you!

Michael

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zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,785
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
2

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

The key with the APO lenses is that you need to stick with the matched APO teleconverters.  These lenses are specially designed to pair with those teleconverters, and they don't work with other lenses because of their design.  The performance at least from the 1.4x TC is almost identical - no IQ loss, just the 1 stop of light.

If you go with the Minolta adapter, the APO II version is widely considered the best, and should be no different from the Sony-branded APO teleconverter.  It will perform the same speed-wise and IQ-wise, and will be shooting at F5.6 rather than F4.

I have shot a ton of samples with the 300mm F4 APO and the Minolta APO II 1.4X TC combo:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/minolta_300mm_f4_apo_g

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Justin
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OP mfriesenm Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Thank you, That pretty much answers all my questions,
Nice pictures! I can't wait to finally achieve the same focal length as you.

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Sonolta Shooter
Sonolta Shooter Senior Member • Posts: 1,317
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
1

You can find all you need to know on the Dyxum website (teleconverter thread), though the Min AF 300/4 APO HS G isn't that great with a TC fitted.  Personally I wouldn't bother as IQ will be compromised.  On the other hand, the cheaper and better Tokina AT-X 300/4 AF (AF 304) doesn't suffer with loss of IQ with a 1.4x or 1.5x TC attached.

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Mark

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OP mfriesenm Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Have you used the minolta lens before with a tc? Because I was told before that the minolta does fine with a tc.
I was actually looking at the tokina, but the price for sony mounts were similar so I ended up going for the minolta because I like the idea behind its focus limiter.

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Maxxuman Senior Member • Posts: 1,838
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
3

Sonolta Shooter wrote:

You can find all you need to know on the Dyxum website (teleconverter thread), though the Min AF 300/4 APO HS G isn't that great with a TC fitted. Personally I wouldn't bother as IQ will be compromised.

Sorry Mark, but that's rubbish. Did you have a look at Justin's examples? I've also taken thousands of shots with my Minolta 300/4 APO HS G with Minolta 1.4x TC and can confirm that the IQ is great with and without the TC. There's little or no discernible loss of IQ with it mounted.

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Barry

Maxxuman Senior Member • Posts: 1,838
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

zackiedawg wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

The key with the APO lenses is that you need to stick with the matched APO teleconverters. These lenses are specially designed to pair with those teleconverters, and they don't work with other lenses because of their design. The performance at least from the 1.4x TC is almost identical - no IQ loss, just the 1 stop of light.

If you go with the Minolta adapter, the APO II version is widely considered the best, and should be no different from the Sony-branded APO teleconverter.

Actually, Justin, the only difference between the Minolta APO II and the original Minolta APO is the gearing. There's no difference in IQ between them. The gearing on the APO II was slowed down to avoid AF hunting with HS lenses on film bodies. But I have the original APO which I use on my A77 (and before it the A700) and I don't have the AF hunting issue.

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Barry

zackiedawg
zackiedawg Forum Pro • Posts: 31,785
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
2

Maxxuman wrote:

Actually, Justin, the only difference between the Minolta APO II and the original Minolta APO is the gearing. There's no difference in IQ between them. The gearing on the APO II was slowed down to avoid AF hunting with HS lenses on film bodies. But I have the original APO which I use on my A77 (and before it the A700) and I don't have the AF hunting issue.

Thanks for clarifying - I should have mentioned when I said APO II was 'best' that I didn't mean to infer IQ was inferior...just that when I was researching the two, the APO II was usually recommended overall for focus compatibility.

As you also mentioned in your other reply, you and I (and I'm sure many others) disagree with the comment that the dedicated TCs don't work well with the 300mm F4.  I thoroughly tested with and without, and there is virtually no discernible loss in IQ - detail, sharpness, etc is all spot-on with the TC, with the ONLY slight consequence being a slight increase in PF in high-brightness/contrast areas.

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Justin
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TomV1 Regular Member • Posts: 305
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
1

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

for 500 $ I can get the Sony

For under 300$ I can get a third party.
Since I am shooting birds on my a77, I was wondering which one would keep the quality and the speed I need.
Thank you!

Michael

You should be able to get a used 1.4 Minolta for close to 1/2 that price on ebay. Better yet, try KEH.com, comes with a warranty.

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Maxxuman Senior Member • Posts: 1,838
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

TomV1 wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

for 500 $ I can get the Sony

For under 300$ I can get a third party.
Since I am shooting birds on my a77, I was wondering which one would keep the quality and the speed I need.
Thank you!

Michael

You should be able to get a used 1.4 Minolta for close to 1/2 that price on ebay. Better yet, try KEH.com, comes with a warranty.

You're right - KEH has one for $159. I got mine from there and their EX condition is generally fine. https://www.keh.com/shop/minolta-autofocus-1-4x-apo-ii-200-300-600-apo-only-691848.html

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Barry

D Williams Contributing Member • Posts: 832
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4
3

Sonolta Shooter wrote:

You can find all you need to know on the Dyxum website (teleconverter thread), though the Min AF 300/4 APO HS G isn't that great with a TC fitted. Personally I wouldn't bother as IQ will be compromised. On the other hand, the cheaper and better Tokina AT-X 300/4 AF (AF 304) doesn't suffer with loss of IQ with a 1.4x or 1.5x TC attached.

Perhaps you had a bad copy of something.  I've been shooting with that combination for approximately 10 years and see no degradation when using the TC - nothing lost but a stop of light.  The 2xTC on the other hand had a noticeable loss of sharpness at f/4 and I would not recommend it.

Re: the Tokina AT-X 300/4.  It is a real gem.  A little cheaper and lighter, and in my experience the equivalent of the Minolta from f/5 on.  But at f/4, which is the entire purpose of this lens,  my Minolta was visibly better.

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Sonolta Shooter
Sonolta Shooter Senior Member • Posts: 1,317
You may be fortunate to get a half decent copy
1

mfriesenm wrote:

Have you used the minolta lens before with a tc? Because I was told before that the minolta does fine with a tc.
I was actually looking at the tokina, but the price for sony mounts were similar so I ended up going for the minolta because I like the idea behind its focus limiter.

I've owned 2x copies of the 300/4 APO HS G and the Tokina 300/4 (AF 304) and the Tokina was a much better lens.  They're pretty cheap from eBay via Japanese sellers which is where I bought mine.  As for the focus hold/limiter buttons, you'll likely hardly never use them.  Frankly, they're a waste of time as you'll need 3 hands because you have to hold the great white lump in one hand and the camera in the other, and should you be tracking your subject there won't be a time when you could press the focus hold button, so it's not a feature that has much use and it's the same on the Min 300/2.8 APO HS G and other lens models.

You would've been better off with the Sigma AF 100-300/4 EX DG (IF) APO which is more versatile and also produces superb results at all focal ranges and apertures, though the Tokina AF 340 (gold AT-X and not the red SD version) is cheaper, but it's as good as the Sigma.  I have 2x copies of the Sigma 100-300/4 in addition to the Min AF 300/2.8 APO, and they make a pretty decent set as you get the best of both lens types. I have the Sigma's on sale, so I'll keep the version that doesn't sell.

I have some images posted on my Flickr page (via Fluidr) if you want to take a look and decide for yourself with the Tokina AF 304 (300/4 AT-X), Sigma 100-300/4 and Minolta 300/2.8 APO/APO HS G (I've owned both versions).  Lens and camera used is shown on the right of the image. Did you do any research on Dyxum before deciding to buy?

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Mark

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OP mfriesenm Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: You may be fortunate to get a half decent copy

Yes I have looked them up, here is what I found

Minolta has an overall 4.91 rating to tokinas 4.81 (still very good) sharpness being a stronger point of the minolta

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tokina-300mm-F4-AT-X-AF-(AF-304)-_lens288.html

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-300mm-F4--HS-APO-G_lens21.html
The reviews seem fine for both of them.
the tokina reviews say its cheaper then the minolta, but the tokinas I have seen in the past month have been within 50$ of the minolta.
I haven't touched either one of these lenses, but I don't understand what you want me to be looking at on the dixum site.

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Maxxuman Senior Member • Posts: 1,838
Re: You may be fortunate to get a half decent copy
5

mfriesenm wrote:

Yes I have looked them up, here is what I found

Minolta has an overall 4.91 rating to tokinas 4.81 (still very good) sharpness being a stronger point of the minolta

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tokina-300mm-F4-AT-X-AF-(AF-304)-_lens288.html

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-300mm-F4--HS-APO-G_lens21.html
The reviews seem fine for both of them.
the tokina reviews say its cheaper then the minolta, but the tokinas I have seen in the past month have been within 50$ of the minolta.
I haven't touched either one of these lenses, but I don't understand what you want me to be looking at on the dixum site.

Mark goes by the name Pirate on Dyxum. He had the real misfortune of buying 2 bad copies of the Minolta 300/4. Since then whenever the lens is mentioned he feels duty bound to tell people that it's a rubbish lens and they'd be better off with the Tokina, Sigma or whatever. No amount of sharp sample photos, positive user experiences, or attempts to explain that there are bad copies of any lens can sway him. It's become a personal vendetta to try and dissuade anyone from buying the lens. I don't doubt his experience and knowledge of other lenses but he has a blind spot when it comes to the Minolta 300/4.

Incidentally, I was using mine last week and found the focus hold button useful at times, obviously not for birds in flight though. And the mechanical focus limiter is great once you get used to it.

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Barry

Lensmate
Lensmate Veteran Member • Posts: 4,018
Re: You may be fortunate to get a half decent copy
2

Maxxuman wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Yes I have looked them up, here is what I found

Minolta has an overall 4.91 rating to tokinas 4.81 (still very good) sharpness being a stronger point of the minolta

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Tokina-300mm-F4-AT-X-AF-(AF-304)-_lens288.html

http://www.dyxum.com/lenses/Minolta-AF-300mm-F4--HS-APO-G_lens21.html
The reviews seem fine for both of them.
the tokina reviews say its cheaper then the minolta, but the tokinas I have seen in the past month have been within 50$ of the minolta.
I haven't touched either one of these lenses, but I don't understand what you want me to be looking at on the dixum site.

Mark goes by the name Pirate on Dyxum. He had the real misfortune of buying 2 bad copies of the Minolta 300/4. Since then whenever the lens is mentioned he feels duty bound to tell people that it's a rubbish lens and they'd be better off with the Tokina, Sigma or whatever. No amount of sharp sample photos, positive user experiences, or attempts to explain that there are bad copies of any lens can sway him. It's become a personal vendetta to try and dissuade anyone from buying the lens. I don't doubt his experience and knowledge of other lenses but he has a blind spot when it comes to the Minolta 300/4.

Mark also believes that the Sony 70-400mm G and the 70-300mm G lenses are not worthy of their 'G' designation. He feels the Sony prime 500mm G lens shouldn't have been built amongst other things.

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-Martin P

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OP mfriesenm Forum Member • Posts: 66
My minolta 300mm f4 arrived

I am so excited! this is my first good quality lens and first telephoto lens! I have played with it a little and love the feel of this lens. The couple of test shots I took look amazingly sharp on my a77 and the AF (with a proper AF limiter distance selected) is faster then I thought a lens could ever be!
up to this moment, my only slight negative is the weight of this block of metal and glass, I can even use it to do my exercise. Can't wait to get out the the woods and put it through its paces chasing birds.

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Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

zackiedawg wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

The key with the APO lenses is that you need to stick with the matched APO teleconverters. These lenses are specially designed to pair with those teleconverters, and they don't work with other lenses because of their design. The performance at least from the 1.4x TC is almost identical - no IQ loss, just the 1 stop of light.

If you go with the Minolta adapter, the APO II version is widely considered the best, and should be no different from the Sony-branded APO teleconverter. It will perform the same speed-wise and IQ-wise, and will be shooting at F5.6 rather than F4.

I have shot a ton of samples with the 300mm F4 APO and the Minolta APO II 1.4X TC combo:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/minolta_300mm_f4_apo_g

Agree with Justin, but just be sure that you have the HS version of the 300 f4. If you have the earliest version of that lens which may not have been so-called high-speed, then the 1.4 APO II converter which slows the gear drive would really make the autofocus painfully slow. If you have the earlier non-HS version of the 300 F4, then you need the earlier teleconverter, which is almost impossible to find. It's frankly unlikely that you don't have the HS version of the 300, as those lenses are very rare. If you have the two autofocus lock buttons that means you have the HS G version, which is the latest (and most desirable) version.

And BTW, you can get a used good condition Minolta APO II 1.4TC for $200 on EvilBay.

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Maxxuman Senior Member • Posts: 1,838
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Douglas F Watt wrote:

zackiedawg wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

The key with the APO lenses is that you need to stick with the matched APO teleconverters. These lenses are specially designed to pair with those teleconverters, and they don't work with other lenses because of their design. The performance at least from the 1.4x TC is almost identical - no IQ loss, just the 1 stop of light.

If you go with the Minolta adapter, the APO II version is widely considered the best, and should be no different from the Sony-branded APO teleconverter. It will perform the same speed-wise and IQ-wise, and will be shooting at F5.6 rather than F4.

I have shot a ton of samples with the 300mm F4 APO and the Minolta APO II 1.4X TC combo:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/minolta_300mm_f4_apo_g

Agree with Justin, but just be sure that you have the HS version of the 300 f4. If you have the earliest version of that lens which may not have been so-called high-speed, then the 1.4 APO II converter which slows the gear drive would really make the autofocus painfully slow. If you have the earlier non-HS version of the 300 F4, then you need the earlier teleconverter, which is almost impossible to find. It's frankly unlikely that you don't have the HS version of the 300, as those lenses are very rare. If you have the two autofocus lock buttons that means you have the HS G version, which is the latest (and most desirable) version.

And BTW, you can get a used good condition Minolta APO II 1.4TC for $200 on EvilBay.

As far as I'm aware there was never a non-HS version of the 300 f4. Dyxum doesn't list one. There were non-HS versions of the 200 f2.8 (I have one) and the 300 f2.8 and perhaps the 400 f4.5 but I believe the 300 f4 was originally released as an HS lens.

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Barry

Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: Teleconverter for my minolta 300 f4

Maxxuman wrote:

Douglas F Watt wrote:

zackiedawg wrote:

mfriesenm wrote:

Hello,
I just purchased a minolta 300 f4 lens, and can't wait for it to arrive!
I am looking at maybe buying a 1.4x TC to help me get those birds up close, and was wondering the make of the TC would change something.
For 400$ (canadian) on ebay, I can get the minolta used

The key with the APO lenses is that you need to stick with the matched APO teleconverters. These lenses are specially designed to pair with those teleconverters, and they don't work with other lenses because of their design. The performance at least from the 1.4x TC is almost identical - no IQ loss, just the 1 stop of light.

If you go with the Minolta adapter, the APO II version is widely considered the best, and should be no different from the Sony-branded APO teleconverter. It will perform the same speed-wise and IQ-wise, and will be shooting at F5.6 rather than F4.

I have shot a ton of samples with the 300mm F4 APO and the Minolta APO II 1.4X TC combo:

http://www.pbase.com/zackiedawg/minolta_300mm_f4_apo_g

Agree with Justin, but just be sure that you have the HS version of the 300 f4. If you have the earliest version of that lens which may not have been so-called high-speed, then the 1.4 APO II converter which slows the gear drive would really make the autofocus painfully slow. If you have the earlier non-HS version of the 300 F4, then you need the earlier teleconverter, which is almost impossible to find. It's frankly unlikely that you don't have the HS version of the 300, as those lenses are very rare. If you have the two autofocus lock buttons that means you have the HS G version, which is the latest (and most desirable) version.

And BTW, you can get a used good condition Minolta APO II 1.4TC for $200 on EvilBay.

As far as I'm aware there was never a non-HS version of the 300 f4. Dyxum doesn't list one. There were non-HS versions of the 200 f2.8 (I have one) and the 300 f2.8 and perhaps the 400 f4.5 but I believe the 300 f4 was originally released as an HS lens.

thanks Barry - you are of course right and I suspected as much after posting that comment, realizing that the f4 version came out quite a bit later than the original 300 2.8.

best, Doug

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Douglas F Watt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,784
Re: My minolta 300mm f4 arrived

mfriesenm wrote:

I am so excited! this is my first good quality lens and first telephoto lens! I have played with it a little and love the feel of this lens. The couple of test shots I took look amazingly sharp on my a77 and the AF (with a proper AF limiter distance selected) is faster then I thought a lens could ever be!
up to this moment, my only slight negative is the weight of this block of metal and glass, I can even use it to do my exercise. Can't wait to get out the the woods and put it through its paces chasing birds.

I suspect you will love it, but also will find that you need the extra reach of the 1.4TC to really do much birding, unless your birds are a whole lot friendlier than ours!

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Sony: 16-50 2.8, 100 f2.8 Macro, 70-400 f4-5.6 G2,
Minolta: 600 f4, 300 2.8, 70-210 f4 ('Beercan'), 28-135 f4-4.5 (SH)
DFW

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