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Tamron 200-400mm f/5.6 (A-Mount) Lens Review

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Digging into the longer telephoto world for Minolta A Mount, we found this $50 lens – yes – you read that right…a 200-400mm f/5.6 telephoto for $50 used.


Giving us a field of view of 300 to 600mm, we will look and see what this is all about.


Will we find another gem, an average performer or a dud? We will report on all this and more in this review.


All images were processed from RAW in Lightroom Classic.

Disclaimer: I process images and see what I can get out of this lens through normal prost processing. For me, that is processing JPG or RAW files in Lightroom and if RAW, run them through sharpening in Lightroom or Topaz Photo AI or Sharpen AI. If you are looking for a clinical test, you’ll want to check out other sights for that.








Ok, so this is a big old horking lens! Not like 600mm fast prime big…but it is substantial.


A push-pull design, it is smallest at 200mm and almost double when pushed out to 400mm.


Rubberized coating covers roughly 90% of the barrel. The focus ring is also covered in the same material.


Included was a tripod collar. It appears to be substantial and should have no issues supporting the weight of this lens and the camera that is attached to it. The front element is 77mm and accommodates a pinch cap nicely. My copy did not come with a lens hood.


Build seems pretty good as there is minimal wiggle in the barrel when extended and given the age, the coatings are still in good shape.

If you’ve never used a push-pull lens before it may seem a little awkward. I’ve used a few in the past and I found that I got used to the functionality of it quickly. It may not be for everyone though.






Weather Sealed

My guess is not, but you never can tell how some of these legacy lenses were built. In my short time with this lens it has been out in temps ranging from 40F down to 26F with no issues. Light rain…no problems. A dunk or downpour…probably would not risk it.






Image Quality


So here is what most want to know. Doing a little preliminary research, others have stated that it was acceptable at shorter focal lengths wide open, but as you push toward the longer end (yes, pun intended), you need to stop down to f/8 to get it in a more optimal state. So did this hold up with my testing? Let’s find out!


For a lens like this, you’ll want to keep the shutter speeds pretty high and most likely seek out good light to feed that f/5.6 and potentially smaller aperture.







Focus is relatively slow on this lens. Not glacially, but there is a lot of glass to be moved about here. If you have some moving subjects, you’ll want to incorporate some pre-focusing techniques for sure. For static subjects, that is less of an issue.





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See my content here:

http://www.visualohio.com | BESTLIGHTPHOTO BLOG | 500px Profile & Pics


I shoot Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax and Leica.

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  • Editor

Found it over on KEH.com.  Was listed as bargain grade - but the glass was fine.  The body a little dinged up - the picture of the lens at the beginning is my actual lens.

  • Like 1

See my content here:

http://www.visualohio.com | BESTLIGHTPHOTO BLOG | 500px Profile & Pics


I shoot Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax and Leica.

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