Minolta Telephoto Lenses Review – Beercan, Big Beercan and APO kit

I have collected few Minolta telephoto lenses. The first is legendary ‘beercan’ 70-210mm F4. It has very good colour and sharpness. Soon I realize about having longer lens in shooting auto racing. My target is to acquire ‘big beercan’ 70-300mm F4.5-5.6. This lens is older and heavier than beercan but it has definite sharpness at 300mm in non professional lens category. It also featured a focus limiter which allows focus range to be full or partial in order to lock focus much faster. This is especially useful when shooting in racing circuit. However, its 700g weight makes me like working in gym. Soon I caught attention to 100-300mm APO F4.5-6.6 (D). This is highest rated small telephoto zoom lens by Dyxum.com review. It is compact and with a focus lock button which is good for panning shoot (I assume it would good for autoracing too). But its sharpness is not at same par as two beercan brothers in my dry box. I’m happy with all three lenses since all serve different purposes. The beercan with fixed aperture which is good for indoor use. Big beercan with its focus limiter provide faster focus speed which can use for racing and birding. APO zoom is a travel necessary. My next try probably are G lenses?? (Even I sold all three above are not possible to acquire a used G unit..) Let’s maximize and enjoy my current setup.

From left: big beercan, beercan and APO(D)

Sharpness Test (Big Beercan, APO, Beercan)

CA test (Big Beercan, APO, Beercan)


8 thoughts on “Minolta Telephoto Lenses Review – Beercan, Big Beercan and APO kit

  1. Hi! Nicely done!
    After few months with athe Beercan I found the bigger brother and I wanted to sell one of them. I cannot decide so I think I’m gonna start to collect. Maybe the next will be a 100-400apo?
    Which one would you keep?

    1. For me beercan definitely the final choice. Because it fixed aperture, good weight and focal range. 300mm is not necessary for most indoor shots. Yea, the 100-400mm APO is tempting but price has been shoot up sky high nowdays. It is a rare item.

  2. I’ve the same predicament. I’m looking at 3 Minolta long zooms: Big Beer Can, 100-300m APO and the MAXXUM 100-300mm xi 4.5.

    I have the first Beer Can.

    So far I’m leaning towards the BigBCan, but yet still have interest in the xi. I own the 28-105 xi 3.5, which pleasantly surprised me with its sharpness! It immediately replaced my former, everyday go-to lens, the pretty decent Sony 18-200mm, which has proven just too soft for other than Weddings or other “Romantically themed images. It has the 62mm filter instead of 46mm found on the “standard” of the same length. Just as the 80-200mm xi has a 55mm instead of the smaller.

    But I can’t find anything in the way of a comparison test using the xi’s as one of the testees. It’s my belief that all xi’s are built to a higher standard than the “normal” lenses of the same lengths created earlier on by Minolta.

    Can ANYone help me, especially from their own experience??

    I can share back and Will!


    1. Minolta xi lens is not easy to find nowdays and I do agree it is a improved version compare with first generation lenses. The Sony 18-250 is much more sharper and really a wonderful superzoom companion. My dream lens would be 70-200mm but its price is untouchable for me. Perhaps I will go for body upgrade (A850??) to maximize Minolta IQ. My test on Minolta film really poisonous.

  3. Hello,

    I see that the first shot is better than the second in both images.
    Which lense that two first shot was made ? Big Beercan or 100/300 APO ?


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