Great Lenses: Minolta AF APO Tele-Zoom 80-200 1.2.8

Continuing in my list of Great Lenses is this gem from Minolta, the AF APO Tele Zoom 80-200mm 1:2.8

This particular lens was on loan to me from fellow photographer Ronny Robinson.  He was assisting me in an outdoor shoot a couple of years ago and while I was using my favorite 24-80 zoom lens, Ronny was using this amazing Minolta Tele Zoom.  

 

It really worked out well as Ronny was shooting candid shots from a distance while Mary Beth was directing poses and I was shooting the formal portraits.  (Nothing like having a good team to work with.)  While I do own really nice 80-200 f4 Minolta Zoom, the high speed of this lens intrigued me.

 

When we were finished, Ronny handed me the lens and said to try it out for a while.  Despite its size, the lens handles well.  Lens construction and build was top drawer, certainly among the best I've ever seen.  Focusing is super-fast and the extra speed really allows one to capture amazing available light shots.  Truthfully, I didn’t want to give it back.  This lens has just the right balance of sharpness and character that delivers beautiful vibrant images.  Suffice it to say, I’m looking for one to add to our arsenal of lenes.  I highly recommend this one!