Expanding My Range

Friday, January 05, 2007, at 03:02AM

By Eric Richardson

The Minolta 70-210/f4, better known as the "beercan"

I got another lens yesterday. Well, actually I got two, but one was just because it was really cheap. The one I'm particularly excited about is the Minolta 70-210 f4, known in Minolta circles as the "Beercan" (pictured). Set on the A100 (or any other APS-C sensor), the lens is effectively a 105-315mm.

For Christmas I had asked for either this lens or the 50/1.7 I ended up getting. I love that I got the fast 50mm for while I was home, since it allowed some very cool indoor portrait shots, but it did leave my long end pretty short (the kit lens, at 70mm, was longest). When I saw this beercan for a particularly good price on KEH I went ahead and picked it up. From playing around inside the apartment last night I'm very happy with it. Tomorrow I'll have to go walk around and take some real shots with it.

At the same time I also picked up a Sigma 24 f2.8 for $35 or so. Is it a great lens? Not particularly. It's loud and the focus isn't as smooth as you'd like. In the end, though, it's absolutely worth the $35 to have it around and available. It took the picture of the beercan above.

Now I need a bigger camera bag.