I don't own one of these lenses, but the newspaper I used to work for owned one. I used this lens many Friday nights to shoot local football games. I wish that I had about $1000 to buy one (or at least that's what I think it costs).
Recommend this product?
This lens is indestructible! There were many different people who used this lens at the newspaper and I know that some of them didn't take care of it as well as I did (I could tell by looking at their own equipment). After a couple of years of being used almost everyday by many different people, we never had to have any work done on it other than general cleanings.
One of the best things about this lens is the maximum aperture setting. 2.8 will allow you to get some of the quickest shutter speeds, which is very important, especially when shooting sports. The football games were at night with decent lighting and I was still able to get shutter speeds around 1/200 of a second. A shutter speed that fast will definitely stop the action for football.
This lens is also very light weight. You don't have to worry about carrying a pulley system to use this one. You don't even have to have a monopod to shoot football. An average person can hold this one up without strain for an entire game without problem.
The only major drawback of this lens is that it is not a zoom lens. If the action gets too close, you have to be very good in order to get what you want in the frame. Also, if the action is far away, sometimes you have trouble getting close enough with this lens due to the lack of being able to reach farther than 200mm.
The Minolta 200mm f2.8 lens is one of the best lenses I have ever used. I just wish I could have afforded to buy one for myself when I was working at the newspaper. It would have made my life much easier and I would have gotten better pictures.
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