At the top end of the true Macro range are a group of lenses around the 200mm mark. Giving a good working distance from the lens, we take a look at this offering from Konica Minolta.
- Focal Length 200mm
- Max aperture f/4
- Min aperture f/32
- Min focus distance 0.5m
- Elements/groups N/A
- Ratio 1:1
- Dimensions 79x195mm
- Weight 1.13kg
- Tripod bush Yes (supplied)
- Mount Minolta A type bayonet
- Price(RRP) 1429.99
Build and Handling
This lens is a solid and well-built professional offering that comes with a fitted tripod mount collar. This has spot marks on it to denote portrait and landscape orientations with a line on the lens as a guide mark. This was a little annoying, as you have to turn your head to the side to see the marks for portrait mode. I would sooner have seen the marks on the lens and a guide on the collar!
On the left, forward of this, is a turn switch that acts as a focus limiter. It operates each side of the 0.75m mark to improve AF speed or can be switched off for the full focus range. In front of this is a button that locks the AF setting while held to stop the camera re-focussing. Central on the barrel is a distance window marked in metres and feet, with the addition of a third scale indicating the magnification ratio on the sensor/film.
Next up comes a wide (40mm), neatly ribbed manual focus ring that is fixed during AF and cannot over-ride the AF. Once switched to MF, achieved on the camera with the Minolta system, it is nicely torqued but takes a full turn to achieve the full range. There is another 70mm of lens in front of this prior to the hood bayonet mount and the 72mm filter thread. Autofocus performance is slow, as is common with Macro lenses and it is accompanied by some noise, although this is not deafening! All of the focussing is carried out internally, so the length remains constant and the front end does not rotate, making filter use easy.
Once again with a K-M lens, the optical performance across the aperture range was highly consistent and only the edge performance wide open let it down fractionally. There is, effectively, no distortion with a measured figure of 0.07% from the Imatest distortion module.
Chromatic aberration also, across the entire range, produced exceptionally low figures showing that the lens is well corrected for this annoying phenomenon. Resolution and contrast combine to produce sharp looking images with a pleasing colour balance.
0.4sec at f/11 with the 200mm lens. At the closest focus of 1:1 it does not give a great depth-of-field.
30sec at f/22 and a tad further away gives a workable depth-of-field. Crop area marked here and magnified below.
This 100% crop of the area marked shows the detail that can be picked out at these magnifications. The surface of the battery looks smooth to the naked eye. All pictures taken on a Dynax 5D
Click on each comparision photo below to view full size versions
200mm set at f/8
200mm set at f/4
Below is our lens test data. To find out how to use these graphs look at this article: How we test lenses
A top quality, long Macro lens that is obviously built to last and has an optical quality that goes a long way towards warranting its price. However, there are one or two handling niggles that spoil an otherwise superb lens. The focus limiter switch requires removing your hand from the lens and using thumb and forefinger to adjust, where a slide switch could be operated with the thumb alone without removing your hand. The tripod collar is the other.
In summary, the positive points of the KM APO 200mm f/4 (G) Macro are:
Superb optical quality
Excellent build quality
The negative points are:
Niggly handling points
Check the latest price of the K-M APO 200mm f/4 (G) Macro here
Test by Ian Andrews www.wildaboutkent.co.uk