In 1988 Minolta produced a 70-210mm f/4 lens that was fairly popular amongst Minolta film camera users, but which slipped out of production in the late 90’s. This lens was often referred to as the “beercan” due to it’s shape and size.

The lens is experiencing a renaissance and has become very popular with users of the Sony line of digital SLR cameras as it’s completely compatible and is optically very powerful and optically superior to most kit lenses and other lenses in it’s class. The price is very appealing as well when you consider that a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens will set you back anywhere from $800 to $2000. The Minolta “beercan” shows up on EBay fairly frequently and if you play your cards right, can be obtained for around $200-$250 depending on conditon. I’ve seen them sell for as much as $350 to $450 on rare occasions. I suspect the price is going up as Sony users become more common and set out looking for glass that performs well.

Known for its sharpness, rich color rendition and smooth creamy bokeh, the Minolta 70-210mm f/4 has become more sought after and more highly prized by the growing legions of Sony dSLR enthusiasts giving the lens a cult like status amongst Sony users.

I just took delivery on my personal beercan and it’s AWESOME! I found it via a Minolta dealer online and bypassed the ridiculous EBay bidding wars altogether. I won’t say what I paid for it, but it’s in near mint condition and I got a good deal. I have another one coming tomorrow and I plan to resell it.

Seeing it on my Sony Alpha 700 just gives me the happy

I haven’t played with it much, but here are some test shots using two of my most reliable models:



You can see the original sizes of the above images here and here if you are interested.

Thank you Santa!

Christmas eve was spent in the company of two of our bestest friends, Jim and Greg Henkel.

I forgot to get a good picture of it, but Greg is wearing a shirt that Cynthia made for him as an Xmas gift. The fabric is Hawaiian and has pictures of islands, palm trees and BATTLESHIPS. Greg’s a huge fan of the dreadnought so it was the perfect gift for him.

Cynthia had great gift from her sister waiting under the tree on this chillsome Xmas morn.

It’s a giraffe marionette.

It’s a pretty well known fact that Cynthia loves giraffes and some of you may might recall her adventures/antics/shenanigans at the Texas Renaissance Festival as the “Crazy Puppet Lady.”

And I got the coolest present EVER!

It’s a collectible set of GI JOE Xmas ornaments that are replica pieces from “The Secret of the Mummy’s Tomb” set which came out in 1971. This is what the original looks like:

It was a gift from Cynthia’s mother. She has the idea that I should have a GI JOE tree if Cynthia has a giraffe tree. We’ll see. For now I have them in my collectors case with the REAL GI JOE’s. I especially like the back of the ornament box which features the actual graphic from the original box.

Here’s hoping Santa brought you something nice this Christmas!