Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro (SAL-100M28) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews - Sony Alpha/NEX (APS-C)
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Review by Klaus Schroiff, published April 2008

Special thanks to Dieter Scherk for providing this lens for testing purposes!


The Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro is one of the lenses that survived from the Minolta era. Naturally it has been redesigned to match the look and feel of Sony Alpha lens series but under the skin little if anything has changed. It it, obviously, a (full format) macro lens but regarding its relatively large max. aperture it's also an interesting option for portraits and other mainstream applications.

The build quality of the Sony lens is good without being stellar. The outer barrel is made of decent quality plastics - all-in-all maybe a little too much of it regarding its rather steep price tag. The broad rubberized focus ring operates smooth but it is not damped and it collects lots of dust over time - this is typical for most Sony lenses. In AF mode the focus ring is decoupled from the focus gear. As you can see below the lens extends when focusing towards closer distances - this is a quite common characteristic for macro lenses although the Canon and Nikon counterparts manage to keep a constant physical length here.

The AF system of the Sony 100mm f/2.8 macro does still rely on the classic focusing system driven by the camera (via a slotted drive screw). The AF speed is pretty decent as long as the camera does not wish to hunt through the whole focus range. If possible you should always take advantage of the focus limiter. The lens does also feature a focus stop button which may come handy at times.

Equiv. focal length150 mm (full format equivalent)
Equiv. aperturef/4.2 (full format equivalent, in terms of depth-of-field)
Optical construction8 elements in 8 groups
Number of aperture blades9 (circular)
min. focus distance0.35 m (max. magnification ratio 1:1)
Dimensions75 x 99 mm
Weight505 g
Filter size55 mm (non-rotating)
Hoodbarrel-shaped, snap-on, supplied
Other featuresfocus stop button, focus limiter