There is little doubt on the quality when one handles this lens; it has a superb feel to it. The sturdiness tell you that the built quality is for a lens made to last. If the feel to it was impressive, then the image quality was stunning. The images pops out, with these well-known and unmistakeable Minolta colours. AF speed and accuracy are amazing, but the noise is very noticeable.
At first, what was most puzzling was that this lens did not carry the G Name. Using it there was little doubt that this lens was a G grade lens in every way. Therefore, I started reading further about it. There was several in depth reviews of it, comparing it to Sony’s 70-200/2.8 APO G D SSM. In many of these, is the picture quality and splendid Minolta colours judged to be better in this old boy from 1993. However, honestly from looking at the comparison pictures it was very difficult for me to spot the differences. To my pleasant surprise, it learned that the HS APO version is a G grade, and that Minolta only later started to brand them with a G on the cap.
On a budget
Available on EBAY for 1/5 of the price of the new Sony 70-200, made the choice simple for me. Looking at the quality of the produced pictures confirms me in decision of getting this lens. For portraits or sports, this lens is with you all the way.
More technical insight can be found at mhohner.