My first impressions on this classic lens. Long, long ago in a galaxy far away I used to sell photographic equipment ... in the early days of auto focus cameras Minolta was the player. There was a number of lenses that Minolta had that were very exceptional ... almost too much that many suspected that they were made by Leica ... though I more suggest that the legendary lenses that Minolta made were designed with the info that was provided by Leitz in their partnership. Ok, back to talking about the 80-200mm ... the lens that I am referring to is the original black one, not the second white HS one ... it feels solid, feels like a lens (not sure if I can explain that) the build feels like my old Maxxum 28-135mm. The focusing mechanism also sounds like that lens. For those users of current lenses you will find a dislike for this lens as it operates very clunky. This lens can produce very outstanding images at all apertures. I do not see much difference shooting wide open than stopped down a couple (typically the best spot). A benefit to high IQ is that images can be cropped heavily and still look good ... at all apertures. I purchased this lens to shoot wide open, so if it sucks at f/2.8 then it is a waste (for me). I used the word "can" ... meaning that I have not figured out the best way to use this lens on the Sony A77mII. So far it is hit and miss ... gotta work on figuring out the best set up to get the AF to hit more consistently. Oh, and I mentioned the word "clunky" ... the way that Minolta made the gearing mechanism for the screw driven focus makes this lens very loud as it engages, sounds like too much play in the gears ... coupled with a high gear ratio (those of you that like fast cars) you can feel the torque as the lens focuses. Final word ... the lens does live up to its legendary status, but may not be for everyone. Ah, for those that want to know ... the tripod collar can removed. The collar was designed to be on the lens all the time, but it is only secured there by another ring behind it. This ring can be screwed off the lens and it is locked on by three small screws. Loosen the three screws, unscrew (counter clockwise) the retaining ring, and then slip the tripod collar off.