Minolta AF 24-50mm F4 A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#27605 date: Jun-12-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony DT 16-80 CZ
Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-55 SAM II
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Minolta AF 24 F2.8
Minolta AF 28 F2.8
Minolta AF 50 F1.7
Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Sigma AF 24 F2.8
Tamron SP 17-50 F2.8
price paid:54 USD (used)
positive:Size and weight
Close focusing
Smooth and nicely weighted zoom mechanism
Very little lens extension
Parfocal
55 mm filter size
negative:A little soft
Softer at long end
Curved focus plane
Purple fringing at long end
Filter threads rotate with focus
Minor focus breathing
Tiny circular hood
comment:I bid too much on this lens, but it is in good shape and works reasonably well. The obvious comparison is to the later Minolta AF 24-85 F3.5-5.6. That lens is larger and heavier and doesn't keep f/4 at 50 mm. The other obvious comparison is with the little Minolta AF 35-70 F4 kit lens. The larger 24-50 F4 feels much nicer and has much closer focusing ability. It is very similar in size and weight to the 1988 version of the 35-105 F3.5-4.5.

The 24-50 and 24-85 have similar distortion at 24 mm, and the two perform rather similarly. The 24-50 has less of a warm color cast. Both of the zooms are a bit wider than the Minolta AF 24 F2.8.

The 24-50 is considerably larger than the 35-70 F4, but the 24-50 doesn't extend as far as the 35-70 F4 at its maximum at 35 mm. Like the DT kit lenses and 35-70 the 24-50 is fully retracted at 35 mm. Also like the 18-55 it extends more at the widest end than the longest end.

The zoom mechanism is very smooth and nicely weighted. Despite being an external focus design it has negative focus breathing (the angle-of-view decreases a little with closer focus.)

The stock circular hood is comically small--even shorter than the 28/18mm circular hood. The larger clip-on hoods from the 100-300 fits perfectly and don't vignette on APS-C.

Test chart comparison on an A65 with the 24-85, Carl Zeiss 16-80, Tamron 17-50 F2.8, and Sony DT 18-135 SAM.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 50
  • sharpness: 4.37
  • color: 4.84
  • build: 4.58
  • distortion: 4.38
  • flare control: 3.80
  • overall: 4.39
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