Minolta AF 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 RS A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#16278 date: Jun-21-2015
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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 16-80 CZ
Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-55 SAM I/II
Sony DT 18-70
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Minolta AF 24-50 F4
Minolta AF 24-85
Minolta AF 28-80 D
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105
Minolta AF 28-135
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
price paid:79 USD (used)
positive:Smooth zoom and focus controls
Internal focus
Parfocal
Compact
Little distortion
Minimal CA (purple/green at 24 mm, blue/red at 85 mm)
negative:Haze that decreases contrast
Barrel distortion on the wide end
Focus inaccuracy/purple fringing
Focus plane more curved than 28-xx and 35-xx zooms
Focal length decreases with close focus
comment:The 24-85 RS performs identically to the non-RS version. The apertures aren't even significantly different shapes. The RS version might be slightly smoother.

The 24-85 seems to back focus often on the A58 so the corners end up sharper than the center. Both version often look washed out especially wide open perhaps caused by sensor reflection which wasn't an issue in 1994. Both are very soft at 85 mm.

The focal plane of the 24-85 is not as flat as the focal plane of the 28-105, but it is flatter than the Sony DT 18-55 kit lens at least on the wide end. The 24-85 has a bit less distortion than the 28-105 on the wide end. It has very similar amount of distortion to the 18-55. It is sharper at the wide end than the 18-55, but it performs quite similarly to the kit lens at the longer focal lengths. It is a bit sharper at 24 mm than the Sigma 24 mm Super Wide II F2.8 prime lens.

Overall, neither version of the 24-85 is a great alternative to the 18-55 SAM II kit lens on an APS-C camera, and the longer 28-105 and 35-105 zooms perform much better.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 52
  • sharpness: 4.40
  • color: 4.69
  • build: 4.35
  • distortion: 4.19
  • flare control: 4.13
  • overall: 4.35
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