Minolta AF 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#15264 date: Jun-4-2015
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 16-105
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 18-200
Minolta AF 24-85
Minolta AF 24-85 RS
Minolta AF 28-80 D
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105 RS
Minolta AF 28-135
Minolta AF 35-105 Original & New
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
price paid:40 USD (used)
positive:Smooth zoom and focus controls
Internal focus
Flat focus plane
negative:Size and weight
Barrel distortion at the wide end
Only F4 up to 50 mm
Small hood for APS-C use
Center softness
comment:This lens was $320 when released in 1994--$100 cheaper than the 24-85 which was released a year earlier and slightly more than the 28-85 RS. This definitely looks and feels like a premium lens, though the rounded 90's styling is dated. My first excellent clean copy came from Japan for $73. "JAPAN"

It has more distortion at 28 mm than the Minolta 28 mm primes lens but less distortion at 35 mm than the DT 35 SAM. It has a little more distortion than the 24-85 at the same focal lengths.

Both versions of the 28-105 have curved aperture blades, but those on RS version do seem to form a slightly smoother shape. The plastic hood is shinier and smoother than the one included on the newer RS version. The hood is deeper than the similar 24-85 hood, but both use the same 3-lobed bayonet mount and are mechanically interchangeable.

It is somewhat soft at 105 mm, but it does work with 1.4x and 2x teleconverters. Even AF works with the 2x. It seems to work reasonably well with extension tubes for macro. Without the tubes it is fairly useless for close-up photography. The 24-85 lenses focus closer than the 28-105 despite both being listed with a 500 mm MFD.

At close focus the internal focus design acts like a shorter length lens than those with external focus extension. The 105 mm setting on the 28-105 is close to a 90 mm setting on the 35-105. The 105 mm end does have more reach than the newer DT 16-105 lens.

Between the 16-105, 28-105, and 35-105 each have their own advantages. The DT 16-105 has full lens compensation support and seems to auto focus most accurately. But while it is the sharp in the center of the frame it falls off the quickest with the extreme corners being horrible. It actually performs quite well on the wide end which of course is much wider than the others. The price however is also much higher for lower image quality through most of the range. The 28-105 is the most consistently sharp across the frame especially at the wide end, but suffers from CA away from the center of the frame at the long end. The 35-105 gives up close focusing except at 105 mm in macro mode for excellent sharpness, but the focal range is mainly short telephoto on APS-C cameras.

While I have used this as an everyday lens on the A58. It hasn't gotten much use recently since the 16-105 is good enough and adds the useful wide 16-28 range.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 43
  • sharpness: 4.55
  • color: 4.77
  • build: 4.58
  • distortion: 4.35
  • flare control: 4.26
  • overall: 4.50
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