Minolta AF 28mm F2.8 A-mount lens review by awa54

reviewer#11484 date: Nov-16-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 own this lens
compared to:24-85 f3.5-4.5
35-70 f4
35-105 f3.5-4.5 (0riginal)
Sigma 24 f2.8
price paid:$50 USD (used)
positive:Acceptable as a "standard" lens on APS-C
Small and light
Fast focus even in low light
Decent bokeh
negative:So-so sharpness for a prime
Color not quite as saturated as my other Minolta lenses from this era
The built in "hood" is a joke (a filter gives the same "shading" as this hood)
comment:This lens is a bit underwhelming in my opinion. The overall performance isn't actually bad, but I had been hoping that it would handily outperform the zoom lenses that are close to its range at least in terms of sharpness and distortion...

The truth is that unless I need the extra little bit of wide range and the extra stop of light gathering, I prefer the 35-70 f4 or 35-105 to this lens for overall IQ. If I were to pick a single prime to mount up for walkaround, then the Sigma 24 f2.8 SWII would get the nod as I like the rendering and crisper look of the images I get from it, as well as the versatility that its close focus capability offers.

The 28 f2.8 certainly has good qualities, but it feels like a compromise in almost every way when compared to other lenses in my kit. I think that the only thing I would use it for as my go-to would be street photography on an overcast day where the extra light gathering was a benefit, or in a situation where I couldn't get enough distance from my subjects to make the 35mm focal length viable, but didn't want the the images to have an obvious wide-angle look.

If I hadn't gotten a deal on this lens I would be pretty disappointed, but at $50 total cost I can keep it in the bag without feeling guilty, in my opinion this lens won't be worth the average $80-100 used retail price to many Dyxum users.

P.S. If I would rate the color at a 4.5 if that was an option, it's not *bad* color, just not quite as pleasing as the best of the first gen. Maxxum lenses.

** after using the 28 f2.8 for a few more weeks, I have to say that its positive qualities are beginning to win me over... the goodness in this lens is subtle while the failings are less subtle, however I am beginning to get the hang of using it to its best advantage; as long as the shot doesn't need ultimate sharpness, punchiest contrast (by Minolta standards that is) or perfect linearity, but *does* need a quick handling lens with just-wide-of-standard angle of view, then the feel that the 28 f2.8 imparts on images makes it worth bringing along in the pack.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 138
  • sharpness: 4.25
  • color: 4.64
  • build: 4.52
  • distortion: 4.28
  • flare control: 3.86
  • overall: 4.31
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