Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 76    1 2 3 >>
reviewer#36805 date: Mar-28-2017
sharpness: 2.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.1
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7 (RS & original)
Minolta 24-105mm
Minolta 28-80
Minolta 28-85
Minolta 28-100
Minolta 35-70 (f4 & f3.5-4.5)
Minolta 75-300
Minolta 100-300 (original & APO)
Sony 18-55mm
Sony 30mm f2.8
Sony 35mm f1.8
Sony 50mm f1.8
Sony 55-200mm
Sony 55-300mm
Sigma 10-20mm f4-5.6
Sigma & Tamron 28-200mm
Tamron 90mm f2.8
Vivitar 70-210
Various MF lenses
price paid:£10
positive:Light
Plastic
Soft
Spherical aberration
Veiling at full aperture
Bokeh
negative:MFD
comment:Okay, let’s get some things out of the way. Firstly, this review is based on my experiences with one copy of this lens, which I had to repair before I could use it (zoom contact fingers making poor electrical contact) and which has a scratch on the edge of the front element. Yours may be different.
Second, you may think I have got the pros and cons mixed up above, but I haven’t. Explanations follow.
This lens isn’t sharp. In fact it’s probably the least sharp lens I have. Everywhere is soft wide open and pretty blurry too; centres sharpen by f5.6 but the corners need f8 to look good. If you don’t like that, pick another lens. In fact, don’t even think of the 35-100mm as a serious walk-around zoom. It’s not wide enough for that job on APS-C and most FF users would want something much better.
No, think of this lens as a specialist soft-focus lens and it suddenly makes sense, so that is what I’m reviewing it as. Firstly, the bokeh is very soft which is good, and I think is probably due to lots of uncompensated spherical aberration from the simple lens construction. Now I’m not one of those people who takes lots of blurry photos with rough old lenses and drools about bokeh on internet chat rooms, but if I was, then I’d certainly be pleased with this lens.
At short focal lengths (say, 35-50mm) background OOF point light sources produce perfect circles with no onion-rings or bright edges like so many ultra-sharp lenses today. On APS-C, they often stay circles pretty close to the edges, much like the Minolta 50mm f1.7. And at the long end the circles (and much else) have smoothly blurred edges as well, like an STF lens.
However at 100mm and FF, they get squashed pretty quickly, and here the lens does much worse than the 24-105mm where they stay circles even at the long end. For best results, make sure the background is so OOF that circles aren't visible.
Viewed normally I find the central area is okay, even at full aperture. Don’t expect 100% crops to look sharp because they won’t, at any aperture. But at f8, the centre is just about sharp enough for good close-ups, bearing in mind that real subjects aren’t flat and always have some misfocussing anyway. At wider apertures even things fairly close to the focal plane blur nicely away from the in-focus centre, and at full aperture some veiling gives an old-fashioned hazy glow which you will probably either love or hate. On occasion it can add something special to a portrait, the kind of thing you’d spend ages trying to achieve in pp. If you don’t want it, reduce aperture one stop and it’s gone.
Viewed as a specialist soft-focus lens for portraits, pets and still-life, the focal–length range makes perfect sense in APS-C because it’s not a wide-angle lens and it’s completely useless for architecture and landscapes (unless you like blurry ones). Likewise, forget about the corners, even on FF. For the kind of use this lens is good at, you won’t want the corners sharp anyway. Yes, there’s some CA there but fortunately the corners are usually blurry enough to hide it. Ditto axial CA (bokeh fringing). There is little geometric distortion either.
I agree the MFD is longer than ideal, but then it isn’t a macro lens, and at 100mm the magnification is enough for flowers and things. My test shots of a computer monitor confirm the softness that normal pictures suggest, though this not so bad as some bad copies of other lenses I’ve tried. Shooting groups of daffodils, for example, it is quite easy to close in on an individual or small group while others blur away softly, and the result is noticeably more dreamy than most modern ultra-sharp lenses produce. It’s up to whether you like that or not. In a print I would, in colour slides, probably not.
If you don’t have a lens hood, the Hoya-style collapsible rubber ones are fine. But as one of the more recent Minolta lenses, the coatings are good and pictures with sun in shot are often okay.
If you’re looking for a cheap walk-around zoom, pick the late Minolta 28-100mm kit lens instead. That one is conveniently wider, sharper in the centre at all focal lengths and apertures and the corners clean up quite nicely by f8. It’s still light in weight and has a shorter MFD and better magnification. And it’s even cheaper and easier to replace if you drop it, scratch it, get it wet, or suffer sand-blasting on the beach.
So there you have it. Treat the newer 35-100mm lens as a normal zoom and you may think it’s rubbish. Look at it differently, and it could be a gem.


reviewer#35791 date: Mar-13-2017
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-80D, 18-55 SAM, 35-105 original, 28-85, 24-85. All are clearly technically superior in terms of giving sharp, punchy results at wide apertures, but the type of image rendering this lens gives at F8-11 is one I find much more beautiful than the first two, and perhaps even prefer to what I can get from the others.

The original 35-105 is in a totally different league for sharpness, but that doesn't mean that this one is useless..in fact it is extremely useful if you are shooting in good light.

price paid:about 16 GBP I think
positive:Extremely small and light (eg shorter and slightly narrower than the Sony 18-55 kit), quite nice to use. I like the colour and the type of rendering in general. Contrast is lower than all the other lenses mentioned, but that doesn't mean it's lacking here. Focus is much faster than older Minolta zooms as there is so much less weight to move (this lens was the first of the second generation lenses released in 1988 at the time of the 7000i camera). Flare and distortion look a little lower than from the 35-105 I and 28-85.
negative:High levels of spherical aberration, particularly at longer focal lengths, until stopped to about F8. Shoot at F10 or 11 to maximise sharpness.

Usual Minolta veiling glare into the sun (though not quite as easy to provoke as it is with eg the 28-85 or 35-105 I), plus weirdly-shaped ghosts.
comment:This is a perplexing, but interesting lens. In many ways it gives a very old-fashioned performance, with its need to be stopped down heavily. My initial tests at distances of about 10 feet suggested it was going to be almost useless much away from 70mm as the edge performance was so utterly hopeless; however taking it outside showed that the extreme lack of flatness of field that caused big problems shooting flat objects at short distances was not quite such a big issue in real world shooting nearer infinity.

The optical performance is technically not a patch on the original 35-105 nor even any of the other lenses I've listed above, until you stop it down to F8-11. At these apertures it is good at every focal length and can easily beat the first two lenses listed above. In real world use, 35-50mm requires noticeably less stopping down than than 70-105 and some shots at 35mm F4 look OK. F10 gives the best performance at all focal lengths.

I love its small size and weight, and like its focal length. I find the results at F8-11 pleasing. At wider apertures, there is a tendency for a "painterly" rendering due to spherical aberration. Interesting swirly bokeh when used for close-ups at 50mm/70mm.

I have the idea that I like it more than most of the lenses listed above, despite its obvious flaws. It is clearly technically inferior to eg the 24-85, yet I think I prefer the way photos from this lens look. Am I crazy? I will revise if necessary...

The sharpness score is tricky for such an inconsistent lens, as I'd score it about a 2 for close work, and about the same for its telephoto performance used away from its aperture sweet spot...yet at F8-11 it is perfect for real-world shooting at all apertures, as long as you aren't photographing paintings or anything flat at indoor distances.

I think it well worth trying if you like small, light lenses, but you can't expect too much from it. The 28-85 absolutely blows this away and doesn't usually cost much more. The original 35-105 is even better. It is fascinating that Minolta replaced that incredibly sharp lens with this one...yet on a bright day, this is the lens I'd take on a walk.

I have started a flickr group to explore and discuss what this lens can do, as I find it an interesting little lens. https://www.flickr.com/groups/3545438@N24/
reviewer#35784 date: Mar-2-2017
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-70 f/3.5-4.5, Baby beercan, etc.
price paid:25 USD (used)
positive:Small 3X zoom, good bokeh, good flare resistance, sharp stopped down
negative:Wide open is soft and blurry off axis, low contrast
comment:Really too soft wide open for 16MP APS-C even in the center, with some SA and gets blurry off axis. Better on 24MP FF. Stopping down helps, and by f/8 it's very nice. Minolta colors, easily beating the Sigma in that but not sharpness. Acts a lot like the beercans, but lower contrast and better built than the baby beercan. Almost really good bokeh; better than most zooms. Fast but clunky AF. Overall, a decent AF street shooter that can also do portraits.

More of my comments on this and sample images at https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/59206280
reviewer#29683 date: Aug-31-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-55 and 18-70 kit lens, Minolta 24-105, Sigma 10-20, Sigma 70-300, Sigma 17-35, Sigma 50 Art, Sony FE 70-200 G f4.
price paid:£30
positive:Cheap, can be had for £30 in v-good condition.
Weighs next to nothing and is very compact.
Smooth focus and zoom.
negative:Rotating front if using filters.
Could be faster but then that means heavier.
comment:Loved this lens on my A580 as covered my most used ranges at the time. Now have A7R so it is a true 35-105 which again works great for me. Have to use manual focus as no LA-EA4 adapter but tend to be at f8 or more so no issues with focus peaking on A7R. Used in London for walk about lens and had some great shots. Sure there are way better lenses out there, but proce to performacnce ratio his is great.
reviewer#26546 date: Apr-8-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 Original
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
price paid:18 USD (used)
positive:Small
Center sharpness stopped down
55 mm filter threads
negative:Softness wide open
Axial CA
Moderate lateral CA
Very curved focus plane at 35 mm
Max aperture is f/4.5 at 50 mm (compared to 70 mm for original)
comment:This 1988 version was and is a lot cheaper than the original 1985 Minolta AF 35-105. It was originally priced at about half the price of the older version. "JAPAN"

I certainly prefer the ergonomics and appearance of the compact 1988 restyled body design over the original AF series. It is just barely larger than the older 35-70 F4 lens. It only maintains F4 until 50 mm (original version stays F4 to 70 mm). Both of the rubber control grips are fairly narrow. The zoom action has a lot of stiction but is smooth and even once in motion.

I was surprised that it is actually pretty sharp at least stopped down a bit in the center of the frame. It also doesn't have the warm color cast of the original version. It does have more CA than the original version, but not very much even at 105 mm.

Both of the 35-x0 kit lenses have much flatter focus planes. Even the Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5 is a bit flatter but rather similar. It is certainly not the ideal lens for shooting flat objects perfectly perpendicular to the camera, but it also makes no claim to be a macro lens. The resolution doesn't really seem to drop off with focal length, just with an open aperture. I expected more softness at 105 mm, but it does do much better stopped down to at least f/8. There is definitely useful extra reach compared to the kit zooms. You could argue it deserves a 4 for sharpness.

This lens seems to have one of the smallest rear elements of any lens I've seen.

It uses the same circular hood as the original version. The larger clip-on, circular 70-210/75-300/100-300 hoods are better options for APS-C crop use.
reviewer#12118 date: Feb-3-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony Zeiss Vario Sonnar DT 16-80 F3.5-4.5
Sony G 70-300 SSM F4.5-5.6
Tamron Di II 60 F2 Macro
Minolta AF/100 F2
Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5
Minolta AF/50 F1.7
price paid:€ 25 (used)
positive:This is a small compact and light lens on my A350 that covers the most common focal range; and I got it for almost free alongside a much wanted 100 F2. It doesn't cast a shadow of itself when used with built-in flash. Auto-focus works quickly and reliably.
negative:Only 3x zoom; modest max aperture. No ADI function
comment:For any purpose I have a better lens in my lineup, but all are heavier and bulkier (except my 1.7/50 prime). And after all this lens is still pretty good, in particular when you take the price on 2nd hand market into consideration. It has the beautiful Minolta colour rendition. It has good but not excellent sharpness and contrast (at least in the APS-C area). So what do you expect? For €25 it is really good value for money.
reviewer#11760 date: Apr-11-2014
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to: 18-55, 24-85
price paid:$75 USD
positive:Compact, light, solidly made. Cheap and available.
negative: Not as good as the longer and heavier original; no macro.
comment:I paid perhaps more than most for this lens, but it appeared to be unused and totally dust free so I went for it. Maybe it was a fluke, but my copy is better than I'd expected from reading the reviews. Yes, it is soft at 35mm wide open but it's reasonably sharp at 105 WO and at 5.6 and 8 it's plenty sharp for my purposes. The focus doesn't seem to shift while zooming.

This isn't a lens you're going to fall in love with, but it does't do anything glaringly wrong; conversely it doesn't do anything memorable either. But it's short, cheap and light and I like it for snapping candids.

If you're looking for exemplary microcontrast and pop, this isn't going to do it, but if you want a softer and more old time look this lens is handy.
reviewer#11267 date: Jul-25-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 28-85mm 3.5-4.5
Min 35-70mm 4.0
Min 35-105mm (tank!)
Min 28-135mm (2 tanks)
price paid:30 USD
positive:Sharp - stopped down
Colors
Light
Excellent for daylight
Good for portraits @ 4.5-5.6
negative:Sharp?
Build
IQ wide open
comment:Why do we seem to always want perfection in a lens? I think that we forget to look for the redeeming qualities in almost everything, especially in each other. This lens is far from anywhere near perfect, but it does have some excellent qualities. Yes, it is soft wide open and at f.16 it has its problems. However, this is a wonderful portrait lens between 4.5 and 6.3. On my copy, f.8.0 is SHARP and not good for portraits, but it's great for landscapes. I seldom shoot at f.11.0 and above because it seems that something happens to the contrast. I carry ND filters for that very reason. So the redeeming qualities are weight, softness at large apertures, sharpness in the middle, and easily replaceable for little cost. They seem to be readily available too. Finally, my back loves this lens when I leave the grip and 28-135mm at home.
reviewer#11068 date: Apr-25-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Mino 28-85
Mino 35-70
Sony 18-70
price paid:50 USD
positive:Nice walk around range
Solid build
Lightweight
Inexpensive
Readily available
smooth & quiet AF
negative:Not as sharp as Original version
no macro switch
comment:Bought this with a 7000i. I knew it wasn't the original, but like other reviewers have stated, the original is sometimes hard to find. Most reviews seemed positive, so I gave it a try. Overall it's not a bad lens, just not exceptional. It is probably well above some of the other Minolta kit lenses of its' era (e.g 28-80, 80-200). I use it as a lightweight walk around lens with acceptable range. It is not as heavy as the beercan series, but it feels robust in construction.It's a pretty good hiking lens, due to it's weight and range. I use it on an A300 and A700.

When I wish to take better shots, it stays in the bag and I use my 28-85. The colors lack character, and sharpness= meh, not so much. I would recommend it, just don't expect images comparable to the Min 35-105 original.

update to my review:

I was never happy with this lens; actually considered just selling it.Then I bought an A6000; things changed. I have been using this lens via a simple A to E adapter in manual focus mode for 1.5 years now. I have estimated the aperture at f8. I find that for my product photography with this combo (Cam+lens) the images are very good and the sharpness has improved. I bought the LA-EA3 and the results are still excellent and the adapter gives me aperture control. I have to conclude the vast improvement is due to the A6000; but I will be keeping this lens. It provides consistent results for my clients' products.
reviewer#10786 date: Dec-15-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 original
Tamron F 35-135
price paid:30 GBP
positive:Very sharp above f6.3
Minolta colours
Lightweight
Good MFD
negative:Build could be better
No macro function
comment:Vert good budget lens, a bargain at current prices.

Really good IQ for little money.

This copy is reasonably sharp at max aperture and becomes very sharp between f7.1 and f11.

Small enough for your pocket a very useful general purpose lens.
reviewer#10348 date: Jul-2-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Min 35-70/4
Min 35-105 original
Min 28-105
price paid:1800 CZK
positive:sharpness when stopped down
color
size
range
negative:sharpness wide open
comment:I was a quite disappointed with this lens. I wanted to buy the O version, but I could not find any, so I bought the N version for a good price. I was disappointed by sharpness. It took me some time to find out that sharpness can be very good or excellent if you stop down to 6.3 or higher. At higher f-values this lens produces wondeful images with beautiful Minolta colors.

Its size is great, I liked it for travelling. Build is OK for me, no problem. I haven't noticed any distortion, no problems with flare, but I don't think I have ever shot against the sun with it.

IMHO there is no point comparing its quality to the O version. Maybe we should not use the word "version", because the lenses are different, they are not versions. 35-105 O produces much better shots (sharpness, contrast), but is bigger, has much worse MFD (1500 vs 850 mm), is more expensive and a bit rare.

Finally I was satisfied and liked it, but I realized that when I want to go light, I usually choose 35-70/4 (or even 50/1.4), which is smaller, has fixed f4 aperture and can be used at f4 all the time, so it's finally much brighter. So I sold it, I had four lenses in similar range. Now I have also the fantastic 35-105 O, which has a different use.
reviewer#10346 date: Jul-1-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 35-105 f3.5-4.5 (1st)
Minolta AF 35-70 f4
Minolta AF 28-105 RS
Tamron 28-200 (A031)

price paid:35 USD
positive:size and weight
negative:Image quality.
Sharpness
Color
comment:I bought this expecting slightly less quality that the older version in a much more convenient size, and was let down, and was not disappointed by the size.

When I first got it, I liked the size and build, put it on my camera and went for a walk. When I got home and started reviewing, I was a bit puzzled with what went wrong with all the pictures looking a bit flat, with no real sharpness. I pretty quickly summed it up to this lens, and figured I must have gotten a bad copy. So I got a second one and tried it, same results.

It was a cloudy day, and I didn't notice any flare, but I'm assuming it will have inherited this quality from it's older version (which is pretty bad), and gave it a 3. Neither of the version I got came with a hood, but it has the same clip on mount so I'll assume the original hood was similar.

If I want something this small and light to carry around, I'll take the 35-70 f4, the missing 70-105 range can be cropped in with better results.

The quality of this lens is far from the original version in my opinion. I think it's more comparable with my Tamron 28-200 super zoom (that is also pretty bad).
reviewer#10337 date: Jun-26-2012
sharpness: 2.5
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 2.9
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:45 (used)
positive:cheap
negative:too many
comment:I bought this lens by mistake thinking it is the original version with the macro switch. This lens is really not good, I am not sure if I got a bad copy. It is not sharp. Focus is slow. MFD is long. I don't see anything good with this lens. Color and contrast are lacking. It is even worse than my kit lens. I guess you get what you pay for.
reviewer#10176 date: May-5-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:35-105 original
28-105RS
35-70 f4
price paid:$56 au
positive:size
colours
price
negative:sharpness
comment:I was a little disapointed with this lense it definatly is not as good as its younger brother. Zoom ring was sticky, it had a problem with the zoom rubber as do a few of these lenses. I found myself going back to the baby beercan instead of this.
reviewer#10057 date: Mar-24-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:22 € used
positive:+ interesting range
+ colours
+ cheap
negative:- sharpness
comment:First of all: I really like this lens, even though it is definitely not the best lens! Most people are muttering about the range of this on APS-C, but I think it's rather great. The colours on this are really good while the sharpness is quite poor. Open you get a blur-ish image in the center and a blop at the edges :-D you have to stop down to at least f/8 to get it really sharp. But nontheless you can make cool photos with it. This has become my everyday-lens.
reviewer#9868 date: Jan-31-2012
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:18-55mm SAM
18-70mm Sony
35-70mm Minolta
35-80mm Minolta
16-105mm Sony
price paid:50 GBP
positive:Very sharp stopped down.
Small & light.
negative:Soft at wide apertures.
35mm not wide enough for APS-C.
comment:I bought this on Ebay. Photo was cunningly unclear and listing said it was the older 'Beercan' generation lens. I was initially disappointed when I found I had bought the 'N' version, but actually its quite a good lens and at f8 can produce superbly sharp photos, but rather soft at wide apertures and at zoom extremes.

Sold it when I bought my Sony 16-105mm, which is much better suited as a walk-around lens for APS-C and much better at wide apertures.
reviewer#9824 date: Jan-21-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-105 f3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 24-50 f4
Minolta 100-200 f4.5
price paid:47 USD
positive:Light
Sharp from f5
negative:Soft wide open (usable)
Length on APS-C
comment:I grabbed it cheap for fun as I heard this one is much worse than the older one, I never try that one either

Surprisingly sharp from 5.6

3.5-4.5 make a soft picture but it's like a soft filter or process in Photoshop, so is it still a bad side!?

28-105 or 24-105 is more useful but gain more weight and price

And for the price - A good len anyway
reviewer#9477 date: Oct-7-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:€ 45,00
positive:- Sharp
- Great Colors
- Solid
- Cheap
negative:- Zooming range
comment:I like this lens. I bought it second hand and it was cheap imo. The zooming range on the wide angle is not enough for me but for portraits, people and animals it's a keeper.
reviewer#9463 date: Oct-1-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony SAM 18-55 3.5-5.6 kit
price paid:39 USD
positive:Decently sharp. Light. Tough. Great Color. fun range. Nice-ish Bokeh
negative:Can get soft in MANY situations. Flare Monster. CA and PF is strong.
comment:I am starting a collection of 2nd+ gen MIN glass. I want to see how far i can push them and what can happen if you are on a SERIOUS budget!
This was a decent start. I found it has the potential for some RAZOR sharpness, the colors are stunning and really awe-inspiring to your clients and friends. Part of my "post-beercan era" collection is the search for quality lightweight yet sturdy budget glass and this fits NICELY in that category. It's plastic but you get the distinct impression that it can handle it's own.
I will say that in comparison to the sony SAM 1855 it can be a wee bit softer. and it hits that softness in more situations than the 1855 might. it is certainly no macro, but that much can be ascertained from any listing like mhoner or what have you.
it's not the creamiest bokeh ever but i think that can be over-done. however the bokeh is pleasant to look at even to the "cream-cheese" set. lol
One thing: it flares plus has some CA and PF popping out in any semi-harsh setting. doesn't bother me that much as i expected that from this era of coatings. it does tend to hunt like Elmer Fudd in low-light, yet i have had some great captures in these situations. Still a VERY useful & fun lens. I have the 35-70N coming soon and i look forward to a comparison.
for video: no zooming, too jerky. but it's lovely to view motion images made with it. i think it pairs nicely to my a33. It may not be in my "always" bag but it will be used.
-MedsRX
reviewer#9403 date: Sep-11-2011
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MINOLTA 35-105MM VINTAGE, MINOLTA 24-85, sony AF DT 16-80,
price paid:USD 104
positive:Small, light.
negative:sharpness wide all over.
comment:Amazing small for the range. Not sharp at all wide open, needs to step down to f11-f16 go get tack sharp picktures.
Though it has the MINOLTA-colors same as the vintage version.

Tryed it on my A900 and stepped down to f11-16 it gives resonable picktures.

Tried it later on A77 - a total mess, on that camera this lens is just not good enough.
reviewer#9322 date: Aug-10-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:kit lens sony DT 18-55 SAM
price paid:148 USD (used)
positive:Colors
Fast, against the kit lenses anyway
cheap
build
good range in the alpha
negative:not much for the price I paid
comment:Well, first in Chile (where I live) there aren't many chances to get a lens for the alphas, except for the extremely expensive sony ones... So, when I had the chance to get this lens at a good price (at least in Chile) I took it. This is my first minolta and I just love it, It's been attached to my alpha 330 ever since... The colors are great, works fast and the size is just right, has better sharpness and is more luminous than the kit lens (at least to me)... the manual focus works well to me and is very useful in situations with low light... what can I say?... I need more minoltas...
reviewer#9028 date: May-15-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SEL28-70
SAL18-55
price paid:About 50€
positive:-Range on FF
-suprisingly fast AF for such an old lens, very good for sports
-very nice colors
-good contrast
-bokeh
-price
negative:-range on APS-C (35mm is little long)
-MF ring sucks
-nothing else for the price
comment:Well, better than I expected! A little gem it is!
I once bought it dirt cheap (~15€) and sold it when I sold my A550 (I changed to NEX) and regret it later.
It was fast, sharp enough, great colors... I loved it but 35mm was a little long on APS-C.
Some days ago I bought it again and I'm currently using it on Sony A7 with LEA4 Adapter... I will update the review when I have more experience with it on FF.
reviewer#8876 date: Apr-6-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-55mm sam
sony 55-200mm sam
price paid:70usd
positive:sharpness
color
build
cheap
negative:funny wide

comment:I love this lens and I take frequent travel, which is sharp enough and fast af .. I bought this from an online forum with quite cheap price. This is my favorite lens ..
reviewer#8735 date: Mar-4-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-70
Sony 18-55
Minolta 50mm F1.7
price paid:20 $ used
positive:Weight, zoom-ring bulid, size, price
negative:Focus ring is a bit inconvenient, and loose; focus in dark (f3.5 at 35mm...)
comment:I like portrait view, so 52-150mm equivalent focal length is perfect for me, inside a room it is not so useful. Massive plastic bulid, zoom in dark hunts, and focuses there and back; Bulid is much better than the kit lenses, and God, I like Minolta design. On a300 faster than on a100. For sightseeing it is perfect. Size and weight makes it perfect for running there and back in a city, although i like more heavy lenses.
reviewer#8721 date: Mar-1-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.7
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-200 DT
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness
Compact / light
negative:Zoom range
comment:Bought this lens as an occasion
Surprising sharpness and color on my A350 and A55
reviewer#8600 date: Jan-31-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50 1.7
Sony 1855/1870
Minolta 24-105
Sony 55-200
price paid:100 USD
positive:- Sharp
- Vibrant colour
- Nice bokeh
negative:- Not wide enough on APS
comment:Sold this lens after 6 month of pleasant use. I miss it a lot, especially its vibrant colour and excellent bokeh.

People say this version is not as good as the old version. I had no chance to compare side by side, but this one is way lighter. The only complaints I had was 35mm being not wide enough. I bought 24-105 instead and sold this one. But the image quality alone, I think 35-105 was better.
reviewer#8487 date: Jan-7-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35-70 f4
beercan
price paid:35 usd
positive:Range,
Boken
Dead on sharp
negative:Range
Searches a bit
comment:I sat down tonight and looked through my stuff, had not done that in a long time. Sure enough half my Minolta Len’s were ‘new’, but then I had not noticed. Then again, half of them were originals.
This one is the 35-105, ‘new’, but I still love it. I used it as my walk around for a bit and I always have it around. I shoot on a 5D. That camera paired with that lens is really quite good. Better than that, really good.
So, It’s in my bag with the 35-70 f4 and the 100 f.28.
And the beercan.
Onward, through the fog!
reviewer#8227 date: Nov-10-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70
Minolta 50 1.7
Sony 18-70
Beercan
price paid:50 USD
positive:Sharp, classic minolta colors. Inexpensive.
negative:My particular copy has a stiff zoom, feels tight...guess its the opposite of zoom creep.
comment:This lense spends most of its time on my A850. It just feels natural there. I have used it on my A550 as well. I've been pleased with the quality of the pictures - they are sharp and filled with color.
As noted in my negative comment, my copy feels tight when adjusting the zoom. It doesn't have the silky feel that the beercan does. I'd like to get a chance to compare this second generation 35-105 Minolta maxxum lens to the first generation. The build feels solid, but not quite as rugged as the first generation.
reviewer#8000 date: Sep-20-2010
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28mm f2.8
Minolta 70-210 f4.5-5.6
Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm f1.4
price paid:500 JPY (~ 5 USD)
positive:extremely cheap
negative:awful
comment:Super cheap, I bought this lens to take apart and use the alpha-mount for a MD Rokkor re-mount conversion, and thought I'd take a couple test pictures first.

Very slow, strange range (on APS-C, anyways)

I like prime lenses over zooms anyways, so that might have prejudiced me.

I wouldn't buy this lens for over $20.
reviewer#7921 date: Sep-1-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70mm F4
price paid:$90 AUD
positive:- Sharp
- Cheap
- nice colour
- smooth bokeh
negative:funny range
comment:The lens has very smooth and nice bokeh when zoom to 105mm.
Very sharp and nice colour. The only thing that I am not satisfied with is the funny range of 35mm. Nevertheless for the price I paid it is considered a very good lens, especially for potrait and zoom in objects.
reviews found: 76    1 2 3 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 76
  • sharpness: 4.16
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.22
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 4.11
  • overall: 4.29

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