Minolta AF 17-35mm F3.5 G A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 31    1 2 >>
reviewer#11998 date: Oct-2-2014
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp! Nice detail, almost 3D, lovely bokeh, little distortion
negative:flare
comment:A keeper, my standard lens
reviewer#11767 date: Apr-14-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-85 3.5-4.5
Tamron 10-24 (on APS-C)
price paid:
missing
positive:Distortion reasonable for full frame
Affordable
Reasonably sharp
negative:Purple fringing
comment:PLEASE DELETE -- This review should have been for the 17-35, NON-G version

For full frame users, there are limited ultrawide options for Sony. The only "new" Sony lens is the Zeiss 16-35 which is extremely expensive. So this lens is a comparable bargain, covering almost the identical focal length.
Pixel peepers won't love this lens. But as an ultrawide, I'm almost always using it with a massive DoF. So everything in the image is always adequately sharp.
Distortion is to be expected in an ultrawide, it's not horrible in this lens.
There is some purple fringing as with many film-era lenses.

If you pixel peep your images all day long, skip this lens. But for occasional ultrawide shots that looks pretty darn good at normal viewing sizes, this lens is a very good value.
reviewer#11228 date: Jun-30-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-70/2.8 G
Minolta 24/2.8
price paid:450 CHF (used)
positive:image quality
build quality
reasonably sized
negative:the hood is less reasonably sized
flare prone
comment:By sheer luck I found this otherwise rather rare lens used in a local camera store at a spectacular price. The zoom range is incredibly useful and the lens is actually fairly compact (still heavy though). Image quality is generally great and only in corners does my 24/2.8 sharpen up quicker. For practical purposes I don't feel the need to take wide primes as long as I have this one. This is the one lens that always ends up in the camera bag.
reviewer#10977 date: Mar-13-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss 16-80
price paid:
missing
positive:Solid build
Balances well
Sharp
Constant aperture
negative:Pricey
comment:First off, I disagree with those that say buying this lens for APS-C is a waste. While the focal length is not optimal, the quality of the pictures are. Pictures have the color rendering that G's are known for, and sharpness is excellent, even wide open, except the edges. I found this to be true with my copy even on cropped sensor. But by F5, the whole picture is good and sharp.

My copy is mint and build is excellent. The 16-80 isn't bad, but not excellent. Hood has an excellent fit with a convincing snap when fully in place. The coating on the glass is green-ish and I have not seen flare so far, but haven't tried to force it. Distortion is better than the Zeiss at wider focal lengths. This may be because it's a full frame lens on a crop sensor, but because of this, I would expect a little more from the Zeiss which is a lens matched to the sensor.

Beautiful lens that takes beautiful pictures.
reviewer#10608 date: Oct-21-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 35 2.0
price paid:1100 new
positive:Beautiful lens to use. Built well. G lens quality. Sharp, good bokeh. Great focal length.
negative:Soft wide open at edges. Flares a bit easier without hood.
comment:This is one of my three G lens set. The other two are the 28-70 and the 80-200, With these, who needs primes?
reviewer#10606 date: Oct-19-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20 mm f 2.8
Minolta 35 mm f 2
price paid:560 euro
positive:Sharpness
Really nice built
Color
Weight
negative:flare
comment:Bought it wasted ...but did fix it perfectly .I did compare it vs some prime lenses of mine... despite it's a zoom ... he get me happy every single shot .
I don't feel regrets when i leaved the primes at home ..he can replace them...superbly!!
I had the chance to disassembly this lens ... it is really good built !!!!
reviewer#10450 date: Aug-13-2012
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KoMi 17-35mm/f2.8-4
price paid:300 EUR (used)
positive:-Center Sharpness
-built
-resolution
negative:-lower performance @35mm
-corner sharpness
comment:I just got a great deal on this lens in a camera shop.
The nice guy had no problems me using and trying it on my a77 first as I read different stories about ghosting issues on digital cameras due to the coating.
In short- I stopped down to f22 and had no problems. Overall it's a great lens and performs significantly better than my KoMi 17-35/f2.8-4 . Still down know what to think about other telling the opposite. Maybe I just got a bad ass copy of the 17-35G and just a bad of the KoMi?
However, the image quality @35mm suffers indeed in terms of sharpness- however still good compared to my other 17-35.
The built quality is amazing.

I lowered the sharpness rating due to the corner and @35mm performance.
reviewer#8856 date: Apr-2-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 12-24
Sigma 10-20 (APS-C)
Tamron 20-40
Minolta 17-35 D
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp corner to corner
CA
Wide Aperture
negative:Flare!!!
comment:I'm a wide shooter, and mostly outdoors. I've shot with most of the super-wide lenses made, and this is the best of those I've shot with. All super-wides suffer in some areas (distortion in the corners, CA) and this lens is no difference, but controls those problems very well (by far the best super-wide CA control I've seen, and easily corrected), and is really sharp in the corners, and doesn't suffer the usual vignetting that many super-wides suffer from.

I also like that it is a fixed f/3.5. No, its not the Zeiss f/2.8, but when shooting this wide, DOF is so large the difference isn't of much use.

I do have the "orange coating" version of this lens, and when it comes to flare control, this lens suffers, profoundly. It does take some care in composing to reduce the flare.

This lens really shines on FF compared to other super-wides, but loses most of its uniqueness when shot on APS-C. It practically lives on my a900.
reviewer#8351 date: Dec-4-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:colors
contrast
size/weight
negative:soft corners @ 17mm on FF
comment:This is a difficult lens to judge, because it realy deserves to score higher than the sum of it's individual ratings. That's why I'm being gentle with ratings.

On FF, the corners are weak at 17mm, but greaty improve already at only 19-20mm. No problems on APS-C.
The flare control is a difficut thing to judge in this case, but I gave a 4 since the lens maintains excellent contrast, even if it flares badly. This could be used as an artistic effect while still getting good sharp photos.

I also gave a 4 for build, since my lens has developed a problem with the focus ring already twice and I had to get it serviced (not expensive though). This is perhaps a result of a mishap which happened sometime before I bought it, but I cannot know.

Overall, considering all it's weaknesses, this is still the best of my zooms, and the only one which I can always rely on in poor lighting conditions. While other loose contrast, sharpness and look plain flat, the 17-35G delivers a true 3D image which pulls you in.
reviewer#6963 date: Feb-24-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 18-250. Sigma 20 1.8. Sigma 24-70. Sigma 12-24. Kit lens.
price paid:1300 USD
positive:Very sharp. Great color. Big fat wonderful case. Not that heavy though certainly solidly built.
negative:Could be 2.8 but that would add greatly to weight.
comment:Bought this several months ago from a Dyxum member. Considered it or the Zeiss 16-35 but passed on the Zeiss because it weighs a third more.
I've used it on the 700 and on a Maxxum 7. It really comes into its own on the 7 and makes you lust for digital full frame. Will flare if you're not careful, as does every wide lens I've ever owned.
reviewer#6437 date: Nov-23-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35D
28-70G
24mm
price paid:900 USD (Used)
positive:Colour, size, focal length,
negative:flare prone but sometimes its ok for an artistic effect.
comment:After all the Hype that "G" series lenses get its hard to write an objective review.
that being said, the very first shot i took with this lens absolutly astounded me. the color and contrast were amazing. it was a photo of a simple coffee cup on a desk. but it looked 3d.
i use this lens exclusively for shooting interior spaces, its is great for getting the whole room in one go.
that being said, the flare control is pretty bad, the hood helps but if there is a strong light source just outside the frame then forget it.
I begin to wonder how the minolta techs thought when they made the hoods.
reviewer#5907 date: Aug-25-2009
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 17-35 F2.8-4 (D)
price paid:1000 EUR
positive:great colours
fast focus
internal focusing system
focus hold button
build quality
G lens
metal hood!!!
negative:
missing
comment:It's like a tank, one of my favourite lens, it's very good for taking pictures in the mountains.
Filter doesn't rotate while focusing and zooming.
Very fast focus and great pictures!

reviewer#5053 date: Mar-19-2009
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 17-35D
price paid:1500 USD
positive:Solid & compact build
Bokeh - True colors
Sharp
negative:Price
Availability
Big stupid hood
2.8 would be nice
comment:After reading some recent reviews of this lens, I decided to kick in my two cents. Although it works well on all Maxxum mount cameras, this lens was designed for FF. Reviewing this lens after use on an APS-C camera is like rating the fish eye. If you're not using it on a FF camera then it's not a fish eye and you are unable to make a complete assesment! I have a bag full of G glass and an a900. This one was the most expensive I had until I got the 200 tele macro and at the time of purchase hard to find. I replaced the 17-35D with the 17-35G because it was too dark and the bokeh flat. You get what you pay for (most of the time). The introduction of the 16-35/2.8 CZ has caused many more of these to become available but the price seems to remain steady.

The performance of this lens is awesome. It has fast, accurate focusing. My copy has no zoom creep. The zoom and focus rings turn buttery smooth and are dampened just right. The images are 100% Minolta 'G' quality. There is almost no distortion but you always get a little with WA lenses. It's a physics thing. The build is better than the MUCH more expensive 2.8 CZ.
reviewer#5052 date: Mar-18-2009
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:US$1500
positive:Quality on the images.
Very sharp stoped down.
A true G lens
negative:
missing
comment:In my mind this is a very especial lens. When I first bought it and compared with my Minolta 17-35 2.8D I was not sure what to believe. However the more I use her the more I believe I did the right ting. When it comes to flare, this has not been any problem. I used this lens a night at the Red Square in Moscow where there is a lot of heavy spotlight and flare was not an issue at all. The colours are rich and I’m amazed of the quality on the images she is coming up with.
Thank you.
reviewer#4866 date: Feb-15-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:16-200 kit lens.
price paid:2000 USD (new)
positive:Great lens, barrel distortion is low enough to make this lens a must have.
negative:Not as sharp as I'd like...seems like camera (a100/a700) AF choices are a little poor in low light?
comment:Great lens, the one I have on my camera most. Great for receptions!

:

The lens has a significant amount of dist. at the wide side...
reviewer#4506 date: Dec-9-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 28-70 f/2.8 G
Minolta 70-210 f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 50 f/2.8 macro D
Minolta 100 f/2.8 macro D
Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G SSM
Sony CZ 16-35 f/2.8 SSM
price paid:€ 900 (used)
positive:Very well build
Perfect weight
Usually perfect IQ
No visible distortions
Non rotating front element
Short min focus distance
Petal hood (metal on plastic ring)
Lens case included LH-1074
Surface exactly as on A900
negative:Rare
Expensive
Limited range
Very slight zoom creep
Not as flare resistant as CZ
comment:This was my first G lens. Bought it from the first owner who paid €1800. It seems to have the greenish coating (manufacturing date 2006), which has better flare resistance. I haven't tested the orange version yet.

First used it on my KM5D and planned to go FF if available. Alternative is the Konica Minolta 17-35 f/2.8-4, but i decided to spend more to get this one. After reading the reviews here i expected a lot. If i wouldn't have plans for FF i would advise the CZ 16-80, 16-105 or the Sony/KM 11-18 instead. First photo's (outdoor) were a bit of a disappointment as i expected too much. I refer to the fine review of Michael Hohner which didn't see as much difference compared to the kitlens as one would expect. I had the same experience. Later it seemed true for distant scenes (i'm sure the 6 MP sensor limited here) BUT photo's indoors or more nearby revealed its true nature. Photo's have a 3D appearance, an almost liquid quality like the sound of a high end tube amp. Colors remind me of Rembrandt as you see more in the dark regions. Photo's outdoor with lots of sunlight can sometimes give a little washed out image (not as much contrast as i'd like to see) sometimes, but i PP in these cases.

I usually use this lens for car shows (300mm minumum focus distance helps), old cities, museums and landscapes of course. After reading previous reviews again i am happy i bought it as it will do good on FF. Mine has a very little zoom creep, my 28-70 f/2.8 G feels better here. Distortion is totally absent on APS-C.

Update for A900: Now i use the 900, the focal range makes much more sense. 17mm is quite wide, just as i like. Distortion is almost non visible. Look at Kurt Munger dot com and you'll see it betters the CZ16-35 here. Have tried the 16-35 CZ, just for a few shots. These lenses are quite alike, but the CZ keeps contrast better in difficult situations (straight into the sun), has SSM, but is bigger and more expensive. Now i've used the lens more often on the 900 i can say distortion is low but of course there is more perspective distortion. I have used this lens in very sunny and bright conditions and find flare resistance very good! Even shots straight into the sun work. It betters the 28-70 here quite clear.

Update for A550: The lens works great on the 550 too, but this lens should be used to a FF. For the 550 lenses like the Sony 16-50 f/2.8 SSM are a much better choice and cheaper too.
reviewer#4467 date: Dec-4-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Exceptional distortion suppression (the BEST among all wide angel zooms so far made)
Build quality
negative:Flare (old version)
comment:Many people are complaining about this lens. People say that its image quality is very good, but not outstanding for its high price tag (especially in terms of wide-open sharpness). As you can see in the dyxum reivews, old reviewers tended to rate this lens very high, while recent ones are giving relatively low ratings. The reason is that the majority of the recent reviewers tested this lens on crop-factor Digital SLR cameras, while old reviewers used this lens at a film camera, which is full-framed.

Certainly, it would be a waste of money if you use this lens on crop factor DSLR such as a100, and a700. You won't see much difference between this lens and the much cheaper Minolta 17-35mm D (Tamron OEM), although its image quality is considerably better than the cheaper one. The Tamron OEM one shows even better flare control than this expensive lens.

But, if you use this lens on film camera or full-frame DSLR such as a900, you will SEE the DIFFERENCE, indeed, a very big difference.

This lens is designed for ""distortion suppression" at wide angle, a feature that crop-factor camera cannot fully enjoy.

Barrel distortion is inevitable with any wide-angle zoom lens, but Minolta 17-35mm G shows the least distortion among all wide-angle zooms so far ever made. Indeed, distortion control is the sole reason for which this lens was made. This is why Minolta designed it at maximum aperture of f/3.5, not f/2.8. Instead of f/2.8 aperture, Minolta wanted to achieve better distortion control, and they made a great piece of glass for this purpose. But, to fully enjoy this feature, you should use it on a full-frame camera.

If this lens is mounted on a full-frame camera, it will become the BEST wide-angle zoom for Dslr cameras. Nothing compararable to this gem of Minolta was ever made by Canon and Nikon. The only comparable one is Contax Carl Zeiss 17-35mm f/2.8 (N-mount). But, in terms of distortion control, the Minolta legend outperforms even the Carl Zeiss.

This is why this lens is so expensive. When this lens came out for the first time in Japan, its price was 210,000 yen (about USD $2000-2200). However, I don't think that this lens is expensive at all, considering its outstanding performance as a wide angel zoom on full-frame bodies.

If you don't like barrel distortion like me, there is no other choice than Minolta 17-35mm G. If you have a crop-factor DSLR, it is NOT a wise idea to buy this lens. But, if you have a900, get this whenever you can. I really doubt whether the new Sony 16-35/2.8 will outperform this Minolta legend, especially in terms of distortion suppression.

Some people say that this lens is flare-resistent, while others say that this is very prone to flare. Both views are right. In fact, there are two versions of this lens: orange coating one on its front element (old) and blue coating one (new for digital). However, Minolta did not advertise this difference, since the change concerned only coating. The blue coating one is better than the orange coating in terms of flare control, since it is optimized for digital SLR cameras but extremely hard to find (the orange coating might show "yellowish" reflection and the new one might show "green" reflection).

In short, this lens is a true legend. It is the BEST wide-angle zoom lens that has ever been made in the entire DSLR market. It is worth of every penny. This lens is rare, and in particular, the flare-resistant new version is very rare. GET THIS LEGEND whenever you can.
reviewer#4339 date: Nov-6-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24 F1.8
Sony 16-105
Sony 18-70
Minolta 28-70 G
price paid:900
positive:+ the G Dreamy-ness
+ the size and weight
negative:+ 'exposed' internal focusing
+ F3.5
+ stop down to achieve better sharpness
comment:Exceptional lens, but questionable value.
The image quality is the typical G goodness, but when compared to the 28-80G not as nice -or- the 16-105 not so much better to warrant 900USD.

I find this lens spends more time in my bag than any other. The focal range, MDF and image quality have me grabbing my Sigma 24 F1.8 or my Minolta 28-70 G the vast majority of the time. I have not experienced the lens flare other have mentioned, so I guess I'm lucky...even when shooting IR.

I most definitely would not buy this lens again...would spend my money on a good prime and use my legs to do the zooming.


***Update***
Just spent a week in Cambodia wandering around the temples of Angkor, and have come away with many ruined shots. This lens is highly prone to flare. There are some shots where I was ***inside*** a building, with the hood on, with the sun being blocked by buildings to my right and I still got a greenish flare in the center of the frame when the surface of what I was shooting was reflective itself - put any of my sigmas on, or the Minolta 28-70G and no flare. For the price, this lens is a huge dissapointment. Maybe this is the wrong lens for an A700, as some have suggested. Going to figure out what lens I covet next and sell this one off.
reviewer#3588 date: May-13-2008
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:KM 17-35D
KM 24-105D
Sigma 12-24 EX DG
Sony 18-250
price paid:€875
positive:- Typical Minolta G mix of sharpness, color and contrast.
- Excellent build quality
negative:- Price, although quality never comes for free of course...
- Not flare resistent
comment:I can only agree with most of what has been said already.

This is a great piece of glass.
It is the only wide angle zoom for Sony/Minolta that consistently delivers excellent image quality.
From center to border, images are sharp.
Colors are in line with those of other G's like 35 and 85 prime, and definitely better than results with 17-35D or 12-24 EX DG. Contrast is very good.

The only less positive characteristic of this lens is the fact it is not flare resistent. When the sun gets onto the front glass, flare often is the result.
But take this into account when chosing your shots and you will be able to get around the flare thing most of the time.

Overall, I think it will be a real challenge for Sony/CZ to develop a new lens that equals or beats this one.

If you can find a copy at a reasonable price, don't hesitate. I don't see how anybody could not enjoy using this lens :-)
reviewer#3218 date: Jan-29-2008
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 28/75 d cz 16/80
price paid:1300 euros
positive:sharpness build colour
negative:none
comment:this lens is simply the best i have ever used cannot say enough about it if you can afford one get it i know its expensive but its really worth it .
reviewer#2738 date: Sep-16-2007
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:10-20
18-70
Sigma 17-35/2.8-4
14/2.8
24/2.8
28/2
35/2
price paid:1200
positive:Only G wide zoom
minimal distortion
Excellent flare control
Metal lens hood
negative:Only F3.5 maximum aperture
Sharpness 17@F3.5 could be better
Some CA issue at F3.5-5.6
comment:My Minolta AF superwide lens journey started from Tokina 19-35 to a Minolta 20-35 and then to a Sigma 17-35/2.8-4 and finally the 17-35G.

I am extremely pleased with the 17-35G on my film camera and on my DLSR. When stopped down, it is as good as my Minolta 20, 24, 28 and 35. It can truly replaced 5 lenses. Afterall this is a G lens.

I have noticed some CA issue with this lens under certain lighting condition if using F3.5-5.6 I usally shoot between F8-F16 outdoor so this is not an issue.
reviewer#2332 date: May-20-2007
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20, Tamron 11-18, 35/1.4
price paid:$900 US (used)
positive:The Color and 'feel' of each and every image; only a 77mm filter
negative:Wish it were a 15 or 16mm using the APS-C sensors for more "width"

The hood is a big joke...like it's big brother the 28-70!
comment:If the images look this good on an APS sized sensor, I can only imagine what it can do on FF! I have nothing but great comments to say about this lens. I've used 77mm CPLs and not noticed any vignetting (on FF this may be more evident). The colors on this lens are fantastic! The sharpness is right on par with the other G lenses, but I liked the colors better on this than my 35...but just barely. On wide angle landscapes, the lens just seems to bring the scene to life...great contrast, almost a 3-D appearance, without actually meaning 3-D.

This is a lens which I may not ever sell, it's that good! I don't think you could replace a wide angle lens of this caliber and improve apon it's IQ. I never really saw a need for a fast (<2f.8) for a dedicated wide/landscape/group lens. This one is perfect!
reviewer#1361 date: Oct-30-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Kit 18-70, 35/f2, 85/1.4DG
price paid:
missing
positive:Very solidly built, sharp all around, excellent colors and contrast, fast and accurate AF.
negative:Prone to flaring even with the petal hood. Very expensive.
comment:This lens is one of the Holy Grails of Minoltadom (Sokominodom?) and I can see why, looking at the prints, only 4x6 on a dyesub, but still the details and colors are impressive. I will have to finish a lot of ebay horsetrading to keep it but I think it will be worth it, especially if Sony does come out with a full frame DSLR.
reviewer#1278 date: Oct-6-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:12-24/4.5-5.6 EX DG
17-35/2.8-4(D)
24/2.8
35/2
price paid:850€
positive:Colors reproduction
Contrast is excellent
Very sharp on every parts of the image
Very light distorsion @17mm that become invisible from 20mm
Focus-hold button
Construction (lens shade in aluminium)
negative:Dissuasive price
Discontinue, hard to find
comment:This lens is impressive, it's a real pleasure to hold it in its hands. It is not bigger than the 17-35D, but it's more heavy, and as a G lens, construction is much better. Colors are very realistic. Contrast is excellent, you can see a lot of details in the darkest parts of the image. Distorsion is very well controled. I am sure this lens is limited by the 6mpx sensor to make the difference with some other lens.

The negative part is its price on the used market. And it is very hard to find one !
reviewer#1225 date: Sep-25-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:18-70
18-200
price paid:1000 USD (used)
positive:low distortion
sharp
solid build
internal zoom
good focal length for digital
negative:not internal focusing, zoom ring spins when using AF
comment:my favourite lens, this one is on my camera most of the time. it's just such a pleasure to use. the build, the texture of the lens body, the smoothness of the zoom ring... what i love about it is how you can use it with absolute confidence, and know that you never need to worry about sharpness, resolution, etc. the only thing limiting you when you take a shot with this lens is the light and your own imagination and technique.

thanks to this lens, i don't really feel much need to buy any of the wide-angle primes, which makes it easier to excuse the big price tag ;)

on digital, the focal length range is great for landscapes and streets, which are what i mostly do. it's got no tele range at all of course, so it makes sense to pair it with a beercan type lens, and maybe a 50mm to fill up the gap. but the key to using this lens is just going up close and personal, so i find that wanting to switch to a longer focal length is more about changing perspective than about needing more reach.

ok, at the end of my rave, i must say there's still room for improvement. i feel the lens is due for an update. f2.8 and 16mm on the wide-end would be nice. and even though AF is fast and quiet as far as minolta lenses go, SSM would be great (as well as related benefits like internal focusing, easy switch to manual focusing). the only problem with that? i don't know where i'll find the cash to buy the upgrade :D

reviewer#1222 date: Sep-24-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35mm F2.8-4 (D)
35mm, 85mm, 135mmSTF, 70-200mm.
price paid:525 Euros
positive:G lens, sharp!
Beautiful bokeh and contrasts.
Very nice build. Heavy.
negative:Mine came without the hood.
Not really 17-35mm on the 7D, gone extreme wideangle zoom.
comment:
For me this particular lens was a bit of Twilight zone lens, and I mean that in a good way. When I photographed wideangle shots with lots of small details, houses in the city next to a canal. I sincerely doubted the sharpeness. But lately, especially with in house group shots, or more 'close ups', I got really sharp results which amazed me.
The character; a sort a warm nice tone (some might remember Cibachrome, some might remember slides ;-))
So maybe the 6MP of the 7D is just enough to show all its detail? I would like to see someone review it with the A700 or even the A900.

Other reviewers experienced the AF as slow, but in my experience it is on par with the other lenses, only remarkable slower then the 70-200mm SSM.
I did acidently managed to get some flares, mostly while shooting almost straight in the sunset.

Recently I shot portraits and 'action' shots of my children with the 50mm f1.4, which is a good lens by itself. But if you directly compare results (as I did), even at f3.5, you will easily find the photos made with this zoom superior! As in sharpeness, colour rendering and bokeh.
reviewer#389 date: Jan-6-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 (kit lens)
KM 28-75mm f/2.8
Tamron 24-70 f/3.3-5.6 aspherical
CZ 24-70 SSM
price paid:1600 USD (new)
positive:Sharp across all apertures and focal lengths on APS-C. Unsurpassed control of linear distortion.
negative:Needs a couple of stops to sharpen the corners on full frame. Expensive and heavy.
comment:The 17-35G is a real investment. New in late 2005 it cost twice as much as my 5D body and kit lens, or more than eight times the price of the kit lens alone. On the other hand, the resale value is good - meaning the actual cost of ownership may not be much more than the kit. It's the kind of lens you buy bodies for, rather than the other way around.

All the same, the quality of the lens doesn't whack you between the eyes - when I first got it I did a lot of testing on my 5D against the 18-70 kit and found the cheaper glass had more impact in many situations. However the benefits of the G-lens unfold with use. On an APS-C sensor it is sharp from centre to corner and at all apertures and focal lengths. It also has no linear distortion to speak of, and has the ability to resolve details in shadows and highlights which the kit simply can't match.

On the a850 this lens shows some corner softness, particularly at wider apertures. But it also retains its strengths - the amazing control of linear distortion (better than the CZ 16-35 by all accounts!) and ability to product vibrant, convincing colours. It is much more compact than the CZ, and still feels and handles well after five years of use. For architectural and landscape photography, this is a great partner.
reviewer#371 date: Jan-2-2006
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:"G" quality in tonal range and color.

negative:Expensive.

Flare, light spots.

Stop down to f8 to f11 for sharp extreme corners.

Minor CA issues & purple fringing; can be easily fixed with post.
comment:Flare well-controlled in most situations; because of the nature of this range... beware of flares from the side corners or from unexpected angles, or from shooting towards light.

Edge sharpness may not be the best; however, very good mid-tone contrast, photos appear "3D"ish. Good color rendition.




reviewer#320 date: Dec-21-2005
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Cosina 19-35. 3,5/4,5.
Minolta 24 2,8.
price paid:
missing
positive:Great alround lens. Point sharp, great color rep.
Very heavy build and fast AF.
negative:Price.
comment:It has become my standart lens. Even sharper than the 24mm 2,8.
Used again and again...and again.
reviewer#306 date: Dec-20-2005
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP12MP12 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:tamron 17-35 2.8-4.0
cosina 19-35 3.5-4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:everything, except price and weight
negative:price and weight
comment:Symply the best wide to medium solution, if you can find one at a reasonable price.
The sharpness, color and build quality is outstanding, in every way, even the hood and the front cap are of an superb design.
I love it, but I am afraid it will hook me on G....
reviews found: 31    1 2 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 31
  • sharpness: 4.73
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.94
  • distortion: 4.94
  • flare control: 4.19
  • overall: 4.75

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