Minolta AF 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 RS A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 14   
reviewer#34785 date: Feb-20-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-85 original Minolta
28-105 Minolta
price paid:smiling
positive:build quality is very pleasing
sharpness beyond my expectations
macro button is useful
negative:jittery and loud AF (but reasonably accurate)
lens is extended at 28mm and withdrawn as you zoom out. (just like the original)
lame hood
hard to find
comment:what a nice lens for the money! I've never bought a lens for such little money and been this impressed by the sharpness and build. this is an RS lens, but made before Minolta started using a lot of plastic. so don't expect it to be light as a feather, but do enjoy the quality feel.

compared to the original version, it is built just as tank-like. built to last. it is better for manual focus than the original and my copy is a little bit sharper than i remember the original being.

compared to the first incarnation of the Minolta 28-105, the build is identical. those that have used versions of that lens know that the first version was a bit heavy, but well built, while the second was plasticky by comparison. i do much prefer the first version 28-105 rather than the second version, despite the extra weight. in fact, that lens is what inspired me to try the 28-85 RS i am reviewing here. as for an optical comparison, the quality is very similar as well. the 28-85 seems to retain sharpness better at the long end than the 28-105 does. and it does have macro mode. so it has advantages over the 28-105. but the 28-105 is acceptable at the long end. also it has quieter AF, and a nice tulip hood. given a choice between the two, my preference is the 28-105, especially outdoors. but i can see some scenarios where the 28-85 RS would be a better choice, mainly because of the macro mode.

as with the original version of this lens, I've always found its design a little awkward. when you have the barrel extended all the way, that is actually 28mm, not 85mm. so if you prefer the lens to be at 28mm every time you raise the camera to your face, you are walking around with the lens barrel extended. not a problem persay, but odd. and in theory it would seem to be more prone to gathering dirt, dust, moisture if you use it that way. that being said, mine is still in mint condition inside and out.

the hood is tiny and not very effective.

this is a wonderful lens. my only real complaint about it that sticks in my mind is the AF is louder than i prefer. anything else is just nitpicking. if this focal range is sufficient for what i am doing, AF noise is the main thing that would make me decide to use something else. but bear in mind that my lens collection is huge and i have a lot of redundancy in this focal range. if i did not, i would use this lens often. it is quite a gem at today's prices and for that reason alone it should be highly recommended, let alone the fine qualities i have mentioned.

this is certainly a step up from the original to those who have used both. but results overall will be similar. if you can find a nice copy of this rare lens anywhere under $100, it is worth it in my opinion. and if not for the downturn in used lens values, a mint copy would seem worth more than that when compared to a new Sony lens.



reviewer#11621 date: Jan-18-2014
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 28-85 original
All Minolta 28-105s
Minolta 28-75 D f2.8
price paid:60 GBP used
positive:Sharpness - even wide open
Good range, if not ideal for APSC
Great Minolta colour
negative:Macro at wide end
Needs hood to combat flare
comment:Very sharp lens, sharper than its sibling, particularly at the longer end.

Needs hood - I use beercan hood - does the job
reviewer#11101 date: May-10-2013
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:18-70 kit
18-55 kit
sigma 70-210 UC I
price paid:35$ used
positive:colours
built
bokeh
negative:slow AF
AF not so accuracy
comment:Magic colours, beautifull pictures. AF is not so good, somtimes front focus, but optical quality is excellent. Much better tham kit 18-70, and better than 18-55.
reviewer#7069 date: Mar-13-2010
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: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70, Sony 18-55.
price paid:With kit
positive:Good range, built quality
negative:
missing
comment:I got this lens with a combo of items I bought. I used it for about a month then sold it. I liked how it balanced on my a700. That was about it. I used it only a handful of times before I sold.
The one thing I can say about this lens is that it was well built as all Minolta lenses of this era were. Its a solid lens, and I don't think it will disappoint. It didn't disappoint me when I used it.
My .02 on this lens.
reviewer#6069 date: Sep-17-2009
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:18-70 kit lens.
price paid:60.00 GBP
positive:Nice range for building shots.
Minolta colours ;-)
Great build.
negative:Heavy compared to modern lenses.
comment:Sharp little lens this,Nice and solid build and lovely minolta colours,which you just cant beat.
Mini Beercan ive been told ;-)
reviewer#2377 date: May-28-2007
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 35-105 3.5, 70-210 3.5
Sony 18-70 3.5 kit lens
Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro Di
price paid:45 USD used
positive:Sharp and very beautifull colors.
Very well built
Macro function
negative:Zoom ring a bit stiff at tele end.
Macro at wide end
comment:An underrated lens here. I got it for 45 USD in good condition. After 3 days for testing, I think it will become my walk around lens. Very beautifull color and can be very sharp. Focus is ok.
The only thing is the stiffness of the zoom ring at tele end.
Love it.

PS: there's a lot of the first version over the net but not so for the new version.
reviewer#2116 date: Apr-7-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 Maxxum 50 1.7
Konica Minolta 18-70 kit lens
price paid:60 EUR (used)
positive:Can be very sharp stopped down 1-2 stops
Very well built
negative:Distortions at 28mm
Zoom range on DSLR
Small MF ring
Filters rotate when focusing
comment:My main all day lens, metal build, heavy but giving a reliability feeling. Can be surprisingly sharp stopped down a bit or even wide open at some intermediate focal lengths. I really like the colors and the contrast of this lens, and haven't found it as really prone to flare (even if i'm using it a lot without a hood on).

As for the negative part, i really can't find many issues .. One would be the distortions at 28mm that are quite obvious (at least on film, full frame; this shouldn't bother as much with the DSLR crop, as it's more obvious on corners). Another negative point would be the small MF ring. And the last, the fact that the filters rotate when focusing (annoying if you use polarizers, graduated ND filters and so on).

Overall, i find this (heavy !) lens to be a very good performer used on both digital and film.
reviewer#1616 date: Jan-5-2007
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:AF 28-85 F3.5 -4.5 (Non RS)
price paid:Ł60 (Used)
positive:Sharp for a non G lens
Great colour
Well balanced on 7D
Faster AF than non RS version
negative:Not much at the price
comment:Picked this up to replace my non RS version that had trouble with AF, now use it as my standard studio lens mostly at f11. Feels spot on on the 7D with vertical grip, zoom range suits me for full length to headshots. UPDATE: Still my favourite studio lens, I have shot dozens of sessions with it on both my 7D and A100, it really does take some beating although I have just picked up a used 28-135 as I often use my 135 2.8 for very tight headshots and the 28-135 should avoid changing lenses mid shoot.
reviewer#1396 date: Nov-8-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:KM 17-70 Kit
M 50 f1.7
price paid:80 USD (used)
positive:good colors
sharp
good af
negative:flare
comment:Better than the kit lens. Has great colors and a good AF.
I bought it for replacing kit lens but noe I need an extra wider lens.
Good choice if you'll find it.
reviewer#1358 date: Oct-29-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Tokina AT-X 28-70 2.8
Minolta 50 1.7
price paid:GBP 35 on ebay
positive:Far sharper than it should be.
Feels wonderfully solid
Great colour
Quick to focus in any reasonable light
negative:Flares quite easily
Slowish aperture
comment:It is only since using the much praised (justly) Tokina that I fully realised how much this lens offers for the price. Stop for stop it is only very slightly less sharp than the AT-X and I prefer the Minolta's colours. The hood must be a joke even on FF but makes a good mount to attach a big rubber hood with the metal ring cut off.
If you don't need the speed you can get 95% of the quiality for 20% of the cost. It's a gem.
reviewer#984 date: Jul-5-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:KM 28-75/2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:sharpness, build
negative:hood much too small, needs to be stopped down in the wide angle
comment:good lens for portraits, 50-85mm very good sharpness even wide open
reviewer#753 date: May-5-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:minolta AF 50/1,4 (old)
70-210/4 ofenrohr
28-85/3,5-4,5 (old)
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp!
withstands purple fringing
Built quality !!!
negative:For the price of about EUR 70 (ebay) can see only pros
comment:Unexpectedly good image quality for such a budget zoom lens, used it with D5D. Full open aperture controls already well chromatic abberations (at least my exemplar), even in comparison to older one (also from ebay). Can be, that this is a fault of the older exemplar, do not test others. Much better than "beercan". In most conditions it approaches the 50/1,4 wide open, but in extreme contrast edges 50/1,4 (especially stopped down to 2 - 2,8) much better. I have tested all lens on tree branches backgrounded by bright sky.

Sharpness benefits stopping down to f/5,6-8. I evaluated the sharpness, color, distortion as "4", just because fixed focal length and "G" lens are anyway better.

I want to state separately the build quality of this lens and design (looks beautiful mounted on D5D), which is perfect and incomparable to plastic produced todays.
reviewer#730 date: Apr-28-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 2
flare control: 2
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50
price paid:
missing
positive:Price!
Sharpness
Color
Focus @ daylight
Picture Quality
negative:Slower in darker places
comment:My second lens for my dynax 5 digital body. After the shocking experience with the sigma, i'm glad to have this lens. Sharp Pictures and good colours were the two best things wiht this lens. forget af-speed - it's a bit slow - but who cares ... it's the price!
reviewer#723 date: Apr-26-2006
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:28-85 original, 28-75D, 28-70G.
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, cheap, relatively fast, fairly quick AF.
negative:Lousy lens shade, lousy close focus.
comment:If you're in the market for this lens, by all means, try to find the RS version ! The difference in AF performance (not to mention the usability of the slightly wider rubber focus ring) is worth a little extra search time and a little extra money. AF is very noticably quicker on the RS version, and not so "quirky" (the old one, at least my sample, would occasionally "stall"). Otherwise, the same comments I wrote for the original version apply. While the 28-75D is my most used lens, I'll happily use this lens if I know I won't be needing f/2.8 at all.
reviews found: 14   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 14
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.57
  • build: 4.71
  • distortion: 4.29
  • flare control: 3.64
  • overall: 4.34

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