Minolta AF 135mm F2.8 A-mount lens review by Phil Wood

reviewer#44234 date: Mar-10-2019
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100mm D macro
Tamron 16-300mm
Sony 18-250mm
Minolta 28-135mm
Minolta 70-210 (all variants)
Minolta 75-300 (all variants)
price paid:105 GBP
positive:Small, sharp, solid lens.
negative:Nothing major - shorter MFD would be nice.
comment:I'm not a huge fan of nicknames like 'pocket rocket', but you can see where it comes from. This is a lovely little lens, some of the G zooms might have it beat, but I don't have one of those. It holds its own very well against my zooms - faster, lighter, smaller and better IQ. The 100mm macro is sharper and has better IQ and has macro - but it is heavier and it isn't 135mm. The Ziess 135 is reportedly better - and so it should be considering it's decades newer and ten times the price. If you shoot A-mount and want a 135mm prime you can't get better value than this little gem.
That said mine doesn't get a lot of use - I prefer the 100mm macro and the Sony 85mm f2.8 as short teles, I don't know why but I've never got on that well with 135mm.
Update 12 Sep '19: I forced myself to use this lens by using it in a Dyxum Challenge - and it grew on me. I now use it regularly on FF and APS-C; it's a gem.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 138
  • sharpness: 4.69
  • color: 4.91
  • build: 4.67
  • distortion: 4.91
  • flare control: 4.42
  • overall: 4.72
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