Minolta AF 17-35mm F2.8-4 D A-mount lens review by AVLB

reviewer#45750 date: Aug-29-2021
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 20mm f2.8
Carl Zeiss Jena 35mm f2.4
price paid:£170
Good zoom range
Sharp at longer focal lengths and especially between f11-f16.
negative:Softish at 17-20, especially corners when wide open.
comment:I must have a good copy, as all the test shots I have taken so far after only owning the lens for 24hrs, seem fine to me.

I have compared it to two prime lenses, so far at both ends of the focal range. To be fair, I only tested them at f4 at the 35mm length, but did compare at 20mm at f3.2. It only operates at f2.8 below 20mm. These were real live tests and not scientific, although speeds and ISO were the same as well. Lighting conditions were dependent on the clouds!
My findings were that the Sony 20mm tended to be slightly sharper wide open, but from f8 onwards, there was no difference, both at the centre and the corners. The CZJ 35mm f2.4 Flektogon is one of those lenses that has a renowned sharpness, but in my opinion, the KM did just as well at 35mm, right across the aperture range.
As this will be used mainly for landscape work, I am not concerned about bokeh, although on the shots I have taken of close up subjects, I don't find it displeasing. Good close focal length if you do need it though.
Both zoom and focussing rings are very smooth on my copy, but with only about a 90° turn of each, so best used for autofocus.
The substantial plastic petal hood is firm on the barrel, with red dots to line up and provides good flare and lens protection.
Will be keeping this lens for sure to use on the A99/A850, but don't need it for the A68, as I have a UWA lens for APSC.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 133
  • sharpness: 4.27
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 3.74
  • flare control: 3.60
  • overall: 4.07
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