Minolta AF 17-35mm F2.8-4 D A-mount lens review by Bob Socko
|Bob Socko#9082 date: Jun-4-2011|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I used to own this lens|
|compared to:||* Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6|
* Sony 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6
* Minolta 20mm f/2.8
* Minolta 28mm f/2
* Sony 35mm f/1.8
* Sigma 20mm f/1.8
* Sigma 24mm f/1.8
* Sigma 30mm f/1.4
|price paid:||325 USD (used)|
|positive:||* Wide angle zoom with full-frame coverage.|
* Reasonably fast aperture with good center sharpness wide open.
* Light for its size.
|negative:||* Corners can be soft at wide apertures.|
* Image quality is good, but not great.
* Unless you're a full frame or film shooter, there are better options available.
|comment:||Are you a full frame shooter? Do you want an ultra-wide zoom, but can't justify spending $1899 on the Zeiss 16-35mm f/2.8? Seriously consider this lens. It's one of the few options available on the market and, for the price, it's a pretty good performer. If you're shooting landscapes, you'll be stepping down to f/8-f/11 anyway, so the soft corners at wide apertures are a non-issue. If you're trying to use this as a walkaround lens, your center sharpness is still pretty good wide open.|
Are you an APS-C shooter? Are you perfectly happy with your current camera and don't have any serious plans to upgrade to an a850 or a900? Don't give this lens a lot of thought, you have better options available. The Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 is a great all-around performer. Compared to this lens, you'll have a faster constant aperture and a slightly longer zoom range. Other decent options include the Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 (great image quality but more expensive) and the Sony 16-105mm f/3.5-5.6 (more compact, more versatile focal range). That's not to say that this lens is worthless to an APS-C user. It's not, it's a fine lens. I just wouldn't go out of my way to get one unless you can find it for a great price because you have other, better options available.