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

reviewer#9902 date: Feb-7-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 2
flare control: 3
overall: 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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 10-20mm
sigma 12-24mm
minolta 20mm RS
price paid:£160 GBP
positive:Inexpensive
Decent sharpness
Good flare resistance
negative:Lacks character
Distortion
comment:Got this as a FF alternative to the sigma 10-20mm in APS-C, I had expected this to comfortably outperform the sigma, it does beat the sigma at the wide end but at the long end the sigma seems win. Overall the sigma has less distortion (especially at the wide end) so I'd have to say the sigma 10-20mm is the better lens albeit costing a fair bit more (and for APS-C bodies only).

All that said this seems to be a great value option for FF users, sharp enough to keep me content and thankfully LR has a lens profile for the tamron 17-35mm which can correct the distortion on this lens offsetting it's weakest aspect.

update:

Compared to the minolta 20mm RS, the 20mm is sharper but this lens has better flare resistance, neither have great distortion control but the 20mm has the edge. Compared to the sigma 12-24mm, the sigma (surprisingly) has much better distortion control, centre sharpness is similar but this lens has better corner sharpness.

Also don't let my sharpness rating of 3 put you off, none of the wide angle lenses I've used have stellar sharpness when compared to macro lenses, for the class this lens is perfectly decent. What is perhaps a bigger issue is this lens lacks magic, it's colour/crispness characteristics never excite you.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 132
  • sharpness: 4.27
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 3.74
  • flare control: 3.60
  • overall: 4.07
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