Minolta AF 24-105mm F3.5-4.5 D A-mount lens review by ordinal

reviewer#11943 date: Aug-9-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:Minolta 35-105 (2nd version w/o macro switch)
Minolta 70-210 "Beercan"
Minolta 50/1.7
Minolta 28/2.8
price paid:100 UKP
positive:Dead sharp (except wide open at 24mm, and even then only corners/edges are soft).
Lovely colours.
Great focal range for street photography and photojournalism (on full frame).
Well built, feels sturdy.
Relatively compact.
negative:Wide open at 24mm, vignettes a bit and corners are soft (up to about f5.6).
Zoom ring is a bit stiff and not very precise, though that may be my copy.
comment:Maybe I have an unusually good copy of this lens, but my experiences of it on film and full frame (A900) are superb. I've used it for shooting marches and demonstrations and it's performed brilliantly. It is always dead sharp over most of the frame, only vignetting a bit and having soft edges/corners up to about f5.6 at 24mm, and even then the pictures are usable - sometimes a bit of vignetting is dramatic. Some minor CA but nothing significant, and colours are lovely. The quality is as good as my primes, and it is _much_ better than my Minolta 35-105 which is horrible at anything below f8.

If I have any complaints it's that the zoom ring is a bit stiff on mine - I don't know whether this is a general issue. Not a problem in practice; I usually use it at either 24 or 105 anyway, and it's not _that_ bad if I need intermediate lengths.

Given the quality, great range of focal length and also its relatively small size, this is my standard lens on the A900 now.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 109
  • sharpness: 4.25
  • color: 4.51
  • build: 4.12
  • distortion: 4.14
  • flare control: 4.24
  • overall: 4.25
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