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

reviewer#44341 date: Aug-1-2019
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:Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta - AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-105 xi F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-135 F4-4.5

price paid:60 GBP
positive:Great range on FF, compact, light, well built, D encoding, good IQ a couple of stops down.
negative:Just not quite as good as alternatives, not quite as sharp.
comment:This is a good lens that won't let you down, but even in its price range there are sound alternatives.
It seems to be the ideal choice for a walkabout FF lens, a more attractive FL range than any other Minolta zoom and it is not a bad lens. From 28 to 105 it just doesn't take such nice pictures as the Minolta - AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 (either of the variants I have) from 24 to 85mm it is bettered by the Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 RS (I have not tried the original version). I also prefer the IQ of the old Minolta - AF 28-135 F4-4.5 - though that is a seriously hefty beast. The Minolta - AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D is much lighter, but is no match optically and is built like a toy.
That said I would still consider this lens as a FF walk around choice, especially in an urban environment, the FL range really is that attractive. I am surprised that Sony never bothered to make a better FF zoom of this range (or better), if you want 24mm and 105mm in one FF zoom it's this, its Sony rebadging, or the very expensive Sigma 24-105mm F4 DG HSM Art (reportedly very good).
However, on a walkabout, I am more likely to opt for an APS camera and the brilliant Sony 16-50mm F2.8 SSM (24-75mm FF equivalent).
On APS the 24-105mm range is equivalent to 36-157.5mm on FF - still an interesting range, but the 28-105 is still better, I often add it to my bag as a mid-range supplement to the 16-50.
These old Minolta zooms are so cheap these days that you can't really go wrong - a lens of this quality for less than 100 GBP/USD/EUR is ridiculous, if the 28-105 wasn't that little bit better I would be perfectly happy using this lens a lot more than I do. Of course, if you are a big flash user and want the D encoding this is probably the best sub 100 GBP choice.
Update: 30-05-2020.
I have found myself using this lens more recently, initially because I wanted the range, but I have come to like it more. It does help that the sun has been shining brightly because it does need to be stopped down for best results, but the best results are pretty good.

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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