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

reviewer#44341 date: Aug-1-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 104
  • sharpness: 4.25
  • color: 4.51
  • build: 4.13
  • distortion: 4.15
  • flare control: 4.26
  • overall: 4.26
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