Minolta AF 24-85mm F3.5-4.5 RS A-mount lens review by chych

reviewer#2236 date: May-1-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 50/1.7
KM 70-210/4 beercan
KM 35-105/3.5-4.5
Sony 18-70/3.5-5.6
price paid:120 USD (ebay)
positive:Sharp wide open, low CA, IF, compact/light, fast AF, cheap!
negative:Small hood for APS-C, small focus ring
comment:I bought this lens as a kit lens replacement; I knew I would lose the 18-24 range but I don't miss it, as I shoot at farther ranges usually. I got this lens from ebay for cheap, and I have been nothing but amazed with this. What a great kit lens replacement!

I've tested the lens sharpness at different lengths (on a testing chart at full magnification). On the 24mm end, it is sharp wide open, and very sharp 1 stop down. On the 85mm end it is slightly soft wide open, and sharpens 1-2 stops down. For real photos (i.e. not testing charts), the lens is quite sharp wide open, and razor sharp at f8 throughout.

The colors on this lens are the very traditional 'Minolta' colors, pretty much identical to the beercan, and are very pleasing. Out of focus effects (bokeh) is very smooth, as nice as the beercan is even. Unlike the beercan, the 24-85 has very little CA. This lens is definitely a winner, and very cheap too.

I'm not so sure how it fairs against flaring, as the hood supplied is kind of small (especially for APS-C), but I haven't noticed anything bad yet. Build is good, it is made of hard plastics and feels sturdy; of course it isn't a metal lens. Autofocus is very fast on my Sony A100. Anyhow this lens is way better than the kit, and I'll be keeping this lens until I can afford a CZ16-80 or a constant f2.8 lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 53
  • sharpness: 4.41
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.34
  • distortion: 4.19
  • flare control: 4.11
  • overall: 4.35
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