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

reviewer#4504 date: Dec-9-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 own this lens
compared to:Konica Minolta 28-100 f/3.5-5.6
Konica Minolta 18-70 f/3.5-5.6
Minolta 17-35 f/3.5 G
Minolta 28-70 f/2.8 G
Minolta 70-210 f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 50 f/2.8 macro D
Minolta 100 f/2.8 macro D
Sony 70-200 f/2.8 G SSM
price paid:€ 95 (new - old stock)
positive:Good build
Good looks
Minolta colors
Quite sharp
Usefull range on APS (long side)
Nice zoom ring
Nice weight
Non rotating front element (CPL!)
Petal hood
Short MFD (1:6 possible)
Great range on FF
negative:24 mm too long on APS-C
Bokeh not so good
No ADI (i can live without)
comment:Bought this lens a few weeks after my 5D to see what there was to gain. It was a NOS lens, felt very lucky to get it for this price. After reading the reviews here, choices were this one or the 24-105 which has better range, ADI, but more distortion and is more expensive. Build is very nice, i liked the looks too.
IQ is better than both kitlenses, sharper, more usefull as bigger apertures. Colours quite similar to Minolta 70-210 f/3.5-4.5 which is a nice partner for this lens. Haven't noticed distortions, but bokeh can be awful sometimes. Guess Minolta had to trade off sharpness versus bokeh because of the price point. As with all the film era lenses works better on FF (rangewise).

Update 1 : i use this lens on the A900 in cases i want to travel light, need the 1:6 "macro" capabilities or don't want to take the 28-70 f/2.8 G. Walkarounds on the streets or product shots for example. Very usable lens, nice range from WA just up to portrait.

Update 2 : i don't recommend this lens to APS-C users as Sony has some very good alternatives (Sony 16-50 SSM, Carl Zeiss 16-80,Sony 16-105, Sony 18-55) with better range, especially on the wide side.

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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