Minolta AF 24mm F2.8 A-mount lens review by Phil Wood
|Phil Wood#44389 date: Oct-17-2019
flare control: 4
|I own this lens
Minolta - AF 20 F2.8
Minolta - AF 20 F2.8 RS
Minolta - AF 28 F2.8
Update: Minolta - AF 28 F2
Sigma - 24 f2.8 super wide
Update: Sigma - 24 f2.8 super wide AF version
Minolta - AF 24-50 F4
Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Update: Sony CZ 24-70 F2.8
Minolta - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 D
Sony - DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Sony - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
Sony - AF DT 18-250 F3.5-6.3
Tamron - 16-300 F3.5-6.3 Di II PZD MACRO
Update: Sony CZ 16-80
|Inexpensive, small, light, and sharp.
|Not up to modern standards of micro-contrast or flare control - but it's not priced as a modern lens.
|24mm is a focal length that almost every A-mount user will have covered by a zoom or three, some of which cover it very well (I am particularly thinking of my Sony 16-50mm f2.8). The obvious issue is that most of the zooms covering this FL are APS-C only, unless you have a very expensive modern FF 24-xx zoom there are just a few Minoltas (24-50, 24-85 & 24-105) which are nice, not great, lenses.
I love primes - enough reason in itself to buy this lens, but there are other reasons:
Its performance may not be absolute top drawer, but it remains the second highest scorer in Dyxum reviews only surpassed by the Sony CZ 24mm f2- which is five or more times the price (out of my budget range) and almost three times the size/weight (though I still want one).
24mm is also a great street photography lens on an APS body - combine this little lens with an A58 and you have as unobtrusive a combo as you can get in A-mount.
So, how does it perform?
Sharpness is very good, stop it down for best results, but even at f2.8 it performs really well. Colour is typical Minolta. These 1980s primes were built to last - as they have. Distortion is minimal, less than one might expect on FF, I rarely correct it, but it is easy enough to do if you want squared off perfection. Flare control is pretty good for the 1980s - not bad, but not brilliant either; put the sun in frame and there is plenty of ghosting and CA will rear its ugly head in the usual sort of places (this too is easy enough to correct in PP).
My other wide Minolta primes are the 20 and 28mm f2.8s - the 24mm is on a par with the 20mm and far better (sharper) than the 28mm - but angle of view is what they are about - the 20mm wins for dramatic FF shots whereas the 24mm is still good on FF and ideal for candid stuff on APS. My other 24mm prime, the manual focus Sigma Ultrawide, is no match for the Minolta.
My FF zooms are not as sharp at 24mm, nor are most of the APS kit zooms - however, if you shoot APS, and you've got a lens of the quality of the Sony 16-50mm and are not a prime fanatic you don't really need this one.
Update: I have added a few lenses to my collection. The AF version of the Sigma 24mm f2.8 is pretty close to the Minolta. The Sony CZ 24-70mm f2.8 FF zoom is as good as this prime, but so, so much bigger and heavier. The Minolta 28mm f2 is a class above the 24mm - if you don't need the extra 4mm it's a no-brainer. The Sony CZ 16-80 is not in the class of the 16-50, but it's still pretty good, the 24mm is no better.