Minolta AF 28-100mm F3.5-5.6 D A-mount lens review by ithinkso

reviewer#11188 date: Jun-9-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70
minolta 28-80 3.5-56
price paid:
positive:light and compact
excellent with film
negative:nothing at all
comment:This lens came as a kit with the minolta dynax 5 I bought for my partner, which she uses mostly for monochrome (It was new at the time - I can't recall how much it cost but's it's still going strong - touch wood!!). She has some excellent enlargements from this lens. I've also used it with colour film on my Dynax 7 and I'm pretty impressed.

Of course I was curious to see how it performed on the A77. I spent a day using it in good sunlight, handheld and with the camera set to JPEG and with the camera's distortion and vignetting correction on. I guess this is the way to get the best from a kit lens. Others with more technical knowledge than mine can check it out with tripods and RAW if they feel like it!

Clearly this lens was designed in the film era with film i mind. It won't satisfy any pixel peepers. It's much harder to handhold and get good sharp images on digital, but when it works it is pretty good. I like the colour rendition. I suspect you'd have to spend a whole lot more money to get better results than you can achieve with this lens, given the price you're likely to pay for it today.

Edit/update: I didn't get my Sony A850 with this lens in mind. However, since it's available to use I checked it out. Vignetting is very prominent at 28mm/f3.5, still noticeable at f5.6 but gone by f8. It's pretty sharp at 100mm/f5.6. Minolta colours look good. The combination is considerably lighter than the A77/VC/16-50mm f2.8 and might get another run out for less demanding applications, like say, a family party.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 3.60
  • color: 4.14
  • build: 2.86
  • distortion: 3.81
  • flare control: 3.48
  • overall: 3.58
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania