Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 A-mount lens review by madcat207

reviewer#2207 date: Apr-24-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.6
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:Tamron 28-300 XR LD IF
price paid:$50 (got lucky)
positive:Excellent zoom range.
Built like a tank.
Good aperture.
Rear focus provides very fast focus.
negative:A bit nose heavy.
Very delicate front element.
comment:For those that don't know, this is the father of all original Minolta wide zooms. While the 28-85 and 28-105's are "dime a dozen", the 28-135 truly is something special.

The lens is one of the last designed with Leica, and it shows. The lens has a giant front element (72mm), and a good aperture throughout its zoom. One of the really unique aspects though, is the rear focus. Unlike every other Minolta lens made, this lens features the focus ring and elements at the back of the lens, rather than the front. While this is due to the design of the lens, it has the side effect of creating a very fast AF system (less gearing, higher turn ratio).

The optics of this lens are what truly makes it great. It is easy to see the quality put into the lens, in both physical feeling, and the pictures produced. The colors are crisp, and the lines are sharp. However, there are two flaws:
1) No hood is included, and the lens can be prone to flare. This is fixable though, with a good after-market metal or rubber hood (metal obviously fits the look of the lens better).
2) The front element is extremely delicate. It is very easy to scratch a coating; and while only cosmetic, it obviously can't be fixed. If you do get a copy with a pristine element, put a protective filter on it, and never remove it.

All-in-all, this is a great lens if you can find it. They are currently demanding a high price on fleabay, but if you are looking for the ultimate in original Minolta glass, it is worth it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 201
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.41
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 4.42
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania