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

reviewer#3091 date: Dec-20-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
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:Tamron 28-105/2.8
Minolta 35-105/3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta 18-70/3.5-5.6 (kit)
Minolta 100-200/4.5
Minolta 50/1.4
price paid:140 USD
positive:-image quality
-range
-price
negative:-heavy / weird balance
-min focus distance (sometimes)
comment:Given its range, the image quality is outstanding as it easily matches some primes (especially from 28 to 100mm). That's the reason I consider it a deal even at current 300+ prices for a good sample.

It is prone to flare in certain conditions but this doesn't bother me at all. It is the kind of flare I like (spreads evenly throughout the frame) and this could be used creatively.

Another 'treat' from this lens is the macro mode. Many consider it useless but I quite like it. Getting close to you subject at wide angle makes for some creative opportunities.(TIP: While using the macro feature of the lens, switch the camera to manual focus to enable the focus assist feature - at least that's how it works on my 7D).

Min focus distance can be annoying in tight spaces (indoors) but this is rarely a problem for me as I use it mostly outdoors.

While it seems built like a tank, the vast number of bad samples proves it is in fact extremely delicate. Mine has no problem so far but I feel I need to have extra care every time I use it.

One thing I really don't like about it is the way it balances on the camera. Due to a heavier front, the overall camera-lens balance is different from any other lens I own and this feels weird. Recently, I've noticed the AS/SSS performance is better with other lenses at same FL/aperture combination and I suspect this has to do with the balance. My Tamron 28-105/2.8 is of similar weight but it balances better on camera and has better AS results. Anyway, take this with a grain of salt as it well may be just personal preference.

Final conclusion: the image quality easily makes up for all the negatives. I think this is the queen of non-G Minolta zooms.

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
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