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

reviewer#5062 date: Mar-20-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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:Minolta 24mm f2.8
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm f4
Minolta 70-210mm f4 "Beercan"
Multiple Minolta Rokkor Manual Focus lenses
price paid:$310 (mint cond.)
positive:Superb colors!!!
Fast focusing
Very good contrast
negative:Slight CA present
A bit flare-prone

The 28-135mm is very sharp in the center while losing very little in the corners - exceptional in this regard. While maximum 'sharpness' is from f5.6 through f11. This is not an empirically-derived understanding; rather that i tend to notice the 'sharpest' photos in most all lighting conditions tend toward these 'middle' apertures.

Unlike some lenses which render "cartoon-like", overly-saturated colors these 1st Generation Minolta Maxxum lenses, such as this 28-135mm, render colors which are neither overly saturated/rich or flat.

The lens also exhibits excellent bokeh. The Minolta Legend lives up to the name!!!

The 28-135mm feels like what ALL lenses should feel like - in a word - SOLID. I would appreciate an OEM lens hood, but none exist. I found a nice all-metal hood that works quite well.

This lens is very fast focusing and I also like where the MF ring is placed (close to the body), but when auto-focusing i am careful not to have my finger on it as it spins quite rapidly. This is not because it's painful; rather that i don't want to impede the lens' functioning.

I have also noticed this lens does not "hunt" as frequently for a focus lock in lower light/contrast situations as my other "classic Minolta" lenses.

The MFD is on the long end at ~5ft. This is more of a design limitation and not necessarily a build flaw. The "Build Quality" is superb, it is only the design that is compromised in this one area - small matter given the other strengths.

The lens is susceptible to flare. This can be managed, but it's occasionally present all the same.

While the 28-135mm lens also does not have the official Minolta G-Series designation (with attributes such as constant f2.8 (or wider) aperture, etc., it delivers superb results with a very attractive focal range. It also delivers these results for a very reasonable price.

IMHO, this lens (with the 1st 300mm f2.8 and possibly the 70-210mm f4 "Beercan") is among the 1st G series Minolta AF lens - before the G designation was officially implemented. See the image of the 1st Generation Minolta camera/lenses/flashes brochure in my flickr page (found in my signature) for clarity on this.

Sharp, contrasty images with rich colors are the norm with this incredible lens and it is my go-everywhere lens for travel/work/home use.

This lens is HIGHLY recommended!!!! Don't wait - get one while there are still good samples available.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 202
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.42
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 4.42
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