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

reviewer#5948 date: Aug-30-2009
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 17-50mm
Sony 70-300G
price paid:
positive:Sharp all around
Not for low light
comment:When i bought this, I was completely skeptical of the hype. It felt cumbersome when i took it out of the box. What i did love when i took it out of the box was its huge front element. Absolutely sexy IMO.

I took it to a graduation shoot a few months back, and I was not impressed with the image quality. The graduation was obviously in poor light but I expected more due to the hype. I defaulted back on the Tamron for the f2.8.

Not having touched it for a few months (other than keeping it clean), I decided to put it through the tests yesterday to see if i should just sell this heavy glass for a hefty profit or keep for FF a8/9xx. I tested this against the Tamron and my Sony G 70-300mm, as i feel these lens give a good standard of my minimum sharpness requirements.

With an a700, I tested f4, f5.6, f8 from ranges of 28, 50, 70, 135mm during sunset and after sunset (to test low light) handheld & tripod, against a high contrast object at infinity. Results blew me away. The Minolta 28-135mm had sharper images all around with better color saturation. However, it was not sensitive to light contrast as the Tamron was through out the range. With the Tamron, areas of low light had better illumination in the final product. The Minolta yielded more "dark" areas. This explained why the graduation pictures from the 28-135 did not look good. However, the colors from this lens reminded me of my 35-105 Orig - was so saturated wonderful colors!

I will keep this lens for the rest of my life simply because it really is prime sharp stopped down. It was sharper than the 70300G and the Tamron 17-50mm. My only grip is the MFD. I love the weight even though it throws my a700 off balance. This will definitely be used on my FF when i get it.

I still need to test flare control as i have not had a good chance to do so. (Remains at 3 rating)

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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