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

reviewer#6656 date: Jan-1-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:Sony DT 3.5-5.6/18-70, Minolta:Beercans 35-70, 70-210mm & 75-300mm; 50mm f1.7; 135mm f2.8; Minolta 28-135; Tokina 28-70 2.8 AT-X; Tokina SD 70-210
price paid:eur 130
positive:sharp
minolta colours
good build quality
negative:heavy
rear focus ring spin catches me out every time...
not 2.8, but you can't have everything...
comment:Like all good Minolta lenses, this one comes with an orthopedic warning. Heavy! It doesn't look as heavy as it is, considering its size. But it is.

It has a nice range, and for a (heavy) walk around can prove quite useful as a result.

The focus ring at rear catches me the first couple of shots I take whenever I shoot with this lens on. The torque generated feels like it is about to draw you into the innards of the lens when your supporting hand is holding the lens. This has to be my bigger gripe with this glass. I'm sure if I used it for longer periods of time, I would become accustomed to it.

What can I say that hasn't already been said. This is a lens that deserves its reputation. It covers a useful range with good IQ all the way. Nice for portraits, and with my Soligor 1.7 teleconverter means I can get Beercan like zoom results without needing to take the Beercan with me when traveling. Without teleconverter IQ is of course slightly better than the good ol' Beercan.

I have to admit though, within a day or so of getting this lens I also got a first generation Tokina 28-70 2.8 A-TX lens (for which I'll be writing the review once this model is posted) which IMO is in some ways better than the Minolta. Both are sharp, both have great Minolta colours (even though only one is a Minolta) and only one is 2.8. And that is not this lens, and makes me wish it was... because otherwise this lens would be perfect.

If you don't need a 2.8 zoom and want all the other great features like built like a tank, and the ability to sever fingers with the focus ring coupled with great colours and super IQ, then this is one to get. I would like this lens far more if I hadn't got that 'pesky' 28-70 Tokina which is in some ways just as good, but with 2.8 to boot. And not quite as heavy.

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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