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

reviewer#6885 date: Feb-9-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 20-35 AFII
Big beercan
Kit lens 18-70
Minolta 100mm f2
Tamron 28-75 f2.8
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 50mm f1.4
Minolta 80mm-200mm HS G
price paid:
positive:Sharp when open
Great range on FF
Build Quality
Macro added value
Internal focus in rear
Soft corners FF at 28mm
f4 sometimes not enough
No hood
Minimum focus distance
Rear focus can get in the way
comment:There is plenty to love about this lens, but before you buy you should consider the negatives. The Minimum focus of 1.5m is too long and often causes a hinderance. If you want a zoom to cover low light then any 2.8 might be a better option. There's flare thats sometimes difficult to control - especially as it came without a hood. The rubber hood I have shows in the corners of the image on FF up to around 35/40mm. Rear focus although quick can get in the way of how I hold the lens. On FF I have noticed two versions of the lens exhibiting soft corners at 28mm wide open. This is unlikely to pose a problem in real life use - when do you use it at 28mm and f4 and want sharp corners?

Thats the faults out of the way, but the positives are well documented. Sharpness of a G lens is a fair comment, build quality and engineering is amazing - just look at the way the zoom moves for a start! Focusing is quick due to the rear focus. At 28mm its sharp wide open in the middle, getting sharp in the corners from f8/11, from 40/50mm up its sharp all over at f4/4.5, the macro is useful (including to focus shorter than 1.5m!). The range is brilliant on the a900, a true perfect lens in good light for what people call walkabout (or I call don't want to bother switching lenses all the time). Colour is good, although not quite up to the 100mm f2 or 80-200 HS G. Its a bargain at todays prices, if Sony released this now they'd call it a G and my guess would be L600-800.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 203
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 4.83
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.41
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 4.42
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