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
Beercan
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:
missing
positive:Sharp when open
Great range on FF
Build Quality
Colours
Macro added value
Internal focus in rear
negative:Flare
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: 201
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.80
  • distortion: 4.41
  • flare control: 3.44
  • overall: 4.42
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