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

reviewer#7854 date: Aug-25-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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:Sigma 28-70f2.7 EX DF
price paid:USD179.00 (used)
positive:Very sharp from f4.
excellent contrast, especially for a zoom.
negative:Both of mine exhibited some zoom creep. Often, when the camera hung from my neck, the lens would zoom to 135, on its own.
comment:To date, the lenses I owned (2, 1 for me, 1 for my brother), produced some of the cleanest images I have ever shot. Sharpness is excellent at f4; the point of buying faster than 4.5 lenses, is the speed. If the lens is not good wide open, why have it, or pay the extra for it?

Were I to buy another zoom, it would either be one of these again, the Contax 35-70f3.4, or maybe one of the ZA zooms. No other zooms even cross my mind.

Update 2012 -

Years after owning it, I would have to say I would likely not buy one again. It is a decent, but very large lens, that doesn't focus close enough, and is actually pretty slow. I know compared to a lot of the f5.6 or f6.3 zooms it is faster, but it really isn't.

I have owned previously and own now Minolta, Zeiss and Leica lenses ranging from f1.2 to f2.8, all of which were designed to actually be used wide-open, and be at their best 2 stops down. That means they are at their best at f2.8 or f4, not at f8 like most of the zoom lenses you will find available today. That difference means lower ISO's, faster shutter speeds, and a decrease in camera-shake worries.

This lens was good in its day, but don't buy it because you think you will be getting something you are not. I think its status as the "Secret Handshake" needs to be left in the past.

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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