Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 A-mount lens review by JamesAlpha850

reviewer#7934 date: Sep-3-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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:Minolta AF24mm f2.8
Minolta AF50mm F1.4
Sony AF100mm f2.8 macro
Minolta AF28-85 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF35-105 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF70-210 f4-4.5
Tamron AF28-300mm XR f3.5-6.3
price paid:425.00 USD
positive:IQ is superior
Classic Minolta Sharpness
Classic Minolta colors
Fast automatic focus
Great range for FF walk-around
Macro is useful
Bokeh is smooth
Great optics and build
Minimum CA

negative:My copy has slight lens creep. Considering its age and weight, I think that minimal creep is acceptable. The MFD limits its use in close proximities.
comment:The Secret Handshake of the old Minolta lenses, it is rumored to be a precursor to the G lenses of the mid-eighties. What is certain is that the Minolta AF 28-135 performs color magic on command. This objective is all about IQ. In spite of its age, my copy is in great condition and functions as a precision optic should. Truly, it is an ideal walk-around zoom for events, such as outdoor jazz concerts. The rear automatic focusing ring is especially snappy, a bit strange to my fingers at first, but totally fast. I love the S.H.'s saturated colors and the nearly creamy bokeh. Stopped to f5.6, this zoom is a worthy competitor for sharpness with the 100mm macro and 50mm 1.4, two lenses I consider as benchmark optics. Compared to my zooms, the Handshake is sharper than the Beercan and nearly the same as the 35-105. Well-balanced on the full-frame Alpha, the combination of the 28-135 and the A850 make it a heavy-weight contender, especially in light of its performance in reviews paired with the much coveted CZ24-70. To be fair, I can only make comparisons with my personal array of A-mount lenses. It is comparable in sharpness to the 35-105. IQ appears to be quite similar to the 35-105, which I am finding to be a stellar walk-around zoom with great range on the FF. Lots lighter, too. The 28-135 has a greater zoom range and weighs less than the CZ. On a full-frame camera, 28mm is a wide enough focal length for most compositions. This lens renders razor-sharp 3D-like images across the frame. The zoom-macro feature creates usable images at close MFD. While flare can be present when directing toward the sun, I tend to avoid this angle as with all the old Minolta lenses. A rubber screw-down hood would serve to shield this lens from the sun, although I seldom use mine. The S.Handshake deserves every consideration in its class as it's purchase makes perfect sense for FF Sony Alpha photography.

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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