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

reviewer#8756 date: Mar-7-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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:Min 24105
Min 35105o
Min 70210
Sony 70300G
Tamron 28300
price paid:USD 269 used
positive:Minolta colors
Clarity
Internal focus
negative:Heavy
No lens shade
Old, hard used
comment:My copy of this lens is perfect at both ends, but quite unreliable in the middle. It clunks when it is put on the camera and the screwdrive is engaged -- and I suspect that is an indication of the internal focus slide being loose or worn. I have also found this to a lesser extent with my beercan. So I suspect that all older Minolta zooms that clunk will have a similar outcome.

When it is good, it is as good as the other reviewers report -- but it is inconsistent. I dropped my 35/2 and camera on hard stone this winter -- and the lens shade smashed, and saved the lens -- so I'll never buy another lens without a hard plastic lens shade. This lens doesn't have a hard shade, a defect, and it would've smashed -- or worse, my camera would've died.

My Min 35105o is better overall. My 24105, an attempted replacement, is a weak lens -- and here I suspect plastic parts. My Sony 70300G is better in almost every way -- except that it does not focus internally. Even with its problems, the 28135 is a far better lens than my son's Tamron 28-300.

It would indeed be wonderful if there were a modern replacement for the length and f-stop of the 28135, since it is a perfect tourist lens.

Extra thoughts: I had forgotten to mention that, in using the 35105o and the 28135, I have really come to dislike the position of the focus ring on the 28135. My little finger ( and sometimes my thumb) naturally fits at the intersection of lens and body -- and every time I move for a new focus, the ring twists and crimps my finger, or jiggles the lens, and it is really annoying. This means that the 28135 (even if my copy were perfect) is unattractive to me.

Can I take it all back?? I've just discovered that my 28135 was set (and not, I think, by me) at -7 microadjust. Now that it's at +3, the lens produces edible results. I still don't like the focus ring or the lack of a lens shade, but oh, do I like the images now. It and my 100400 are now inseparable.

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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