Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 197    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>
reviewer#44380 date: Oct-9-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Minolta - AF 28-80 F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-80 xi F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-105 xi F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-135 F4-4.5
price paid:70 GBP
positive:Sharp, colour
negative:Heavy, could go wider, 1980s ghosting/flare.
comment:This lens shows just how well Minolta made lenses when they introduced AF to the 35mm world. However, the overriding impression is its weight, it hardly seems possible for a lens of its size could weigh so much.
Its range made it the nearest thing to a hyperzoom in its day (though Sigma soon produced a 28-200 for the A mount) and it remains the only single Sony/Minolta lens that covers this useful range in FF A mount.
Image quality is impressive, sharp with lovely colour, but it does suffer from flare and ghosting issues typical of older lenses. AF is quick and precise, but not silent - I love the reassuring clunk of it snapping into focus, but videographers be warned!
In comparison with my collection of Minolta wide to tele zooms (see list above) it is close to the best in terms of IQ. I prefer the extra width of a 24mm but the IQ of the 24-105 is just not as good - though I will still use it in preference to the 28-135 if I am expecting to be carrying the camera for an extended period - the 28-135 is really heavy. The 28-80s and 28-100 are not in the same class. The 24-85 is a good lens, better than the 24-105 and more compact, the 28-105 (both versions) are probably the nearest in IQ, better at times.
One use I have for a lens of this sort of range is as a back up to primes, something to carry in the pocket or pack 'just in case' - I never think to use the 28-135 in this manner, I tend to go for 24-85 unless I am carrying a 20 or 24mm prime, in which case I might opt for the slightly better IQ and extra length of a 28-105.
It is, of course, better suited to FF use, but it's not a bad range on APS (42-202.5mm equiv) - as long as you don't need to go wide, or have that covered with another lens.
reviewer#44379 date: Oct-7-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:200
positive:Image quality image quality across zoom range good zoom range Internal focus great used price for a prolevel lens
negative:very heavy only f/4-4.5 for a 72mm lens 72mm filters expensive no hood must watch out for flair minimum focus 5'
comment:The Minolta AF 28-135mm F/4-4.5 is one of the original Minolta AF lenses from the mid 1980s, and is now over 20 years old. It's well built, with a minimum of plastic components, which makes it heavy for its size. This lens was also quite expensive when introduced, and came with odd features, as mentioned above. Sony has a current lens (Minolta designed) similar in focal length, the 24-105mm F/3.5-4.5, but it doesn't perform as well overall.



Focusing accuracy is quite good, most likely the result of the low F/4 maximum aperture. It's also not speedy, but typical for the day. Color fringing as well as light fall-off are kept to a minimum, and both are controlled well, with average, to above average performance. Flare and ghosting are strong, and by today's standards would be considered poor, but are average for a 1980s Minolta AF zoom. Bokeh or background blur is also not very smooth, but the few items mentioned should not overshadow the most impressive characteristic, the overall sharpness of this lens, which is excellent. If Sony put in a circular aperture, SSM-not SAM, and some modern coatings to try and eliminate some of the ghosting (like they did on the 50mm F/1.4) this lens would probably get a "G" designation and sell like hot cakes!

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reviewer#44369 date: Sep-8-2019
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70 f4
Minolta 70-210 f4
Sony FE 28-70 f3. 5-5.6 OSS
Minolta 50mm f1. 4
Mnolta 50mm f1. 7
Sony 85mm f2. 8
Sigma 18-35 f3. 5-5.6 Aspherical
Minolta 28 f2. 8
Tamron 17-50 f2. 8
Minolta 135 f2. 8
Sigma 50 f2. 8 DG Macro
price paid:£80
positive:Range from 28-135, sharp, rear focus ring, good af speed, well build.
negative:Heavy and bulky lens, prone to flare, 72mm, no hood with the lens.
comment:Happy with the range of the lens buy it is heavy like Minolta 70-210 f4 and there is no hood. I feel better with smaller lenses like 35-70 f4 which is with good sharpness but much lighter. Minolta 35-105 is the sharpest from my zooms but with eritating and noisy AF. Also, the Minolta 28-135 is prone to flare especially at the wide end. The best results I had betwin 35-100 mm. If you can stabilise the lens and do not goo over ISO 800 you will get clear and amaizing pictures. If you need one lens to go with you take this one and use it mainly day time. Night time use a tripod or monopod.
reviewer#44335 date: Jul-17-2019
sharpness: 4
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-125 mm 3.5-5.6
Tokina 24-200 mm 3.5-5.6
price paid:150
positive:Color
Build like a tank
Very Sharp F4
F 4, 4,5 :)
Macro switch
negative:flare without Lens Hood.
High focus distance.
comment:If MFD is not your issue this is a very nice lens with a good focal range for outdoor photography. Be aware not to point too much in direction of sun or bright lights. Build quality is excellent. Given the price paid I am very happy with this lens. Corner sharpness is good from F5.6 at 28-50mm and from F8 at 70-135mm. Center sharpness is excellent at all apertures and focal lengths.

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reviewer#44264 date: Apr-26-2019
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Zeiss Pancolar 1.8/50
Zeiss Tessar 2.8/50
Pentacon 2.8/135
Tokina 2.8/11-16
Sony 2.8/16-50
Sony DT 1.8/35
Sony DT 3.5-6.3/18-200
Minolta 1.4/50
Minolta 1.7/50
Minolta Macro 2.8/50
Minolta 35-70 f4
Minolta Beercan 28-135
Minolta 28-85 3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210, 3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-300, 4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 100-400, 4.5-6.6 APO
price paid:120 Euro
positive:Very sharp, great colors,
negative:heavy
comment:One of my best lenses. Like to use as like macro, landscape and portrait lens
reviewer#44070 date: May-30-2018
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 35-105 f3.5-4.5 (both)
Min 35-70 f4
Min 24-85 f3.5-4.5
Min 28 f2.8
Min 35 f1.4
Min 50 f1.4
Min 85 f1.4
Min 135 f2.8
price paid:$70 USD
positive:wide zoom range
built solid and then some
excellent color as expected
I like the rear position focus ring
bokeh is quite decent for a high element count zoom
less linear distortion than most other wide range zooms
excellent "macro" quality
negative:IF is negated by front element rotating with zoom
contrast reduction is common with bright scenes
no factory hood, and no practical way to mount one without vignetting in FF use
Some C/A visible in high contrast areas and at edges of frame

comment:***I am revising my numbers and overall opinion of this lens based on a second copy I acquired... Sharpness, contrast and flare are noticeably better with my second copy, pushing it up into the ranks of the best original Minolta zooms. Maybe not *quite* as sharp as the original 35-105, but better range and linear distortion by a wide margin. I can now say that if you get a "good" copy of this lens it's an excellent value and well worth using for FF or APS walk-around when you only want to bring one lens. I also created a 3D printed adapter for attaching a metal hood to the lens, which helps with the flare issues a bit (still not a complete fix though, but if you want to try it, see lens forum for a link to the print file).

http://www.dyxum.com/dforum/adapter-to-fit-a-lens-shade-on-af-28135mm-f44-5_topic132658.html


Used with your back to the sun and in scenes that don't have extreme contrast transitions, this lens delivers appealing results (very similar in sharpness to the 35-70 f4). However all of the primes clearly beat it out in every parameter at their respective focal lengths, with the exception of the 28 f2.8 which has a narrower margin of superiority and the 135 f2.8 which has much more potential to show PF.

Compared to the 35-105s the original version is sharper than the 28-135, has better contrast and doesn't flare as badly (by a solid margin on all counts), however it has *much* worse linear distortion (esp. on FF) and the macro quality is no better. The RS version has similar or slightly lower performance in sharpness, but might have better contrast and definitely suffers far less from flare. The close focus "macro" of the 35-135 RS is easier to use, but it doesn't give as sharp a result as the 28-135 does.

The 24-85 has much worse distortion at the long end and sharpness is similar, but it has better contrast and flare resistance as well as being smaller when retracted and *much* lighter.

I think that at least for my uses and with the copy of the lens I own (very clean and in excellent mechanical condition), this lens is a bit of an under-performer when compared to the best Minolta AF zooms, but when used in favorable light it gives very decent results and offers an extremely useful range (both APS and FF) when you only want to bring one lens along (albeit one that's heavier than any other two lenses mentioned, with the exception of the 35 and 85 f1.4s and the original 35-105).

All-in all I think that as a one-lens solution, using a 35-70 f4 and being willing to walk around to get the shot is easier and delivers as good or better images for most situations.

I'm definitely keeping it, but it will get limited use as it offers competent but unexceptional performance, with significant shortcomings.

At a the prices this lens used to command I think the buyer was getting a bad deal and the "secret handshake" and a wink, was being given between successful sellers... but in today's market of much reduced A-mount pricing it's worth buying a copy.
reviewer#30698 date: Oct-13-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-105,35-70,28-80,16-80,18-55,55-200
price paid:$379😵2006
positive:Capable of unique images, nice wide to tele range,Minolta Magic image quality(color+contrast)legendary HandShake allure.Bokeh can be superb.
negative:Legend is somewhat myth. Min focus 1.5m, Focus falls off about half way thru the range. Still sharp, just not tack sharp.Adjustment of camera's micro focus is a MUST.Ridiculously heavy compared to modern comparables.Focus mechanism prone to failure. Hunts like crazy in low light. Zero IQ, tough to learn it’s quirks.
comment:I've enjoyed this lens, it's fun, finicky, can be frustrating. I can't overstate the importance of matching your camera body's micro focus to this lens. My copy went to the shop on the sellers tab because the focus mechanism failed.(common for this lens) Once repaired and dialed into the camera, it’s still rarely used. A poor choice for reliabile captures but can render unique results.Don't pay what I did, there out there much cheaper these days.
reviewer#29681 date: Aug-30-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-85 24-105 35-70F4 CZ16-80 Tamron 17-50 Sony 18-35
price paid:260
positive:Color
Build like a tank
Very Sharp F4
F 4, 4,5 :)
Macro switch
negative:Minimal Focal lenght
FLARE CONTROL .... OOOO MY GOOD
comment:Absolut perfekt color! Very Sharp F4. Amazon sharp in 5,6!

No too long.
My favorite standart zoom!
No light Fall on fullframe

The corner is very sharp

reviewer#29629 date: Jul-16-2016
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta APO 100-300
Tokina 100-300 f5.0 (m42)
Tamron 70-300 LD (Quite bad at long focal lengths)
Pentax smc m f135 f3.5
Chinon 135 f2.8 m42
Pentax SMC M 50mm f1.7
Pentax SMC K 28mm f3.5
Nikon AIS 50mm f1.4
Nikon Micro 105mm f4
Canon FD85mm F1.2L
Sigma 30mm f2.8 E-mount#
Carl Zeiss Sonnar 180mm f2.8
Sony DT 18-55 kit lens
price paid:150
positive:Nice solid metal feel.
Sharpness after closing half a stop even in corners (APS)
Great "standard to tele" action zoom on APS format
Fairly quick Autofocus (Compared to most screw driven AF)
negative:Light loss through all these lens elements with older coatings. At least 0.5 stop light loss compared to minolta APO 100-300 and other lenses.
It is effectively a f4.5-f5.0 lens regarding light transmission.
Minimum focus distance 1.5 metres (excluding the wide angle macro function)
Flare at certain angles, but almost nil on APS format with a 72mm screw in aftermarket lens-hood for 4 euros.
Weight, it is heavy. (But I actually like it for what I use it for around the house for making pictures of animals (horses, cats, dog). The weight helps to stabilise against minor movements!
A bit of CA in very high contrast areas, but not too much to be worried about. I have various vintage primes that show more or similar levels of CA (Pentax smc 135mm f3,5, and the famous Carl zeiss sonnar 180 f2.8 and Canon FD 85mm f1.2L. the latter needs to stop down to f2.8 to avoid purple fringing in high contrast areas).
Also, the max focal length of 135mm is exaggerated. (compared to 4 other 135 lenses). I suggest it is 130mm max. Same with 105mm position. I have to select more than 110 mm to equal the nikon 105 micro lens at infinity.
comment:Note: I tried two different ones and both had the problem of back focus!! i did some more research and One guy tried 4 copies and the results were the same but the problem is that each may need a slight correction for focus (see artaphot.ch). On my LE-A4 adapter I have to micro-adjust the focus with -2 and on my Minolta apo 100-300 -3! the difference is clear. (softness disappears and micro-contrasts increases a lot when using open aperture).
In order to find out if this is a problem with your copy try to manually focus in live view with zoomed in mode. (not peaking, because it is not accurate enough). If it is sharper than a picture taken using AF, a micro-af adjustment is needed. Not all cameras can do this though.
Despite the negatives regarding it being a dark lens for the same f stop and being heavy, I still like it a lot simply because of the results. It also focuses quickly due to the rear element focus. I use it on the NEX7 with the LE-A4 adapter and the autofocus speed is a revelation compared to its' native contrast detecting AF. Continuous autofocus and tracking works very well if you select wide area AF (15 focus points spread fairly centrally).
I also have the Minolta AP 100-300 and withing the overlapping range they are very close and almost the same in colour reproduction (The Apo does need to be stopped down at least half a stop, f6.3 is an enormous difference compared to wide open). Compared to the kit lens (dt 18-55) the lens is of similar sharpness in the centre and definitely sharper in the corners. I like the equivalent zoom range of 42mm-200mm for horse riding events. I use it mainly in aperture priority at f6.3 since this slight stopping down improves the corners quite a bit.
reviewer#26570 date: Apr-28-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-125 mm 3.5-5.6
Tokina 24-200 mm 3.5-5.6
price paid:150
positive:good focal range in full format, super sharp, durable construction.
negative:flare without Lens Hood.
High focus distance.
comment:It is difficult to note something that has not been said of this lens. I've used in various APSC Cameras full format, and it still seems great. I managed external Lens Hood 75 mm and placed over the lens, avoid reflections. The screw-type, all made in 28 mm produces vignetting. If the 1.5 meter approach is not a problem. It is a good option if the lens is 30 years old
reviewer#26539 date: Mar-29-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-75/2.8
Sony 18-55/3.5-5.6
price paid:180 usd
positive:Great focal lenghts
looks good
macro mode
negative:manual focus ring
minimal focus distance
comment:It's nothing special, I dunno where come all that buzz with this lens. It's sharp, but that's this weird oldschool digital sharpness that nowadays looks just meh. The AF system is fast but not acurate at all so it usually goes from one side to another, it's just not made for small corrections, that are very desirable when you use AF. And manual focusing in this lens is just a horror. The focus ring is small and it's placed in the beginning of the lens, near the mount - so using it is almost impossible cuz it's hard to balance your camera when you hold it this way. Also with full open aperture it's not sharp on the edges. I only love those focal lenghts which on full frame camera are very useful. It's even pretty dark for 4.5, yeah that lens was big disapointment.
reviewer#16308 date: Jul-16-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF35-105 (older version)
price paid:150 CAN
positive:Excellent range for a standard zoom.
Very sharp across the range.
negative:Flare.
Slow focus.
MFD too long.
comment:Truly an amazing lens if you get a good copy. I have owned 2. The first was a dud and I wondered what all the fuss was about. Looked fine... but soft images. I took a chance and bought another that came up locally. (after testing first) I am so glad I bought it. It is a great lens. Its a beast - quite heavy, but sharp all across the range with great colours. Bokeh not bad. Highly recommended. (better to try first, or buy from a trusted source to ensure getting a good copy) For the record, I believe the issues are age related and not "sample variation". This is an extremely complicated lens - there is much to go wrong with it over time. (30 years!!)
reviewer#16277 date: Jun-19-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 18-200
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105
Minolta AF 35-105 Original & New
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
price paid:68 USD (used)
positive:Repairability
Smooth, long throw focus control
Minimal CA stopped down
Flat focus plane at the long end
Decent wide semi-macro
negative:Weight, Length, Diameter
Axial CA/Soft center
Long minimum focus distance which increases with focal length
Focus shift with zoom
Only F4 up to 40 mm
Zoom action inconsistent
Small/hard rear focus ring
72 mm filter size
No provision for a hood
comment:Far from being a secret this was the most expensive AF zoom lens when Minolta released them in 1985. The suggested retail price was $526. The dealer cost was $300 in quantity--six times the cost of the AF 50 1.7 and exactly twice the price of the 70-210 f/4. And it is still no secret, since it remains the most expensive original Minolta AF zoom on the used market today.

The first copy I purchased had some minor damage including a cracked focus scale window. I returned this lens for a refund. The second copy I purchased had a small piece of metal lodged in the zoom mechanism preventing it from zooming out fully. I was able to disassemble the lens and remove this obstruction. This copy looked excellent. I bought a third copy with a bad zoom mechanism that I repaired, and a fourth copy that had some junk inside the front lens elements that was easily cleaned. After picking up a LA-EA4, I purchased the fifth copy without caps in good condition.

Testing outdoors yield some back focus tendency, but very good overall sharpness. The lens is also rather varifocal. The rendering is quite nice, though the bokeh isn't terribly smooth.

It has similar amounts of barrel distortion at the short end and pincushion distortion at the long end as the 28-105. It has less CA/purple fringing than the 28-105 when stopped down. Wide-open highlights become a bit purplish, otherwise the colors seem very accurate.

The smaller 1990's Minolta AF 28-105mm F3.5-4.5 is easier to use and has better resistance to flare and glare. The 35-200Xi has even greater telephoto range but even worse ergonomics and quirky operation. The 28-135 is quite awkward to use on a small APS-C body.

Test chart comparison on an A65 with the 24-85, 28-105, Carl Zeiss 16-80 and Sony DT 18-135 SAM.
reviewer#12147 date: Feb-23-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony Zeiss Vario Sonnar DT 16-80 F3.5-4.5
Sony G 70-300 SSM F4.5-5.6
Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N
Minolta AF 100mm F2
Tamron Di II 60 F2 Macro
price paid:€ 100 (used)
positive:Excellent center sharpness at whole focal range at all apertures. Excellent bright Minolta colors. Only little barrel or cushion distortion given the focal range. Focusing speed on A350 is excellent. Sturdy
negative:Macro switch disables auto-focus. No hood. Significant ghosting and flare. Bokeh dependent on focal length setting: not good at 28 mm, much better at 135 mm. No ADI function. Relatively heavy.

comment:If MFD is not your issue this is a very nice lens with a good focal range for outdoor photography. Be aware not to point too much in direction of sun or bright lights. Build quality is excellent. Given the price paid I am very happy with this lens. Corner sharpness is good from F5.6 at 28-50mm and from F8 at 70-135mm. Center sharpness is excellent at all apertures and focal lengths.
reviewer#12065 date: Dec-22-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5
Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4
Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4
Minolta 50 f1.7
Beercan
price paid:100 € (used)
positive:Sharpness
Color
Range
negative:Back focus on 28mm
Minimum focus distance
comment:Just got this lens and I am very pleased with fast AF and IQ in general. It is heavy and minimum focus distance is too big, but other than that, it is great lens! Worth all the money and doesn't matter that it is old almost as I am. Sharpness is great on all f values and only difference that can be noticed are corners when shoting wide. With f 4-6.3 corners are soft, but with f 7 or higher, softness dissapear. Since center is OK always, I don't mind.
What is a little problem, and I don't know if it is general case or just a issue with my copy, is that on 28mm it suffers of back focus. I need to zoom in, focus, lock focus and zoom out, than shot. This way everything is perfect. But focusing when wide, always result with back focus. The same happens with my Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 and happens both on DSLR and SLT.
reviewer#12025 date: Nov-7-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:300 $ USD
positive:Очень удобные фокусные. Один из лучших тревел-объективов. Отличные цвета. На длинном конце - хороший портретник. Сборка великолепна.
Есть МАКРО режим.
negative:Невозможно использовать бленду на Полном кадре. Боится засветки. Полярик не эффективен. Тяжелый.
comment:Кто не боится тяжелых объективов в путешествии - смело берите Старикана. Настоящее качество Минолта за приемлемые деньги.Лучшая резкость у этого объектива в районе F7
reviewer#11595 date: Jan-8-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:MinO 24-50/4
MinO 35-70/4
MinO 50/1.7 and 50/2.8 Macro
MinO 135/2.8
Sigma 24-70/2.8
price paid:300 (used)
positive:- Sharp, sharp sharp !
- Solid Build
- Useful range
negative:- Heavy
- Large
- Impractical MFD
- No OEM hood
- Prone to PF and flare
- AF 'clacks' (especially when it hits the hard stops at the ends of the range)
comment:Very nice lens to use, like other lenses from the original Maxum lineup from the mid-80's, the zoom action is very smooth, the lens is overall very well build and balances very well on a FF body, especially with a VG attached. Under the right conditions, IQ is simply fantastic.

Unfortunately it is very prone to flare, and the fact that Minolta never supplied a hood for it isn't very impressive. The click-clacking sound of the AF is more of an annoyance than a true negative point, but it is still very noticeable. The uber-long MFD makes it an impractical lens to use as a walk-around, even with the macro mode switch option (which is only at 28mm and is still a PITA to use).

Bottom line, a very nice lens, I am happy that I had the chance to own one for a little while, but the combination of downsides made be sell it, opting for a Sigma 24-70/2.8 to replace is as a walkaround zoom, which is about as big and heavy, but is much less prone to flare, and has a MFD that I don't have to work around every other shot.
reviewer#11201 date: Jun-18-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-300mm APO
Minolta 35-105mm
price paid:200USD
positive:Amazing Color
negative:Small Aperture
Dark
comment:I was surprised at how dark this lens is in use. I didn't really need this lens I have lots of Minolta glass in this range (35-70, 50mm, 35-105mm) but I just could't resist. The colors of this lens are the best I have seen. I did a comparison between this lens and my Minolta 100-300mm APO lens using the same settings, shooting stopped down to f/6.3, this lens gets the edge for sharpness and color but the image was darker than using the Minolta 100-300mm APO lens at the same aperture setting. Comparisons to the Minolta 35-105mm were also close, I would still give this lens a small advantage.
When I bought my 35-105mm I paid $80 for it, copies in that condition are going for $150+ (Im talking about a year ago)... at that time this lens would have been $350+ and I am seeing great copies like the one I picked up go for around $250. I would say that sounds about right. If I was buying over again or looking to build a bag, I would go with the 35-105mm and then use the difference toward a 100-300mm APO. Then you have the range covered from 35mm-300mm with glass that is almost G quality in two smallish, light lens that are easy to carry around.
reviewer#11171 date: Jun-1-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 28-75mm F2.8
Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality
Focal length range
negative:Weight
Focusing distance
comment:I bought my lens on Ebay because I had read about its magical qualities. My lens was in very good condition with no excessive signs of wear. It may be that my lens was not a very good one, but it never impressed me much. It's not that it was unsharp, but it was not impressive in any way. I got a secondhand CZ 24-70mm and sold the Minolta at a loss. I have never really wanted to get another one.
reviewer#11170 date: Jun-1-2013
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-135 3.5-5.6 SAM
price paid:130€
positive:Full frame, sharp stopped down
negative:Long MFD, flare, CA, sharpness, weight, macro in the short end, busy bokeh.
comment:I made a test at maximum open f-stop (same apreture) This lens is definitely less sharp in the center than Sony DT 18-135.
@28 f:4
@35 f:4.5
@50 f:5
@70 f:5.6
@100 f:5.6
@135 f:5.6
This lens has less contrast, more CA, less sharp, more prone to flare, much worse MFD. Comparing to the other reviews I think I god a bad copy even though it looks good on inspection (no dirt inside, looks like it is only little used).
Update: But if I stop down 2 stops to f:8 it really shines. Then it is on par with the DT 18-135.

For FF it is not tack sharp even in the middle wide open. But the same sharpness applies all over the frame. If stopped down to F8 it sharpens up. Some CA can bee seen.

For long reach for FF it has few competitors. The super zooms are not as sharp, no other sharp zoom has this reach.
reviewer#11160 date: May-31-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MAF 28-105 3.5-4.5, and RS version
MAF 35-105 3,5-4,5,
MAF 24-105 3,5-4,5
price paid:140 EUR (used)
positive:Very useful, almost fixed focal. Very good Macro function, almost SuperMacro. Walkaway daily lens
negative:A bit heavy. No lens shade dedicated. Quite long minimum distance of focusing (Min.1,2-1,5m)
comment:One of the best lenses I have. My everyday lens, almost everytime on body (A350, A77). Very useful, almost fixed focal. Good for using with external flashes. Very good Macro function, almost SuperMacro.I had 3 examples of it, and the ones I have is the best ones, so I keep it. Long range lens.
A bit heavy, but worth of every picture.
reviewer#11040 date: Apr-14-2013
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:120
positive:colori e nitidezza unici
negative:pesante e poco controllo flare
comment:veramente un obiettivo particolare,forse perchè ha delle affinità con leica!i nuovi zeiss sono più plastici,più leggeri, hanno una tridimensionalità maggiore e un più buono controllo del flare ma ora che ho provato quest'obiettivo non voglio più toglierlo dalla fotocamera!!è come avere un mattone attaccato davanti, ma i colori, la nitidezza e il fascino che ha ne fanno un oggetto speciale!!da provare assolutamente!!
reviewer#10874 date: Jan-26-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm 1.7
Minolta 70-210mm 3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm 4.0
Sigma 28mm 1.8
price paid:285€ Mint
positive:Versatile Range even on APSC
Colors, Sharpness and Contrast
Bokeh and F4-4.5
Good autofocus
negative:MFD
Nothing else.
comment:Hard to find in good Condition.
There is really no alternative to this lens which is why it's a very nice lens for travel and portraits.
reviewer#10858 date: Jan-17-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35-105/3,5-4,5 Original
24-85/3,5-4,5
35-70/4
price paid:150 Euro (used)
positive:Sharpness
Colors
Bokeh
negative:Flare
No lens shade
Heavy!!
A bit fragile with big, unprotected front element.
comment:This has been my favorite lens since I bought it 5 or 6 years ago. Loved it on my 7D and love it even more on my a850! It has its limitations with flare and does not like to be directed straight into the sun and the MFD can be annoying but use it with awareness of its limitations and you will be greatly rewarded! Ill keep this lens as long as Im still with Sony.
I have resently bought the 35-105 Original version and this gives very similar image quality. The range of the 28-135 is more useful though so for this reason the 28-135 will probably be my most used lens further on also. But as a travelling lens or on days when I want a little less weight to carry, the 35-105 might be used instead. When I want to be sure of quality though, the 28-135 will rule (together with my 85/1.4).
reviewer#10787 date: Dec-15-2012
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 16-80
Sony 16-105
Sony 18-250
Minolta 28-105 RS
price paid:197 GBP mint
positive:Very sharp
Colours
IQ
Build
Bokeh
negative:Flare - No hood
MFD - 1.50m
Weight
comment:Great lens - but not sure it is worth double the price of the 28-105 RS.
reviewer#10743 date: Nov-30-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:€200,--
positive:Color, focusspeed, macro, range
negative:No original hood available
MFD
comment:Superlens !
reviewer#10636 date: Nov-1-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 1
overall: 3.6
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-135
Sony 24-105
Sony 24-70 ZA
price paid:300
positive:none really except there is no modern day focal length equivalent for FF
negative:BAD Flare, MFD, no lens hood available
comment:This lens just doesn't work well with modern SLT cameras and shows its age, not much choice for FF in this range, but if you have APSC and especially SLT just get the wonderful new little 18-135 Sony. i also have the Sony 24-105 which is a better all-around lens for me on FF and more enjoyable to use when going lightweight.

It would be nice if Sony would make a modern day SSM 24-135 G rated f4 lens. Until then, I stick with the 24-70ZA for FF for anything where IQ is a concern.

I enjoy using old primes, but never felt the "love" for this lens. Unfortunately the good does not outweigh the bad with this lens for me.


reviewer#10369 date: Jul-9-2012
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:great lens, good range good macro setting
negative:quite heavy but i do not mind
comment:i was looking for this lens for a long time. I hear great things and they are all true. My copy is very good.

have not noticed too much flare.

reviewer#10231 date: May-23-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony CZ 16-80
Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 50/1.7
Sigma 10-20/3.5
Tamron 90/2.8 MACRO
Minolta 100/2.8 MACRO
Tamron 18-200
Sony 75-300
Sigma 170-500
Sony 18-55
Sony 18-70
price paid:$300 AUS$
positive:Love the Build
It's very sharp
Colors are beautiful
I just love the 'look' of this lens; there's something very reassuring about it
Macro is actually pretty awesome (even if it is at the wide end)
negative:It's very heavy
Flare is hard to control
Strange balance to camera with this lens fitted
Autofocus, though fast, is strange. It seems to 'snap' into focus .... it's a little disconcerting.
comment:Big, heavy, old-school lens. Love it. First time I used it I thought ... WOW. I know folk yabba on all the time about 'Minolta colors this and that', I must confess I was extremely skeptical, but this lens ... WOW. Colors really do come through much more saturated. Flare really is a shocker though and, apart from sheer heft, it's the only major issue with this lens. That said, it's easy enough to control as long as you factor it in when shooting. All-in-all a wonderful lens. Nice work Minolta!!
reviewer#10119 date: Apr-14-2012
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 24-135mm
CZ 16-80mm
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Minolta colours
Decent AF speed
negative:Bad flare
Restrictive MFD
Wish it started at 24mm
Heavy
comment:First of all this lens is sharp but I'm not convinced it's quite as legendary as some people claim. None the less the combination of sharpness, colour and bokeh means this lens produces a very pleasing image (more than the sum of it's parts, I suppose).

The main downsides of this lens is it's extremely prone to flare made worse by the fact it doesn't come with a hood, it's actually has worse flare control than most wide angle lenses. The long MFD is restrictive and means this lens is really for outdoor use.

Despite what some have said, I find the AF speed to be pretty decent (the tamron 24-135mm is far slower and if you want to know what slow is try lenses like the minolta 85mm). AF accuracy could be better however.

The nearest FF rival is the tamron 24-135mm it has far fewer of the drawbacks, i.e. starts at 24mm has a much more usable MFD and isn't as prone to flare. However it's image quality isn't as good as the minolta and it's AF speed is annoyingly slow for a non-macro lens. There's no clear winner between the 2 IMHO both are flawed.

APS-C users with the carl zeiss 16-80mm can be smug as the carl zeiss produces a sharper image than both lenses with none of the drawbacks (fast AF, flare resistant, good distortion control), maybe you would still prefer the minolta colours and build but it's no real contest the zeiss is easily the better lens.

reviews found: 197    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 197
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.79
  • distortion: 4.43
  • flare control: 3.46
  • overall: 4.42

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