Minolta AF 28-70mm F2.8 G A-mount lens review by alphaein

reviewer#11291 date: Aug-4-2013
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 1650 D 2.8
2470 2.8 Zeiss
2870 D 2.8 Minolta
price paid:600 (Mint)
positive:Magical images, Sweet Bokeh, built like a tank, internal zoom, classic minolta design,
Constant Appeture across zoom
negative:Worst Flare in a lens ever!
MFD is horrid! at 85cm!
no SSM, loud focus
comment:I bought this lens reading and hearing of its ledgendary status, had always wanted a 24-70 or 28-70 range for FF, and its been a juggle deciding between the Zeiss and the G lens.

The Zeiss 2470 is sharp n contrasty but the distortion on 24mm and the bokeh was rather un-artistic. and its colour render were a bit sterile and cold to my eyes. its awesome MFD and T* coating beats the G any day. however does not have the G magic!

Enter the 2870G, the more i use it the more I can see how it is a very Artistic lens. Bokeh screams beauty.
I have two copies of the 2870G, since its 2nd hand and 20 yr old (made in 1993), d optics on both have some haze, I suspect it is causing the flare to get worst. but on favourable lighitng, it is as good as gold. A really good lens if u don't need speed, and have the time to really get artistic with focus and bokeh, take the time to compose before shooting. for wedding photographers, I would recomand the Zeiss if u want run and gun, but if u shoot pre weddings and have the time to direct and compose, this may be the better choice! and u can use Flare to your full artistic advantage!

Its super bad MFD means u can't shoot subjects close up (for me a good close up for this sort of lens is 50cm or less), if you love to shoot things close, forget this lens, but if you can deal with it, for me, I force myself to include an interesting foreground object mid ground and background, u will be rewarded with beautifully creamy foreground, sharp midground and silky smooth background. work around its weakness, this lens forces you to think on your feet!

Did lots of experiment on the Flare to understand its flare characteristics, what most ppl say is true, the provided lens Hood is an absolute joke, was planing to buy a 3rd party hood like from canon or nikons 2870 petal hood. both seems like good options but need serious modifications to the attachment, I happen to have the 1650 2.8 lens hood (ACL-SH117), and it did not fit at first, but with a bit of fiddling, it fit perfectly. no modifications need! and it looks professional and beautiful. tested out that hood, and it does do a fairly decent job.

If you are buing a copy of this lens, PLS make sure u check the optics! most likely it has haze and u will have to return it to seller or fix it. it has 16 elements in 11 groups, if the haze happen to be in the group it may be impossible to fix it. I notice its most prone to hazing on the first few frontal elements, so use a torch light to check before buying. This is a great minolta hallmark lens if you can find a mint copy.

I had the 28-70D 2.8 minolta for 1.5 years before selling it, it was horrid at 2.8, vs the G, G is way better, and considered mildly sharp in good lighing. both lens are sharp at f4, but the G out class it by miles for Image Quality, on colours, and bokeh and rendering. the only good thing about the 2870D is its weight and faster focus, but if you are serious about photography and paid for your work, the 2870G will inspire confidence in your hands and your clients and most assuardly offer better results. you get what you pay for. for the price its not 4 times better, but it sure is priceless when you get that perfect shot.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 70
  • sharpness: 4.66
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.96
  • distortion: 4.89
  • flare control: 4.24
  • overall: 4.75
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania