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

reviewer#6041 date: Sep-14-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sony Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8 EX DG
- Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 EX DF
- Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
- Minolta 28mm f/2
- Minolta 50mm f/2.8 Macro RS
price paid:
positive:- sharp right from f/2.8
- excellent bokeh
- built like a tank
- internal zooming
- circular aperture blades
negative:- slow focus speed
- short MFD
- no WA on APS-C
- silly hood
comment:This beauty has a few obvious drawbacks such as relatively slow focusing speed, long minimum focusing distance, 42-105mm equivalent range on APS-C, and the often-criticized silly lens shade.

For me it is still a KEEPER despite all the aforementioned negatives. *IMAGE QUALITY* is the keyword here. Excellent sharpness (right from wide open), pleasing bokeh, and classic Minolta color were what I was looking after, and the G delivers! It definitely produces visibly better images than the two Sigma mid-range zooms (24-60/2.8 & 24-70/2.8) I previously owned. This thing is a great deal at less than half of the CZ 24-70's price.

Sure its focusing speed is on the slow side, but I have used this lens to photograph multiple events and rarely missed any shots if at all. Flare hasn't been an issue as I mostly use this lens indoor or in low-light situations. A Minolta 85/1.4 (original, G, or G D) lens hood makes a good substitute since it doesn't produce any visible vignetting on APS cameras.

Bottom line, if you need 24mm on the wide end, very fast AF speed, and money is not a problem, go for the Zeiss. Otherwise the G deserves some serious thought.

*Update* If only can the 28-70 G focus closer and faster.. Alas, I finally yield to the temptation of CZ 24-70/2.8..

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 69
  • sharpness: 4.65
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.96
  • distortion: 4.88
  • flare control: 4.25
  • overall: 4.75
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