Minolta AF 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 D A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#26542 date: Apr-2-2016
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-55 SAM I/II
Sony DT 18-70
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 18-200
Minolta AF 24-85
Minolta AF 28-100 D
Minolta AF 28-105
Minolta AF 28-135
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 II
Minolta AF 35-105 Original
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
price paid:18 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Very little focus shift with zoom action
Good sharpness to APS-C corners
Minimal CA
Smooth zoom throw
Simple, minor distortion on both ends
Very good at 28 mm
Distance encoder
Supports DMF on the Maxxum 70
55 mm filter threads
negative:Purple fringing and glare wide open at the long end
Somewhat heavy zoom with stiction
Metallic noises in zoom mechanism
Gear noise in focus mechanism
Some focus breathing
comment:A very nice looking copy with both caps and hood and original box and packaging purchased from KEH. This seems to have been the late Minolta mid-range kit lens with the non-D 35-80 II continuing for the cheapest models. "MALAYSIA"

This lens is just slightly larger than the similar looking 35-80mm F4-5.6 II but smaller and lighter than the 28-100 D. It has a double-trombone style extending barrel where the smaller barrel extends for focus, and the outer barrel extends and contracts for the zoom mechanism. The decoupling of the two motions seems to have resulted in a kit lens that doesn't shift focus much at all with zoom.

Just like the 35-80 II and 28-100(D) kit lenses it is most contracted at 50 mm. It seems to be more closely related to the 1993 28-80 F4-5.6 than the other 28-80 lenses.

F4 30 to 35 mm
F4.5 35 to 40 mm
F5 40 to 55 mm

Overall image quality is very good at 28 mm even wide-open. The Minolta AF 35-70 F4 and 35-80 II perform better over their range, but are pretty similar at 35 mm. This lens is actually quite sharp at 80 mm. Sharpness and consistency across the APS-C frame are both very good throughout the zoom range, but heavy purple fringing and haze muddy high contrast images at the longer focal lengths. Other than purple fringing there is very little visible CA.

Apart from the printed lettering, the little circular hood is identical to the ones used on the 28-100 D, 18-70, and 18-55 lenses. The filter threads rotate preventing the use of a nice petal hood like that used on the manual zoom 28-105 F3.5-4.5 lenses.

Overall a nice sample of this underrated little lens. It may not be as brilliant as the 35-xx kit zooms, but the image quality holds up well compared to the more expensive F3.5-4.5 lenses. The minimization of focus shift with zoom motion makes this a very nice cheap zoom for video.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 25
  • sharpness: 3.48
  • color: 3.92
  • build: 2.96
  • distortion: 3.56
  • flare control: 3.56
  • overall: 3.50
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania