Minolta AF 28-80mm F3.5-5.6 II A-mount lens review by Phil Wood

reviewer#44423 date: Nov-13-2019
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 24-50 F4
Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 RS
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
Minolta - AF 35-70 F4
Minolta - AF 35-70 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 35-80 F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 35-80 F4-5.6 xi
Minolta - AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 N
Minolta - AF 35-200 xi F4.5-5.6
Sony - DT 16-50 F2.8 SSM
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Sony - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
price paid:10 GBP
positive:It's very cheap and very light.
negative:Image quality is indifferent at best.
comment:This is a lens built to a budget to be sold as a kit lens with a camera of equally low quality. It does its job, centre sharpness is okay, if you were taking family snaps on film it would do an acceptable job. Put it on a digital body and its failings are immediately obvious.

The biggest problem for these cheap kit lenses is that they have lost their one real advantage - low cost. Today one can buy a 35-70mm f4 for much the same minimal price and see for yourself the immense image quality gap. It does cost a little more to cover the same 28-80mm range, but the old 28-85s are inexpensive and prices of the quite impressive 28-105 and 24-85mm lenses are falling steadily.

If you are shooting on an APS-C digital body (I suspect most are) then the range is not so useful - the 18-55mm kit lenses are a far better bet.

The bottom line is that this is really a lens for collectors who want the complete set, best kept on a shelf and off the camera.

Sharpness - poor to indifferent, it never really gets crisp.
Colour - fine, but not outstanding.
Build - very plastic, but there are a lot out there after 20 years and still working.
Distortion - typical of its class, not really a problem.
Flare - problems well before the sun gets into the frame. Definitely a lens that works better with the sun on your back.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 24
  • sharpness: 3.52
  • color: 4.04
  • build: 3.04
  • distortion: 3.54
  • flare control: 3.42
  • overall: 3.51
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