Minolta AF 28-80mm F4-5.6 A-mount lens review by Miranda F

reviewer#39932 date: Sep-11-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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 28-80, 28-85, 28-100, 24-105, 35-70 (both)
Sony DT (various)
price paid:£5 with camera
positive:Very good close-up lens
short MFD in macro
small and compact
negative:field curvature
comment:Minolta made so many slightly different zooms of roughly this focal length range it is sometimes difficult to distinguish them or to find any reason to bother. But they do have their distinctive features.
Unlike the 28-85 (my copy of which was very poor) this one has the macro switch at the long end and is much more useful. Indeed the macro range is very sharp, like the 35-70mm f4.
For those not very familiar with it, the macro 'switch' disconnects AF but also moves some of the glass elements to focus closer. You can move the switch as a rough focus control and still fine-tune the focus with the front ring. You can modify the lens to keep AF in macro (there's a guide to that somewhere on Dyxum), but I usually focus in close-ups by moving my body a bit so I don't find the MF bit a problem - indeed, it's quite convenient to turn off AF with the macro switch.
The later silver-coloured 28-80/28-100mm lenses have a shorter MFD than most of the earlier ones, but can't quite match the macro region of this lens.
Outside the macro region the lens seems much of a muchness with the others, and not especially valuable on APS-C so it's the useful FF close-up capability that will probably make it interesting. I hope to do some proper testing on it soon.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 3.61
  • color: 4.11
  • build: 3.63
  • distortion: 3.95
  • flare control: 3.53
  • overall: 3.76
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