Minolta AF 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by fmajor
|fmajor#1375 date: Nov-4-2006|
flare control: 4
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|compared to:||Minolta Rokkor Lenses (many)|
Minolta AF 50mm f1.7
Minolta AF 35-70mm f4
Minolta AF 70-210mm f4 "Beercan"
|price paid:||45 USD part of a bundle (like new)|
|positive:|| - superb colors|
- reasonably sharp
- solid build quality
- smooth, creamy bokeh
- good walk-about or travel lens
|negative:|| - not eye-catching sharp|
- small bit of purple fringing
- MF ring too small
- std lens hood not useful
While this lens has served me very well over the years and given me hundreds (if not thousands) of wonderful pictures, i have secured it's successor/superior - a Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5. If that lens performs to it's reputation, as i suspect it will, my dear old 28-85mm will be relegated to the "back-up" bag. However, unlike the Minolta 35-70mm f4 i had, i won't sell my 28-85mm - it remains a very good and useful lens.
This old lens is a pleasure to use and i use mine nearly every day. It continues to give beautiful, consistent results. I have also used it with film and while not perfect, it is still very good - especially given the modest price.
This lens renders beautiful colors - neither overly saturated/rich or flat. In fact, my examples' color reproduction is equal to my Minolta 70-210mm F4's (Beercan). The out-of-focus exposure rendering is smooth, colorful and provides a lovely accent.
This lens feels like what ALL lenses should feel like - in a word - SOLID.
For me a deal/no deal point is sharpness and this lens simply does not have the "punch" I'd like. Also, the MF ring is really too small to use very well for quick-switches from AF to MF. The lens also struggles to focus well in lower light/contrast situations.
This lens is not what i would call a fast focusing lens. Not slow, but not fast. Though nit-picky and easy to remedy, the standard lens "hood" is utterly ineffective except as protection from barrel dings. I use a lens hood from one of my extra 70-210mm F4 lenses and this works beautifully.
While this lens does not have the professional attributes of G-Series lenses such as superior sharpness, constant F2.8, fast focusing, HUGE price tag, etc., it is an otherwise great performer.