Minolta AF 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by fmajor

reviewer#1375 date: Nov-4-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
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
comment:EDIT: 18Nov2008
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.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 112
  • sharpness: 4.29
  • color: 4.69
  • build: 4.85
  • distortion: 4.16
  • flare control: 3.62
  • overall: 4.32
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