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

reviewer#15254 date: May-21-2015
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-100
SOny 18-55 SAM II
price paid:50UKP
positive:Classic looks
lovely to handle
FF capable
negative:My copy not sharp
disappointing macro
colours not as good as Sony
comment:I bought this lens partly to try out one of the Minolta classics and partly to use the dedicated macro setting in nature photography, but I'm too disappointed to keep it. The macro setting (manual only) occurs only at 28mm meaning that you end up shading the light from the subject while using it, and quite apart from the lack of sharpness (possibly my copy only) the colours are disappointing too compared with other lenses.

On FF my 28-100 is sharper and has better colours, and can be used for reasonable close-ups at all focal lengths. It's also lighter and wider in range.
If you want macro, the Minolta 35-70mm is far better - macro is at 70mm and gives better magnification, and it seems to work well with a Kenko 2x TC in macro too.

On the A58 crop-sensor, the 18-55 SAM II leaves it for dead everywhere - sharper, better colours, and far better for close-ups of flowers and insects.

I wanted to like this Minolta lens but in the end I couldn't. Maybe I'll try another copy some time, but for nature photography I'll stick to the Sony lens.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 111
  • sharpness: 4.29
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 4.16
  • flare control: 3.61
  • overall: 4.32
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