Minolta AF 28mm F2.8 A-mount lens review by awa54

reviewer#11484 date: Nov-16-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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:24-85 f3.5-4.5
35-70 f4
35-105 f3.5-4.5 (0riginal)
Sigma 24 f2.8
28-135 f4-4.5
24 f2.8 RS
price paid:$50 USD (used)
positive:Acceptable as a "standard" lens on APS-C
Small and light
Fast focus even in low light
Decent bokeh
negative:So-so sharpness for a prime (better on a900)
color on a700 slightly subdued
The built in "hood" is a joke (a filter gives the same "shading" as this hood)
comment:This lens is a bit underwhelming in my opinion. The overall performance isn't actually bad, but I had been hoping that it would handily outperform the zoom lenses that are close to its range at least in terms of sharpness and distortion...

The truth is that unless I need the extra little bit of wide range and the extra stop of light gathering, I prefer the 35-70 f4 or 35-105 to this lens for overall IQ. If I were to pick a single prime to mount up for walkaround, then the Sigma 24 f2.8 SWII would get the nod as I like the rendering and crisper look of the images I get from it, as well as the versatility that its close focus capability offers.

The 28 f2.8 certainly has good qualities, but it feels like a compromise in almost every way when compared to other lenses in my kit. I think that the only thing I would use it for as my go-to would be street photography on an overcast day where the extra light gathering was a benefit, or in a situation where I couldn't get enough distance from my subjects to make the 35mm focal length viable, but didn't want the the images to have an obvious wide-angle look.

If I hadn't gotten a deal on this lens I would be pretty disappointed, but at $50 total cost I can keep it in the bag without feeling guilty, in my opinion this lens won't be worth the average $80-100 used retail price to many Dyxum users.

P.S. If I would rate the color at a 4.5 if that was an option, it's not *bad* color, just not quite as pleasing as the best of the first gen. Maxxum lenses.

** after using the 28 f2.8 for a few more weeks, I have to say that its positive qualities are beginning to win me over... the goodness in this lens is subtle while the failings are less subtle, however I am beginning to get the hang of using it to its best advantage; as long as the shot doesn't need ultimate sharpness, punchiest contrast (by Minolta standards that is) or perfect linearity, but *does* need a quick handling lens with just-wide-of-standard angle of view, then the feel that the 28 f2.8 imparts on images makes it worth bringing along in the pack.

**Now that I've used this lens on the a900, I'm more impressed by its capability, stopping down past f5.6 gives excellent sharpness and on FF it seems to have slightly more pronounced contrast and saturation. Bokeh remains smooth and linear distortion doesn't seem to be notably worse when compared to use on APS-C.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 142
  • sharpness: 4.24
  • color: 4.64
  • build: 4.52
  • distortion: 4.27
  • flare control: 3.85
  • overall: 4.31
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