Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 N A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#26546 date: Apr-8-2016
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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 AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Minolta AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5 & Xi & RS
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta MD 35-105 F3.5-4.5 Original
Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 Original
Minolta AF 35-200 F4.5-5.6 Xi
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
price paid:17 USD (used)
positive:Light and compact
55 mm filter threads
Soft wide-open
Axial CA
Focus shift
Moderate lateral CA
Heavy vignette & curved focus plane at wide end
f/4.5 at 50 mm (compared to 70 mm for original)
comment:This 1988 version was and is a lot cheaper than the original 1985 Minolta AF 35-105. It was originally priced at about half the price of the older version. I've bought two used copies off of eBay for $18 and $17 shipped. "JAPAN"

I certainly prefer the ergonomics and appearance of the compact 1988 restyled body design over the original AF series. It is just barely larger than the older 35-70 F4 lens. It only maintains F4 until 50 mm (original version stays F4 to 70 mm). Both of the rubber control grips are fairly narrow. The zoom action has a lot of stiction but is smooth and even once in motion.

I was surprised that it is actually pretty sharp at least stopped down a bit in the center of the frame. It also doesn't have the warm color cast of the original version. It does have more CA than the original version, but not very much even at 105 mm.

Both of the 35-x0 kit lenses have much flatter focus planes. Even the Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5 is a bit flatter but rather similar. It is certainly not the ideal lens for shooting flat objects perfectly perpendicular to the camera, but it also makes no claim to be a macro lens. The resolution doesn't really seem to drop off with focal length, just with an open aperture. I expected more softness at 105 mm, but it does do much better stopped down to at least f/8. There is definitely useful extra reach compared to the kit zooms. You could argue it deserves a 4 for sharpness.

This lens seems to have one of the smallest rear elements of any lens I've seen.

It uses the same circular hood as the original version. The larger clip-on, circular 70-210/75-300/100-300 hoods are better options for APS-C crop use.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 78
  • sharpness: 4.16
  • color: 4.67
  • build: 4.22
  • distortion: 4.28
  • flare control: 4.08
  • overall: 4.28
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