Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by awa54

reviewer#11483 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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Maxxum 35-70 f4
Maxxum 50 1.7 RS
Maxxum 28 2.8
Maxxum 100-200 4.5
Maxxum 24-85 3.5-4.5
price paid:$75 USD (used)
positive:Sharp!
Great Minolta colors
Solid construction
Useful range for outdoor/walkaround/street/portrait
Decent macro function
Nice bokeh for a zoom
No CA or PF
Fast focus
No zoom creep
negative:Heavy and moderately long
Not a wideangle on APS-C
Linear distortion visible in most shots if you look for it
Long minimum focus distance
Noticeably more linear distortion when used full frame (distortion 3.5 for FF)
comment:This is my new favorite lens to mount up if I'm only taking one... The range demands that I keep my distance and forget about wide vistas, but it's fantastic for capturing details.
The 35-105 is decently sharp wide open at all focal lengths and gets even better stopped down, it even gives decent images stopped all the way down, though mid f-stops are definitely the sweet spot.

I would say that it has very similar overall image feel to the 35-70 f4 as far as tonality and color in images, but the sharpness and contrast are slightly better than the little 35-70. I will still choose the 35-70 f4 over the 35-105 if I want to travel light, but if I can stand the extra weight and length the 35-105 goes on. However the 35-70 f4 beats the 35-105 in distortion; it (35-70) has slight barrel distortion at the wide end and barely noticeable pincushion at the long end, whereas the 35-105 shows moderate pincushion over most of the range only tapering off to less objectionable levels after 70mm. The 35-105 definitely beats the 100-200 in sharpness and color at 100mm, and over the range they share I like the images from the 35-105 better than those from the 24-85, especially when it comes to bokeh and color.

Compared to primes, I think that at 35mm it beats the 28 2.8 out by a slight margin in every parameter except for linear distortion, at 50mm it gives my 50 1.7 RS a run for its money, but loses out to the prime in the details (although I still like its color rendering better).

NOTE: distortion on FF is even more noticeable than with APS (would rate distortion as 3.5 for FF use), but overall the good qualities of this lens still come through. There is very slight light falloff in the corners at the wide end, but only when shot wide open.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 154
  • sharpness: 4.78
  • color: 4.88
  • build: 4.87
  • distortion: 4.58
  • flare control: 4.08
  • overall: 4.64
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