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

reviewer#20377 date: Oct-17-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
overall: 4.2
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:Sony DT 16-80 CZ
Sony DT 16-105
Sony DT 18-70
Sony DT 18-135 SAM
Sony DT 55-200 SAM
Minolta AF 24-85
Minolta AF 24-105 D
Minolta AF 28-85
Sigma AF 28-105 F2.8-4
Minolta AF 28-105
Minolta AF 28-135
Minolta AF 35-70 F4
Minolta AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta AF 35-105 N
Sigma AF 35-135 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF 35-200 Xi
price paid:35 USD (used)
positive:Minimal CA
Excellent semi-macro mode at 105 mm
Smooth Bokeh
Nearly perfectly parfocal
Very minimal CA
F4 to 70 mm
55 mm filter threads
negative:Warm color cast
Positive focus breathing
Rotating filter threads
Long minimal focus distance
Narrow, hard plastic control rings
Short zoom and focus throws
Tiny circular hood
comment:After the disappointing performance of my second copy of the more expensive 28-135 zoom I wasn't expecting much from its little brother. I didn't expect it would compare well with the much newer and more expensive 28-105 lens either. Now the 35-105 wasn't originally a terrible cheap lens being listed at $386 suggested retail in 1985. The second most expensive zoom lens in the original AF lineup after the 28-135. "JAPAN"

It is one of the longer normal zooms full retracted. It is just barely shorter than the 100-200 f/4.5 and longer than the DT 18-200 and 55-200 lenses. However it extends little while zooming in and ends up shorter than the 28-105 at full extension. The body is also quite small in diameter along with the small 55 mm filter size common to many Sony lenses.

At close focus this lens with the external focus design acts much longer in focal length than the internal focus zooms. The 105 mm setting on the 28-105 is close to a 90 mm setting on the 35-105. This should also be good for its semi-macro capability.

Some have called the original AF 35-105 the "Hidden G" lens. It is certainly a good optical performer and a great deal at current prices. It is unfortunate this design didn't survive to be restyled because I prefer the rubber focus rings and overall quality of the later lenses. The newer, smaller 35-105 seems to be completely different design and an inferior lens. Operationally it is not at the level of the later Minolta zooms, but it is reasonably easy to operate.

This is good lens for a full frame, high resolution cameras. The one drawback is the warm color cast which might get equated to Minolta color, but the Minolta 28-135 for example is much more neutral. The 35 mm end is very long at close focus even compared to other 35-x zooms. On APS-C it makes a nice inexpensive portrait zoom.

The original circular hood is quite small. For APS-C cameras the larger clip-on hoods from the 70-210, 75-300, and 100-300 lenses fit perfectly and cause no issues.

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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