Minolta AF 35-105mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by radi9red

reviewer#30687 date: Sep-21-2016
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
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:1. Carl Zeiss 50mm f1.4 ZA
2. Carl zeiss 24-70mm f4 FE ( e mount)
3. Carl zeiss 24-70mm f2.8 ZA SSM
price paid:$70 USD
positive:++ sharp sharp sharp even wide open
++ Excellent Centre IQ , good IQ at corners when stopped down to F5.6 onwards
++ full frame lens
++ cheap and yet offers superb IQ.
negative:+ MFD a little long for indoor shots
+ cannot hack the macro mode to support auto focus ( hack only applies to Minolta 35-70mm f4)

**Updates 29sept2016**
The 35-105mm can hacked. However it is more complicated than 35-70mm. It requires to unscrew the lens at lens mount , remove the aperture control stick and you will then see the metal copper pins. Tape row 2,3,and 5. And assemble back.
comment:I have been searching around for a full frame zoom lens that is lighter weight than my Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8. This Minolta 35-105mm is a gem when paired with Sony A99 full frame body. The IQ is comparable to the Sony 24-70mm F4 FE on Sony A7 body and the Sony lens costs around $1000 USD. The new sony CZ lens obviously has better micro-contrast and all shots taken by the latest modern lens looks like they had being applied Photoshop sharpening.

The Minolta 35-105mm produces old school film-like image rendering , however, the details and resolution output even if pixel peep at 100% looks identical to the sony carl zeiss lens.

I took some shots using my 3 CZ lens and this Minolta 35-105mm at f,5.6 , f8 in good sunny days. After shooting all these in RAW ( with customized sharpening settings applied) and opening them on my PC , I couldn't tell a differences even if I peep at the corners which lens took them.

This lens is indeed a hidden G. reminds me of the output of my other older Minolta G lens. If you are considering to get one from fleabay , I would suggest you spend a bit more to get a mint copy. it's worth to keep this lens.

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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