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

reviewer#3500 date: Apr-23-2008
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.6
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:Minolta 28-85mm f3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm f4
Sony DT 18-70mm
price paid:62 USD (ex used)
positive:-Super Sharp
-Bright beautiful colors
-Macro mode = nice bokeh & sharp images
negative:- Minimum focus distance is way to far for my comfort at ~1.5 feet
-Manual focus on Macro mode
comment:I recieved this lens by "accident" but in the end decided to keep it. I tested this lens next to all 3 lenses above at the same location on a bright sunny afternoon at different Apt. (f4, f5.6, f6.3, f8, f11) and different focal dist. (35, 50, 70, *85 and *105) The Minolta 35-105mm performed the best out of the lot.

My copy performed best in sharpness and color after f5.6 (or 1-stop down) thought the range.
At 35mm, it gets a little bit soft (especially at edges), but for the rest of the range, stopped down a bit, its sharp sharp.

It is definitely sharper than the my copy of M28-85. I've read and heard that the M28-85 should be sharper wide at f8 but from my tests at 100% crop of parking lot signs, the 35-105 still out performs in detail in shadow and text sharpness.
However, the 28-85mm outer edges are more consistently sharp than this lens.

The Sony DT gets blown away by this lens. The M35-70 can keep up with this lens, as details are almost same in sharpness if stopped down, but I'd still perfer the M35-105.

The KICKER (for me):
Horrible minimum focus distance. I gotta step back so far just to get into focus. BUT being this is my favorite lens so far, I have adapted to switch over to MACRO if its not within range. This usually solves my problem as it reduces the MFD. Bokeh is nice in macro mode.

Lens FLARE when pointed near towards the sun (I dont have a lens hood). It DEFINITELY needs a lens hood. I've had it come up bright orange 4-5 times out of the 500 pictures i've shot with 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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