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

reviewer#3698 date: Jun-8-2008
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:Min 75-300
Min 35-70
Min 17-35
Min 50 f/1.7
Sigma 50 EX DG macro
price paid:$20ish ($40 for lot)
-range (but wish it were a little longer)
negative:-need to watch for flare
-having an issue with this hood so I tend not to use it
-wondering if there's one just like it that has a little bit longer range and then I will need no other!
comment:I got this lens by accident, sort of. It was part of a lot on ebay that included a Maxxum 7000, teleconverter (which I thought I wanted), flash, etc. for $45 shipped. I ended up getting it in its original box, with all paperwork, caps and hood. Not mint, but excellent, for sure. And in the end, this lens ended up being the shining star!

It's like the big brother of the 35-70, and the little brother of the 75-300. That is to say, it's solid, and has some of the same pros and cons. The colors are brilliant, perhaps the best I've seen from any of my lenses, with the exception of the 50mm, to which it comes close. The macro switch is an added bonus, because while I can't get as close as I can with the Sigma, the shots I get are wonderfully sharp. I honestly end up taking more macro shots than anything, and having a lens on just for that really isn't practical all the time - sadly not everything is an insect :o) I do most macro using MF anyhow, so that it's the only option with this lens isn't a problem for me, but may be for others.

Unlike the 75-300 where I find I really need a tripod for sharpness, I don't with the 35-105. I've been pseudo-testing and get nice, sharp shots at f/8 and f/11 (off the top of my head), even f/14, handheld. It's even sharp at the long end which I don't get with the 75-300 (which may be down to camera shake). Additionally, while there's a flare issue (I have the hood but don't always remember to use it), it's not as bad as the 17-35 or the 75-300, nor is the CA as bad. CA really hasn't been an issue at all. I rated it 4 for flare instead of 3 because I think if you keep it in mind, use the hood even, it doesn't have to be that bad.

This is probably my favorite "all-purpose" lens and I was amazed at what I got for the money. With one lens, I got pics of jumping spiders, swans, flowers, kids, and a lightning storm. I would have needed a combination of the others to get that (and I got dust on the sensor trying to switch between a few of them, outside, before I scored this one). I keep meaning to put some pics up because I tend to judge mostly by what I see here, first, then read after. In my opinion, this lens is fantastic, especially for the price...it's like a secret or something and I'm totally happy I stumbled upon it! If I had one thing I'd change, it would be to add just a little length and then all I'd need to carry extra would be the 17-35!

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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