Minolta AF 35-200mm xi F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by dumbasadoorknob
|dumbasadoorknob#7952 date: Sep-8-2010|
flare control: 3
|ownership:||I own this lens|
|price paid:||usd 95 used|
|positive:||short 6x zoom|
common filter size
lack of acuity
|comment:||I bought this lens for my daughter as a one-size fits all lens for her young children. It's good enough -- just; but it's just not Minolta. |
The original xi plan called for eight electrical contacts -- but it's not capable of using its eight contacts as Automatic Distance Integration for flash, any more than any other non-D lens is. The original concept of maintaining focus size on a moving object while zooming automatically isn't implemented in any non-xi camera. The electric zoom assist sometimes assists, and sometimes annoys. So this lens stands and falls on its image quality -- which is certainly OK, but is not better than OK.
The lens produces a brighter image on the sensor than appears in the viewfinder -- consistently, and this is different from all my other Minolta lenses -- so I think it was designed differently from the normal Minolta color scheme. The colors aren't Minolta, but colder: there are a lot of color shifts to purple at the edges; the edges of objects appear more definite than normal, but that is modified by the lack of that really clear focus that Minolta lenses normally show.
It's not a bad lens -- on a grey evening tonight, using a Tamron 1.4X I could distinguish a hummingbird on a palm frond 120 feet distant. That's not bad at all -- but it's just not as good as the beercan, which can do this better, and without the extender.
It's short for a 200mm; it's light. It's very inexpensive at about $100-125 on the web. It's exactly the lens to throw in a backpack and bump around -- except there's always a really good scene one wants in that case; one wants the best image in the end, and the beercan is better. Heavier, but noticeably better.
I want to like this lens. I want to give it to my daughter, but I won't. If it doesn't really satisfy me, why should I expect it to satisfy her? I've got two other xis -- 28-105 and 80-200, and I like them less.