Minolta AF 35-200mm xi F4.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by dannymatronic

reviewer#9494 date: Oct-13-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4
Minolta 50 f1.7
18-70 Kit Lens
70-210 f3.5-4.5
price paid:80 GBP (Used)
positive:Very sharp in good light
Built like a tank
Powered zoom
Nice bokeh
negative:CA can be very bad
Supplied hood is useless
Range not quite usable enough on APS-C
comment:This was my first upgrade from the kit lens and difference in IQ and sharpness blew me away. On good day in decent light this lens is capable of producing spectacular results with great colour and creamy bokeh.

I guess you love or hate the powered zoom, but once I got used to it, it was great (although not so when manual focussing) - and didn't seem to place any excessive drain on the battery.

The lens is built to last and feels like a premium piece of kit - I was quite surprised at the difference when I purchased my next lens (70-210). As a result though it is quite heavy and doesn't balance that well on an A200 body.

The range is useful (excellent on FF I imagine) for a medium tele zoom but not quite the walkaround lens it wants to be when on APS C. I began to find the 35mm short end just not wide enough and also a bit slow to be really useful.

The Minolta hood supplied is about 10mm deep and completely pointless, it does nothing to help control flare or CA.

Eventually sold it (for a profit) when I'd had enough of the excessive CA (even in lower contrast situations) and covered the range with other lenses I consider superior. However I did enjoy it whilst it lasted and would definitley reccommend it to anyone upgrading from the kit lens - seem to be pretty rare these days though so end up going for a bit more than I'd be happy to pay.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 23
  • sharpness: 4.24
  • color: 4.43
  • build: 4.35
  • distortion: 4.30
  • flare control: 3.74
  • overall: 4.21
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