Minolta AF 35-70mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens review by andyken

reviewer#9872 date: Feb-1-2012
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:18-55mm SAM
18-70mm Sony
28-135mm Minolta
35-80mm Minolta
50mm f1.7 Minolta
price paid:20 GBP
positive:Small and light.
Well built.
Fairly sharp stopped down.
Easy to resell!
negative:Very soft at wide apertures.
Rubbish range for APS-C.
Worst Minolta lens I've come across to date.
comment:This lens just didn't do it for me I'm afraid. Maybe I just had a bad one, but on both a Sony A100 and a Sony A33, its very soft at full aperture. It improves stopped down, but its never great. Best points are that it is solid and reliable and unlikely to let you down if you're satisfied with its mediocre IQ.

Compared to the Minolta 35-80 F4-5.6 II, it feels much better built and I expected its IQ to be better, but the 35-80 is simply better at every aperture and focal length. I realise I am going against the general consensus in stating this, as almost everyone else seems to score the 35-70 higher than the 35-80 and this is what I expected as well, but it simply hasn't been born out in practice.

I read FullFrameShooter's review with interest below mine, maybe this lens performs much better on a full frame sensor than APS-C for some reason, but I only shoot APS-C these days.

I'm sure there are worse Minolta lenses out there, but personally I'm yet to find one.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 59
  • sharpness: 4.52
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 3.37
  • distortion: 4.34
  • flare control: 4.02
  • overall: 4.18
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