Minolta AF 35-70mm F4 A-mount lens review by ithinkso

reviewer#11409 date: Oct-29-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:SAL 18-70 (on A100)
SAL 16-50 (on A77)
Minolta 50 1.7 AF (on film & digital)
price paid:N/A
positive:compact and light.
nice colour rendition.
Usable sharpness "wide open".
Useful macro switch
negative:minimum focus distance (unswitched) is more or less a meter, but with the "macro" setting you need to be at most 1/2 a meter away so there is a gap this lens can't cover.
f4 is not really "wide open" these days.
comment:A little cracker on film. This lens belonged to my partners Dad, a keen amateur. He made some competition winning enlargements from this lens on his 7000 & 7000i in the mid 80's - 90's.

In conventional wisdom it may seem unfair to compare a zoom to a "prime" lens but in my (not at all rigorous or scientific) "tests" this little zoom gave a good account if itself at the 50mm setting compared against it's fixed focal sibling set at f4.

Images seemed sharper to me compared to the SAL 18-70 on the a100 and more saturated, although I felt the difference was not enough to make me want to replace it. Most times the extra focal range and better minimum focus distance made me favour the sony lens.

Against the 16-50 (on A77) set at 50mm and f4, the minolta might just have the edge in sharpness.

Really nice for portraits at 70mm/f4 on the A77. Images have a certain "je ne sais quoi".

Currently a bargain if you don't have anything else at this focal length.

Edit: Having now had the opportunity to use this lens on full frame I can only say I'm even more impressed! An absolute bargain at today's prices. Very useful

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 189
  • sharpness: 4.51
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.36
  • flare control: 3.80
  • overall: 4.39
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