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

reviewer#21421 date: Nov-12-2015
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.8
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:Minolta 24mm f2.8,
Sony DT 35mm f1.8,
Minolta 50mm f1.7,
Sony DT 18-70mm f3.5-5.6
price paid:£35
positive:Small, constant f4, "macro" switch, colours, OK sharp, fast AF
negative:Small leads to compromise, Minimum focus distance, build, loud AF, 35mm shortest focal length, 49mm front filter thread
comment:I found this lens bizarre.

Granted I used it first on my old APSC a100 and before I figured out that I prefer primes, I found this to be a near useless oddity when I tried one looking to replace my 18-70mm kit lens.

The focal range is not great on APSC, not wide at its widest and short at its longest. The constant f4 sounds appealing but isn't really a benefit on this format.

On full frame you would be better served with a 50mm and walking to change perspective, unless you come from Leica land and want a lens with 35mm, 50mm and 75mm in one.

The macro switch is a pointless addition, only made necessary as Minolta made the lens too small for a decent minimum focus distance. You won't get real macro from this lens and the switch just adds another possibility for something to break.

Although the autofocus is fast, even on the a100, it is loud and ends with an obnoxious clack when travelling from minimum focus to infinity and back. At least the focus ring is on the lens barrel, not the zoom barrel like the Beercan, so thats a plus.

Positives are the colours, saturated and punchy, and it is sharper than the 18-70mm. Bokeh is boring.

Distortion is noticeable at 35mm, even on APSC. Looks like a crop from a fish eye.

Overall the lens is trying to be too many things and fails: small (long minimum focus, need for macro switch, only zooms out to 35mm), macro with switch (another thing to break), weird front element that appears to be plastic, fast AF (very loud).

Either get a 24mm, 28mm, 35mm or 50mm or an f2.8 standard zoom if you want a normal walk about lens. Skip this.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 185
  • sharpness: 4.50
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.36
  • flare control: 3.80
  • overall: 4.39
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