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

reviewer#44508 date: May-2-2020
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50mm f1.7
Countless other lenses in other mounts
price paid:
positive:Prime like sharpness at 70mm f4
Very good macro
Very good colors
Lightweight, compact, durable
negative:Very soft at 35mm until f8-11
Soft at 50mm until f8
Macro can be cumbersome to engage quickly
comment:I'm not sure if I have a great copy or a bad copy. At 35mm and 50mm, this lens leaves a lot to be desired. Very soft at apertures wider than f8. 35mm corners are soft until f8-11. Flare is pretty bad. If I were to rate it as a wide/normal zoom lens, I'd probably give it a 3.5 in sharpness, a 4 in distortion, and a 3 in flare control...

However! At 70mm, my copy is excellent. Sharp starting at f4. Paired with my Maxxum 5, I can handhold down to 1/30s and get good 8x10" prints, I haven't tried 1/15s but I wouldn't be surprised to get good 5x7" prints. At 1/60s I can generally get sharpness that allows prints larger than I have capability of printing. Macro shots are very good. I use this as a 70mm prime (and that's how I rated it) that can also grab wider shots if no other lens is available. Prior to testing this lens, I was planning on picking up an 85mm prime, but the quality of this lens at 70mm means I'll be skipping 85 and going straight to 100mm.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 188
  • sharpness: 4.51
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.50
  • distortion: 4.36
  • flare control: 3.80
  • overall: 4.39
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania