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

reviewer#5201 date: Apr-9-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Sony DT 3.5-5.6/18-70, Minolta:Beercan 70-210mm f4, 35-70mm f4, 50mm f1.7, 135mm f2.8 Minolta 28-135, Tokina 28-70 2.8 AT-X, Tokina SD 70-210
price paid:eur 16.05 with 5000
positive:small and handy. Nice colours/sharpness. Good price

AF Macro Fix easy to do
negative:range is limited. Bokeh
comment:If it hadn't had been for the forum, I'd still have been happily using the Sony kit 18-70 lens blissfully unaware of other much better lenses that I now own. I may have also bought some lemons had I not taken the reviewers' advice first.

This lens is good, and lightweight. It has a limited range compared with "modern zooms" but I picked this up for a song when buying a beercan on ebay, so it was basically a bit of fun for leftover "beer money" from the same seller. I don't think I'd have bought one if it were going for more money, but I have not been disappointed.

I'll be putting the Minolta 5000 body and 2800 AF flash, thrown in with my EUR 16.05 investment, on Ebay soon. Nothing wrong with them, but I don't need them. I guess that really makes it cheaper than I really paid.

If I was having to go out and knew I wouldn't need the wide angle range, I'd probably just leave the Minolta 35-70 on as regular lens just for the quality edge on the photos. However with the added range of 18-35 that the Minolta lacks mean that versatility wins. As a result the Sony kit lens is more often on than off, although the Minolta is really a tad nicer.

The Minolta has the edge across the 35-70 range over the kit lens in terms of general picture quality.

My tip... if you want to find out about what other reviewers mean by those nice typical Minolta colours, and are strapped for cash then you can pick these up for very little cash. You'll not be disappointed.

Update: I can only recommend the Macro fix to get AF on those close ups. I haven't used this lens that much as I since added better lenses across the range, but the Macro AF fix opens up another reason to use (and keep) this really not bad lens.

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
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