Minolta AF 35-80mm F4-5.6 Power Zoom A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 8   
reviewer#44358 date: Aug-25-2019
sharpness: 3
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.4
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 24-50 F4
Minolta - AF 24-85 F3.5-4.5 RS
Minolta - AF 24-105 F3.5-4.5 D
Minolta - AF 28-80 F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-80 xi F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 28-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-100 F3.5-5.6 D
Minolta - AF 28-105 xi F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta - AF 35-70 F4
Minolta - AF 35-70 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 35-80 F4-5.6
Minolta - AF 35-80 F4-5.6 II
Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5
Minolta - AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5 N
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM
Sony - AF DT 18-55 F3.5-5.6 SAM II
Sony - AF DT 18-70 F3.5-5.6
price paid:5 GBP
positive:Cheap
negative:Build, IQ, range.
comment:This is a built-to-budget cheap kit lens for FF. Such a lens might make some sense if you are still using a 3xi body, but if you are using a modern FF digital it makes no sense whatsoever. The IQ is poor, the build quality is very poor and the range is very limited. Minolta's earlier 35-80mm zoom seems to be considered the worst of the company's AF lenses, but I'm not so sure. I do wonder if the 35-80 xi inherited the dodgy optics of its predecessor to which were added the power zoom complications to make it breakdown sooner. Of the three copies I have tried, two don't power zoom, the other has a sticky aperture (wide open the IQ is dire). However, it is possible to manually zoom the lens so I can test them.

This is not to say that all xi zooms are badly made, the 80-200 has a similar plastic construction (I assume this was the other part of the cheap off the shelf two lens kit), but the rest are more solidly engineered. Nevertheless, it is always an extra thing to go wrong.

I have listed kit lenses I own, all of which are better.
reviewer#11259 date: Jul-19-2013
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 2
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 3.9
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:Sigma 28-70 F/3.5-4.5 UC, Sigma AF 18-35mm F/3.5-4.5 Aspherical
price paid:
missing
positive:very good sharpness when the aperture is stopped down to F/8, great colors
negative:plastic and fragile bayonet
comment:This was actually a positive surprise. This lens is not bad as some say has a pretty good optical properties. This lens is quite sharp in center even full open and had also a good sharpness in corner but needs to be stopped down a lot to get the best out of it. The lens is unsatisfactorily sharp at 35 mm opened fully up, but gets nicely sharp at F/5.6. Closed down to F/11 the lens appears sharp at all focal lengths.
reviewer#9032 date: May-15-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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:
missing
price paid:30€ (good condtion)
positive:-very light
-compact
-funny zoom
-price
-color, contrast
-low distortion
negative:-not very usable with wide open aperture
-nothing else for the price
comment:Funny zoom ring :) I like the build, even when it's pure plastic. Very light and compact. Very good for beginners.
reviewer#6957 date: Feb-24-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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:Sigma 18-50 DG
Minolta 50 f1.7
price paid:45 USD (used)
positive:Compact
Light
Cheap
negative:f4/5.6 - not great in low light
Not super sharp
Plastic mount
comment:I tested this lens against a standard chart. I'm looking for CA and sharpness at 3 different focal lengths and 3 f-stops.

Overall, not as good as the sigma at any setting or focal length, and not surprisingly, the 50mm f1.7 is better than either zoom at 50mm.

As expected, the sweet spot for sharpness and CA was about f8, with much CA (on the test chart at least) wide open at all focal lengths. Contrast seemed to suffer when wide open.

No observable distortion.

The zoom on this particular unit is very touchy - it will operate super slowly with a slight twist of the zoom ring, but slightly more pressure will cause it to zoom at full speed.

I'm a little more bullish on this lens than the previous reviewers I think - I think this would make a great general purpose lens well worth the price.
reviewer#3915 date: Aug-2-2008
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5(new)
price paid:
missing
positive:Colour
Lightweight
Inexpensive
negative:Needs stopping down for sharpness
comment:Nothing special. Sharpness OK once stopped down but not outstanding. Very light and the build is surprisingly good for a 195g lens.

Not a lens I would recommend but useable. Excellent colour and contrast

There are much better lenses covering this focal length range for not a lot more money.

EDIT - The more I use this lens, the less it performs. I initially judged sharpness to be about 3.75 and gave it a 4. After further use I revised this to 3.5 and after a further shooting session I really cannot score it more than 3 for sharpness. Even at f8 - f11 my copy is pretty average in terms of sharpness
reviewer#3563 date: May-6-2008
sharpness: 2.5
color: 4
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 2.9
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:Minolta 50/1,4
Minolta 20/2,8
Minolta 35-70/4
Minolta 24-50/4
Sony DT 18-70/3,5-5,6
Minolta 35-105/3,5-4,5
Minolta 100-200/4,5
price paid:15 Euro Used 2008
positive:Very cheap!
Lightweight and small.

negative:Needs to be stopped down to f/8 or f/11 before it gets sharp. 52 / 120 mm with crop factor.
comment:I bought the lens only for macro photos.
I installed the lens with a reversal ring at the camera (Sony Alpha 350). For this the 35-80mm is sufficient.
For the normal photography I use other Minolta lenses. Its a good learner lens. You can get it for 10-20 Euro (Ebay Germany 2008).
reviewer#3465 date: Apr-14-2008
sharpness: 2
color: 4
build: 1
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 2.6
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:- Annoying motorized control, slower and less accurate than manual.
- Needs to be stopped down to f/8 or f/11 before it gets even reasonably sharp.
comment:Haven't used it much, took a few test shots after I got this as part of a package deal, was appalled by the total lack of sharpness and the dreadful ergonomics of the "power zoom" (and indeed, "power manual focus" as well... sigh).
reviewer#2745 date: Sep-17-2007
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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:None
price paid:Long time ago
positive:Light weight, Pictures are clear and with good color. Was super on film and good on Digital 7D
negative:Lens flare can be a problem
comment:The zoom function is quick and accurate. I used to use it to take NASCAR pictures at Sears Point, and I could concentrate on composure. The zoom ring worked well. With the 7D I find it is not as sharp (still good) but leaves just a little to be desired. Overall I think it is a good starter lens for those that are gettting started and still want some quality pics.
reviews found: 8   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 8
  • sharpness: 3.31
  • color: 4.25
  • build: 3.00
  • distortion: 3.75
  • flare control: 3.25
  • overall: 3.51

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