Minolta AF 35mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by Stendhal

reviewer#2732 date: Sep-15-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
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 35mm f/2
price paid:440 GBP (used)
positive:good bokeh, superb colour, excellent preservation of shadow details
negative:the manual focus ring
comment:This lens is the one I used most of the time. I mainly use prime, and I hardly took this lens away from my camera. This is a lens that a Minolta user must have in life time. A few reasons:
1. Superb bokeh (considering this is a 35mm not a 85mm; the bokeh is very very impressive)
2. Very good colour rendition (just see the blue sky!)
3. This lens have excellent ability to preserve shadow details (something that the 35/2 cannot compete). Photos taken with 35/2 probably would look more contrasty, but when shadow details count, 35/1.4 is far ahead.
4. Compared with the Minolta 35/2, 35/1.4 is kind of heavy. Both are difficult to find in the secondhand market, but I was lucky enough to have them in different periods of time. Anyhow, 35/1.4 definitely worth any penny.
5. Sources said that one critical element of the original version was made by hand (rather than moulding). So, there is a unique feeling on every original version lens.

Well, the manual focus ring is quite painful to use (as other original version lens). But that is not the major point.

In sum, I think the Minolta 35mm f/1.4 is a legendary lens. A must have if one has the chance.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 21
  • sharpness: 4.81
  • color: 5.00
  • build: 4.90
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.62
  • overall: 4.86
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania