Minolta AF 35mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by awa54

reviewer#44062 date: May-15-2018
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:Min 35-105 f3.5-4.5
Min 35-105 f3.5-4.5 RS
Min 35-70 f4
Min 24-50 f4
Min 28-135 f4-4.5
Min 24-85 f3.5-4.5
price paid:$650USD
positive:sharp at the center even from f1.4
when shot with moderate depth of focus, images have a fantastic depth effect
brick-like construction
fabulous bokeh
very little C/A
best flare resistance of any original Maxxum lens I have used
negative:reduced contrast when shot wider than f2.5
long and heavy for its focal length!
original hood is practically unavailable
edges and corners don't sharpen up until f4-ish
comment:This is an outstanding lens... on FF digital it gives a sense of depth and space that I have only seen in medium format film before (or on images that have been heavily PP'd)

The price of admission is pretty steep, but if you use this focal length and have the money I suggest that you just grit your teeth and buy one. It's worth it!

I made a hood by cutting down a 75-300mm f4.5-5.6 New/RS hood until it didn't vignette any more, it's wider than the original, so doesn't fit in a pocket or pack as well and isn't very tight when reversed on the barrel, but it gives good protection and locks in place well when in use (75-300 hoods are fairly common and usually under $15).

In case you were wondering... all of the zooms fall short in sharpness and linear distortion at similar f-stops, they also lack the smooth bokeh and 3D look. Not to say that they aren't excellent lenses in their own right, but in an absolute sense none really even get close to the IQ of the 35 f1.4.

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
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