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

reviewer#5503 date: Jun-5-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
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:KM 28-75D 2.8

Min 85 1.4 Ori.

Min 50 1.7 Ori.
price paid:540Eur Used
positive:-Smooth Bokeh
-Overall Contrast
-Hard to explain on the sharpness
negative:-Price (see comments)
-Relatively slow AF on D7D
-Small focusing ring
-ALL of its qualities makes it an above excellent portrait glass, but little else.
comment:I never tested the lens prior to using it directly on a small assignment of taking some baby portraits of a friend of mine (almost a month after i got it), so i'm pretty certain that i'm over the "my new shining piece of gear" syndrome.

The first time i saw the results, i was astonished. The pictures were not TACK sharp, BUT it has some strange, almost dreamy quality to it, my friend asked me whether i was using some kind of softening on photoshop. Again, it is by no means unsharp, but has that very hard to explain quality of softness which give every single portrait some unspoken quality.

The Bokeh is as smooth as i ever see. Perhaps not as good as the 100 2.8 Macro, or the STF, but definitely FAR surpassing the beercan, the 50 1.7, and the 28-75 in smoothness.

The overall contrast, on more than one occasion, friends who saw the pics commented on the contrast between subjects, giving it almost a 3D effect (combined with the shallow DoF). I do use a +2 contrast setting on my camera, but i use it for ALL of my glasses, so the difference is fair to say, objective.

The colour, the saturation and the colour rendition is outstanding. FAR exceeding all my other glasses except for the 85.

the AF is a bit slow. Its a tad bit slower than the 50 1.7, and also a tad bit louder. No problem for portraits, but pose challanges for candids. tend to hunt sometimes in low lights.

The price, yes, this thing is expensive. BEWARE, only invest in this thing IF you are certain you are going to delve deeper into portraiture photography, for that is the natural habitat of this glass. IF so, it'll worth every penny, and i wish you success and happiness with it.

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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