Minolta AF 35mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by JamesAlpha850

reviewer#9443 date: Sep-24-2011
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:Carl Zeiss 24mm f/2 Distagon T*
Sony 50 f/1.4
Minolta 85mm G D f/1.4
Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Minolta 28-70 G f/2.8
price paid:$900 USD-L/N
positive:Knock-me-out color
Tonal values, great shadows
Creamy ethereal bokeh
Sharp-sharp @ f/2, even sharper beyond
A must-have Holy Grail lens
Rare craftsmanship
negative:Difficult to find
Commands high price/ also value
comment:A lens that requires a bit of mastery. Sharpness is present wide-open, but is more useful beyond f/2 and absolutely spectacular after f/4. This comment concerns technique relative to shallow depth of field and the lens' unique characteristics. I am totally impressed with the color and across the frame sharpness of this lens. The superb 3D-like images could only come from a lens of this caliber. "Blown away" is my sense of its images. This original version AF 35G came in minty condition, sold to me as like-new. The AF 35 1.4 G (old), along with the Minolta 85 G D, form the ideal two basic primes for my type of photography. This review is based on its full-frame performance when stacked up against other faster lenses that I use. If you can acquire one, I highly recommend it, especially for FF.
Update: I find that the 35mm G is a great companion lens for the CZ 24 f/2 Distagon T* on interior and exterior architectural shots. I love the distinct contrasts using the 35 while the Distagon seems to have a certain "pop" to the color tones. Each has 3D qualities of its own.

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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