Minolta AF 35mm F2 A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#44046 date: Apr-21-2018
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Canon EF 28 F1.8 USM
Sigma 28 F1.8 HS & EX DG
Minolta MD & AF 28 F2
Sony FE 28 F2
Minolta/Sony AF 28 F2.8
Neewer 28 F2.8
Sigma 30 F1.4 DC DN C & EX DC
Sigma 30 F2.8 DN Art
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Neeewer 32 F1.6
Zeiss Touit 32 F1.8
Rokinon 35 F1.2
Neewer 35 F1.2
Fotasy 35 F1.6 APS-C & Mini
Kaxinda 35 F1.7
Sony E 35 F1.8 OSS
Sony DT 35 F1.8 SAM
Rokinon AF FE 35 F2.8
Minolta MC 35 F2.8
Vivitar T4 35 F2.8
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:Good sharpness to corners (APS-C)
Flat focus plane
Minimal distortion
Non rotating barrel
Shares body and hood with AF 28 F2
negative:Bulky for size of optics
Not sealed--fungus
Focus shift stopping down
comment:This is the most neglected lens I've seen. It was purchased from an individual eBay seller. The original hood was included but a chunk was missing from the mount side which was indicated in the listing. However I wouldn't describe the fungus as a barely discernible smudge.

Minolta released the 35 F2 a year after the AF 28 F2. It seems to be a new optical design unlike the AF 28 F2 which borrowed from the MD III lens. It performs much better than Minolta's old 35 F2.8 design or the MD 35 F1.8. It reuses the body and hood of the AF 28 F2. The optics and body are similar in size to the Sony DT 35 F1.8 lens. "JAPAN"

The optical construction is modular like the AF 50 F1.7. There is just a front and rear set of lens elements with the aperture between. The front group set on this copy is infected with fungus internally, and the assembly itself is not serviceable. But perhaps these fixed assemblies help reduce variation.

The big patch of fungus in the middle of the backside of the front element causes some interesting behavior. There is some reduced contrast wide-open, but the contrast gets even lower as the lens is stopped down. Using a larger hood doesn't even help. The hood from Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS fits securely as does the smaller petal hood from AF 24 F2.8. The larger hoods from the 75-300D and 100-300D also mount but don't lock in place.

It is much sharper than this prime at the same apertures. A clean Minolta AF 35 F2 might be better than the DT 35 F1.8 for some uses. The DT prime is sharper wide-open in the center but also has more aberrations.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 52
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 4.98
  • build: 4.71
  • distortion: 4.87
  • flare control: 4.56
  • overall: 4.81
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