Minolta AF 35mm F2 A-mount lens review by Phil Wood

reviewer#44519 date: May-21-2020
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:Minolta-AF-28mm F2
Minolta-AF-28mm F2.8
Sony DT 30mm f2.8 macro
Sony DT 35mm f1.8
Many zooms.
price paid:200 GBP
positive:Small, solid build, sharp, 55mm filter.
negative:Chromatic aberrations
comment:35mm is not a very exciting focal length, it doesn't open up wide vistas, it is covered by pretty much every A-mount kit lens - so why invest in a prime?

If you have a top class zoom such as the Sony DT 16-50/2.8 or the Sony CZ 24-70/2.8 it's not that easy to recommend this old prime. However, if you don't, or, like me, just like shooting with primes, then this is one very fine lens, small, light, sharp, fast and fun - and a lot better than kit lenses like the Sony DT 18-70 & DT 18-55 or any Minolta zoom I have tried (almost all).

On APS it gives a standard lens angle of view (52.5mm equiv), but the Sony DT 35/1.8 is also very fine and cheaper and the DT 16-50/2.8 is excellent and much the same price.

I'm a sucker for the Minolta primes and just like the way this lens does its job, it may not have quite the CA resistance of a more modern lens, but it just feels right on A99ii. I don't really have another prime to directly compare with it on full frame. The 28/2.8 is disappointing, the 2.8/2 is also very good, not quite as sharp as the 35, but that bit wider. The Sony 30/2.8 macro is another APS lens, not so useful on my full-frame bodies and, like the 35/1.8, feels flimsy in comparison with the Minolta primes.

I have no experience of the even more pricey Minolta/Sony 35/1.4s, but they would have to be very impressive to persuade me to switch from the f2.

I love it.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 53
  • sharpness: 4.93
  • color: 4.98
  • build: 4.70
  • distortion: 4.85
  • flare control: 4.55
  • overall: 4.80
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