Minolta AF DT 18-70mm F3.5-5.6 D A-mount lens review by subcat001

reviewer#6343 date: Nov-7-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.6
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:Minolta 28-105 RS
Minolta 35-70 F4
Minolta 50 1.7
Minolta 100-300 APO
Minolta 75-300 D
Tamron 90 Di Macro
price paid:Bundled with 7D
positive:Good Range on APS-C
Sharpness when stopped down
negative:CA particularly at 18mm
Distortion at 18mm
Soft wide open
Slow F5.6 from 35mm+
Lens hood useless
Manual focus
comment:As this came packaged with my 7D, it was essentially my first experience with a DSLR. After the initial honeymoon period the weaknesses of this lens became apparent.

The first thing to strike you about the 18-70 is its light weight. There's no need to worry about it adding extra ballast to your bag. On closer inspection, the reason for this becomes obvious. The whole body, including the mount, is made entirely from plastic. While it feels cheap it appears to be robust enough. The zoom ring has little or no dampening applied at all, and on my father’s copy is a little "gritty".

Wide open it's only really usable for snap shots, and it isn't even fast. F5.6 from 35mm onwards!!! Images are soft, particularly around the edges and at 18mm it exhibits distortion. CA is also be a problem particularly at the wide end. Stopping it down transforms it. At F8 images are surprisingly sharp, even in the corners.

It's easy to be over critical of the 18-70. It certainly isn't a razor sharp prime, but it is by no means a door stop (probably because it isn't heavy enough). Except its limitation and use it carefully, and this lens will reward you with pleasing results.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 125
  • sharpness: 3.69
  • color: 4.01
  • build: 3.07
  • distortion: 3.51
  • flare control: 3.73
  • overall: 3.60
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