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

reviewer#8180 date: Nov-4-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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:28-70mm f/2.8 G
price paid:USD 500.00 kit
positive:Fast focusing, close MFD, bright colors, high contrast even in overcast conditions. Lightweight. Range 18-70 is very versatile for daily use
negative:Front element rotates. Its a DT lens which means cannot be used on full frame.

Red dot near lens mount came off on my copy
comment:I own two G lenses which would be useless in some circumstances -- in which I turn to this cute little wonder. Its lightweight, and you can hide it in any little pocket in your camera bag. On some of my elaborate outings I experimented with carrying it by itself and the results were more than satisfactory.

Images are a bit more contrasty than what I get from 28-70g or 80-200g but there have been a few times when looking at a pictures I couldn't tell if it was taken with a G lens or the 18-70mm, because in some situations, color is the only thing that distinguishes them from it. I am sure it doesn't out resolve a larger CCD but on a 7D I find this lens reliable and sharp.

I gave it a 5/5 for sharpness because I've never recognized a situation when I asked for sharp images and it didn't deliver. Pixel peeping will reveal that 28-70mm G and this are different animals.

With my 28-70G copy, I find that lack of microcontrast will be compensated by better color rendition and resolution. In this lens, its the opposite. Colors may not be right, but it sure can tell when one boundary ends and another begins. In other words, brace yourself for high contrast when using this lens.

Color rating gets a 4 because of the the reasons above. I just find something lacking, somewhere, an extra life that pictures taken with G lenses have and this lens lacks.

Build is also quite low quality as I think Minolta engineers developed this lens to be sold as beginner kit which could produce better pictures for the upgrade friendly hobbyist. I don't mind the plastic, but the lack of a distance meter and fixed front element got me, plus the red dot which marks the point where the lens can be mounted has fallen off. 4 is more than enough for this lens

Flare resistance is pretty good, in fact better than both my other lenses. Distortion wise I never saw any obvious problems. On the wide angle side I need more data to make a final judgment.

All in all, a very good lens. IQ is not the best but it is a great lens to have when you know you cannot carry precious/heavy glass.

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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