Minolta AF 17-35mm F2.8-4 D A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 132    << 1 2 3 4 5
reviewer#518 date: Feb-18-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:18-70 Kit lens, 24-85, 28-75
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:Quite heavy. Large filter size
Not as sharp as I would like even when stopped down.
comment:Lenshood supplied is of almost no use on APS-C. I have revised my opinion of this lens's sharpness after comparing quite a few landscape shots between this and my 24-85. I'm not sure if it is an AF problem or just softness in general, but the detail is not there in landscapes.
reviewer#495 date: Feb-14-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Sigma 18-50 f2.8 EX DC and Sigma 10-20 on 7D. Not compared to other lenses on A900.
price paid:N/A
positive:Good colour and contrast. Light weight and fast accurate focussing.
negative:Soft in corners particularly at the wide end when not stopped down.
comment:An updated review on this lens now being used on an A900. I bought it in Feb 2006 to use on an A mount FF camera some day!

On the 7D I liked the lens for its colours and range. It compared with the Sigma 18-50EX DC. IQ was similar to the Sigma 10-20, but the Sigma was the one I took with me most often as I liked the very wide field of view.

At the 17mm end the lens needs to be stopped down and basically keeps improving to around f11. Sharpness surprised me from f5.6 onward, and it will make big prints. The more you stop down, the better the CA and the further out toward the corners the sharpness will extend. 36"x24" should be OK on this lens at 17mm, subject matter permitting.

At 28mm the lens seems to suffer a little more CA in the corners than at 17mm. Image sharpness improves to f8, by f11 it is softening again and contrast seems to drop off a little too. Shot f5.6 – 8 at 28mm, this should print to 36"x24" with the right subject.

At 35mm it needs f5.6 and above to work well, corner sharpness is less good than in the mid zoom region but still acceptable for a 36" x 24" subject matter permitting.

This lens has surprised me. I expected it to not shine on a full frame camera. I never really gelled with it on the 7D, where the Sigma 10-20 took over, but from today’s results, it looks like this will be a keeper with the A900. It is fully capable of utilising the resolution of the A900 sensor and makes for a useful ultra wide with the FF sensor.
reviewer#437 date: Jan-23-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Lightweight and fast focus. Sharp, Good Contrast, Good Color.
negative:Some barrel distortion on lower end (17mm). Correctable in Photoshop.
comment:This isn't 'G" glass, but is a really good lens for the price. Mine is one of my 'walking around' lenses. Great for landscapes and street scenes. I take this lens and a long lens hiking. The long lens for wildlife and this lens for scenes.

I really like this lens and recommend it. I might try looking for a better hood as flare can be an issue (I'm just aware of it and adjust to minimise flare). Otherwise it works great on my 5D.
reviewer#406 date: Jan-14-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 17-40f4L, ZD 14-54f2.8-3.5
price paid:
missing
positive:sharp, contrast, colours, I dont like heavy lens so weight is positive also if u carry all day :)
fast and correct focusing !
negative: distorsion (wide end )
comment:I very much like this lens and for me (photography is not my profession)this lens is ideal :) , not expensive, lightweight, sharp, and contrast in best minolta manner !

highly recommanded ;)
reviewer#379 date: Jan-4-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:nice 25.5 mm focal length when set to wide (eq35)
negative:flare control could be better, hood is of no use for me.
comment:
missing
reviewer#215 date: Nov-13-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-35 EX DG f2.8-4. Sigma 12-24 EX DG f4.5-5.6
price paid:450€ (new)
positive:Sharp wide open(f4-f5)
Light
Build quality.
Fast focusing
Not very expensive
negative:Only 35mm, I would prefer 17-50.
Distorsion at WA, well corrected with PTlens (Tamron profile)
Lens hood too big for APS-C cameras
comment:Not very wide, really I wanted to buy Tokina 12-24 or Sigma 12-24. The first one is no available for Minolta, the second one was to heavy and with the filter issue, and much expensive.

Lens hood too big, and not very useful with APS-C cameras.
reviewer#139 date: Oct-6-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 5
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 16-35/2.8 L
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp
Good colors
Handy range
negative:Distortion
Build quality
Sun hood (though see below)
comment:I start to love this lens. First I wasn't shure if it was the right one, especially as the first lenses AF was broken (could not focus nearer that 2m). The second lens is fine (it seems that KM exhibits quality problems every now and then, too bad).

The lens showed it's potential during a trip to Sardegna. Surprisingly, It barely went off the camera (o.k., I didn't have the 11-18 by then). The distortions aren't that bad in real life, except when taking buildings and other formerly rectangular objects. Can be corrected in Photoshop.

The original sun hood is a burden, basically useless. This is why - I had an old Canon 77mm sun hod, which went under my little saw... and, hocuspokus, became my 17-35/4-APS-C-sun hood. Smaller in diameter than the original, a bit longer, thus better flare control... and the bajonet works fine... ;) Thus the flare rating of 5 ... ;)
reviewer#131 date: Oct-5-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:- relatively sharp, with nice color
negative:
missing
comment:I had to return first sample because AF was very inconsistent, and lens was very soft even when stopped down, the second one is OK, and I find myself using it more often then I thought I would, if only it is somewhat longer...
reviewer#126 date: Oct-2-2005
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 3
flare control: 4
overall: 3.5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-75D
Minolta 20/2.8
Sigma 12-24
Minolta 28/2
Minolta 35/2
canon 17-40L
Nikon 14-24
price paid:450 € (new)
positive:Really nice color balance
Fast enough
AF speed and reliability
negative:- Distortion at 17mm pretty evident
- Lousy hood (feels very cheap and it's not suitable to 1.5 crop factor – way too short)
- not that great on 35mm
- build could be better
comment:I like this lens. When I bought one I was a bit disappointed with the overall performance. I tried some alternatives on canon systems when I realized that we can't expect top grade performance with such wide angle lenses and at that price.
However, this lens has pretty sweet coverage on 7D, which makes it a very handy lens for street photography.
Unfortunately, there is a lot to be desired in terms of distortion control, since at 17mm the lens exhibits pretty strong barrel distortion. At 24mm and more things are pretty good.
Flare can be an issue, but considering the wide angle I think the lens is getting pretty good in this regard.
Sharpness isn't at pair with some longer lenses (comparing to primes does not have sense here), but the lens is still very capable when stopped down a bit. IN general, I consider this lens sharp enough for most tasks.
**Full frame**
Borders and corners performance and quite high distortion are significant problem with this lens on a FF camera. Central resolution is still very good (stopped down a bit) but borders are problematic even when stopped down. I rarely use it on a900 with the 16mm and 20mm lenses covering this range
reviewer#114 date: Sep-18-2005
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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:KM 28-75 2.8 D
KM 28 2
KM 20 2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Lovely colours
Fast and sharp at wide end, @ 2.8 is already very good.
negative:Colours different from traditional Minolta lenses.
Distortion at wide end
Flare
comment:It is fast (2.8) at wide end where I need it for indoor shots most, although it is only f4 at 35mm.

Sharpness is excellent at the wide end. @17-24mm the central sharpness is already excellent. Stopping down only helps the corners. @ the long end though results will benefit from stopping down.

I quite like the colours this lens produces on the whole - but note that it is a bit different to all my other KM lenses so side by side shots may have this show up.

Little dissappointed with the distortion at 17mm, but for its price (and afterall it is 17mm FF) it is still a good choice IMO. In fact if one compares the measured distortion numbers (eg on popphoto) this lens does MUCH better then a lot of the competition, including the $$$$ offerings from competing brands.

The only issue this lens has is that it tends to be compared with the (very crisp) 28-75 D. If one considers this lens on its own merits however it stands its ground very well.

added Oct 08: FF performance is better (sharper) than I originally expected. Although it is clear that this lens was optimized for APSC (observable by the relative decrease in quality as one exits the APSC zone esp when wide open) but stopped down it is good (the only slight question at the moment is extreme corner performance at 17mm - will report back once i get more in field experience). Be careful of light falloff at 17mm which required stopping down to f8/11 to mostly remove.
reviewer#94 date: Jul-17-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:good range
sharp
great colors
balances well with 7d weightwise
negative:
missing
comment:just plain great.
reviewer#42 date: Jan-8-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:fast at wide end;
high quality even wide open;
relatively light; has "D" chip
negative:Flimsy sun hood bayonet.
comment:Useful, cost effective and high quality lens, giving the 7D access to most needed wide angle persectives (25mm equivalent on widest, which used to be considered as pretty wide indeed). Can be used as ultra super wide on 35mm.


Resolution and contrast are very good, even wide open. It is lighter and less luxurious than the "G", but not cheaply built at all. It has a D chip. Nicer look 'n feel than its Tamron branded twin.

A very effective standard zoom for the 7D. Tests mention distortion, but that is not really visible on my pictures (I do not do architecture, and I have not seen a sea horizon for months).

Be careful not to loose sun hood, as it does not exist on spare list, and hood bayonet not as secure as it should be. I lost my hood, and was lucky to find a Tamron equivalent.
reviews found: 132    << 1 2 3 4 5

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 132
  • sharpness: 4.27
  • color: 4.58
  • build: 4.14
  • distortion: 3.74
  • flare control: 3.60
  • overall: 4.07

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