Minolta AF 28-135mm F4-4.5 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 197    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>
reviewer#9877 date: Feb-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 70-210 F4
SAL 50F1.8
price paid:250 USD (Used)
positive:Very good built
Nice Colours
Sharp
negative:Flare could be a problem
Heavy
Min focus distance
comment:I have big problem with its Min focus distance. It's too long to take a picture, and sometimes I must to stand away more than its Min focus distance to take a picture with right focus. Quite quick AF. Macro mode is very useful.
reviewer#9676 date: Dec-6-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28/2.8
35/1.4
50/1.7
100/2.8 Macro
135/2.8
Tamron 70-210/2.8
price paid:350 USD (used)
positive:Sharpness. Resolution. Detail. Color.
negative:Definitely flare-prone. The minimum focusing distance is sometimes annoying. Physically somewhat fragile, so some copies apparently aren't the best.
comment:It's hard to say much that hasn't been said many times already. Yes, it would be nice if it was smaller, lighter, faster, would focus closer, and never flared or showed any distortion.

At the same time, it's already barely short of violating the laws of physics for a zoom with this range to be this sharp, especially one this old. On the other hand, the age barely matters -- if it was brand new today, this would still qualify as an unusually good lens.
reviewer#9611 date: Nov-19-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:125 € (used)
positive:Very sharp
Contrast
Good zoom range
Well built
Quite quick AF
Looks nice on 7D
Cheap for a very good Lens
negative:No hood
comment:It's perfect. Without a hood, it can show some flare, but I love the way it flares.

" The price and quality of this great vintage Minolta lens makes it a must have for the cheap lineup " --> I do agree. Highly Recommend.

PS: in Internet I've seen that the focal length to Max Aperture figures - f4-28-40mm, and f4.5-41mm to 135mm, but in my copy, i still have f4 28 - 60mm, from 70 - 135 f4.5.
reviewer#9405 date: Sep-11-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-85, 35-105, Sony 50mm, Sony 135 STF, CZ 85mm 1,4
price paid:200USD
positive:Excellent colours, sharp at almost all settings,nice bouquet. Steadily built. Put it easy:gives stunning pictures...Not quite the results that the fixed focal length lenses gives, but not too far away, if you have enough available light.Balances perfect with a 850. Got mine cheap compared to quality it gives. Love this lens!!...but read the negative too..
negative:Focuses not close enough!! Especially at wide settings this often disturbs and demands backup lenses. Irritating!!!!And then the point with a widespanning,all-in-one 28-135mm lens is somewhat reduced...
comment:My standard lens on my a 850. But more lenses have to follow,unfortunately. From time to time also on a500. Would have been even more frequently used if it had better close focus limit at all focal settings. Nice colours! Recommend this. Not perfect, but so near for me...At 135 mm the sharpness is somewhat reduced, unfortunately. At 5,6 it is excellent at all focus lenght except 135, where it is still good.
reviewer#9400 date: Sep-9-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.4
Nikon 50mm f1.8
Nikon 55mm f2.8
Nikon 20-35mm f2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Wide zoom range
Sharp throughout range
Non-rotating filter ring during focus
Well balanced on larger camera
negative:Long minimum focusing distance
Weight
comment:This a great lens that I constantly find frustrating. It could be everything that I need except that it isn't. The range covers ever focal length that I use in a package larger and heavier than every other lens that I own. Sharpness is good throughout the range, though under 50mm the minimum focusing distance limits its usefulness for me.

Great lens unless you need to get close.
reviewer#9258 date: Jul-25-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Big Beercan 75-300 and 50 prime
price paid:380.00
positive:Picture quality, good range,
negative:Somewhat heavy
comment:Took this lens to hawaii this summer and kept it on most of the time. Finished product is incredible. Not being a professional photographer and wondering what the pics would look like concern me. This lens beat out my 50 prime for sharpness. I will keep this lens and when it needs to be worked on, I will have a professional fix it. Great lens for the price.
reviewer#9221 date: Jul-10-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF 28-75 F2.8 SAM SAL2875
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharpness, Bokeh, Universal focal length, Macro lens
negative:Weight, focus ring, Long min. focus distance
comment:Extremly sharp, beutiful bokeh.
I use it often for photographying flowers at the Botanical garden. Slow focus is not so important as I use it on manual. Slightky too heavy but rigid construction makes it stable. I had some mechanical problems but short visit to the service makes it working perfect.
reviewer#9173 date: Jun-23-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MAF 24-105/3,5-4,5
MAF 28-105/4.0-4,5
Sony 18-55, Sony 18-70,
price paid:151 EUR (used)
positive:metal solid build, very stabile in your hands, produce good sharp image, sub-Macro is very useful, IF
almost solid light
negative:a bit too heavy, no lens hood dedicated or built in, CA could be a problem, 72mm filer size rare, not produced anymore, expensive,
comment:I love this lens, its a great walk around lens,. almost solid light, very good solid lens, well kept in my hands makes possible to be used in low light and stabile without tripod, . I've tested up to now 3 examples, and the most sharp is a third one, I keep it for daily use. Quite fast AF, Internal focusing, have focusing ring closely to camera, if you find it buy it, its worth to have it, very stable lens,

good legendary lens, easy to sold, beercan generation, quite
reviewer#9129 date: Jun-13-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 3.8
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:270 euro
positive:Sharp (for a zoom) when stopped down a little
Heavy, nice build
Good range on ff
Intersting colors, not neutral as such
Good focus speed
negative:Heavy
Some distortion
Visible vignette fully open
No lens hood
Watch out for the sun ligth direction, flares
Slight soft cornes fully open.
Bokeh not better than ok.
A little low in contrasr


comment:Nice lens, for the price. Far from perfect, but if you can live with its weaknesses, is it a good lens with colors that I myself like.
reviewer#9029 date: May-15-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MAF 50mm f1.4
MAF Beercan
Sony Kit 18-55
price paid:250usd
positive:Sharp
Bokeh
Colors!
Build
negative:Flare (I suppose)
AF Hunts
comment:I was lucky enough to find a mint copy of this lens (with the "Passed" inspection sticker, love that) at a local camera shop. After many recommendations (and a few warnings) for this lens on Dyxum, I picked it up.

First off, great purchase. I've ditched the kit lens, since this essentially fills that gap with a color profile more similar to my other lenses.

MFD is long, as others have commented, but indoors, this has allowed me to get some great candids of my kids, as I've stepped back and zoomed in. It's heavy, but that isn't much of a concern for me.

The colors are beautiful. Warm, detailed, distinct. Its ability to separate subjects from background, and the bokeh of that background are exceptional as well.

For negatives: Chromatic abberration is significant, and my a330 has had difficulty finding and focusing on the correct subject with it.
reviewer#8961 date: Apr-25-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-250
price paid:CAD $200
positive:Colour, AF speed, built, CA control
negative:soft edge, weight,
comment:I recently bought a used Minolta 28-135/4.0-4.5 lens, the famous almost-G "secrete handshake" lens. This lens has been extensively reviewed and praised (artaphot and dyxum here). I am using the lens on A55, with intension to go FF one day.

My initial impression is very positive: big (72mm), heavy and well built, zoom ring is very smooth, AF is really fast, outdoor test shots (at f8) is really sharp, colour is so richly rendered, CA (PF) is surprised well controlled - it's still there but not worse than many modern lenses, correctible in PP.

Upon further test (compare with my Sigma 18-250 travel zoom), its weakness revealed: 1) at 28mm, the edge softness at wider aperture is very noticeable, to achieve good edge sharpness I need to stop down to f8-11; 2) at 135mm end, center image is also very soft, again I need to stop down to f8-11. I also tested it on A850, the softness still there, actually more so at 28mm. Maybe I didn't get a great copy but even at f11, image is still not as sharp as my Sigma travel zoom. Likely I will sell it.
reviewer#8948 date: Apr-19-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35 f2.8-4
24-85 f2.8-4
35-105 f4-4.5
Beercan
Tamron 90mm f2.8 Macro
price paid:200 GBP
positive:Sharp
Colour
Build
Secret Handshake 'look'
negative:MFD
comment:My copy of this lens has a few minor marks on the front element but nothing serious enough to adversely impact image quality.

It's heavy, has a minimum focussing distance longer than a football field, noticeable distortion, dark corners and a comedy macro mode. But I love it more than any other lens in my collection.

On my A900 I 'get it' now. In terms of sharpness it knocks the 35-105 and 24-85 into a cocked hat (my 35-105 has never been especially sharp but my 24-85 is stellar). The distortion and vignetting are easily corrected in LightRoom with a suitable lens profile. The colours are wonderful and the secret handshake magic is there in abundance, it's impossible to describe exactly *what* it is but it's there.

I can't think of better walk around lens for full frame, my 35-105 is totally redundant now and will soon be heading for eBay.
reviewer#8859 date: Apr-3-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:CZ 16-80
Tokina 28-70 f2.6-2.8
price paid:
missing
positive:Build quality!
Sharpness!
Focus
negative:MFD
Flare
No hood
Weight
comment:This minolta lens is truly a "secret handhake". Though I have only tried it on APSC bodies, it gives amazing sharpness (detail), but contrast is lagging compared to the CZ. The MFD is not good, it's sort of deal breaker since you cannot you it freely indoors, at partys and so on. but for walkaround it's great, and it gives really nice colours.
Did I mention that it's build from pure metal? it's quite heavy, but it's one af the best handling lenses I have tried. everything is smooth, and focus is fast, i just really like it.
The bad: No hood.. this lens can definately flare, a hood would help tremendously here. there are workarounds though.
Great lens, one i would love to try on FF, and one I also recommend!
reviewer#8848 date: Mar-30-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 35-70 F4 Baby Beercan
Minolta AF 75-300 F4.5-5.6 Big Beercan
price paid:IDR 2.750.000 (used)
positive:Sharp!!!
Minolta Colors!
Build like a tank
Fast and accurate focus
Nice odd range
Macro switch
No hood
negative:Flare, but it is normal
CA, easy, no big deal
Macro @28mm
No Hood
comment:The Minolta "Secret Handshake" is the honorary name known internationally for this epic lens. In Indonesia and few other south east asia, people call this lens "Zeiss Killer". Both deserve its name.

Sharp all range, Definitely Minolta Colors, fast focus, good for low light, and built like a tank. You can kill a person with it. :D

F*ck the flare and CA. Flare is normal in all lenses, and you can sometimes include it in your composition. CA is easily avoided using good filter.

The range is perfect for travelling. Heavy? Well, compare this to the Big Beercan, it is not a big deal. The tank build paid off.

Talk about the macro mode, this lens sure have one like the baby beercan, but @28mm, thus, make the area wide. For me, it fits more to close up human portrait and other large object with nice bokeh than shooting ant.

And about the hood, well, the only thing about hood is, it boost the appearance of a lens, make it looks more beautiful. Sure, it help fighting flaring sometimes, but your hands are better flare wall. Oh, and about the appearance btw, this lens doesn't need it. Its shape is manly enough.
No need to bother mount and unmount hood anymore when you want to shoot.
Few people dislike it. I dunno why, but you can use a rubber hood if you want.

It flaws, yes. But the combination somehow make the pictures produced from this lens almost looks like magic. Believe me. Leave your creative style at 0 0 0 and feel the "From the mind of Minolta".
reviewer#8843 date: Mar-29-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 28-75 f2.8
Sigma 105 f2.8 Macro
Beercan
price paid:200 sterling
positive:Colours
Sharpness
Focusing Speed
negative:Noisy
No hood, so lots of flare
Some distortion (but not as much as my Tammy)
comment:Bought a great example of this lens from a fellow Dyxumer and am absolutely astonished by the pictures I am getting. As a walk around lens it is the business, the quick rear focusing has let me get some shots that would have been impossible with any of my other lenses, and it is oh so sharp. It is also heavy and built like a tank, but I do not find this a problem as it is easier than carrying 3 primes around and it gets as good results. If you have full frame and can find a good example then do not hesitate to get it, there is nothing else like it. Now I just need to find a decent hood!
reviewer#8830 date: Mar-26-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fast and accurate AF
Colors
Great range
Solid build
Macro mode
negative:No hood
comment:Flare isnt a problem once you are experienced with the lens and given the conditions flaring in a picture can add character.
reviewer#8764 date: Mar-9-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28mm f2.8
Minolta 35mm f2
Minolta 50mm Macro 2.8
Sony/Zeiss 85mm f1.4
Sony/Zeiss 16-35mm f2.8
price paid:450 NZD (used)
positive:Beautiful minolta colours
Fast focussing
Great focal range
Quality materials
Good price
negative:AF clicks on A900
Minimum focus distance
comment:Totally impressive lens. I bought this lens for travel but it has slowly been taking over some of my other lenses. Have even started using if for gigs & it focuses like a champ in low light, and with improvement in ISO technology f4 actually works.

Technically this lens has a lot of 'faults': vignetting, corner softness, distortion... especially when compared to lenses like the CZ85 & 35mm f2. But I've been continually blown away with the unique shots that come out of this lens, the downsides seem to just add to the character and when you look at the whole shot, not just the pixels, it's awesome.
reviewer#8763 date: Mar-8-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:300
positive:Build
Sharpness
Colors
negative:No Lens Hood
comment:I recently found this lens in EXCELLENT condition from a local seller. It focuses quickly, and takes some amazingly sharp photos. The lens is what I would consider in almost new condition. It doesn't look as if it has been used much. i LOVE the weight, feel and overall performance. To me the only major flaw was it's design to not have a lens hood, other than that I feel I got a wonderful deal on a superb lens.
reviewer#8756 date: Mar-7-2011
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 3.9
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 24105
Min 35105o
Min 70210
Sony 70300G
Tamron 28300
price paid:USD 269 used
positive:Minolta colors
Clarity
Internal focus
negative:Heavy
No lens shade
Old, hard used
comment:My copy of this lens is perfect at both ends, but quite unreliable in the middle. It clunks when it is put on the camera and the screwdrive is engaged -- and I suspect that is an indication of the internal focus slide being loose or worn. I have also found this to a lesser extent with my beercan. So I suspect that all older Minolta zooms that clunk will have a similar outcome.

When it is good, it is as good as the other reviewers report -- but it is inconsistent. I dropped my 35/2 and camera on hard stone this winter -- and the lens shade smashed, and saved the lens -- so I'll never buy another lens without a hard plastic lens shade. This lens doesn't have a hard shade, a defect, and it would've smashed -- or worse, my camera would've died.

My Min 35105o is better overall. My 24105, an attempted replacement, is a weak lens -- and here I suspect plastic parts. My Sony 70300G is better in almost every way -- except that it does not focus internally. Even with its problems, the 28135 is a far better lens than my son's Tamron 28-300.

It would indeed be wonderful if there were a modern replacement for the length and f-stop of the 28135, since it is a perfect tourist lens.

Extra thoughts: I had forgotten to mention that, in using the 35105o and the 28135, I have really come to dislike the position of the focus ring on the 28135. My little finger ( and sometimes my thumb) naturally fits at the intersection of lens and body -- and every time I move for a new focus, the ring twists and crimps my finger, or jiggles the lens, and it is really annoying. This means that the 28135 (even if my copy were perfect) is unattractive to me.

Can I take it all back?? I've just discovered that my 28135 was set (and not, I think, by me) at -7 microadjust. Now that it's at +3, the lens produces edible results. I still don't like the focus ring or the lack of a lens shade, but oh, do I like the images now. It and my 100400 are now inseparable.
reviewer#8687 date: Feb-21-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-105 3.5-4-5 D
price paid:230 € (used)
positive:Excellent sharpness
negative:Minimum distance focus
Flare control
comment:Exceptional definition. A little and heavy marvel.
reviewer#8608 date: Feb-2-2011
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f1.4
Minolta 70-210mm f4 "beercan"
Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 EX HSM
Sony DT 17-80mm
price paid:325
positive:Sharp
Very rich colors
Great range
Macro is very cool
Solid as a tank
negative:Heavy as a tank!
MFD (but very very worth it!!!!)
comment:They call this lens "the secret handshake" for a reason. It's a diamond in the rough. The price/quality factor is really high on this lens. It has a great balance of sharpness and background bokeh. Colors absolutely pop out of the screen when I load them onto my computer. No color correction needed ever!! It difinately has that minolta saturated 3D effect. It's also built to last. Made of mostly metal and glass, it difinately feels sturdy in your hand. It has a military grade feel if that makes sense. It is quite heavy though. After a long shoot, you'll really notice it. Also it is very prone to lens flare. No stock hood is made for this lens.

The macro feature is cool. Dispite the normal MFD, when switched into macro, the MFD is quite close. I've taken some very cool shots in this setting. There is no auto focus in macro, but come on guys, it's fun to manual focus every now and then. Plus I prefer manual in macro anyway

Yeah, the 50mm is a bit sharper, but the shots I get from the 28-135mm are always more dramatic and larger than life when I'm at the 50mm range (for comparative reasons to the Sony prime). The beercan has a similar color effet (not as good though) and better bokeh, but the 28-135mm has a vibe that I can't put into words. Of course the beercan is a different range, I'm just compairing characteristics. The beercan is a great compliment to this lens.
reviewer#8595 date: Jan-30-2011
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tokina 270Pro 28-70 F2.6-2.8
Sigma 24-70 F2.8 DG HSM
price paid:295 USD (Used)
positive:Range,
Fast focus,
Great colours,
Sharp at wide open
negative:28mm not wide enough
Flare
comment:Become my camera cover. I can't found any FF lens in the system can out perform it with similar range.
Sigma 24-70, 24-70ZA and 28-75G will won it in picture quality. But look at the price, it got the greatest QP score.
reviewer#8572 date: Jan-26-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Haven't owned anything to compare it with!
price paid:250 GBP
positive:Beautiful lens in all respects.
Wonderful feel, with fast focus.
Knock out colours.
Deserves it's nickname!
negative:Remember to keep your fingers away from the rear focus ring!
No hood - use the Hand!
comment:Most of the time it lived on my Dynax 7, and produced fantastic results, some were simply blistering!

Range not that good on the A700, although I used it to good effect at my son's wedding. One bride & groom shot in late afternoon suffered the dreaded flare. However, it turned out to be their favourite shot, since the flare was crescent shaped & followed the curved sweep of the dress!
reviewer#8440 date: Dec-22-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Rp 2,400,000.00
positive:Fast
Nice color
Solid sturdy body
negative:Heavy (But understandable)
comment:It is hard for me to find this "Legend" lens, after searching trough many forums in my country. The moment I grab it, I realize that this lens will often calling me to take an adventure. AF very fast, in body focus sounding very soft, and I really like the way it produce sharp at aperture 5.6 and above (I found it softer below 5.6). It makes me more happ at 135mm when I take a picture of my friend at my office...I really love the details in it (please take a look at sample image, I name it "Remembering")
reviewer#8393 date: Dec-11-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28mm f/2.8
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 17-35
Minolta Beercan
CZ 16-80
price paid:£122 GPB Used
positive:Superb IQ
Super Sharpness
Bokeh
Superb Build
Good Focus
Colours
Good Range
negative:Weight
Large
comment:Superb Lens, I won this lens on eBay after reading several reviews and listening to some friends bigging it up. I now know why it is held is high regard.

Its a great walk around lens even on APS-C, I would love to see how it performs on FF.
reviewer#8381 date: Dec-9-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:17-35
24-85
24-105
28-75
35/2
50/1.4
price paid:
missing
positive:perfect range for FF
it takes great photos if the conditions are right
negative:it's hard to find a more flawed lens in this system ;-)
comment:How do I rate this lens? For as long as I had it (5 years and counting), I really wanted to hate it. The flaring is a joke and no matter what you do, you will fall a victim of it sooner or later. The MFD of 1.5 meters makes you pull your hair out on lost opportunities. Then the colors and contrast are not really up to the level of 17-35G or Minolta primes if used on a gloomy day.

But then from time to time I put it on, and in good conditions the photos it takes become instant classics. Everything seems just right about them, and for some reasons I cannot reproduce that effect with any other lens.

The depth, bokeh, contrast and colors (actually natural and not overdone as with many other lenses) are truly unique.
It's the combination that's right, not any feature on its own - this is pretty much what defines this lens. It’s like the 35/1.4G which compared to 35/2 is clearly inferior in any photographic test. It’s only when you look at the photos you know what’s it all about.

28-135 is a perfect range for FF and the lens is sharp and usable throughout at all apertures (blah blah soft corners at 28mm/f4, who cares!). The long end is great for portraits, where once again the weaknesses become strengths (reduced micro-contrast).

I don’t think Minolta actually planned this lens to be what it is. It just came out right and we are lucky to have it in your system.

The 28-135 cannot be easily recommended, as it’s not that versatile and has its obvious flaws. Even though, I think everybody should at least try it.

I rated it 5/5 in all categories, but that’s only because the categories are wrong. Look at the photos not at the numbers, and then make your decision!
reviewer#7969 date: Sep-14-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:tamron 28-75
price paid:160 usd
positive:color, sharpness wide open
negative:mfd
comment:picked this lens up from a small camera shop for 160 usd, i normally keep my a700 on "deep" setting, when i first started shooting with it, i looked at the pictures and thought, "what is going on with my camera", then i took it off deep and put it on neutral and realized the depth of the colors from this lens, also it handles high iso's very well. this has become my main lens on my camera, yes, the mfd is something to get used to, but not impossible to work around. I now have the a850 and this lens is a good range for ful frame, did some iniitial tests, the images look great.
reviewer#7953 date: Sep-8-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 17-50
Minolta 70-210
price paid:200 USD (used)
positive:Range
Colors
Build
negative:No hood hence poor flare control
Hunts, useless indoors
Needs at least 1.5 meters plus to focus correctly
comment:Let's start with the positives. This unit is built like a tank. Sure it's weighty but feel wonderful and steeped in japanese craftsmanship. Has beautiful and warm colors, typical to minolta. It starts to get sharp when stopped down and focus is further from 1.5 mts. Great range for a walkaround lens.

Negatives for me were; auto focus is a bit slow. Flare control is rubbish.

Overall it is a great lens when managed correctly. Not something you can just pick up, shoot and expect great results.
reviewer#7947 date: Sep-6-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 28-75/2.8
Sony 24-105/3.5-4.5
Sigma 24-70/2.8
Tamron 17-50/2.8
price paid:100.00 (used)
positive:Color Color Color
Sharpness
Fast focus!
minimal CA (not as bad as others make it out to be)
negative:excessive Flare
rotating front element on zooming
1.5m MFD
comment:I don't really know where to start with this lens, but it is becoming my favorite zoom lens ever. I picked it up for $100 at a local camera shop that definitely did not know what they had.
Once you get past the fact that there is a 1.5 meter minimum focus distance (when not in macro mode) you will be amazed by this lens' sharpness, colors, and overall look of the image. It produces a very special feel to images that cannot be explained. People can call "3D" but it creates images that are instant classics. Whoever first came up with the name 'secret handshake' described it perfectly in those two words.
Sharpness from wide open is superb, and it might need to be stopped down to f/5.6 at 135mm. I never hesitate to use this lens wide open on my A850. Distortion can be a slight issue, but it can be easily corrected, and if you can correct it with your software, this lens is a great landscape lens for a FF camera because of the sharpness and colors that it produces. Blue skies stay DEEP, green grass is FRESH, and red bricks explode out of the screen and paper.
The macro switch is fun. You can zoom really close at 28mm and it creates a unique perspective. I think the lens gets even sharper in macro mode, as you can leave it at f/4 if you want a really shallow DOF. I have learned how to manipulate it to where I don't use it for macro shots, but I've gotten portraits out of it in macro mode.
More on the negatives now. The front element rotates when zooming, which is very odd, and makes it impossible to use a petal shaped hood. This lens doesn't even come with a circular hood, and I think I know why. Even if you used a hood, the flare from this lens can simply ruin a picture. I think even an LED flashlight could make this lens flare. Surprisingly, the flare doesn't completely ruin the contrast of the picture, but the multiple rainbows across the image render it useless. I feel bad that I had to rate the flare control so low because it made my average score for the lens a 4.0, and it really deserves better. Zoom creep is only bad in the middle of the zoom range. But when you are zoomed to 28mm or 135mm, it stays locked in place. The focus makes a loud SLAP at both ends of the focus range, which is slarming.
With all that I have said (probably too much) I would recommend this lens to anyone with a full frame camera, film or digital. Ignore the claims that it is too soft or has too much CA in the corners because what this lens delivers across the entire frame is impossible to beat at around $250.
reviewer#7934 date: Sep-3-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF24mm f2.8
Minolta AF50mm F1.4
Sony AF100mm f2.8 macro
Minolta AF28-85 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF35-105 f3.5-4.5
Minolta AF70-210 f4-4.5
Tamron AF28-300mm XR f3.5-6.3
price paid:425.00 USD
positive:IQ is superior
Classic Minolta Sharpness
Classic Minolta colors
Fast automatic focus
Great range for FF walk-around
Macro is useful
Bokeh is smooth
Great optics and build
Minimum CA

negative:My copy has slight lens creep. Considering its age and weight, I think that minimal creep is acceptable. The MFD limits its use in close proximities.
comment:The Secret Handshake of the old Minolta lenses, it is rumored to be a precursor to the G lenses of the mid-eighties. What is certain is that the Minolta AF 28-135 performs color magic on command. This objective is all about IQ. In spite of its age, my copy is in great condition and functions as a precision optic should. Truly, it is an ideal walk-around zoom for events, such as outdoor jazz concerts. The rear automatic focusing ring is especially snappy, a bit strange to my fingers at first, but totally fast. I love the S.H.'s saturated colors and the nearly creamy bokeh. Stopped to f5.6, this zoom is a worthy competitor for sharpness with the 100mm macro and 50mm 1.4, two lenses I consider as benchmark optics. Compared to my zooms, the Handshake is sharper than the Beercan and nearly the same as the 35-105. Well-balanced on the full-frame Alpha, the combination of the 28-135 and the A850 make it a heavy-weight contender, especially in light of its performance in reviews paired with the much coveted CZ24-70. To be fair, I can only make comparisons with my personal array of A-mount lenses. It is comparable in sharpness to the 35-105. IQ appears to be quite similar to the 35-105, which I am finding to be a stellar walk-around zoom with great range on the FF. Lots lighter, too. The 28-135 has a greater zoom range and weighs less than the CZ. On a full-frame camera, 28mm is a wide enough focal length for most compositions. This lens renders razor-sharp 3D-like images across the frame. The zoom-macro feature creates usable images at close MFD. While flare can be present when directing toward the sun, I tend to avoid this angle as with all the old Minolta lenses. A rubber screw-down hood would serve to shield this lens from the sun, although I seldom use mine. The S.Handshake deserves every consideration in its class as it's purchase makes perfect sense for FF Sony Alpha photography.
reviews found: 197    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 197
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.79
  • distortion: 4.43
  • flare control: 3.46
  • overall: 4.42

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