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

reviews found: 197    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>
reviewer#7898 date: Aug-29-2010
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:Minolta 28-85mm
Minolta 135mm f2.8
price paid:320 CAD (used)
positive:Good walkaeound lense
sturdy built
negative:Weight
zoom creep
bit dark
lense rotates on zoom
comment:Good range coverage. Used it as a sole lense (had a fisheye too but that's a different creature) on a European trip and it covered everything I needed it for. Only problem is it is a bit dark, and very heavy! Just about the same weight as an A850 body and combined weight for both is just about 4 lbs.
reviewer#7854 date: Aug-25-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-70f2.7 EX DF
price paid:USD179.00 (used)
positive:Very sharp from f4.
excellent contrast, especially for a zoom.
negative:Both of mine exhibited some zoom creep. Often, when the camera hung from my neck, the lens would zoom to 135, on its own.
comment:To date, the lenses I owned (2, 1 for me, 1 for my brother), produced some of the cleanest images I have ever shot. Sharpness is excellent at f4; the point of buying faster than 4.5 lenses, is the speed. If the lens is not good wide open, why have it, or pay the extra for it?

Were I to buy another zoom, it would either be one of these again, the Contax 35-70f3.4, or maybe one of the ZA zooms. No other zooms even cross my mind.

Update 2012 -

Years after owning it, I would have to say I would likely not buy one again. It is a decent, but very large lens, that doesn't focus close enough, and is actually pretty slow. I know compared to a lot of the f5.6 or f6.3 zooms it is faster, but it really isn't.

I have owned previously and own now Minolta, Zeiss and Leica lenses ranging from f1.2 to f2.8, all of which were designed to actually be used wide-open, and be at their best 2 stops down. That means they are at their best at f2.8 or f4, not at f8 like most of the zoom lenses you will find available today. That difference means lower ISO's, faster shutter speeds, and a decrease in camera-shake worries.

This lens was good in its day, but don't buy it because you think you will be getting something you are not. I think its status as the "Secret Handshake" needs to be left in the past.
reviewer#7797 date: Aug-8-2010
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 35-105nn (New)
Minolta 50mm 1.7 (New)
Minolta 28-80mm Xi
Minolta 24-50mm (old)
Minolta 70-210mm F 3.5-4.5
Sony 18-70mm Kit
Sigma 135-400mm Apo
price paid:USD $ 70 (used)
positive:Sharp! Sharp!
F 4-4.5 excellent in F4
Filter 72mm
negative:Need a Hood
Flare
Weight
comment:Is a excellent lens. I bought in aution for argentine pesos 270.. bargain!!.
reviewer#7765 date: Aug-1-2010
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sigma 12-24, k-m 28-75 f2.8, 28-105 f3.5-4.5, 35-70f4, 80-200 2.8, sony 70-300G
price paid:175€ (2nd)
positive:Minolta colours,long range, sharp
negative:weight
comment:If you find one - test it out - if it's a good one - buy it!

I got lucky - i had to do some minor cleaning inside myself - now it's a perfect lens to me - (tested on A700/minolta 5D - so only cropped factor!).

If you want it - you'll have to kill me.

It's always in the bag when i'm going out for landscape & building photographing together with the 12-24 + the 70-300G.
reviewer#7761 date: Jul-30-2010
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:Minolta AF 35-105 F3.5-4.5
Beercan
Big Beercan
price paid:265 GBP used
positive:Build
Range
negative:Bad CA
Ghosting
Flare even with after market lens hood.
MFD
Focus ring location
Macro at wrong end of range
comment:I've really tried to like this lens but I just can't get a decent image out of it. I assume I have a duff copy.

In my experience the sharpness is rather average and flare control is non-existent. Even with a lens hood and shading the front element images appear washed out and halation is apparent.

I tried using it to take photos of Brighton pier at night only to find the most horrendous ghosting when viewing the downloaded images.

The macro feature being it the wide end is also frustrating. it makes the minimum focus distance much more noticeable than with the 35-105 where it is at the other end and seems more natural to me. My 35-105 seems to out perform the 28-135 on every level being much sharper, less prone to flare and CA and I tend to use it much more.

I've not given up completely on it and think that getting it serviced may improve performance. I've also noticed it performs better with film, but then that is what it was designed for.

reviewer#7627 date: Jun-27-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta G 28-70 F2.8
price paid:175 EUR (used)
positive:Color, sharp
negative:Heavy
comment:Nice lens but in the end i stopped using it when i bought the 28-70 f2.8.
reviewer#7546 date: Jun-10-2010
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:- Minolta "Beercan" 70-210mm
- Minolta 100-200 f4.5
- Sigma 18-125
- Nikon 18-105
- Canon 70-200 L Usn f4
price paid:
missing
positive:- The Best Minolta lens I ever tried.
- Sharpest zoom lens what I have ever tried. (better than classic Beercan 70-210)
- Excellent build quality.
- Awesome IQ.
negative:- I can't mention anything, okay it HAS a weight, but it's not for little girls - that's all.
comment:An old dream of mine to have this lens. I bought it on the net, and it's in PERFECT condition. If You want a REAL quality zoom lens, with outstanding IQ, than don't need to search for other. Here is Your "body", here is Your choice :)
First of all, It's "built like tank", but (okay it's relative) in my opinion it looks like good. Well.. It has a size and weight.. But in my opinion, every quality lens has a weight, so You have to carry it. So? If it's too much (about 700g) than don't buy it :) It's so simple. But when You start to use it... You will absolutly forget the weight. I promise You.
reviewer#7487 date: May-26-2010
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:24-105D
35-105 org.
beercan
big beercan
135 prime
price paid:50 euro incl B&W CPF
positive:Sharpness
3D feeling to pictures
Build quality
Charisma (72mm of glass)
negative:MFD
F/4-F/4.5
comment:Loving the beercan range this was a must have for me and I got it for a steel. Perfect outside walk around lens. Less useful inside because of the MFD and F/4. Sharpness is excellent and IQ is really special with that typical 3D quality I also get from my 135mm prime.
reviewer#7442 date: May-18-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 35-70
Min 50/F1.7
Sig 18-200
price paid:150 euro
positive:Pictures have 3D look
warm colors
negative:focus ring close to cam body
MFD to big
Only F4 as biggest aperture
comment:What can i say more about this lens... it's a 72 mm big window to bring the light to my sensor and i love how it gets there!!
Only thing is that with 1,5 meter minimal focus distance it's not so good for indoor shooting, and it also only F4.... the tube is soooo BIG , why is this not F 2.8 or even 1.7 ??!

[edit] i have compared it to my new minolta 28/F2.8 , and i must say that the 28 mm is waaaay better than this one.... i have a very bad copy of the 28-135.......

reviewer#7378 date: Apr-30-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:28-85mm F3.5-4.5
16-80mm CZ
price paid:320 USD
positive:Build
Range coverage
negative:long minimum focus (compared to 28-85) when not in macro
weight!
comment:Just got this lense and still testing it out. Did some close-up shots of tulips and peonies. The shots seem as sharp as the CZ 16-80 with nice colour too. Very similar to the 28-85.

Weight is heavy but it nicely balances the weight of a A850

So far, haven't had flare issues but I've had the sun to my back. Review revision will probably follow
reviewer#7307 date: Apr-18-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Carl Zeiss 24-70mm F2.8
price paid:350 CAD (Used)
positive:Very sharp at the centre
Covers a good range (Very good walk around lens)
Useful macro mode to counter act the long MFD
F4-4.5 (Other brand 28-135mm lenses are F3.5-5.6)
negative:Corners are quite soft even stopped down on the wide end
Noticeable distortion on FF
Macro mode only works on the wide end (Not really a negative as all minolta lens with a macro mode is like this and better to have it then not)
Bokeh quite harsh in my opinion
No dedicated lens hood
comment:This is a very solid lens that was first introduced back when Minolta introduced the A mount. Even by today's standards this lens preforms quite well. This pretty much a one of a kind lens as even today no other company makes a 28-135mm lens at F4-4.5 as all other companies use F3.5-5.6... For the price this lens normally sells at and how it performs this is one of the must have lenses for people looking to just carry around one lens. On a APS-C body the lens is a great all around performer even on full frame bodies. It even has a fun to play with and useful macro mode with turn the MFD from 1500mm to 246mm.

Though the corners on this lens is quite soft even stopped down to F11 on the wide end when using a FF body camera. Also barrel distortion is quite noticeable when using it on a FF body. And one thing this lens has been known for is its poor flare control and even so it has such problems it does not come with its own dedicated lens hood. And in my opinion the bokeh is a little to harsh for my tastes. Also people complain about the lens suffering from zoom creep though it does come with it own "zoom lock" just switch the lens over to macro mode and it will not creep.

A very good performer that is well worth the money if you do not need the extra stop of light. that the CZ 24-70mm F2.8 or Minolta 28-70mm F2.8 provides. As this lens preforms just as well.
reviewer#7259 date: Apr-7-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-70 2.8 EX DG
Minolta 35-105 RS
Minolta 35-200 xi
Minolta 135 2.8
Minolta 100 2.0
price paid:220
positive:feels solid
center sharpness
negative:not sharp off-center
zoom creep
comment:I'm not impressed. Because of the good reviews I bought this lens in good shape. I have tested it indoors open and at f8 and compared it to the other lenses. While sharpness was good in the middle it was a lot worse off-center. I was positively surprised by the Minolta 35-200 xi in this shoot-out concerning colors and sharpness. I have sold the 28-135 again.
reviewer#7257 date: Apr-7-2010
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:Minolta 50mm f1.4
Beercan 70-210mm
price paid:Ł160
positive:Amazing walkabout lens on FF
Wide angle plus a decent zoom
Super Sharp
Nice Colours
Very little CA
negative:Zoom Creep
MFD
F4 minimum
comment:I must say I love this lens on FF. It's a great walkabout lens. I have been wondering if I should go for a f2.8 and sell this but I have thought about it and there is no way I am doing it.
100% zoom in the image reveals how sharp it is. Cant beat it. Was using my beercan recently and my 28-135mm really beats it hands down. Much sharper and very little CA if any.
Only prob is flare which can be sorted with your hand or a hood. In low light situations I just use my nifty 50... sorted!
I had this lens on my A350 but it makes much more sense on my A900.
Love it!
reviewer#7253 date: Apr-6-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:
missing
price paid:$325 USD (used)
positive:Range
Colors
Bokeh
Fast AF
negative:No lense hood
Zoom creep if not fully retracted
comment:I love this lense but it does not get to stay on my camera often as I have fallen in love with primes. I keep my Sigma 70 2.8 on alot and when it is not on my 70-200 is. The colors are perfect and my copy seems sharp across the whole frame at max aperture. No complaints here and would recomend.
reviewer#7220 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 17-35 F2.8-4 EX DG
Sony 20 F2.8
CZ 24-70 F2.8
Sony 24-105 F3.5-4.5
Tamron 28-75 F2.8
Minolta 35-70 F4
Minolta 35-105 F3.5-4.5 Old
Minolta 50 F1.7 RS
Sony 50 F1.4
Minolta 70-210 F4
CZ 85 F1.4
Sony 100 F2.8 Macro
Minolta 100-300 F4.5-5.6 APO
Minolta 135 F2.8
price paid:GBP 230 I think
positive:- Images have a special look...really lovely colour
- Probably the best "walkabout" lens for full frame
- Fast AF
- Bokeh is smooth
negative:- Wide open, not great sharpness on full frame. Especially corners at 28mm very soft
- Worst lens I have for CA
- MFD 1.5m
- Visible barrel distortion at 28mm
comment:This is quite a unique lens. It was not love at first sight. It took a while for me to warm to this lens, but now I love it.

Makes a great walkaround lens on full frame with almost 5x zoom range, the only one of its kind with good enough quality.

At first, comparing to my Tamron 28-75/2.8 I disliked the not great sharpness below F.6, awful CA especially with tree branches, limiting MFD, distortion, and low contrast.

However, the images produced by this lens have a kind of special sometimes 3D quality, with really great colour. When I started shooting RAW, low contrast became a non-issue as it's easily tweaked. And when taking landscapes, I stop down to F8 or F11. However, the special look of this lens is NOT easy to replicate, i.e. I can't make my images taken with the Tamron look like this lens.

I think a lot of hype for this lens was created by the comparisons on Artaphot.ch where it outperformed CZ24-70 etc, however I think Stephen has an freakishly good copy. I have compared with CZ24-70 and it blows away the 28-135 for sharpness. Looking at sample images other people have taken using the 28-135 on dyxum/flickr they do not look any sharper than my copy. Therefore, do not expect your 28-135 to equal the sharp across entire frame wide open on full frame that Stephen's copy seems to exhibit. I think anyone who rated this lens a 5 for sharpness has not used a CZ prime 85 or 135 :-)

AF is faster than all my other lenses except 135/2.8, this is very welcome...

Compared to the much cheaper 35-105 Old, there is very little in it in terms of IQ. However, the 28-135 range is much more convenient.

Compared to the beercan, there is very little in it in IQ except at 135mm where beercan is sharper. However, 28-135 has much faster AF.
reviewer#7194 date: Mar-29-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:zeiss 24-70/2.8
price paid:about $300
positive:Quite good optically, very fast, solid build
negative:minimal focus distance
flare control
noisy
no lens hood
comment:Quite nice, cheap lens. Not so good flare control, also focus distance could be better. On the other hand it's quite good lens on full frame cameras.
reviewer#7139 date: Mar-23-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 2
distortion: 3
flare control: 2
overall: 2.7
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 used to own this lens
compared to:50/1,4
24-70HSM
price paid:$150
positive:-Decent Range
-Sharp images
-Made of Metal(Heavy)
negative:-Clunky
-Zoom Creep
-20+ years
-Rear focusing is a little getting used to
-No Hood
-Hunts in low light
-Slow focus
comment:
Very overrated. It's a decent lens to have, maybe to travel (If its lost or stolen, no problem). I bought it because of the hype, it does produce decent sharp images but not G quality. I Much rather use a 50/1,4.
reviewer#7128 date: Mar-21-2010
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:16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Vario-Sonnar T*
Minolta 100-200mm F4.5
Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 rs
Minolta 35-70mm F4.0
Beercan
price paid:250
positive:good image quality,
quick autofocus, very sharp
negative:no original hood
comment:I have been using this lens since last year. The optics, glasses are superb.The colors are very vivid, saturated and contrasty.
reviewer#7074 date: Mar-13-2010
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 28-70/2.8 G
K-M 17-35/2.8-4
Sony Zeiss 24-70/2.8
price paid:280 EUR (used)
positive:Extremely sharp at smaller apertures, build is xtremely good
negative:Heavy, close focusing distance, corners very soft at 28 mm wide open (field curvature)
comment:A heavy walk-around lens, gives very good results when stopped down to at least F/5.6. Has a strong field curvature at 28 mm so cornes become soft, but in good light you get nice results when stopped down to F/8. In mid range you do not need to stop down so much to get razor sharp pictures.
reviewer#7036 date: Mar-9-2010
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:Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX DG
price paid:349 USD used
positive:Very sharp
Nice colors
Good bokeh
Macro mode
negative:MFD
Focusing ring too close to body
comment:After reading all the reviews (especially Kurt Munger's), I started looking for this lens. Shortly after using it I put my Sigma 24-70 2.8 EX DG Macro on ebay. It is 50g heavier than the Sigma, so not a big change really. I do loose 1 stop but it makes up for it with it's longer range (I dont mind the 4 mm loss on the low end). It is sharp at f4, nice bokeh and colors on my 7D. I bought a 3 stage rubber hood for $7 to take care of the no hood issue. Was my walk around on my a700. I tried it on the a77 and it was fast to lock focus even in video mode. I think it was faster than the 16-50 (in video) but the mic pics up the noise when it focuses.Love this lens on my a900.
reviewer#7005 date: Mar-5-2010
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:Minoltas
Beercan
35-70 F4
100-200
price paid:USD200
positive:Very sharp
Excellent colour
negative:Heavy
no lens hood
comment:I bought this lens few months ago but didn't have a chance to test it out until now. and WOW it is magnificent. It produces very rich contrasty colours. Just Amazing.

Every photo comes out really impressive.

My 6 primes are staying home lately bcs this is very sharp zoom lens.
reviewer#6939 date: Feb-21-2010
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:Minolta 24-85mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-85mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 70-210mm F4
price paid:Ł170 eBay
positive:Edge to edge sharp
Life and colours
Solid
negative:
missing
comment:This lens is everything they say it is. Yes is is heavy, yes it is prone to flare, yes it does not focus that close.

Yes it is one of the best lenses ever produced.
Sharp and that Minolta first generation lens life and colour.
Get one fast, the prices are rising due to the A850 and A900.

I found a lens hood that fits, a Mandee 72mm metal wide angle lens hood. Sometimes a very slight shadowing in the corner.
reviewer#6896 date: Feb-10-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Sony 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
Minolta 200mm f/2.8 G APO
price paid:220 USD (used)
positive:Sharp!!
low distortion
build Quality
Low CA
Good Contrast
negative:Focus ring at the wrong place
Long MFD
Prone to flare
Balance on a a100 (front heavy)
Stiff zoom ring (could be a bad copy)
No dedicated lens hood
comment:When I recieved this lens 1 week ago, I was a little dissapointed by it's performance. I did all my tests indoor with bad lighting because it's soooo cold outside here (Canada). The images where soft mostly because of long shutter speed and because flare from the windows. One thing that bugged me too was the location of the focus ring. I am used to hold the lens near the camera mount (especially with a heavy lens). I have to be cautious because if I continu to hold the lens near the camera mount (on the focus ring), I will eventually break the focus mechanism.

BUT... When I decided to go outside to test it, it blew my mind. Sharpness is very very good for a zoom especially at that price. The contrast is also on the high side. If you plan on using it outside (or inside with a decent flash), you can't go wrong with this lens.
reviewer#6885 date: Feb-9-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 20-35 AFII
Beercan
Big beercan
Kit lens 18-70
Minolta 100mm f2
Tamron 28-75 f2.8
Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 50mm f1.4
Minolta 80mm-200mm HS G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp when open
Great range on FF
Build Quality
Colours
Macro added value
Internal focus in rear
negative:Flare
Soft corners FF at 28mm
f4 sometimes not enough
No hood
Minimum focus distance
Rear focus can get in the way
comment:There is plenty to love about this lens, but before you buy you should consider the negatives. The Minimum focus of 1.5m is too long and often causes a hinderance. If you want a zoom to cover low light then any 2.8 might be a better option. There's flare thats sometimes difficult to control - especially as it came without a hood. The rubber hood I have shows in the corners of the image on FF up to around 35/40mm. Rear focus although quick can get in the way of how I hold the lens. On FF I have noticed two versions of the lens exhibiting soft corners at 28mm wide open. This is unlikely to pose a problem in real life use - when do you use it at 28mm and f4 and want sharp corners?

Thats the faults out of the way, but the positives are well documented. Sharpness of a G lens is a fair comment, build quality and engineering is amazing - just look at the way the zoom moves for a start! Focusing is quick due to the rear focus. At 28mm its sharp wide open in the middle, getting sharp in the corners from f8/11, from 40/50mm up its sharp all over at f4/4.5, the macro is useful (including to focus shorter than 1.5m!). The range is brilliant on the a900, a true perfect lens in good light for what people call walkabout (or I call don't want to bother switching lenses all the time). Colour is good, although not quite up to the 100mm f2 or 80-200 HS G. Its a bargain at todays prices, if Sony released this now they'd call it a G and my guess would be L600-800.
reviewer#6845 date: Jan-29-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 own this lens
compared to:MINOLTA AF 24-85
MINOLTA AF 24-105D
MINOLTA AF 28-105
MINOLTA AF 28-85
TOKINA 28-70/2.6-2.8
.......
price paid:about USD 200
positive:REALLY SHARP!
VERY quickly focusing on a900
BEAUTIFULL saturated colors

negative:FLARE - but you can use your hand like sun hood :)

MFD 1.5m - but the macro switch is really nice - 25cm
nothing else - weight is acceptable for the zoom 28-135 and the aperture 4-4.5
comment:This is perfect standart zoom for full frame cameras, practical focal lenght range 28-135, very good aperature f4-4.5, beautifull "old minolta" saturated color, SHARP across the frame at all focal lengths, even at f4 or f4.5. and even in corner! IMHO for the price USD 200-400 you can´t get better standart zoom lens for a900/a850. Recommended!
reviewer#6806 date: Jan-22-2010
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:Tamron 28-75/2.8
Sigma 24-70/2.8
price paid:350 USD
positive:Sharpness
Bokeh
Awesomeness
negative:Some CA
Long MFD, obnoxious macro mode
No hood, flare sensitive
comment:This lens is every bit as awesome as everyone says. If the opportunity to get one ever comes up, take it.

To start with the bad things: it can flare badly, but not in all situations. I've taken some remarkably useful shots even with the sun in the frame, whereas some other shots have been completely ruined. My guess is that it is dependent on the angle of light, or something like that. The lack of a hood isn't exactly helping either. It also exhibits slight CA, but it is sharp enough to be easily removed if needed.

The 1.5 m MFD can be a real problem sometimes, especially for indoor shots at the wide end. Since the MFD stays (almost) the same throughout the zoom range, the only way to get real closeups (e.g. close headshots) is to use a longer focal length. The macro mode helps, but it is of limited use as it only covers distances between approximately 15 and 30 cm. Unless the macro mode hack is applied, MF is the only way to go, but the big and comfortable zoom ring can (sort of) be used for focussing in macro mode since the lens isn't parfocal.

Now to the good things: This lens is freakishly sharp. Wide open it is only sharp, but stopped down it is nothing short of stunning. Most notably, the corner sharpness is quite unlike anything I've seen in a standard zoom. The colours are of classic Minolta character, giving very pleasant results. And the bokeh is lovely, not as good as on my Sigma 50/1.4 but definitely on a par with many other really good primes I've used - and it outshines most of the zooms. Focussing is very fast, haven't been timing it, but it feels about as fast as my 28/2.8. The focus ring is weirdly placed, but I got accustomed to it quickly.

To sum things up, this would probably be the best lens in the whole wide world if it had better MFD, a hood and better flare control. Instead, it is a fun and quirky lens capable of awesome results under the right circumstances. Which is more than enough reason to get one, but any expectations should be kept on a realistic level.
reviewer#6756 date: Jan-15-2010
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 50mm f1.7
minolta 35-70mm
minolta 35-80mm
price paid:Ł10 gbp
positive:price luck shone on me found for ten pounds in a charity shop
build. built like a tank
colour.lovely minolta colours
negative:none. stunning lens for price
comment:
missing
reviewer#6746 date: Jan-15-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
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:I think I've owned ALL (then perhaps sold some) of the Minolta Consumer lenses by now!
price paid:$270
positive:Well, I guess it's solid...and also it sold for more than I bought it for! yea!
negative:Price
Not as sharp as 35-105 older version
Over-hyped
comment:I’ll probably be accused of trying to bring the *incredible* prices these lenses are getting these days DOWN by saying this but: what IS the big deal about this lens guys?!

I found it heavy, not so sharp, and the zoom creep nearly broke my lens mount!

Truth is, this lens was about 25th out of perhaps 40 Minolta lenses that I went through as I built my collection last spring and summer (2009)

And what a fun build is WAS! As many of you now know; Minolta consumer lenses are WAY undervalued and if you’re like me – you never really loose any money buying them. I sold 90% of the ones I bought for more money….

I WANTED to like this lens but it failed all my tests shooting on a tripod at f5.6 and 250 shutter on a new Alpha 350,with IS off

Now, maybe it was unfair to test it versus the 35-105 1985 old version but – THAT was the lens I was thinking this one could REPLACE in my bag…. Heck based on your combined reviews HERE I thought I was going to be replacing my 3 (20,24,28) Wide angle primes and my 2.8 135 prime too! Shoo wee!

It wasn’t to be, and now someone else has the copy of this lens that I tested…and yes I got the BIG money you all are paying…made a few bucks on it. I guess that’s my main positive – it made me $45…

Could have been a bad copy but I don’t think so…it was ok, not ugly, just not in a league with the lenses above.

!!!2/2/2010 Update!!!

WOW….wow. Wow.

I just got my next copy of this lens.

It’s totally unmolested unlike the last one; nice tight zoom -and- NO FUGGING ZOOM CREAP - it’s sitting on my desk right now, upright, fully extended, and just waiting for me to put it back to 35mm or whatever! Plus, this one is nice to look at.

This one still had it’s *virgin* filter on the front (a Tiffen 812, no less!) and I almost hated to ‘break it’s cherry’ when I took that light stealing artifact off it for the first time since 1986....but, it was REAL good ; ) I almost thought there was water floating on the front element...literally perfect ; )

What about SHARPNESS?! All that you need to know is that it had identical center sharpness and some SHARPER corners than my Minolta f1.4 50mm prime at f4.5 in very scientific testing!!!! But….oh please…don‘t drive up the prices…sigh.

My only very weak gripe is the rear focus...we've been conditioned all our lives to brace our cameras by holding the rear of the lens for stability (and lower shake/shutter speeds) and....someone at Minolta back in the day decided to CHANGE that?! It's all good ; 0

I’ve changed my scores….

-Shootist
reviewer#6734 date: Jan-12-2010
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 28-85, 28-105s, 35-105s
price paid:Ł112 GBP
positive:Sharp across the frame at all focal lengths
Colour
Versatility
negative:No lens hood
comment:Super lens. Doesn't even feel excessively heavy. Recommended
reviewer#6697 date: Jan-5-2010
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:Sony 16-105 f/3.5 (APSC only)
Minolta 28-105 f/3.5
Tamron 28-75 f/2.8
Tamron 24-135 f/3.5
price paid:330 USD (used)
positive:extremely good image quality, quick autofocus for this zoom range, high performance-to-cost ratio
negative:size and weight, oddball filter size, zoom creep, long 'minimum' focus distance
comment:I wasn't quite prepared for the large size and weight of this lens. I'd much rather carry the smaller, lighter Sony 16-105 around all day. That said, for a 25 year old lens, the performance is extremely good even by today's standards. The camera's view TTL is very bright and clear. And, for full frame, what other choices are there in this very useful zoon range, especially at this price? Minor annoyances - the odd 72mm filter diameter, and zoom creep. In fact 'creep' doesn't quite describe it; let the lens dip much below horizontal and the zoom just takes off.
UPDATE for full frame digital. After using this lens for a year, I'm still impressed by it's optical performance. Sharpness across the entire image, resolution and color are superior to both of the Tamron lenses listed above. It's not, however, better than Minolta's own 28-105. So, I'm ready to give this lens up for something smaller, lighter, closer minimum focus and just accept the fact that I have to switch to a telephoto lens a little more often.
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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