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

reviews found: 194    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>
reviewer#6587 date: Dec-15-2009
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Fantastic walk around lens for FF
Great Color
Excellent range
negative:Poor in low light and short focus distance
comment:This is the very first lens I ever used. My father purchased it for me with a Maxxum 7000 from one of his tennis buddies in the early 90s. If one can deal with the weight and limitations of the lens, I think they'll find that this monster produces GREAT images. The build quality is 1st class and above anything I've seen in current production. Metal and glass, just like a lens is supposed to be. My copy is still in great shape after over 20 years of use. This is the one lens I would never part with.
reviewer#6546 date: Dec-7-2009
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 35-105 f3.5-4.5 (original)
sigma 24-135
Tamron 24-135
price paid:L122
positive:Very sharp across the range
Colour
Build
negative:No lens hood
comment:Best zoom you can buy if you can live with the flare and slow maxinum aperture.

Different quality but 35-105 runs it very close and my 100-300 APO lens hood works a treat on the 35-105
reviewer#6449 date: Nov-24-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:- Sony Carl Zeiss 16-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Minolta 28-70mm f/2.8 G
price paid:
missing
positive:- Very nice range.
- Fairly sharp across the frame.
- Built like a tank.
- "Macro" mode is useful in some situation.
negative:- Rare, hard to find a nice copy.
- CA
- No OEM lens hood
- Flare
- MFD
- Rotating front element when zooming
- "Macro" mode is manual focus only.
comment:This lens is built like a tank and performs well across the whole frame (FF sensor) once stopped down a bit. Holding it I felt it's gonna outlive me by a large margin ;-)

It would be the ideal lens for outdoor/landscape A-mount photographers. Indoor/congested area could be a bit of problematic due to its long MFD, but that's when you will appreciate the "Macro" mode (MF only though) at 28mm!! IMHO that's a very thoughtful design. By the way, focus confirmation is still active in macro mode and definitely helps when manual focusing.

CA is a problem (though can be corrected in post-processing) in high-contrast scenes. And you gotta be careful with strong light source to avoid excessive flare.

The lens works very well on APSC (lacks wide angle though), and its FL range definitely shines on a FF dSLR! Stopping down to f/5.6 and beyond its image quality is quite solid on my A850.
reviewer#6432 date: Nov-23-2009
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:Sigma 24-70/2.8 EX DG
MinO 70-210/4
MinO 28/2
MinO 50/1.4
MinO 85/1.4
MinO 135/2.8
price paid:400 USD (used)
positive:Wonderful colors
Nice and sharp
Love the build quality
negative:Crappy minimum focus distance
terrible flare control
comment:Not much unique to add to what has already been said about this lens. It definitely has its quirks/disadvantages (minimum focus distance, flare control) but I really like this lens.

The first thing I noticed was the fantastic build-quality of this lens. Each end of the (very smooth) zoom range has wonderfully dampened stops that prevent lens creep and just feel very solid.

The flare control is kind of a problem. Not only is the front element right up to the front of the lens barrel, there is no provision for attaching a lens hood. I bought a shallow lens hood (about 1-inch deep) to help with flare, but it vignettes very badly at 28mm (on Full Frame), so that's not a very good option either. Until I find a better option, I'll just have to use my hand.

My favorite part of this lens, however it the colors. I think it's the best example of 'classic' Minolta colors I've seen (and I have lots of Minolta glass).

Overall image quality is superb, but if you're going to purchase this lens, make sure you're aware of its drawbacks as well as its positive attributes before buying.
reviewer#6396 date: Nov-16-2009
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:35-70mm f4
50mm Macro
price paid:266 USD
positive:Acceptably sharp wide open
Good colors
Built like a tank
Useful Macro MFD
negative:CA until f8
Average flare control
No standard hood
Annoying creep from 50mm onward
Long MFD
comment:Another old lens that seems somewhat over-hyped nowadays (similar to the Beercan IMHO). For full frame users this lens does indeed offer great walk-around coverage and performs admirably despite its aged design. However, on APS-C that range is less ideal, and on digital in general the design faults start to show up.

This lens is NOT super sharp wide open, and I expect any comparisons being made to some of the higher end primes are superlative. What IS remarkable is the level of corner sharpness. Stopping this lens down to f8 gives an incredibly sharp picture throughout the frame, and CA disappears by then too. Shoot in fair weather to truly appreciate the IQ of this lens.

Kurt Munger remarked that Sony could toss digital glass, SSM and a G badge on this lens and it would sell sell sell. I beg to differ, seeing as this lens is both heavy and not very fast. At this price, full frame users aren't going to find anything better, and APS-C users won't complain too much either. Personally, I would like a see a new Sony lens based on this design and zoom range, with the same center and edge sharpness at a constant f2.8 apeture, with SSM and a reduced MFD. Then Sony could justifying putting on the G badge, and jacking the price way up to the $1000 level.
reviewer#6373 date: Nov-11-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
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:Beercan
Min 35-105
G's & CZ's
price paid:Approx $350
positive:Build (if you like weight)
Range of focal length
negative:Overall less than expected
comment:I'm on my third copy of this lens and I'm giving up. The first two were not bad but not great in color and sharpness. Of course they had flare problems under the right conditions and I did find some distortion but not bad. The current copy is in the best shape cosmetically and the glass is clean. However, its not as sharp as one of my previous copies and the colors lean toward simply dull.
reviewer#6364 date: Nov-10-2009
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 own this lens
compared to:- Sigma 28-70/2.8
- Tamron 17-50/2.8
- Minolta 24-105/3.5-4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:- Sharp!
- Build like a tank
negative:- Weight like a tank
- Slow
- Pronounced distortion
comment:It's heavy!! It's massive!

I might not have the best copy, the zoom is not very smooth anymore and macro mode is sticky. Also I discovered the distortion is quite big, but maybe unfairly compared to my macro's.

I was amazed by some sdamples I saw on the web and bought it quickly. Now I hardly use it because I grab my macro when I need sharpness and use my Minolta for better speed and ADI flash.
reviewer#6257 date: Oct-22-2009
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 28-85mm
tamron 17-50mm
price paid:250 USD
positive:great build
great colours
Sharp
negative:horrible flare
minimum focus distance
28mm is not wide on APS-C
comment:I bought this lens over a year ago and love what it does. Sure it has it's warts like the size, weight and minimum focus distance of about 6-7 feet. Pictures, especially portraits come out beautiful, there is something magical about the pictures it produces, especially between the 90-135mm. It is one of the few lenses I will never sell. I find the focus is a bit off when I stop it down past f5.6 (ie back focus). buy it if you can.
reviewer#6242 date: Oct-19-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
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 used to own this lens
compared to:28 - 85
price paid:gift with M.9000
positive:Colour
Bokeh
Distorsion
negative:Flare Issue
Weight
comment:One of the Minolta classics and my first lens that came with the Minolta 9000 :)
Okay, getting over sentimentals, back to business: It's a heavy lens and you may get the imperession, that it's a rigid lens, but the interior mechanics is sensitive, especially the diaphragm. You may get used to the focusing ring, which always scratched my finger, but in the 20 using years I got used to it and knew, where to place my hand...
Distorsion is great from 35 to 50 and 70 to 135 mm, in the other parts I observed pincushion distorsion, but not bad ones.
Which was difficult to handle (with the usage of several rolls of film...) was the flare, which tended to ruin some pictures; golden rule: Turn away from the sun...
I liked the range better than the 28-85, which was short some times, it's an ideal walkaround lens, especially if you work on fullframe, diital and/or film.
reviewer#6201 date: Oct-8-2009
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:Tokina AT-X pro 28-70 f2.6-2.8
Minolta 70-210 f4 (beercan)
minolta 20 f2.8
minolta 50 f1.7
minolta 100 f2
price paid:200 Euro (used)
positive:Sharpness
Colors
Build
All-round-qualities
quite good macro function
negative:minimum distance
indoor abilities
no hood: flare
weight (if that's an issue)
comment:If a perfect out-door all-round lens exists - this one gets close...

I just came back from one month of traveling in japan and this lens did such a great job, that I have to celebrate it here.

I used it practically every day for such different things as portrait, buildings, landscapes, street life, and close up macro-shots. No matter what I capture with this lens, it comes out razor sharp and with great colors - both wide open and stopped down. Even the macro function is surprisingly good - far better than just usable.

It's a heavy and well-build lens. Iron and glass - nothing else! But it is born without a hood, which can create flare in some direct-sun situations.

Apart from that, the only weak point of this lens is its indoor abilities. With its minimum distance of 1.5 meter, combined with f4-4.5, indoor shooting is clearly not what it is meant for.

But the minute you step out the door it creates miracles!

Get it if you can!
reviewer#6198 date: Oct-8-2009
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:
missing
price paid:400 (used)
positive:
missing
negative:Flare
comment:If you use the full frame camera or film camera, the flare is your biggest challenge!!! At 28mm, the big ruber hoods on ebay can not help you at all (IMO). On my A350, the hood is very useful for this lens.
reviewer#6170 date: Oct-3-2009
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:none
price paid:525 NGL
positive:Very reliable overall wide-zoom-macro, quickly sharp, fine color, renders stunningly back the live atmosphere in which a photo was taken.
negative:Some flare
comment:Twenty years ago I bought this lens secondhand for half the new price (525 guilders = about 240 EURO) from my student allowance. Ever since it remained my steady life-companion, being joined with two Minolta filmcamerabodies, the Sony a100 and since a few days the Sony a900. I may confess here, it is this lens that has made a photography-enthusiast out of me. In my studentdays I acquired the AF 28-135 with hardly any backgroundknowledge, just following the judgment of my own eyes (& the available money in my pocket). I wanted to have once and for all an allround zoomlens of high quality. (- I'm delighted to read the confirmations of this in this forum -). Well, this wish for sure has come true. With my a900 I'm entering complete new fields of photography (having switched from JPG to cRAW), but with each picture taken the real credits go to the Minolta AF 28-135. Reading all the complaints about heavy weight etc., I can only comment that I've never known otherwise. When I get a DSLR from friends in my hands, it's the lack of weight that begins to bother me... Probably I am the second owner of this lens, carrying it through Europe on countless travels. With the a900 the wonderful days of wideviewing Full Frame will be coming back. Just cannot wait to go out on holiday again!
At the beginning of 2010 I added a Hoya HD Filter CIR-PL 72 in front of the lens: much better contrast and much less flare&glare. With this unscratchable, undustable & unbreakable pola filter you can jump 25 years ahead in one leap. Before I tried out a rubber hood, which caused vignetting...
reviewer#6127 date: Sep-27-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 4
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-85
Minolta 24-85
Minolta 35-105
Tamron 17-50
price paid:Stole it (used)
positive:Sharp, good colors, low distortion. Fast AF, Non rotating front in AF, moderate apertures
negative:Front rotates when zooming, large heavy, Long minimum focus distance, no factory hood, large filter diameter. reversed focus and zoom rings
comment:Picked this lens up at a local camera shop. My copy has a bit stiff zoom from 70mm through 100mm and then is smooth again, but I've read on line that this lens may have some internal build issues. I've not really wrung this lens out in high contrast shooting but indications are it's sharp. Colors are typical of Minolta lenses. Not a lens that I want to carry around all day due to weight. It does make my A-700 with grip look huge. I couldn't see someone using it with the A-230 series bodies. The zoom range is nice but I'm not all that sure it's so far ahead of the 24-85RS / 28-85 / and 35-105 originals to justify the huge price difference (other than extended tele end) and the other lenses focus closer. If you can find one at a reasonable price it's another tool in the arsenal but I don't see were it's head and shoulders above other quality Minolta lenses of the same era, maybe I just need to work with it more as I just got it and did some quick Jpg shots around the yard. I have not tried macro with this lens and typically don't use macro in zooms since I have dedicated macro lenses.

Might be a good two lens set with the 100-300 series


Edit: I'm going to leave flare control rating were it is. This lens exhibits a bit more flare than I like. I will be looking to pick up a rubber collapsing hood
reviewer#6089 date: Sep-20-2009
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 100-300 APO D
KoMi 28-75 2.8 D
price paid:
missing
positive:- Sharp
- Colours
- Build
negative:- MFD (1,5 m)
- Prone to flare (no Hood included)
- Chunky
comment:I bought this lens 20 years ago and it costed me an arm and a leg. Since then it travelled with me around the world and there was never any glitch. It's build like a tank - IQ always has been top.

I now use it on my A700 - IQ is still tremendous. It' prone to flare, because Minolta never provided a hood for this gem. Focussing is up to date

Annoying is the MFD of 1.5 m.

Nevertheless: Sony should reanimate this legendary lens to digital standards (coating and MFD) - ok: it wont happen ...
reviewer#6083 date: Sep-19-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Min 28-85, Min 50, Min 35-105, Tam 17-50, Beercan
price paid:$225 CDN
positive:Sharp (I mean really sharp)
negative:Heavy
flare
comment:I bought this lens a few months ago as a result of reviews I read here. The first copy had a little spot that did not effect performance. I was able to acquire this lens, a Min 50 1.7 and a 7000 for $225 CDN. I sold the other copy. I used it a little on my 7D but it was too heavy for what I was doing at the time.
I used it on my A700 this week while doing some hiking and photography of some different rivers and waterfalls. I really see what this lens can do. I am really happy with the results.
The weight meant that at times I was choosing other options. I will now choose this lens whenever I can.

reviewer#6071 date: Sep-17-2009
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:35-70 Minolta f4, 28-85 Minolta f3.5,
17-210 Minolta f4, 50-f3.5 macro Minolta, 24-50 f4 Minolta, 50 mm 1.4 Minolta, and a few others as well.
price paid:$300 USD
positive:Very sharp
Great range
Fast Focus
Balances well on A900
Could be used wide open on APSC
negative:A touch bulky
Flare prone
Low contrast
Minimum focus distance is very limiting
comment:Up front I must make a point, all my lens testing is done in RAW, tripod mounted with precise exposures set using uni WB, and converted in Raw Developer, this method extracts every last bit of detail from an image file and shows up any problems quite obviously.

Make no mistake here unless you are using RAW and a decent convertor you will never know just how good this or pretty much any of the above lenses really are.

So how does this classic perform.

It is an utterly amazing lens, it is sometimes bettered at certain settings by some of the above but the key to this lens is consistency across the entire range.

If the lens were used on APSC one could truly shoot wide open at pretty much any focal length, full frame needs a bit of stopping down to get edges really sharp.

At 28 mm the full frame is critically sharp at f13, the edges get softer with each stop wider, diffraction is a minor issue at this aperture but things can easily be re-sharpened if needed. Of the above lenses the 24-50 may look just a little bit sharper at 28 mm but it is very very close.

35 mm performance is quite stellar, at at f8-11 is pretty much as sharp as one could hope for, it is better than all of the above lenses at this setting.

At 50 mm is performance is sharp across the entire frame even at fairly wide apertures, but its central resolution is not as tack sharp as the 35-70 or the 50 mm f3.5 macro. It should be noted though that at 50 mm the 35-70 is quite incredible and beats all other lenses bar the 50 mm f3.5 (but it comes very very close) I have said it before, if you need a 50 mm lens for your Sony bypass the fixed 50s and buy the 35-70 it is a better performer unless you really need wide apertures.

At 70 mm the 28-135 rocks, it creams the alternatives easily.

Above 85 mm it is a close call between the 70-210 and the 28-135, either will do the business and it should be noted that the 70-135 mm range is the optimum for the 70-210.

I could not use this a general purpose lens, it is a bit too heavy and the MFD is just too limiting, but that is what I have the 35-70 or 28-85 is for. But for landcsape work, and a whole array of jobs where close focusing is a non- issue the 28-135 is a very fine tool indeed.

Strangely I think it would make a better option for those who would other wise buy a 28 f2.8 or either of the 35 mm Minoltas as it seems to out-resolve them by a margin and as said the 50 mm setting is better than the f1.4 and way better than the f1.7. And the 70 mm setting rocks, so if you wanted to just cover the 28-70 mm range this is likely the optimum tool.

Contrast is low, but I feel this is a benefit as the files are very easy to tweak as a result, but out of the camera they can look a little flat. You definitely can not point it into the sun and expect anything reasonable.

The price for the lens seems high to many folk, but my feeling is that it is a bargain for what it can do. If a new lens were available that resolved across the range like this one the price would be sky high (like over $2500.00) and of course it would have higher contrast and better flare control.

reviewer#6056 date: Sep-15-2009
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:SAl 50 F/1.4
minolta Beercan 70-210 F/4
Sigma 18-125 3.5-5.6
price paid:300 Euro
positive:Build and performance
Sharp
True like reproduction
Natural color
negative:A little bit flare
comment:Fantastic build and IQ! It is a legend lens. Also an example of human innovation and quality control.

Many thanks to everybody here for your strong recommendations.

It is proved to be much flexible compared with the major primes with decent IQ. The macro is usable esp in 28mm range.It produced natural color than that of warm classic minolta such as beercan.The optical design philosophy of 1st generation of minolta lens is something different from modern one. I like the taste but can't tell in words.

My copy is surprisingly new. Maybe what I paid is more expensive than guys here. I am still happy with the my decision after use of half year.

I would like to keep it as my 7D daily lens. Were it possible for you to find one in decent price, don't miss it.
reviewer#6023 date: Sep-10-2009
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 own this lens
compared to:minolta 50 f;1/7 28:28 34-70 f:4 28-85,24-105,beercan,
big beercan,sigma 24-135, tamron 1 7-50, tamron 28-300
price paid:300 usd
positive:very sharp even at 135 mm
negative:contrast is not as good as
my tamron 17-50, but what a
sharp and colorful lens it is.
comment:This lens is incredible. For the first time i was sastified
almost totally with a lens. But minolta has produce others "secret handshake": marvelous 28-85,35-70 f:4,50 f;1/7,beercan and big beercan.
reviewer#5948 date: Aug-30-2009
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:Tamron 17-50mm
Sony 70-300G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp all around
negative:MFD
Not for low light
comment:When i bought this, I was completely skeptical of the hype. It felt cumbersome when i took it out of the box. What i did love when i took it out of the box was its huge front element. Absolutely sexy IMO.

I took it to a graduation shoot a few months back, and I was not impressed with the image quality. The graduation was obviously in poor light but I expected more due to the hype. I defaulted back on the Tamron for the f2.8.

Not having touched it for a few months (other than keeping it clean), I decided to put it through the tests yesterday to see if i should just sell this heavy glass for a hefty profit or keep for FF a8/9xx. I tested this against the Tamron and my Sony G 70-300mm, as i feel these lens give a good standard of my minimum sharpness requirements.

With an a700, I tested f4, f5.6, f8 from ranges of 28, 50, 70, 135mm during sunset and after sunset (to test low light) handheld & tripod, against a high contrast object at infinity. Results blew me away. The Minolta 28-135mm had sharper images all around with better color saturation. However, it was not sensitive to light contrast as the Tamron was through out the range. With the Tamron, areas of low light had better illumination in the final product. The Minolta yielded more "dark" areas. This explained why the graduation pictures from the 28-135 did not look good. However, the colors from this lens reminded me of my 35-105 Orig - was so saturated wonderful colors!

I will keep this lens for the rest of my life simply because it really is prime sharp stopped down. It was sharper than the 70300G and the Tamron 17-50mm. My only grip is the MFD. I love the weight even though it throws my a700 off balance. This will definitely be used on my FF when i get it.

I still need to test flare control as i have not had a good chance to do so. (Remains at 3 rating)
reviewer#5903 date: Aug-25-2009
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:Sony 18-70mm (kit lens)
Minolta 50mm
Minolta 70-210mm (beer can)
price paid:40 USD
positive:Sharp pictures
Good detail
Excellent colors
Well built
negative:Heavy
Light flair om lens.
Some hunting in low light.
comment:I had an opportunity to use this lens at a Weeding this past weekend. I used this lens for almost all the pictures I took. The range 28 - 135mm was the perfect range that I needed that day. I tried to start out with the kit lens. I was not pleased with the results. The lens did some hunting in low light, but other than that I was pretty pleased with the results. When I purchased this lens it came with 50mm and 70-210mm (beercan). All lens were in good condition. I thank God for the opportunity to get these three lens at that price.
reviewer#5871 date: Aug-19-2009
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 used to own this lens
compared to:* Sony 18-70 F3.5-5.6 (kit)
* Minolta AF 28-75 F2.8 D
* Minolta 50mm F1.7
* Sigma 18-50 F2.8 EX DC
price paid:
missing
positive:* Impressive build quality
* Long range
* Very sharp wide open < 100mm
* Odd but fun 1:4 "macro" mode at 28mm
negative:* CA
* Flare (and no hood)
* Poor minimum focal distance (1.5m)
* Hype has driven the price too high (over 300 USD)
* Not as sharp wide open > 100mm
* Heavier and bulkier than modern lenses
comment:I bought this lens (in well-used condition) by accident on ebay. Despite an ugly exterior, the optics seem to be nearly flawless. I hear that this lens can have build quality issues, but my copy doesn't.

A better body might need stopping down throughout the range for optimal sharpness, but under 100mm it out-resolves the A200 sensor. Beyond that some softness is visible, but stopped down 1 stop it beats the A200 sensor again.

Colors are "classic Minolta." Images have the same "feel" as those taken with the 50mm prime (similar bokeh, similar colors).

The lens can flare, and it didn't have a hood. CA is problematic - I commonly see purple fringing in high contrast areas. Stopping down just a little helps.

Dedicated macro at 28mm is odd, but I've found it surprisingly useful. It allows for some creative shots, and in some cases it can be used to work around the nasty 1.5m MFD.

The filter ring rotates on zoom, but not on focus (the focus ring is near the body). AF is as fast and accurate as any on my A200, though I hear a "knocking" sound when it operates (could be my copy).

If you get a good copy for $200 or less, it's a great value and worth every penny. But if you're looking at $300 or more, the choice is less clear to me. "Like a G" claims aside, this lens has some drawbacks compared to modern lenses.

It's got a great range for full-frame, but it's heavy and slow relative to modern glass. I think the market for this lens is somewhat limited - the range is problematic on APS/C, and I have to think that anybody who can afford a 2000 USD+ full frame body will be willing to spend more on a modern replacement that will perform better.

** Update 5/2010: I recently sold this lens after realizing I almost never used it any more. It's a great performer, but its limitations add up, and on APS-C I just prefer smaller lenses with wider FOVs
reviewer#5715 date: Jul-17-2009
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:370 USD
positive:Razor sharp
Excellent color
Build quality
Weight
negative:
missing
comment:with Hoya digital filter and hood no flare and CA
reviewer#5709 date: Jul-16-2009
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:C.Z. 24-70 f2.8 SSN
price paid:250 EURO (used)
positive:Very very sharp, fantastic "Minolta colors", great buid.
negative:minimum focus distance
comment:This is a great lens, perfect for my A900!
It's very sharp, even wide open, and has the best "Minolta colors" I've ever seen! Flare is not a problem. The only little problem is the minimum focus distance: 1,5m
reviewer#5691 date: Jul-12-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 1
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 used to own this lens
compared to:KM 28-75/2.8 D
KM 24-105/3.5-4.5 D
Minolta 85/1.4
CZ 85/1.4
price paid:EUR 250
positive:Build qualitiy
Sharpness center to edge
Minolta colours
Nice long range
negative:Prone to flare and no dedicated hood
Rather long minimal focus distance
Very heavy
comment:I got really interested in the lens after reading a review at www.artaphot.ch (see links page for this lens), comparing this 28-135 with a few G- and CZ-lenses.

I must say I can only confirm the very positive results as reflected in above review.

I does not have an f/1.4 or 2.8 available, but it does perform extremely well when used wide open througout the range. Never needs to be stopped down to provide nicely sharp images, and always giving the known Minolta colours.
Also, build quality is superior to the newer 28-75, 24-105, 16-105 and 18-250. Hardly anything but metal and glass has been used.

On the downside, and as obvious consequence of the above, the lens is heavier and less compact than the more recent "standard allrounds"... In addition, the minimal focus distance is long, contrast is low and there is a high risk of flare.

Its range suits me very well. I was used to having the 28-75 as standard zoom, and the additional 75-135 range is very usefull. I personally prefer that over a 16-80 alternative.

This type of lens obviously was known very well by Minolta users and it seems a lot of copies have been used extensively. It also took me two tries to get a good copy.

In meantime, I have replaced this one by a Tamron 24-135 for use on my a900
reviewer#5609 date: Jun-29-2009
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:The entire minolta line...
price paid:150.00
positive:Nice all around lens
negative:CA!!!!
FLARE!!
Minimum Focus Distance
comment:For some reason I seem to find this lens on my camera quite a bit..It works fairly well in most applications and offers a nice zoom range on the "C" sensor.

The colors are true to Minolta and thats probably the best feature of the lens. The purple fringing is almost unbearable. Also prone to flare like everyone says...if your aware of it while shooting its usually not an issue..

Descent all around lens...
reviewer#5419 date: May-21-2009
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 100mm Macro F2.8
Minolta 28-135mm F4.0-4.5 XX's Crossed
Minolta 135mm F2.8
Minolta 70-210mm F4.0
Minolta 50mm F1.7
Minolta 100-200mm F4.5
Minolta 35-105mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 28-85mm F3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-70mm F4.0
Sigma 35-135mm 3.5-4.5
Minolta 100-300mm APO F4.5-5.6
Sony 18-70mm F3.5-5.6
price paid:390 USD (used)
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#5384 date: May-14-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:- 16-80/3.5-4.5za
- 24-105/3.5-4.5 (Minolta and Sony)
- 24-70/2.8za
- 35-70/4
price paid:400$ (used)
positive:+ Great resolution from 28 to 100mm.
+ Very good colors an bokeh.
+ Great range for outdoor.
+ fast AF
negative:- Softness from 100 to 135mm.
Flare.
- Bad edge sharpness on A900.
- Rotating front element on zooming (so hard to use CPL and gradient filters).
- No hood.
- Hard to find in good conditions.
comment:i think that minolta 28-135/4-4.5 is the best full frame travel zoom suitable for A-mount at this moment. Because it have great image quality from wide open at the range 28-~100mm (colors, contrast, bokeh) all in one except edges of full frame images (no noticeable on APS-C cameras). In most of aspects of image quality it's better than 24-85/3.5-4.5, 24-105/3.5-4.5, 35-70/4.

But for me on APS-C 16-80za is much more versatile lens.

28-135/4-4.5 is not ideal lens.
Lens is big such 24-70za (except filter diameters 72mm vs 77mm). Lens does not have original hood and flare are noticeable often. Front element rotates on zooming (not focusing) but use CPL and gradient filters is not ideal. Focusing ring rotates than AF works. At 100-135mm visible softness and contrast loosing, but this range usable for portrait from wide open.

If you can live with this issues 28-135/4-4.5 is great choice and pick pick up it if You find it in MINT conditions.
reviewer#5379 date: May-13-2009
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:Sony 16-105
Sigma 17-70
Min 135/2.8
Min 100/2
Min 50/1.7
Min 35/2
price paid:
missing
positive:Range at long end.
Sharpness, colour.
Smooth Minolta look of images.
Quick focussing.
Price.
negative:Min focus distance.
Flare.
comment:This is a nice alternative to newer lenses, including more expensive ones. It stands up quite well against my Minolta primes at similar apertures on apsc. On full-frame, it gets challenged and the corners start to reveal some softness. (Sharpness is 4 on FF, and 4.5 on apsc). I've had two copies and used it on apsc and full-frame. Nice bokeh at long end. The autofocus is really quick on a700 and a850. The best general purpose range for full-frame out there. It really has a nice, natural, smooth look to the images, but you do need to manage how you shoot it.

It is very prone to flare, and needs to be carefully managed when shooting towards the sun, unless you want flare look, then you've got your baby. The minimum focus distance is long, so it's better suited to outdoor shooting; and it has an interesting macro mode if you need it in a pinch. It is a bit loud as it snaps into focus, which might be an issue at an event where noise was a concern; but no more obtrusive than an SLR shutter snap. It is also a heavy lens and I do feel the weight of it over time – I think particularly because it is front heavy. I don't know why Sony doesn't pick up this formula and modernize it. They'd kill in the full-frame arena.
reviewer#5263 date: Apr-20-2009
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:Minolta 70-210mm f/4
Minolta 100mm f/2.8 Macro
Minolta 50mm f/1.4
price paid:250 CHF
positive:Sharpness
Color
Bokeh
Focal Range
Zoom ring
Fast AF
negative:Heavy
MFD
Filter size
Back focus
comment:This is a great all-round lens in my opinion. It focuses fast, although i think that the back-focus is inconvenient even though it allows use of special filters since the front element doesn't rotate.
Sharpness and color are classical Minolta, and I like how the zoom ring locks at both ends of the range.
The macro function I rarely use. I find it better to use a dedicated macro lens.

In all, a recommended all-round lens if you can live with the weight and MFD. In my opinion the IQ easily overcomes those "problems".
reviewer#5239 date: Apr-14-2009
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:Big Beercan
Sony 55-200
price paid:$330
positive:-Great Minolta Color
-Very well built
-Fast rear focusing
negative:-None really. I guess its perfomance in low-light. Not too good, but, then again, not what it was made for
comment:Best lens i own, bar none. I just love the color and sharpness of the images this lens produces. This lens is easily worth more than what i paid for. Long live Minolta's legacy
reviews found: 194    << 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 194
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 4.82
  • build: 4.79
  • distortion: 4.42
  • flare control: 3.45
  • overall: 4.42

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