Minolta AF 135mm F2.8 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 136    << 1 2 3 4 5 >>
reviewer#9066 date: May-30-2011
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:24mm f2.8
50mm f1.8
18-250mm zoom
price paid:
missing
positive:Great Prime!
Quick to focus
Small size & light weight
Well made
negative:Slight CA wide open; but can correct PP
comment:Bought this to match A55 for a lightweight setup.

Highly recommended for those who
(a) Must have lightest setup
(b) Can live with primes and without zooms
reviewer#8878 date: Apr-6-2011
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:- T 90 2,8
- M 50 1,7
- beercan
price paid:180 EUR
positive:- sharp
- small and light
negative:- mfd?
comment:Bought it from someone who sold his a900 and said it was too long for the aps-c cameras.

Got a copy in mint condition, the lens is amazing! Size is almost like the 50mm 1,7 just a bit longer. Build is flawless.

Sharpness is on par with my Tammy 90 and that would be the sharpest lens I have.

On full frame this is a must-have. As I don't own a 70-200 2.8 zoom I will use this beauty excessively in the next period. Don't know if it gets redundant once you have a 2.8 long zoom, but I guess I'll keep it even then.

Minimum focus distance is sth. like 1 m which is a bit long in some cases.

EDIT: This lens produces contrast and colors like no other lens I had before. It took some time to use it to figure out how much I can get out of the RAW files shot on the a900 with LR, the results are stunning and look like commercial shots. Makes me want to get the 70-200 2.8 from Sony as I guess this is what you get.
reviewer#8847 date: Mar-29-2011
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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:Sigma 70-200
Tamron 70-200
Sony 70-200
Sony 70-300
Minolta 70-210 (not beercan)
price paid:210 GBP used
positive:Sharp as a tack
tiny
solidly built
Very fast focus
Very accurate focus
TINY!!
negative:small focus ring
suppose you could easily lose it
comment:I love this lens. I nearly sold it a few weeks ago but so pleased I didn't. It's a lens I rarely use, but am so pleased I still have it in my bag. It takes great photos and is only made redundant by the 70-200. It is sharp wide open although it does suffer a little from CA.

For the price you really can't go wrong.

It's a tiny tiny lens and built like a tank. The only weakness would be the pull out hood, but despite it's delicate feel it hasn't broken and it's how old?

So if you get a chance buy this; it's a great lens for the camera and a great lens for the collection. Well worth the money and cracking lens for the one prime challenges.
reviewer#8634 date: Feb-7-2011
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:
missing
price paid:225 Euro(used mint)
positive:Light
Small
Fast AF
Sharp
negative:Imbedded lens hood to small for my taste
MFD a little too long
comment:As everyone was saying such positive things about this lens I decided to try one.
Everything which was written is true but as I'm not a people photographer I didn't fall in love with lens and sold it to someone who could make better use of it.
reviewer#8460 date: Dec-28-2010
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:Sigma 70-200 EX II HSM
price paid:220 EUR
positive:+ sharp
+ relatively small
+ light
+ fast AF
negative:- flare & ghosting
comment:This is another gem from Minolta.
My copy does seem to suffer a bit from front-focus issues or something similar and it's not sharp anywhere at hard stop infinity (it's sharp if I MF it almost to infinity), but since I mostly use it indoors for candid portraits and stage shooting with available light it doesn't bother me too much.

The coatings it has are obviously a joke (but I guess it was normal for the 80's when this was being made), since I've gotten ghosts in images simply from brass objects being lit directly by the sun.
Flare is a problem too. I've recently tried to take some photos of a rather impressing sunset, and even though the colors are perfect, I have "multiple" suns and flares all over the scene.

This focal length, speed and size/weight can't be beat I guess. If you find one, get it!
reviewer#8421 date: Dec-19-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.9
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:MAF 70-210/3.5-4.5
Samyang 85/1.4
price paid:330 USD (used)
positive:F/2.8 very useful
pleasant color
acceptable sharpness
not heavy
very fast AF
negative:CA sometimes appear (wide open),
rare, hard to find in good condition
comment:Good portait lens on a900/850. It is also useful in other shallow DOF applications. Auto focus is really fast.
reviewer#8373 date: Dec-8-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:SAL 50 F1.4
price paid:300 USD (Used)
positive:Sharp even at F2.8
Light Weight
Fast AF
Great & Smooth Bokeh
negative:Color Fringe visible at F2.8
comment:
missing
reviewer#8265 date: Nov-17-2010
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:minolta 100/2
price paid:
missing
positive:small
light enougth
negative:nothing
comment:very good for portrait on FF (A900)
very interesting on A700 but maybe a little to long for APS-C

a good old minolta lens
reviewer#7965 date: Sep-13-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 85mm f/1.4
Sony 50mm f/1.4
Minolta 28-135mm f/4-4.5
price paid:275 CAN (used)
positive:Sharpness wide open
Saturated colors
very light
fast autofocus
very good contrast
negative:build quality could be better
Don't like the build-in lens hood
very small purple fringing wide open
comment:It's been one week since I bought this lens and I am slowly learning to love it. Sharpness wide open is very good. Autofocus is fast and accurate. The colors are rich and saturated and it's a joy to use because it's so light. I would highly recommend this lens to anyone interested in this focal lenght but dosen't have the money for the zeiss. The is some purple fringing wide open but it desappear when you stop down to 3.5. But, you don't have to be afraid of the fringing; it's only noticable if you pixel peep.
reviewer#7937 date: Sep-4-2010
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:Zony 135/1.8
Min 28-135/4+
price paid:usd 200 used
positive:Small size
Minolta colors
simplicity
negative:A little old now
comment:A few months ago I tested these three lenses together, with and without a cirpol and then a Moose's warm filter, and then pixel-peeped, for the purpose of persuading myself to sell the two old Mins. I failed. They are different from the Zeiss. The small, handy, simple, 55mm filter 135 is marginally more acute than the 28-135, and clearly less so than the edgy Zeiss. But the overall quality of the image is so high that one doesn't begrudge the occasional edge softness.

And the colors! Yesterday I read an old article by David Kilpatrick that stated older Minolta lenses were "color-matched" in their lacquers so that they'd all react to a CC filter in the identical way. And it shows in what I think of as consistent Minolta color -- darker than Zeiss, more saturated perhaps than reality, but giving the image on later review an element of memory..."ah,yes, that's just how it was..."

The Min 135 is a lens to keep in your pocket always and, in my world, the perfect companion to my 35/2RS. Between them, they can do everything exceedingly well even though, on MTF and Imatests, they are far from perfect. They are light, small, useful, useable, simple and enjoyable lenses that make one focus on the subject, not the machinery.
reviewer#7636 date: Jun-28-2010
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 70-200
BEERCAN
BBC
KM 28-75
price paid:$300
positive:SHARP
SMALL SIZE
FAST AF
BOKEH
negative:HARD TO FIND ONE REALLY

comment:LENS DOES WHAT YOU EXPECT. FAST AF, NICE BOKEH, SHARP, AND IN A VERY SMALL PACKAGE. FOUND ON CRAIGSLIST AND HESITATED TO BUY IT. POUND FOR POUND MAYBE AS GOOD A LENS AS YOU CAN GET. GREAT CANDID PORTRAIT LENS. DOES NOT DRAW ATTENTION BUT ON APC IT IS A 200 2.8. (POCKET ROCKET FOR SURE)
reviewer#7481 date: May-25-2010
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:50 F/1.4
28-135
Tokina (Bokina) 90mm F/2.5 Macro (MF)
price paid:30 euro (no typo)
positive:Sharp wide open.
Extremely sharp above F/3.5.
Compact size.
Build quality.
negative:None.
comment:Wow, this is one incredible lens, especially for portraits. It has a very good build and is perfectly compact on my 7D. IQ is amazing. Pictures have a fantastic 3D feel to them and the bokeh is very smooth and creamy (by far the best of my AF lensen, only beaten by the Tokina macro which is exceptional). Sharpness full open is already very good and gets extremely good stopped down a tad. Also sharp in the edges and lots of micro detail available.

Bought this one in a set together with a 35-105 N and Sigma 50mm macro for 50 euro of a guy who didn't know it fits a digital body (my copy has some very small dots of fungus which is barely visible and certainly not on photos). Sold the 35-105 for 50 euro and gave the macro to my dad to play with. So basically got this beauty for free.
reviewer#7460 date: May-21-2010
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 105/2.8, Minolta 28-135
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, Colors
negative:Nothing
comment:
missing
reviewer#7399 date: May-4-2010
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:km 85/1.4
sony 70-300g
price paid:230 EUR
positive:size
focusing speed
focusing accuracy
bokeh
sharpness stopped down
negative:purple fringing wide open
comment:a lens that i intend to sell, but just can't bring myself to do it.

it doesn't draw much attention, has a fluffy bokeh, focuses very quickly. it's great for candids, or portraits from across the room for those that get shy if a dslr is shoved into their face. there's a small amount of purple fringing wide open. sharpness is ok at 2.8, and very sharp from 4. i don't hesitate using it at 2.8.

i intend to sell it, because i don't use it that much. but when it's on the camera, it never disappoints, and is a joy to use.
reviewer#7350 date: Apr-25-2010
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210mm f/4
price paid:
missing
positive:+Smooth and faithful colour rendering
+Soft and buttery bokeh
+Fast AF speed
+Convenient hood that works
+Compact and light (the pocket rocket)
negative:-Noticeable purple fringing @2.8
-Some longitudinal CA (green bokeh CA)
-Rare!
comment:This lens was obviously made to shoot portraits and boy does it do it well. The way it renders images is simply phenomenal with its colours, bokeh, and just the right amount of sharpness.

Contrast is a bit low at f/2.8 but firms up by f/4 where image quality pretty much maxes out and all fringing issues are gone. Though the sweet spot is f/3.5 where the balance between bokeh and resolution is ideal.

Great value too!
reviewer#7315 date: Apr-19-2010
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:Sony 50mm f1.4
Minolta 28-135mm
Takumar 135mm f2.5
price paid:Ł190
positive:Compact
Pull out hood
negative:
missing
comment:Sharp-ish wide open but gets sharper quickly. Pocket sized which is useful. Very useful at social events for candids.
reviewer#7277 date: Apr-12-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:
missing
price paid:320USD
positive:Very sharp
Fast AF for the type of Lens
Minimum Focus lower than counterpart
negative:Could do very well without the built in hood makes the metal lens feel flimsy plus i dislike pulling it out of my shootsac.
comment:I have not yet tested this lens in low light to talk about its sharpness at larger apertures though at 3.5 i see very nice bokeh and very good IQ. The only complaint i have is the built in hood. In all honesty it is a 20 year old lens and it has not shown any signs of damage yet so its more aesthetic my personal dislike of this feature.
reviewer#7219 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta 35-105 F3.5-4.5 Old)
Minolta 70-210 F4
CZ 85 F1.4
Sony 100 F2.8 Macro
price paid:GBP 230 I think
positive:+ Fastest AF of all my lenses
+ Very compact and lightweight
+ Love the sliding hood
+ Lovely colour, esp. skintones, makes ideal for portraits.
+ Best bokeh of all my lenses except CZ85

+ Sharpness good wide open, certainly for portrait can use wide open without hesitation
negative:- Doesn't seem to improve in sharpness when stopped down like other lenses. Beercan may be as sharp or sharper by F8.
- Not circular aperture
- Some CA/purple fringing
- I don't use it as often as I should
comment:I love this lens for portraits, candids at parties etc. The AF speed really is great, so much faster than CZ85 means it's a better choice if your subject is moving.

Wide open, as sharp as 100 Macro!

Out of 158 photos with this lens in my Lightroom catalogue, 118 were taken at f/2.8, this is where the lens excels. If you stop down to F/5.6 or F/8 then there is no real advantage over 28-135 zoom...

Hard to take a bad picture with this lens. I will make a vow to use it more often :-)
reviewer#7215 date: Apr-1-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:70-210 f4 beercan
price paid:250 Euro
positive:light
small
built-in hood
negative:not the chick-magnet some would want it to be
comment:I was able to buy a mint copy of this great little lens. It showed up for sale at the time I was thinking to buy one. 250 Euro seems a lot but I didn't want to save money and wait to buy a CZ.
reviewer#7180 date: Mar-28-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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:CZ 135mm f1.8
NIKON 135 f2.8.
price paid:US$ 100
positive:Light to carry, Is very light and handsome as a 200 f2.8 on my APS-C 7D.
negative:nothing yet
comment:Have had this one for years. On my 7D it is very good, gives me nice picktures. Had the opportunity to take some test picktures with both CZ 135 and this on my A900; The CZ is clearly sharper, but this little gem has still good contrast and at 13mpx on my A900 it works well stepped down to F5.6. Wide open it is not so sharp specially in cornes, and it gives vignetting.

Compared to the NIKON 135 f2.8 non AI + D700, it is not as sharp at 2.8, but stepped down they are more equal.

Not preferred on A900 at highest resolution.

reviewer#7178 date: Mar-28-2010
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:50mm F1.4
100mm F2.8
price paid:399 €
positive:+ Sharp as hell
+ Light and small
+ Built like a tank
+ Awesome bokeh
+ Amazing colors
negative:Extremely rare
comment:If you say the lens is soft, then there is something wrong with your version or you don't know how to focus.
Last summer I took some handheld pictures from the side of the road (taking a picture of some wild flowers) for testing the lens in a different environment.
When I got home and loaded the pictures to my PC & zoomed in I couldn't believe my eyes. So many details, sharpness and what color. That was almost better than my Minolta 100mm F2.8 macro lens.
This lens and the 50mm F1.4 are still the only ones in my camera bag. They follow me where ever I go. I'm still in love with this lens. These "Pocket Rockets" (as they are called) are extremely rare now a days and the price goes up for every second. If you can effort it, then don't hesitate for a second.
reviewer#7177 date: Mar-28-2010
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 70-210mm F4
Minolta 75-300mm F45.-5.6
Sony 75-300mm
price paid:220 CAD
positive:Light, fast
negative:CA shows up on mine at times
comment:Light, fast lense good for candid shots. Almost too fast - getting speeds up to 4000 at ISO 100 on bright days if wide open. Only problem I've noticed so far is CA. Not the sharpest on an A850 when shot as 24Mp and viewing at full pixel.
reviewer#7040 date: Mar-9-2010
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:beercan
minolta 80-200/2,8 APO
sony 18-250
price paid:230 euros used
positive:fast focus
small and light
very sharp at f4
colors and contrast
negative:purple fringing at 2.8
diaphragm not circular
comment:Great portrait lens! Very fast and accurate focus, good colors, bokeh is good (beercan like) but not as good as minolta 80-200/2,8, all in a very lightweight package. Sharpness is acceptable at 2,8, where the bokeh is the most pleasant (round highlights, if you stop just 1/3 of a stop, 7 sided polygons appear), and improves upon stopping down.
As this is not an APO design, purple fringing is rather pronounced at large apertures, but is mostly gone by f5,6.
All in all, a very nice outdoors portrait lens, also great for street photography. The picture it produces are very similar to those of the beercan, but with more pop, better sharpness and marginally better bokeh. It is however in every way optically surpassed by 80-200/2,8, (except min focus distance), but they are not in the same league, nor do they cost the same price...
reviewer#6994 date: Mar-4-2010
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 af 50 f1,7 RS
Minolta af 35-105 N
Minolta af 70-210 (beercan)
Sony SAL 1870
Sony SAL 75300
price paid:250 €
positive:+ sharp as hell
+ light and small
+ nice bokeh
+ great colours

o af is ok
negative:none so far
comment:This is an awsone portrait lens. I used it in low light, outside and inside with and without flash and it's sharp in every situation. Can't tell the sharpness stopped down to more than 10, but who does shooting portraits. Grab one if you can, this is a cute little lens.
reviewer#6988 date: Mar-3-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:Beercan, Sony 50 1.4, Sony 70-300G, Tamron 17-50 2.8
price paid:300€ mint
positive:Very light, very small, very good build, very good optical quality. Built in lens hod. AF decently fast.
negative:2.8: Strong CA and flares that deteriorate very much the imagen shotting in jpg (without problems in raw and overexposing). Tiny focus ring, and moves during AF.
comment:I like very much its size, weight, build and hood, and is very easy isolate the subjet of the background with this lens.

What about sharpness? In jpg: Very good f4, and excellent f5.6, but its 2.8 is bad with CA problems. Overexposing and shooting in raw You´ll have very good quality at any aperture. It´s a common problem in old lenses...
reviewer#6790 date: Jan-21-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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:
missing
price paid:360 USD
positive:Sharp at 3.5
perfect color
Fast AF
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#6752 date: Jan-15-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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:I think I've owned ALL (then perhaps sold some) of the Minolta Consumer lenses by now!
PENTAX 135 2.8 Manual focus on the A350 w/adaptor
price paid:310 USD
positive:Sharp as all hell at 2.8!!!
Nice and light
Hood *works*!
negative:Not a sharp lens at F8+ like some others
comment:So...this lens. Where do I start?

I generally concur with the comments below. I think I'm a big under-educated on this one since it's specifically a "portrait lens" and I'm not traditinally a portrait photographer. But I think that means that it's supposed to be somewhat softer and nicer in bokeh and also able to shoot good stuff at 2.8 - it's lowest F-stop. Stop me if I'm going off track here...

So going with those thoughts. It's GREAT at stealing shots across a pretty darkened (by photographic standards) room at ISO 100! Not familiar territory for me. Candid shots of my 7 month old and wife (breast feeding even) are easy and they never really know - as not to ruin the shot.

That's all I'll say. I don't want to dis the lens and say that it disappointed my beyond the lower F-stops compared to my tack-sharp PENTAX 135 manual or other Minolta primes...this thing holds it's own at 2.8 and for that I'm grateful - especially at this price!!!!

-Shootist
reviewer#6675 date: Jan-3-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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:Sony 16-105
Sigma EX DG 24-70/2.8
Beercan
Minolta 100-300 APO
price paid:140 USD ebay
positive:Compact size for 2.8 tele
Minolta colors
Sharp sharp
negative:manual focus ring
comment:These rare beauties are worth every penny and especially when you only pay pennies on ebay. The compact size is amazing if you need a 2.8 tele so this is a must for travelers to cover indoor. Stopped down, this lens is incredibly sharp but also usable at 2.8. The built-in sliding shade is not enough for bright sun at times and the manual focus ring is very small and positioned oddly. Bokeh is fair so portrait useful. Will keep for FF someday. These are hard to find so pick one up if you can.
reviewer#6404 date: Nov-17-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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:Tam 90 2.8
Min 50 1.7
Sony 50 1.4
price paid:400 CAD$
positive:Size
Price
Sharpness
Color
and of course, the bokeh
negative:the lens barrel is, like the 50 1.7, a little plasticky
comment:This lens is getting rarer every day.
It is so cute. It is small in size but big on performace.
I love its color and bokeh the most.
It is sharp wide open and dangerously so f4 and beyond.

If you do portrait, try to get your hand on this rare lens.
reviewer#6332 date: Nov-5-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
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 70-210/4
Cosina 100/3.5 Macro
Minolta 100/2.8 Macro
Minolta 85/1.4
Sigma 100-300/4
Sigma 180/3.5 Macro
price paid:110 €
positive:- very small
- light
- sharp
- very sharp stopped down
- nice characteristics
- fast AF
- 55 mm filter
- built in (small) lens hood
negative:- low contrast when light source within frame (sun)
- bigger, external lens hood advisable
- aperture blades not rounded
- CA in OOF-areas
- manual focus not very useful
comment:I bought this lens for portrait work and like the characteristics of the in-focus and out-of-focus-areas.

Sharpness: Ok für portraits wide open, good slightly stopped down (>4), very sharp at medium apertures (5.6 - 11)

Color: Minolta-like, very good for portrait work, good for landscape, medium für scientific and city pictures

Build: Very good, all metal, solid, strong, but sensitive front lens. No problem when used with fixed lens hood, but use a lens cap when you put it in your bag.

Distortion: I have never noticed any

Flare: Losing contrast when the sun is shining onto the front lens.

AF: Fast, not silent, sounds a little bit crappy

Bokeh: Very nice at every Aperture, especially between 3.2 and 5.6.

CA: Bokeh-CA. No problem foe me, but slightly out of focus hair has coloured halos around it. Doesn't look nice at 100%

Digital B/W-photography: Very usable. Bokeh, contrast and sharpnes looks very good in B/W

Manual focus: small focus ring, very fast, not damped. Manual focussing is not easy. This is not an MF-lens. The 135/2.8(4.5) STF is very good and the 100/2.8 macro is ok for mf, but most other first-generation-lenses are terrible mith MF.

Compared to:
- 70-210/4 Beercan: Very similar but better in every(!) aspect
- Cosina 100/3.5 Macro: less sharp, more CA, less contrast, faster AF, nicer, less neutral Bokeh
- Minolta 100/2.8 Macro: same als Cosina, but the Minolta macro's bokeh is similar to the 135/2.8
- Minolta 85/1.4: Well, believe it or not, in my opinion, these two lenses are very similar for portrait work. I use and like both of them. Aperture and focal length is different, but the characteristics are similar. I use both.
- Sigma 100-300/4: It is almost as sharp wide open, as sharp stopped down, less CA, but has a worse OOF-characteristic
- Sigma 180/3.5 Macro: Same as Sigma 100-300/4 but sharper, nicer bokeh, less CA, but still worse portrait characteristic than the cheaper 135/2.8

I use the metal lens hood Minolta 80-200/4.5. It fits very well, looks good and ist well built. When you own a 135/2.8, buy a lens hood. It's not expensive. Many old lens hoods fit very good.
reviews found: 136    << 1 2 3 4 5 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 136
  • sharpness: 4.70
  • color: 4.92
  • build: 4.68
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.45
  • overall: 4.73

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