Minolta AF 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 111    << 1 2 3 4 >>
reviewer#8591 date: Jan-29-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70 kit
price paid:68 USD used
positive:Sharp
Color
Build
negative:Nothing for me
comment:My copy is sharp enough even wide open. Something like beercan.
I bought it instead of kit 18-70 to use it outdoors at close distance. It fully coincideв with my awaitings: sharp and pleasant colors.
reviewer#8431 date: Dec-21-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 35-70mm f4
Min 35-105mm f3.5-4.5
Sony 18-55mm
Sony 18-70mm
price paid:£50
positive:Cheap
Range
negative:Mine broke (but I fixed it)
comment:My first Minolta lens, good performer compared against both Sony lens. Mine broke, a zoom screw came out but thanks to instructions on web, I managed to fix it. Any lens you can fix yourself is great!
reviewer#8306 date: Nov-26-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 1
overall: 3.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-70 kit lense
price paid:45 pounds
positive:sharpness
build
price
macro
negative:flare
focus a bit slow
comment:I bought this on a well known auction site for 45pounds on the reviews from this site,and i dont regret a penny of it,every image is pin sharp,the colours are lovely and it just feels right on my sony a300.it is a bit slow to focus but i have tested it for 4 days now and its just spot on in my oppinion,the zoom is just buttery and i think i have got lucky and got a good one.if you havent got one,get it before the price goes up,you wont regret it!!!!!!
reviewer#8122 date: Oct-20-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28mm f2.8
Minolta 35-70 f4.0
Minolta 28-135mm
price paid:45 USD (ebay)
positive:AF speed
AF accuracy
great for portraits
excellent build
Minolta colors
negative:flare
comment:Generally, my comments echo those of other reviewers, but one addition I would make is the usefulness of this lens for portraiture. I was doing some family portraits one day and tried this lens on a whim. I own most of the inexpensive Minolta lenses (no G's) and I have tried them all on my a700. I have found that this lens is absolutely perfect for my portraiture. At f4.5, it is just slightly soft enough to make PP easy. If I'm doing a "character" portrait where facial lines are important, I just remove a ND filter and stop down to f8.0.

The colors are Minolta and the bokeh is great with painted or natural backgrounds. One thing that may help others is to use a "beercan" lens shade to help with flare. I do quite a few "high key" outdoor portraits using backlighting and this sun shade solves many of the problems. While this lens has flaws that can be solved with a big bankroll of cash, for me, the flaws become advantages.
reviewer#8119 date: Oct-19-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 2
overall: 4.3
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70mm f4
Sony 18-55mm Kit Lens
Horrid flare
price paid:$75
positive:Great Minolta Colors.
Solid Metal Construction.
Sharp Macro.
Creamy bokeh.
negative:A little on the heavy side.
Not good for low lighting indoor situations.
Macro at 28mm
comment:I have had this lens for a few months and this is my current walk around lens. This lens is great for outdoor and well lit shots. Indoor shots I find that I have to use a flash to get decent shots or swap over to my Minolta 50mm f/1.7. Indoor shots without flash in lower light seems to produce grainy pics regardless of how I setup the camera. My copy seems to be sharpest stopped down a little.

AF is not the fastest but it isn't that slow either. It can have a tendency to hunt in lower light situations. I have also noticed that my copy doesn't seem to work well with the SteadyShot OS on my A330 that well.

This lens is not good with flare. If you have any direct light it shows a lot of flare. I don't have a hood to see if that will help but without one, it is bad.

Overall this is a good replacement lens for either of the Sony kit lenses if you are on a budget. If you have some extra cash to throw around on a lens, I would recommend moving up to the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 as it produces much better results.

As a side note, I have noticed that getting a good copy of this lens is hard to do. Not really sure why that it. I do have another one in pieces trying to figure out why the zoom is locked up in it.
reviewer#8118 date: Oct-19-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Tokina 28-70 AT-X
Tamron 28-75/2.8
KM 18-70
KM 17-35
price paid:40€
positive:Macro
cheap
nice range
negative:Macro only at 28 :(
comment:nice lens. Very good for its price.

It is the lens that is generally on my A350.

I am quite happy about it. got it for very cheap in order to test it
reviewer#7737 date: Jul-24-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:1870 kit lens
price paid:GBP 50 (used)
positive:Solid Built
Sharper than 1870 at the focal length ends ie 28mm and 70mm onwards
Reasonable Pricing
negative:Blur at mid focal distance compared to 1870
Noisy autofocus
comment:I bought this lense to hopefully replace my kit lens 1870.
Tested this lense and I was a little disappointed with the performance. It performs slightly better than the 1870 but lose out or equally sharp at focal length of 50mm. However, the color is very good, unlike 1870 which appear to have "washed out" color.
I have read many good comments about this lense and also some bad ones which some people had claimed to have a bad copy of this lense. I probably gotten myself a bad copy which reflects why it is not as sharp as I initially thought this will be.
But after doing the comparison I am fairly happy with it slightly outperform 1870 and with the warm minolta color, its going to be my new walk around lens. Overall, a fair quality lense.
reviewer#7689 date: Jul-13-2010
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma 24-75 f2.8
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
price paid:75.00 (USD) Mint
positive:*Good Focal length for a walkaround
*Well Built like most AF lenses of its time
*Sharp stopped up (f/5 +)
*Affordable
negative:*Soft from 3.5-4.5
*A tad Heavy
comment:
missing
reviewer#7655 date: Jul-3-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony AF50mm f1.4
Sony AF100mm f2.8 macro
Minolta AF70-210mm Beercan
Minolta AF28-135 f4-4.5
Minolta AF 24mm f2.8
Tamron AF 28-300mm XR f3.5-6.3
price paid:45.00USD
positive:Renders lovely saturated colors
Has ideal kit range for FF DSLR
Is a superby-crafted lens
AF is responsive and sharp
Good availability at cheap price
Macro useful for effects
negative:Weighty, but balanced on FF and offset by excellent build.
Not coated for flare. Don't shoot directly into the sun unless you seek flare. Invest in screw-on hood.
comment:This is doubtless one of those underrated gems from Minolta 1985 vintage that perfectly auto-focuses on your Sony Alpha 850 or 900. While I alternate it as my walk-around zoom, it deserves mention for specialized uses, such as artistic imaging combined with skillful PP. You must appreciate it for what it is, a well-crafted optical. It is built to last. Great dampened zoom ring action. The range is a perfect fit for the FF and the colors are uniquely Maxxum, beautifully saturated. I have several lenses which are sharper than the 28-85, but, frankly, the stopped-down sharpness of this lens exceeds what I first expected of it, especially in the center. The edges fall off slightly, but at f5.6 they tighten up nicely. Maybe it helps to have a solid copy. For snapping shots at a party, outdoor events, it is ideal. For more serious portraiture, I can use it for a certain mood, given the richness of color it produces. I enjoy experimenting with the 28mm macro, even if it is not a fast AF100mm macro. I can move in really close for goofy wide angle portraits, although the macro of the AF35-105mm is much more functional. The 28mm macro range of this lens and the AF 28-135mm is limiting. My other Minolta zooms handle nicely, albeit with more weight than most of the modern production zoom lenses I have tried. As far as the 28-85 is concerned, I love its convenience, MFD and, yes, I will even say its images. Stopped down beyond f5.6, the sharpness of the 28-85 is better than my Tamron 28-300, much better than the kit lens that came on my KM 5D, and almost as nice as the Beercan. Can't touch the sharpness of the 35-105(old) or the 28-135, however. I would say that this is a great utility lens for FF owners and as such, a keeper. Great addition to the Sony Alpha array of lenses or just a great first lens.
reviewer#7500 date: May-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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:28-80 silver
fixed focal lenses
similar lenses from competitors
price paid:85 Euro (used)
positive:Build quality
Performance
negative:Weight
comment:Even an older lens design can perform very well. This lens is a fine example of good older optical design.
I think only a Sony or Zeiss prime design can outperform this lens.
I compared this lens with the good zoom lenses of Canon and this lens is the better one. Compared with a good fixed focus, the quality equals if you stop down 1 or 2 stops.
The disadvantage is the weight and the slower focus.
I use this lens on a 600Si Classic and a 3i. The lens (weight) is well balanced. Combined with a Dynax 5, you carry a lens with a camera :-)
This lens needs a good lens hood.
Macro capability is not like a real macro-design but for occasional use, it is a possible option.
Look for a good cosmetic and functional example, I found mine after a few weeks searching the net and a few local camera dealers. The price I paid was without orriginal lens hood or minolta lens cover. With this lens, price isn't important.
reviewer#7418 date: May-8-2010
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:All the lenses I have personally used.
price paid:80 USD MINT
positive:SHARP SHARP SHARP
Colors (It's a Minolta)
Bokeh
Built like a German Tank.
negative:Flare
comment:So Sharp you could come away bleeding ;~) Simply LOVE this lens!!!
reviewer#7310 date: Apr-18-2010
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5
price paid:L30
positive:Sharp
Colour
Build
negative:Flare
comment:Fine lens, very prone to flare which is detrimental to IQ even when you think thereisn;t a problem.

Nearly sold it and then took someones advice to use a lens hood from 100-300 APO or 70-210 f3.5-4.5.

The transformation in IQ was amazing; like a different lens.
Scores above with hood fitted.
reviewer#7174 date: Mar-28-2010
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:60 USD
positive:nice colours
macro function
solid build
smooth focus and zoom
negative:flare
manual focus on macro setting
bit heavy
comment:My first walkaround lense for my A850. Nice colour, smooth focus and zoom. Works a lot nicer than the 18-70mm kit lense on the A100. Colours are good but really have to watch for flare.
reviewer#7142 date: Mar-23-2010
sharpness: 3
color: 3
build: 3
distortion: 2
flare control: 2
overall: 2.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:50/1,4
24-70HSM
price paid:
missing
positive:Produces:
-better colours
-a tad sharper than the kit
-Macro mode
-Metal Mount
-Metal Body
negative:-CA's
-Hunts
-Hood is shallow(Doesnt help much)
comment:For a starter lens this glass is great! It was my first Minolta glass and it didn't disappoint. Its a nice replacement for the Kit or a nice lens to have on your a900(after shelling out a ton of money for it). Try it out and see for yourself.
reviewer#7010 date: Mar-6-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100-200, 75-300, 35-105
price paid:$49 USD
positive:Built like a tank and handles beautifully. Fabulous Minolta colors, long reach on A 700. The macro actually works albeit manual focus!
negative:42mm is not wide enough, heavy, I am still planning either a Sony 16-105 or Tamron 17-50 to widen my view.
comment:My 35 - 105 owned since new quit and is in the shop, always wanted one of these little tanks, snagged this on ebay for $49. Was prepared to be unhappy based on some luke warm reviews but I have shot about 300 pics with this lens and have scored some real keepers. The Minolta colors I love are there and stopped down the images are crisp throughout the entire focal range. It is a real solid performer with my Sony 42 flash too, producing some nice family snap shots so far.
I like it a lot....with this on my A 700 with the Sony VG attached I have myself one heavy beast! Handles sweet tho, despite the weight.
A keeper for me, enuff so to be hunting down a backup!

**IMPORTANT UPDATE**
Recently picked up an old Minolta 55mm 100 macro hood which has eliminated problems with flare and makes this lens a solid performer in direct sunlight....with the stock hood this is a problem.
reviewer#6931 date: Feb-19-2010
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-70
price paid:
missing
positive:Colors
Sharp (stopped down)
build
negative:slow AF
comment:Picked up this used lens yesterday. It was heavier as I expected but feels good. on f3.5 a bit soft, stopped down it gets realy sharp. I use it on my a200, some people will say it doesnt get wide enough, but it doesn't realy bother me.
reviewer#6749 date: Jan-15-2010
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 3
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:I think I've owned ALL (then perhaps sold some) of the Minolta Consumer lenses by now!
price paid:$65 USD
positive:Tough, mean looking lens...no weaklings allowed!
negative:IQ is sub-par for it's (1985) generation of lenses
comment:As I shortcut I want to agree with "nvc789" below, he's right on about this lens.

Let me add that compared to the other 1st generation models built when this one was (1985) this one scored pretty much last in my testing.

This lens was purchased in the middle of the lenses that I bought 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 lose any money buying them. I sold 90% of the ones I bought for more money….

And I bought three copies, never one to give up, because of your outstanding reviews here. So shame on ME; you guys fooled me 3 times! They’re all sold now – maybe some of you have them…

-Shootist


reviewer#6650 date: Dec-30-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 18-70
minolta 70-210 f4-5.6
price paid:800 sek
positive:Build!
Range
Macro-mode
Good sharpness at f5.6
negative:Not sharp at f3.5
MFD
comment:I wouldn't really call it a fast lens, it is really not sharp at f3.5, however at 5.6 it looks good, so i always stop down.

The macro-mode is really nice, I think the pictures come out really sharp even at f3.5 (sharper than the kit-lens), but in non-macro mode the kitlens is a little bit sharper

The MFD is not a pain in the ass, but not practical either

The feel of the lens is fantastic, there's something special with a lens that weighs more than the body

You can notice some distortion at 28mm but it looks cool

And i really like the range, 28mm is a nice focallength (on aps-c that is) and all the way up to 85mm
reviewer#6641 date: Dec-26-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 18-70
Minolta 35-70
price paid:35 GBP
positive:sharp!
great colours
built like a tank.
useful macro.
negative:Heavy, Big.
would have preferred macro at 85mm
comment: If I could afford a full frame digital body, this would be my walkabout lens. Better performance than the kit lens and better range than the 35-70.
The penalty you pay for such quality is weight, but this is normal, and in some ways it makes for a more steady shot.
The sharpness, colour and contrast are remarkable.
Weird macro at 28mm (manual focus only) means you can get very close to things, which is ok for still life, but not for flying insects! Would have been better at 85mm.
Weird backwards zoom action, longest at 28mm.
Built to last!
reviewer#6503 date: Dec-2-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 18-70
Minolta AF 35-70
price paid:60 euro
positive:- Metal body of good build
- Does not creep
- 55mm thread
- Subtile focus range
- Great minolta colors
negative:- Weight can become cumbersome
-
comment:It is a very good basic kit lens replacing lens. Quite nice sharp where needed with great minolta colors and a pretty much trouble free lens design. Except for Flare this is an issue that is there. And if you are going to shoot the way of the sun expect a few mishaps.

But for the rest great colors, dependable lens with quality you expect. With a decent range to boot making it a nice budget lens.
reviewer#6261 date: Oct-23-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:minolta 24-105mm
minolta 28-135mm
tamron 17-50mm
minolta 35-105mm
price paid:$85, $75
positive:solid build-like a tank
minolta colours
cheap
negative:not much range for apsc
not sharp
comment:this lens is solid, built to last, nice solid feeling to it, smooth zoon, unlike these newer style lenses. The colours are fantastic, similiar to the minolta 28-135mm, bokeh is nicer on the 28-135mm. pictures on this lens is not sharp straight out of the camera, adding some contrast and sharpen in lightroom fixes this. The lenses listed above are much sharper than this lens. the 28-85mm is more suitable for portraits where it will not show every single flaw on a person's face. I have 2 copies of it and same result with each. The macro part is nice to have but rarely used because of the limitations (28mm). Great thing about it is the price, if I break it(unlikely), it's cheap to replace and easy to find.
reviewer#6055 date: Sep-15-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Konica Minolta AF 28-75 f2.8
price paid:Traded X700
positive:Relatively sharp beginning at f5.6. Colors are rather stunning. Good build. No noticeable distortion and flare seems to be controlled pretty well.
negative:Hood really isn't usable. Lack of contrast at the telephoto end.
comment:This lens was a rather nice surprise. I came across one at a camera show/swap and it was in very good if not excellent condition for its age. I had a Minolta X700 with a 35-70 f3.5-4.5 lens that I got for free and traded it for this lens. I felt it was worth it since it was an old camera that I never used. It's not like I really needed this lens, but I got it to add to my "Original" Minolta AF lens set up. Plus, it gives a unique look to photographs. My Konica Minolta AF 28-75 f2.8 is the superior lens in terms of sharpness and I feel has more neutral colors.

My take on this lens is that it is worth getting if you want "Original" Minolta glass that gives you that unmistakable Minolta look. It is actually pretty sharp wide open at the wide end through 70mm. Past 70mm the lens begins to get a bit soft. However, it will not match new glass for sharpness.
reviewer#6045 date: Sep-14-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron 24-135mm SP AD
price paid:
missing
positive:GOOD range + sharpness for the lens from far 1985! Pleasant colors & bokeh!
negative:Can be a bit noisy with slow AF in "bedroom" lightning.
comment:Solid lens with good IQ from the past, and even in 2009 doesn't look awkward and performs well on A700. Recommended!

P.S.Recently bought Tamron 24-135mm SP and I stopped using 28-85mm (SP's range is more usable with my style of shooting... quieter & sharper)
reviewer#6030 date: Sep-12-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Beercan
Minolta 50 1.7
SAM 18-70
Sigma 28-80
price paid:
missing
positive:Very Sharp
Reasonable price
Build quality is superb
True Minolta Color
negative:Hood sucks
Flare
comment:after putting this lens on my a200 for the first time, I have come to love it and now my kit lens rarely has a chance to stay on the camera. I love the color and sharpness of this lens. The bokeh is also a plus.
reviewer#6021 date: Sep-9-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 28/2.8
Sony 50/1.4
Minolta 28-135/4-4.5
price paid:90 USD (used)
positive:Sharp!
Useful MFD
Sturdy build
Nice range (on A850/900)
Macro
negative:A little heavy
On APS-C, less useful range
comment:This is a fantastic (and underrated) early Maxxum zoom, in every way the equal of the much-lauded 28-135/4-4.5. Not sure why it doesn't get better recognition. It is just as sharp, with the same gorgeous "Minolta colors", and the same solid build. And in two important respects, it is far superior to the 28-135. First, it has a MUCH more useful MFD, which was the tragic flaw of its sibling. Second, it is smaller and lighter than the 28-135, making it a much better walkaround lens. Try lugging the 28-135 around all day and you'll know what a plus those saved ounces really are! And I guess a final advantage would be price. Because of the reputation of the 28-135, it's selling on ebay for more than 3 times the price of this lens.

So, I'd say if you own an A850 or A900 or are thinking of going full frame some time in the future, this lens is a no-brainer!
reviewer#5994 date: Sep-6-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35-70mm F4 babybeercan
24-85mm Minolta RS
28-105mm Minolta RS
18-70mm SAL
19-35mm Tamron
price paid:USD 150
positive:+well built
+sharp & contrast
+great for potraiture
+affordable
negative:-flare
comment:I may say that this lens is underdog, very few photographers using this lens and very few realise that this lens is a good lens. Tested on A200, 300 and 900, the result was out of my expectation!!

The sharpness, color and contrast is really good. It is unavoidable that this lens is great for portraiture and walk around lens, but the 28mm is not wide enough.

The built itself is really solid and strong.
reviewer#5878 date: Aug-20-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:-KM 18-70
-Minolta 35-70
-Minolta 24-85
-Beercan
price paid:55 €
positive:-sharp
-built like a tank
-cheap
negative:-weight
-not too wide on APS-C
comment:Excellent value for the money. Great as walk around lens, but wide end isn't too wide on 5D. This is the lens I mostly use.
reviewer#5875 date: Aug-19-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70 F4, MInolta 70-210 F4, Tokina 19-35, Zeiss 16-35, Minolta 50s (various) Tamron XR 28-75 F2.8
price paid:85 USD
positive:Brilliant Build Quality
Colour Is fabulous
Low Contrast (I will explain)
Nice Range
Good AF
Low levels of Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Balances nicely on A900
negative:Very low contrast
Strong CA at the wide end
Soft edges at all focal lengths
Not very sharp
comment:Now this is an interesting lens, it has lots of faults, flares like crazy if you are not careful but it's build like a tank and feels like it could outlast the Pyramids.

But I quite like it! Let me explain. The lens has very low contrast and this might seem like a deficit but in fact it can be a good thing, it renders highlights and shadows in a rather lovely way so long as you edit properly and with appropriate editing the images look very 3D.

It has low levels of Barrel and Pincushion distortion so things tend to look quite natural in that department even at 28mm, thought the distortion does have a complex moustache characteristic which is a pain to fix for architectural images.

The CA is pretty strong but actually corrects very easily in Photoshop, once corrected the colour gets even better and the edges pop into focus, especially at the wide end.

The CA correction changes with focal length but once you see what happens when its fixed you realise almost all the complaints about low resolution are actually due to the CA.

Many people including myself felt this lens lacked corner sharpness and high levels of resolution, however after extensive testing I have found this is not the case, in fact the lens has been used badly . Let me explain, this lens has very significant field curvature which varies markedly with focal length changes, you simply cannot focus it in the middle of the frame and liberate cross frame clarity.

As an example the 28 mm end curves wildly rearwards at the corners, which renders the near corners way out of focus when the centre is focused, move the lens just 2 mm towards the 35mm setting (it still registers as 28mm) and the field curvature flattens, move it to 35mm and it bends back towards the camera on the edges.

Once you understand how the curvature is working you can use it to your advantage and importantly it is entirely possible to liberate very sharp corners, but you will never see it if if you let your cameras auto focus do the work for you. In fact this lans can give you control over DOF at wide angles in a way I have never come across before, it is in fact a very flexible tool.

And there is more, the infinity focus is no where near it is marked as being, you need to test to find the real spot, but once you do you realise that in the middle at least this lens is extraordinarily sharp.

An unusual quirk is that if you move it into macro mode just a bit and focus at infinity you will find a point just after the switch engages where you can get pretty much everything in focus and sharp (including the corners) at f8.

One very nice characteristic is the focus holds throughout the zoom range, so you can focus at 85mm zoom back to 28 and the point you focused on will be sharp, this might seem like stating the obvious but many lenses do not hold the focus anywhere near accurately.

Low contrast gives the appearance of low sharpness, however with multi pass sharpening using very low radius USM or High Pass filtering the detail comes from nowhere without blowing highlights or shadows. Note that the very outside corners will never get sharp at any aperture. The optimum aperture at all focal lengths lies between f10-f13, which is into diffraction territory but sharpening restores the losses.

The low contrast is largely due to the lenses inability to focus blue (check the channels) which is especially obvious at the tele end, but here is a kicker the green and red channels are superb so it is a great lens for those doing mono-conversions using red/green channels, which is about 95% of mono jobs.

Colour as stated is lovely, in fact I would say this is a close as you will get to getting an image on an A900 that looks like it was shot on super fine grained portrait film.

Overall I guess I like the way it draws an image, so here is my final opinion.

This lens is actually a very specialized tool, it would suit portraitists and landscapists and those wanting to use the lens for artistic expression. Because it is not clinically sharp in the way a 35-70 f4 or the 70-210 f4 beercan at portrait focal lengths it produces lovely portraits if the aperture is kept around the 5.6 mark and it really renders skin tones beautifully with smooth tonality that is quite flattering. Ultimately not a lens for those who don't want to edit (at least fix the CA), but for those who use it within its limitations, play to its strengths and really know their way around photoshop it can produce stunning results.

It is a perfect lens for bright contrasty days as it keeps things under control but not an ideal choice for flat heavy cloud days.

I would go so far as to say that now having exhaustively tested the lens I could pretty much use it for anything in the normal range and get brilliant results, it has become my favourite lens.


reviewer#5865 date: Aug-17-2009
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:100 USD
positive:Cool alternative for DT 18-70
negative:
missing
comment:I use this lens as kit lens for my DSLR A-200. Very useful, lens, IMHO, must have! Cool pictures for reasonable price!
reviewer#5798 date: Aug-2-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 24-50AF f/4,
Minolta 24-105D f/3.5-4.5,
Minolta 70-210AF f/4,
Minolta 28-135AF f/4-4.5,
Tamron 28-300 f/3.5-6.3,
KM 18-70D f/3.5-5.6,
Minolta 28-105xi f/3.5-4.5,
Minolta 70-210 f/3.5.
price paid:€ 5
positive:Small, great performer for portraits, great build (glass/metal),
Macro-function
negative:clip-on hood (I replaced that one by an old screw-on hood of the MD Rokkor 50-135/3.5),
comment:Found it for a great price. Had been searching for this little gem for quite some time. I love the original series from Minolta for their colors, build and sharpness.

Tested this lens within low-light environment, and later during a portrait-shoot.
Great performer for portraits, nice & small. Wide enough for close range focussing and provides enough tele for nice close-ups as well.

Compared with other original series lenses as well, color performance is outstanding, for the rest comparable as the others.

Less weight to carry around than 28-135AF f/4-4.5.
reviews found: 111    << 1 2 3 4 >>

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 111
  • sharpness: 4.29
  • color: 4.68
  • build: 4.86
  • distortion: 4.16
  • flare control: 3.61
  • overall: 4.32

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