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

reviews found: 111    << 1 2 3 4 >>
reviewer#5606 date: Jun-27-2009
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:tamron 17-50 f2.8
konica-minolta 17-35 f2.8-4
minolta 28-105 RS f3,5-4,5
price paid:50 USD used
positive:+ very sharp from 28 to 85mm
+ best colours
+ good range zoom
+ nice bokeh
+ AF very good
+ solid built
+ nice to work with it
negative:- flare when you have sun in front
- focus ring rotate
- not so important things
comment:I'm very proud of this lense,very sharp,best colours.Nice results at distorsions,the single problem is flare(when you have the

sun in front) because of little hood.Is very good built from Beercan series.A lovely pleasure to work with it.It's my lens,and i use

it all day long.I recommand it.
reviewer#5483 date: Jun-1-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 24-105mm f/3.5-4.5
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 28mm f/2.8
price paid:45 USD (mint)
positive:colour
contrast
bokeh
sharp
inexpensive
negative:none
comment:This lens surprised me a lot. Nice colours, contrast, great sharpness, beautiful smooth bokeh. It is even better than Minolta 35-105mm, which I like a lot. My copy produce very nice bokeh and it is sharp wide open on the both ends of the focal range and in between. I tried to get some CA on bright and contrasty objects, but couldn't get any even wide open. This all surprised me a lot as some reviews were very critical of it's CA, sharpness and bokeh. I have seen photos taken with a lens like this that had unpleasant, busy bokeh. Sample variations?
reviewer#5420 date: May-21-2009
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; 61MP61 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:90 USD (used)
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:
missing
reviewer#5400 date: May-17-2009
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 2
overall: 3.9
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł26
positive:Sharpness and colour - lovely.
Versatility - walkabout lens of choice now
negative:Length - a bit too long
85mm max focal length a bit limiting.
comment:Bought this 2nd hand from EBay and now adore it.
On the A300 virtually all the time and use the macro switch alot.

Don't dither - get one.
reviewer#5020 date: Mar-12-2009
sharpness: 3.5
color: 3
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:AF 17-35mm 2,8-4 (D)
AF 24mm 2,8
AF 28-75mm 2,8 (D)
AF 28-85mm 3,5-4,5
AF 28-135mm 4-4,5
AF 35-105mm 3,5-4,5
AF 50mm 1,7
AF 70-210mm 4
AF 75-300mm 4,5-5,6 1st
Tamron AF 11-18 4,5-5,6
Beroflex 400mm 6,3 1st
price paid:30 € (used)
positive:price
negative:sharpness
blurry pictures
colors
comment:I've used this lens for a short time together with my 7D and I was unconvinced. The pictures where blurry and cold. Because of this I've sold it and use the 28-75mm 2,8 (D) or the 28-135mm 4-4,5
reviewer#4992 date: Mar-10-2009
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 50mm f1.7
Minolta 28mm f2.8
Minolta 50mm macro
Minolta 100mm macro
Minolta 28-80 D kit
Sony 18-70 kit
price paid:$54.00
positive:sharp, nice colors
negative:Flare, weight
comment:I was looking for a lens that was better then the kit lens I had. I didn't like the colors I was getting from the 28-80 D kit lens so I picked this lens up on ebay for a good price. I use this lens on an a700. For the most part, I'm quite happy with the sharpness of this lens and the colors are much better then the kit lens (D). I would have to say that I even like this lens better then the Sony 18-70 kit. It much sharper throughout. My major complaint is the lens flare. You can not use this lens in a backlighting situation or you will get flare. It is not as sharp as the 50mm 1.7 or the 28mm f2.8, but, it comes close. Obviously, the macro outperform it in sharpness. I'd have to say that if you are on a budget and want a better performing lens then the kit lens then you might want to give this lens a try.
reviewer#4821 date: Feb-8-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:I'm sorry, wrong post. Must be 28-135mm
reviewer#4744 date: Jan-25-2009
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70mm f/4
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 24mm f/2.8
Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5
Minolta 24-85mm f/3.5 - 4.5
price paid:$75 (excellent cond)
positive:Sharp
Built like a tank
Smooth zoom and focus
True Minolta colors
Quick and accurate AF
negative:Edge softness
Strong chromatic aberration at large apertures
comment:I've been shuffling my zoom lenses to try to find a combination of sharpness, color, and focal range that fits my work flow. I decided to try this lens along with the Minolta 35-70mm f/4.0. Both of these lenses exhibit the true Minolta colors that I crave. The 28-85mm has more focal range, but the 35-70mm has the advantage of better edge sharpness and a constant f/4 aperture. Stopped down to f/5.6, the 28-85mm does show an improvement in edge sharpness, and but it can't quite match the 35-70mm. The centers are near comparable for sharpness. The 28-85mm has better build quality with incredibly smooth zoom and focus action - probably the best I've ever used, even compared to very high end Nikon and Sony lenses. On the other hand, the 35-70mm suffers less from chromatic aberration wide open. On the 28-85mm, CA can be apparent at large apertures in high contrast areas, and this is reduced (but not eliminated) by closing up the aperture one stop. Most of this aberration is correctable in Adobe Lightroom, but not all of it. My Minolta 100-200mm f/4.5 also does a better job of controlling CA, and has somewhat better edge sharpness. In terms of weight, this 28-85mm is a reasonably heavy lens, which can be a good thing for stabilizing shots. On the other hand, I'd much rather carry around the 35-70mm on long assignments. Not only is it lighter, but it's also about half the size. Compared to the Minolta 28-135mm, this 28-85mm is noticeably lighter.

Compared to my Minolta primes, this zoom lens holds its own for center sharpness when stopped down to f/5.6 or smaller, but cannot quite match edge sharpness. Of course, the primes also do a much better job of controlling CA. In terms of weight, even two primes are slightly lighter than the 28-85mm, and occupy about the same amount of space in my camera bag.

Autofocus performance is very good. I've never had a problem with its speed or accuracy, and I've found both to be similar to that of my Minolta 35-70mm f/4. Not quite as quick as my primes, but certainly not slow. Even in low light conditions, the 28-85mm performs well on my Sony A350.

In summary, this lens is unlikely to disappoint on APS-C sensors, as long as you can work with the focal range.
reviewer#4541 date: Dec-13-2008
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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 used to own this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:Ł50 eBay
positive:
missing
negative:
missing
comment:Old fashioned lens, rotating front element and no hood. Nicely built (like Beercan). MFD not great.
Rather odd that it is longest when zoomed out!
reviewer#4460 date: Dec-1-2008
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 AF28-135 F4-4.5
Minolta AF24-85 F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF24-105D F3.5-4.5
Minolta AF35-105N F3.5-4.5
Sigma AF18-200 F3.5-6.3
Sigma AF17-70 F2.8-4.5
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp
Fast autofocus
Beercan Design
negative:No autofocus by macro
Long lens compared to modern lenses
comment:This lens is surprisingly sharp, and a great alternative to the Minolta AF28-135 F4-4.5 when on a budget. It is almost as sharp at least in the center, color is the about the same and build is pretty good. The Minolta AF28-85 F3.5-4.5 outperforms all my modern Sigma's by miles in regard to image quality - and is a great budget alternative to Minolta AF28-135.
A lens that one should not be sad getting stucked with.
reviewer#4367 date: Nov-12-2008
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70
Minolta 18-70
Sigma 28-70
Tamron 28-70
price paid:
missing
positive:durable "beercan" construction
macro
sharp
negative:not true macro
hood...
comment:This is one of the few lens I first owned and I use it to shoot products. Although is build like a tank, the weight is still light enough to carry around for the whole day.

The zoom range is not so attractive on a 1.5 crop DSLR but on a FF/film SLR. This is a good lens to start with
reviewer#4188 date: Oct-9-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:sony 16-105,
minolta 24-85/3.5-4.5
minolta 18-70,
35-70/4
price paid:60$
positive:Colors
Contrast
sharpness
accurate focus
negative:CA
Flare
minimal focus distance
comment:My favorite. Consistently produces lovely images with 3D effect - pictures just look good. Minolta colors. "Liquid" bokeh. I think this lens is very much the same as hyped 35-105, works very well for portraits.

Sharpness:
At 28mm center sharpness is Ok wide open, but borders and especially corners are softish. In most cases you will never notice. At 85mm there is slight soft effect @f4.5, disappears at f5.6

Flare can be problem, I use hood from 35-105. CA is another problem, but not as bad as on 18-70kit. Distortion at 28mm is noticeable.

In comparison to 24-85, this lens has far better bokeh but is less sharp. Minolta 35-70/4 is better (sharper, less CA), but range is limited.
reviewer#4183 date: Oct-7-2008
sharpness: 3
color: 5
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 own this lens
compared to:35-105 3.5/4.5
price paid:30€
positive:
missing
negative:excessive softness
comment:As karchon et al. noted, used with my A700 it is more or less soft compared to 35-105, that is sharp as laser.
I don't recomend to invest money on this.
reviewer#4092 date: Sep-13-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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:kit 18-70 (sony and minolta)
price paid:came in lot
positive:range
build
macro function
negative:
missing
comment:I love the build of this lens. I had planned on selling it (it came in a lot with 2 others a flash and a camera) but liked it so much, I decided to keep it. This lens is great for walking around. I like the range and the macro function as well.
reviewer#4089 date: Sep-13-2008
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:Minolta 50mm f1.4
Tamron 90mm f2.8
price paid:75usd (used)
positive:Very sharp in center at all apertures. Edges not bad. Good color and bokeh. Will have a good range on A900. Price.
negative:Big and Heavy
comment:I compared this lens to my Minolta 50mm f1.4 and Tamron 90mm f2.8; both very sharp lenses. I blew the test pictures up to 200%. From f5.6 and smaller there was no difference in center sharpness with the 28-85mm compared to the other lenses. At f8 the edges were similar sharpness. The 28-85mm has classic minolta colors and bokeh. I would say it is a very good lense regardless of price. I always use a big lens hood so flare hasn't been a problem. It will be a good companion for my "beercan"
reviewer#4007 date: Aug-26-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:35-105 f3.5-4.5
24-85 f3.5-4.5
35-70 f3.5-4.5
Tamron 17-50 f2.8
kit lens
price paid:$80.00 USD near mint
positive:Good build, sharp, Nice colors. Decent AF speed and accuracy
negative:Heavy, zoom range on ASP-C,variable aperture, No AF in Macro mode
comment:Very nice lens. Sharper than kit lens. I think the 35-105 is a bit sharper. Fantastic colors.

I overpaid on mine from a private seller with the factory hood (useless), but it is still a very good value. All metal construction.
reviewer#3983 date: Aug-19-2008
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 own this lens
compared to:70-210 Beercan
Sigma 28-70 2.8-4f UC
price paid:Ł52
positive:Good colours
Sharp
Great build
negative:Heavy (though I like the weight)
Long minimum focus distance
comment:A great companion to the beercan with a complementary range. Lovely beercan-like colours, sharpness and bokeh. Similar build etc. Beercan hood fits on it and doesn't (at least in my experience) cause any vignetting. Shares the same filter size as the beercan. As some here have mentioned, the front element is a bit exposed so a rubber hood might be a sound investment for protection. Also it does have quite a long minimum focussing distance. I haven't found AF slow at all as some have suggested, in fact quite the reverse. Very happy with this lens so far.

Update 19th June 2009:
Still think this lens is a good all-rounder. The only problem I've had with it is that the colour rendering is less good than (say) the beercan or a MinO prime and sometimes appears slightly greenish (on my copy at least) which needs a bit of fiddling with.
So in summary, a decent reasonably sharp lens.
reviewer#3809 date: Jul-5-2008
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:35-70 f:4
price paid:8 USD (Broken)
positive:Easy to Rebuild
Easy to Refocus
negative:Slow AF
comment:Well, again I bought a broken lens with the hope of fixing it and again Pete Ganzel was helpful in it's resurection.

Thank you Pete for all your help for everyone here.

After two days of fixing, I took it to the beach and took some incredibly sharp photos. A little bit a flare from the sun and a little blue-er than the 35-70 but all in all, this was a good buy. I have since been looking for more broken lenses to fix as I really enjoy the outcome of my labor.

This lens is beautiful and is a cheap alternative to a 28-105. Focus and bokeh are great and maybe my copy is just a bit blue but Photoshop can handle that. It's definatly worth looking into for a backup to a 35-70.
reviewer#3784 date: Jul-2-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 N
Sigma 28-105 UCII f4-F5.6
price paid:29 GBP
positive:Sharp
Superb colour
Build
negative:None
comment:Superb lens but a bit on the heavy side.

Excellent value at current second hand prices.
reviewer#3502 date: Apr-23-2008
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; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105mm f3.5-4.5
Sony DT 18-70mm
Minolta 35-70mm f4
price paid:68 USD (ok)
positive:- Pretty Sharp
- Classic Colors and Contrast
- Solid Build & Feel
negative:- Flaring
(I may have a bad copy so i wont write all the negs until 2nd copy arrives)
comment:This lens is sharper than the Kit Lens (sony) that i have, but compared to the 35-105, it isnt as sharp. I think I've heard more hype about this lens than I needed. Its a good solid lens, but sharpness just isnt "perfect" for me. It feels a bit "soft".

I need to do more testing as I am picking up another copy of this lens. I suspect I have a bad copy.
reviewer#3457 date: Apr-13-2008
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:A200 Kit lens
price paid:42 USD (used)
positive:1) Sharp!
2) Sturdy!
3) Excellent macro images
4) Can beat away attackers with the massive girth of lens!
5) Beautiful color.
negative:1) Heavy! (also positive #3)
2) Macro is limited to 28mm
3) Lens flare is a constant worry
comment:I really love this lens. It is my "go to" lens for most everything. Really nice range (especially on dSLR!), great looking (though limited) macro, built like a flipping tank! Get a lens good. A l-o-n-g one.
reviewer#3304 date: Feb-22-2008
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:KM 18-70 kit lens
Sigma 75-300 4-5.6 non-APO
Minolta MD lenses
price paid:$21 USD
positive:Fairly sharp, even wide open
Bokeh
Colors
Smooth MF
Smooth & quick AF
Build
Makes for a brighter VF than kit lens - good for MF macro
negative:Poor min. focusing distance (except in macro mode)
Not quite wide enough on APS-C but functions well as normal to tele
Slight barrel distortion at 28mm
comment:This was my first old-style Minolta AF lens. It has the feel or build quality of the old MD (manual focus) lenses. Feels great on the camera, though a little too heavy to balance perfectly. I can understand why A700 users say it balances perfectly, as the A700 is a bit heavier than my camera.

GIVES A BRIGHTER VIEWFINDER THAN THE KIT LENS - which is a good thing, because the lens is manual focus only in macro mode, though the hack to make the 35-70/4 AF in macro might work with the 28-85 (haven't tried it yet). Unlike the KM kit lens, the lens barrel does not wobble under the torque of the AF motor. It is noticeably sharper than the kit lens at all comparable apertures & focal lengths. Of course, I will have to keep the kit lens for wide angle shots, but I believe the 28-85 will be my walkaround lens.

The colors are outstanding, and the bokeh is very pleasant at wide apertures & particularly shooting macro. Too bad the macro is only 1:4, but it is sufficient for the occasional shot of a flower.

AF is just as fast with this lens as it is with the kit lens. It even tracks better in AF-C mode on the A100 -- which is to say it is still not sufficient for sports or fast action, but still, I was surprised to see it perform better than the (much newer) kit lens. I'll bet it would work really well on the A700.
reviewer#3239 date: Feb-6-2008
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:Kit, 28-105xi, 28-70G, 24-105, 35-200xi
price paid:20 GBP (used)
positive:Hugely versatile
negative:None
comment:I wasn't sure whether I was going to get on with this lens, but I needn't have worried. It's sharp, but not as good as the 28-70G and solidly built.

I neglected it a bit when I bought my 24-105mm, but find I'm using it more now. It doesn't have the same broad range as the 24-105mm, but it does have the macro switch which lifts the lens from adequate to very versatile.
reviewer#3126 date: Jan-3-2008
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 75-300 F4.5-5.6 (SAL-75300)
Sony 18-70 F3.5-5.6 (SAL-1870)
Minolta AF 28-80 F3.5-5.6
Minolta AF 50 F1.7
Minolta AF 70-210 F4 (beercan)
price paid:60 USD (good condt)
positive:Very sharp.
Great bokeh at f/3.5.
Fairly versatile.
Macro functionality is fantastic.
Very smooth zoom-ring.
Inexpensive.
negative:AF is a little loud and a little slow.
VERY heavy. Heaviest lens I own.
Front element rotates during focus.
Distortion (CA) - Read Comments for more info.
comment:I love this lens. It's like a mini beercan. Built like a tank, almost *too* heavy. Macro makes it even more versatile (though APS-C does limit it a bit--functionally a 42-128 lens). The zoom-ring is so smooth that I can barely keep myself from touching it.

EDIT: I've been using the lens a bunch, and have some more thoughts on it. Firstly, if you don't own one of these, please do yourself the favor and get one. I like it way more than my Beercan, or any of my other lenses. It is now officially my favorite lens.

It is heavy as hell. Heavier than the beercan by a significant amount.

I've noticed a little bit of color-fringing at 28mm which wasn't apparent before. You can see it in this photo. I still consider this passable, a minor distortion issue in my opinion. The lens perspective distortion even at 28mm doesn't seem bad at all, so I'm giving it a 4/5. Flare doesn't seem to be a problem, at least for me. The included hood is plenty good for most purposes.

EDIT: Having worked with it a bunch more, I have determined the specifics of distortion. Firstly, chromatic aberration is present at focal lengths of 28-35, especially around the outer edges. This can be corrected digitally, and isn't so terrible that it cannot be overlooked, but for perfect, pristine, artistic shots, it may present a problem. CA is -not- a problem in Macro mode from what I've observed.

The Macro mode is reason enough to buy this lens. I can get in about 7 inches from my subject, for really nice macro shots. I don't know the macro size ratio for this, but I know it isn't 1:1. It may be 1:2 though, but I am uncertain. The advantage is that the aperture is at 3.5 in these shots, nice and wide, with good bokeh. It could be a little wider but for a lens this inexpensive, the macro mode is more than sufficient.

Check out my gallery, where you can see more of the photos I've taken with this lens. (check the description to see which lens I used)
reviewer#3028 date: Dec-4-2007
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:Maxxum 28-75 D
Maxxum 28-105
price paid:76USD (used)
positive:Excellent contrast and sharpness. Classic Minolta colors. My Gen 1 lens is built like a tank. Very good close up capabilites when the macro mode is engaged.
negative:The macro mode is manual focus. If used without the hood, there is some flare present when shooting towards the light.
comment:Great lens for the money. If you find one, get it. This is a good alternative to the more expensive 24-105 lens. A little short on the wide side for some, but still a usable range and better cost vs performance.
It is built like a tank, uses 55mm filters (great companion to a beer can), and even though the macro mode is manual focus, it still works well on the bright 7D finder.
reviewer#3023 date: Dec-3-2007
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 Kit 18-70
Minolta 28-105 xi
Minolta 35-70
price paid:$80 usd (used)
positive:Sharp and Contrasty
Great Colors
Solid Build Quality
negative:Weight(if that bothers you)
Small Manual Focus Ring
Slight Flare Issues
comment:I love this lens. I recently compared it at similar focal length and f-stop to others noted above and it had most sharp consistant results....While not a real detailed or scientific test, my subjective results made this the best of the pack. The photos form this lens seem to have have a consistant crisp and contrasty feel with vibrant colors. I like the weight, but it is definately not a lightweight compared to kit lens. This is a wonderful lens, and I love the fact that it was had at a bargain price!
reviewer#2928 date: Nov-14-2007
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 24-105/F3.5-4.5
Tamron 28-75/F2.8
Sony 18-70 kitlens

price paid:free (in kit)
positive:- range (esp. on film body)
- solid build
- Rolls Royce feeling
negative:- weight
- small manual focus ring
comment:Got this lens with my Dynax 7000i back in 1990. There were 2 kitlenses to choose from. I preferred this one over a cheaper 35-70 and never regretted it. I's heavy thanks to the very solid build. Years of climbing/backpacking in the Alps (up to over 4000 meters) left some scratches in the paint, but this travel companion never broke down.
When I switched to digital, I got the Sony kitlens for only 10 euros. It took only 2 days to be sure that the 18-70 could not match this old standard zoom in any way. For a while I used the kitlens as a wide angle, just iuntil I got a 17-35. The 28-85 was on the body most of the time in the ealry days.
The weight always has been a problem, plus I wanted a constant F2.8 instead of F3.5-4.5. So I got a Tamron 28-75/2.8, it's sharp but the build did not allow manual focussing. It has been replaced with a better build KM version, which is too soft. On sunny days I still use the old M 28-85, which gives me more realistic colors and a nicer bokeh. Turning the zoom ring gives me a kind of a "Rolls Royce feeling".
With the scratches representing good memories, this lens will stay with me as long as I use the A-mount (or until it breaks down, which is highly inprobable....).

addition, august 1st, 2009
After almost 19 years of service, this is still one of the best lenses I own. Today I took of the Minolta 24-105 D which is my usual walk around lens nowadays. The first look on my pictures had made it obvious that this lens often is the best choice. On APS-C the range is not what it used to be. Still the sharpness and the bokeh are better then I had with twe 28-75/2.8 's and with my 24-105.
reviewer#2891 date: Oct-31-2007
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:CZ16-80, 24/2.8, 35-70/4, 35-80/4-5.6, 35-105/3.5-4.5
price paid:250€ new
positive:Sharp; Built like a tank
negative:Heavy; Not wide enough on APS-C
comment:I only used this lens when I still used film. At some point it got stolen, but I still remember how well built it was and how well it performed. Since it was just not wide enough to my taste I had a 24mm in addition, but that gave me a constant decision whether to switch lenses or not (i.e. to be lazy and quick with the 28-85 or go for the optimum with the 24). On APS-C it for sure is not wide enough but then you may combine it with a wide zoom or prime with shorter focal length than 24mm.
reviewer#2803 date: Sep-30-2007
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 own this lens
compared to:28-75/2.8
price paid:45 usd used
positive:Build, classic Minolta look and feel, just a nice thing
negative:flare
comment:I bought this as a mate to my beercan and was not disappointed. Build is solid, it is precise and fast to use on the 5D.

It creates images that have the look and feel of the beercan. I use this lens now in preference to the 28-75/2.8.

Update: the 100-300 APO lens hood clips straight on. Lens flare sorted. :D
reviewer#2542 date: Jul-13-2007
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 24-105, tam 17-50, sigma 24-135, beercan, minolta 24-85 minolta 50 f1.7
price paid:72 usd
positive: this lens is sharp stopped
down with nice contrast and
color. I've learned to appreciate it shooting interior and exterior scenes as well.I think it's one of the most undervalued minolta lens.
negative:wide opened not sharp as a
prime like 50 f1.7 but acceptable.
comment:WITH THE BEERCAN AND 50 F1.7 it's the best lens you can buy quality/price speaking. With this 3 lens and the kit lens (18-60) you can enjoy dslr photographic experience at his best for a moderate price
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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