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

reviews found: 111    << 1 2 3 4
reviewer#2541 date: Jul-12-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 18-70 kit, Sigma 24-135
price paid:$80 USD
positive:Sharp, especially when stopped down to F/5.6 and higher.
Great build quality.
Great colors.
negative:Heavy, but to me this feels like quality.
comment:Even though I gave up the wide angles lower than 28mm I got a high quality lens that in my opinion will rival some of the best. Excellent results for such a low cost lens. I got mine on eBay for only $80 USD and it came to me in mint condition. If it had been in a Minolta box I'd have sworn it was brand new. The only time it comes off now is when I want to use my Beercan which is another fine lens by Minolta. In fact, I think the quality of the images I get with the KM 28-85 are every bit as sharp and vibrant as the Beercan. I would highly recommend this as a replacement for the kit lens and you should go and get one before they're all snatched up. It's that good!
reviewer#2478 date: Jun-26-2007
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
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 3,5-4,5
Minolta 50 1,7
MInolta 28 2,8
Minolta 35-70 4
Tokina 19-35 3,5-4,5
price paid:50 USD
positive:excellent build
sharpness
quite fast
negative:heavy (not for women)
comment:I bought this lens as I was looking for some more wide open glass. 28 mm at the short end is enough for me. For some architectural purposes I use Tokina 19-35.

This unit has some significant features. First it's pretty heavy which is a plus as it properly stabilizes body. Second it has quite fast AF and it works even in dark spaces. Third it built like a tank and that's why is worth to carry in hostile conditions like foot trips in mountains.

Suming up this is a sample of brillant work made by Minolta in 80's and this specific glass is so cheap that it's must to have it in your collection.
reviewer#2473 date: Jun-24-2007
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:SIGMA18-125, 28-200
price paid:110
positive:color, build, price
negative:unsharp 85 mm
comment:
missing
reviewer#2405 date: Jun-2-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.7
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Canon 28-105 USM, 28-70 F3.5-4.5 . Nikon 28-70 F3.5-4.5D, 28-85 F3.5-4.5 , 28-105 D
price paid:45 UK
positive:Well made like a small beercan - decent optics
negative:Tendency to backfocus at 85mm, Macro mode rather useless being 28mm and MF. Soft Coatings on the glass again.
comment:Bargain price and better made than the 1980s Canon and Nikon 28-70s, similar build to the optically weak but tough made Nikon 28-85 F3.5-4.5 . the King of the 28-xxx Budget lenses is the Nikon 28-105D, the Minolta 28-85 gets close at 28mm but loses it out towards the extreme edges, it suffers far less CA than the old Canon and Nikon 28-70s... At 85 this sample seems to backfocus and is sharp where it's actually focussed..
This lens is compact, tough and handles very nicely, AF speed is good . would be a full hit run if it focussed better at 85 and the vulnerable front element had tougher coatings.
reviewer#2227 date: Apr-29-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:KM 18-70, M 35-70, M 35-105, M 50-1.7, Sigma 28-200, Baby Beer Can, M 75-300 (silver)
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp at all focal lengths at f/8.
negative:I prefer the macro of the 35-70.
comment:I have tested this lens, and those listed above, using the Koren, 2003, (5mm) test charts to determine the resolution based on MTF-50. The following information is based on results from two of the sine-wave, test, strips; one horizontal near the center of the frame, and the other, diagonal, very close to the corner of the frame. The tests were made with a KM5D, hand held, image stabilization “on”, ISO 100, in bright sunlight so that the shutter speed was quick enough to satisfy the reciprocal of the focal length criterion. Results: (focal length/f-stop/lines per inch on an 8” x 12” print at center/ditto-at corner). (85/8/168/97), (85/4.5/94/41), (28/8/210/77), (28/3.5/122/62). My understanding of photo resolution quality is: >150 lpi=excellent, >110 lpi=very good, >80 lpi=good. I believe the corner results represent a pretty severe test since the test strip extended radially, and the region of interest was very near the corner. More details on this and other lenses can be found at:
http://www.geocities.com/royanddee/lens_test_results_mtf50.htm
reviewer#2120 date: Apr-7-2007
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
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 f/4-4.5
Minolta 70-210 f/4
Minolta 24mm 2.8
Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron SP 35-105 2.8
Sony Kit Lens
price paid:45 USD new
positive:Sharp
Good Colors
VERY well built
Doesn't flare with hood
negative:Macro isn't all that useful - only works at 35mm
comment:I obtained this lens as an "extra" in a kit purchase on Ebay. I tried it out on my 5D and was very pleased with the results. While it isn't as sharp as my prime lenses (obviously) it is much better than the kit lens that came with the 5D or Alpha. While it loses out on the wide side, I shoot a lot outdoors and the range works well. I shoot buildings a lot, and I find the distortion isn't bad. If I could've given it a 4.5 I would have.
Build quality of these old lenses spoils a person. When they pick up the newer lenses they feel like toys.
This lens lacks the range of the 28-135, but I honostly cant' see much of a difference in quality.
reviewer#1594 date: Jan-1-2007
sharpness: 3.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:28f2
50f1.7
90f2.8 tamron
18-70kit
price paid:75 ebay
positive:sharp, especially at longer end
cheap
good build
negative:flare
not as sharp at 28 mm
slowish focus
comment:I like the lens, it worth more than the price for it now.
Image quality is good, much better than any recent kit lense, though not as good as any of my primes. It is also not very slow, and quiet sharp even wide open.
It has nice minoltas cast in colours, good contrast when no flare.
The lens is prone to flare, hood, that comes with it, is not good.
Af is a bit slow, hunts a lot under poor lighting (without af assist).
Build is very good. When I had it as the only lens and was looking at Sigma 105 macro, I couldn't believe sigma wants such a price for such a plasticky thing.
I wrote many negative things about the lens, but I think it is good overall, and very good for the price.
reviewer#1593 date: Dec-31-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 18-50 EX DC
price paid:21 GBP
positive:Very sharp at f8+
Very cheap.
negative:none
comment:Bought this lens for a song on Ebay and am most impressed with it - far sharper than my previous walkaround lens, a Sigma 18-50 EX DC - but it does need reasonable light levels. This doesn't bother me as I tend to shoot on sunny days anyway! My particular lens is very sharp but I gather that there can be some variation amongst these lenses. The lens hood is far too small and is useless. Haven't found a replacement yet.
Overall a very underated lens.
reviewer#1539 date: Dec-14-2006
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Nikon AF-S 24-85 f:3.5-4.5, minolta 35-70 f:4.0, Sigma 28-70 f:3.5-4.5, tons of M42 lenses
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, excellent colours, contrast and build quality
negative:for the price... NOTHING better could be found
comment:I bought this lens to get wider after using 35-70 (lovely lens) for a while... If You don't need wider, go 35-70 but if You need... Nothig better could be found for that price... I'm amazed with quality of photos that I took with 28-85. BUY IT if You need that range.
reviewer#1538 date: Dec-13-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:- KM 5D 18-70mm
- Sigma 70-300 APO
price paid:multi buy
positive:- Very sharp
- Well built
- Reasonable fast (compared to kit lens)
negative:- No wide angles
- A bit slow AF
- Useless hood
comment:I bought this lens in a multi buy which included 50mm 1.7, 100-200mm and Minolta 7000 with flash. I was only interested in the 50mm but I fell in love with this lens. It is a fantastic lens and I think I degrade the kit lens as back up lens for this one. Although I will miss wide angles.
Total price was 86 GBP so that was actually a steal considering the 50mm goes for over 50 GBP.
This lens is not a lot on the market, but still you can get it for cheap. Grab it with both hands and praise yourself lucky ... rarely you will find easy bargains like this lens.
reviewer#1463 date: Nov-22-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:35 f/2.0
50 f/1.7
85 f/1.4
price paid:???
positive:Sharp images
Solid build
negative:Heavy??



comment:My fovorite and most used lens for many, many years. I bought it new with a 7000i back in the late 80's. It is the only lens from that original purchase that I have kept. This lens has produced many winning photographs over the years and is one of the best bargains out there. My was retired only when I picked up a bunch of primes that cover the range. Hard to part with this one though due to the quality images it produces.
reviewer#1420 date: Nov-14-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-105 f/2.8
KM 18-70 DT (kit lens)
Minolta 70-210 f/4 (Beercan)
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
price paid:$50 USD used
positive:* Compact, weighs "just right."
* Common 55mm filter threads.
* Classic Minolta early AF build.
* Excellent picture quality for the price.
negative:* Not wide enough on APS-C (no real fault of the design, though).
* Not lightweight.
* Rotating front element.
* Zoom not as smooth as the beercan.
* Macro mode not very useful.
* Mediocre AF performance.
* Useless lens hood.
comment:Back in the film days, this lens was the "next step" up from the 35-70 f/4 zoom. It's a nice companion to the beercan, both in price/performance and feel. It's not a perfect lens, but it's head and shoulders, IQ wise, from the junk Minolta would use as consumer kit lenses later in life.

* BUILD QUALITY AND FEEL

I bought this lens from Henry's via eBay. It looks to be restored slightly (cleaned up). There was no fungus or other ilk, and the body is nice and clean. It certainly doesn't look like a 15 year old lens use-wise, though style-wise it is definitely old.

Just like the beercan, it feels built like a tank. Metal housing, metal geartrain, and a compact build make this a dense, substantial lens. In combination with the 5D, it gives it a kind of heft you don't get with most cameras.

The general handling of the lens is good, with decent balance. The zoom ring is rather narrow (which was fixed in the RS version) and isn't completely smooth, but this may be 15 years for the lubricant (if it works like the 28-13) to wear out. The focusing ring, like most early Minolta AF lenses, is narrow and hard to grip. The supplied lens hood is also completely useless. Two of these problems are fixed with a nice third party rubber lens hood, as turning the grip of a lens hood to focus works very well on this lens. You could also use a clip-on hood from lenses like the 100-200 or even the beercan, but they vignette around 28mm. A folding rubber lens hood is the best choice.

* FOCUSING AND ZOOMING

The AF of this lens isn't great. It's not slow, but it can be wonky in low light situations. This is fixed by using a flash with an AF illuminator. Outdoors in bright light, the AF is snappy, but not prime fast. Acceptable.

The zoom ring on my copy is a bit hitchy. It feels smooth until you start hitting focal lengths under 50mm. There's a definite "push" going from 35 to 28. This is probably just in the design of the lens; it's not the same zoom mechanism as a Beercan or 28-135, so there'll be some give. Used in conjunction with 5D, the lens feels like a nice extension of the camera.

* IMAGE QUALITY

This is where the lens shines and makes few compromises. Equipped with a proper lens hood, this lens is shielded from its natural enemy (flare) and produces sharp, stunning images. The colors have the typical Minolta cast (which some may like), and the out of focus backgrounds have a Beercan-like quality. It's really hard to knock this lens down on pixel-peeping. The main flaw is flare susceptibility (again, which is helped many times by a proper rubber lens hood) which ruins otherwise acceptable contrast and the fact that 28mm exhibits some barrel distortion. Taking a picture of a flag at 28mm on a golf course where the flag nearly fills the frame creates definite bending. The 28mm prime would definitely outperform this lens as far as distortion goes, but this lens could compete as far as sharpness.

I find this to be a great lens to work well with a flash. Pity there wasn't a D version.

If you can get the RS version instead of this older version, I'd probably reccomend it, the AF performance is better and the zoom/focus grips are much better. IQ wise, though? They're probably extremely similar.
reviewer#1375 date: Nov-4-2006
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:Minolta Rokkor Lenses (many)
Minolta AF 50mm f1.7
Minolta AF 35-70mm f4
Minolta AF 70-210mm f4 "Beercan"
price paid:45 USD part of a bundle (like new)
positive: - superb colors
- reasonably sharp
- solid build quality
- smooth, creamy bokeh
- good walk-about or travel lens
negative: - not eye-catching sharp
- small bit of purple fringing
- MF ring too small
- std lens hood not useful
comment:EDIT: 18Nov2008
While this lens has served me very well over the years and given me hundreds (if not thousands) of wonderful pictures, i have secured it's successor/superior - a Minolta 28-135mm f4-4.5. If that lens performs to it's reputation, as i suspect it will, my dear old 28-85mm will be relegated to the "back-up" bag. However, unlike the Minolta 35-70mm f4 i had, i won't sell my 28-85mm - it remains a very good and useful lens.

INITIAL REVIEW:
This old lens is a pleasure to use and i use mine nearly every day. It continues to give beautiful, consistent results. I have also used it with film and while not perfect, it is still very good - especially given the modest price.

This lens renders beautiful colors - neither overly saturated/rich or flat. In fact, my examples' color reproduction is equal to my Minolta 70-210mm F4's (Beercan). The out-of-focus exposure rendering is smooth, colorful and provides a lovely accent.

This lens feels like what ALL lenses should feel like - in a word - SOLID.

For me a deal/no deal point is sharpness and this lens simply does not have the "punch" I'd like. Also, the MF ring is really too small to use very well for quick-switches from AF to MF. The lens also struggles to focus well in lower light/contrast situations.

This lens is not what i would call a fast focusing lens. Not slow, but not fast. Though nit-picky and easy to remedy, the standard lens "hood" is utterly ineffective except as protection from barrel dings. I use a lens hood from one of my extra 70-210mm F4 lenses and this works beautifully.

While this lens does not have the professional attributes of G-Series lenses such as superior sharpness, constant F2.8, fast focusing, HUGE price tag, etc., it is an otherwise great performer.
reviewer#1326 date: Oct-16-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:minolta 28-135
minolta 18-70
tamron 24-135
sigma 17-70
price paid:
missing
positive:good colors
good build quality
good range on film
negative:not as sharp as i would like
bad range on digital
comment:dose not deliver the WOW effect
takes good pictures, nice colors but no superb sharpness

it is much better then the kit lens and is better then the tamron but it dosent even come close to the sigma 17-70 or the minolta 28-135.

the range is not that good in digital but is great on analog
i should give it a test on film and see how the pictures turn out...
reviewer#1043 date: Jul-31-2006
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Excellent build and optics.
negative:Dedicated hood useless.
comment:One of the best zooms I've used in the Minolta line-up, great color saturation (available light or flash photography), sharpness excellent from f5.6-11 (very acceptable at f3.5-4.5). Image quality a bit inferior to its bigger brother (28-135mm). Definitely a better alternative and more serious performer than the kit lens (18-70mm). Dedicated hood not enough to control flare, I use the hood for the 100-300mm APO instead.
reviewer#722 date: Apr-26-2006
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:28-75D, 28-70G
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, moderately fast (aperture), cheap.
negative:Slow AF, useless shade, lousy close focussing.
comment:A great alternative to the 28-75D on a budget & far sharper (in terms of resolved detail) than the kit lens. AF is slow and a little quirky. Sharp across the range - I rated it a 4 in absolute terms; for the price and the class of lens, it's terrific, but there are obviously sharper lenses. There's a macro mode that allows close focussing when the lens is down at 28mm. It's not useful often, but I've used it in a pinch for goofy closeups when the lens doesn't focus close enough in normal mode. If you find one without a shade, don't hesitate to try some third party shades, especially since the crop factor on APS allows for a deeper shade. The one designed for the lens is next to useless. See my review of the [RS] version of the lens for a comparison !
reviewer#593 date: Mar-18-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Goog build. Contrast and sharpness. Price!
negative:Macro regim is not useful.
comment:Good lens for every-day!
reviewer#579 date: Mar-15-2006
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 and Minolta 50mm f1.7
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp across the whole range, compact and well built.
negative:Might be considered heavy by some. I think only available on the second-hand market.
comment:I gave this lens a pretty stern test, comparing it with the Minolta PLASTIC, by that I mean the plastic mount 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 and the 50mm f1.7 as a reference.

I took pictures at f3.5, f5.6, f8, f16 and f22 at the following focal lengths 28,35,50,70 and 85mm.

I had the 7D tripod mounted, and shot the same subject repeatedly. I then compared the shots from the 28-85mm against the 35-70mm, and 50mm f1.7. The results were surprising. I compared corresponding images in photoshop, at up to 200% magnification, looking at centre and edge sharpness, contrast and colour.

The 28-85mm is sharp across the whole focal range, being pretty much razor sharp from 28 to 50mm, at all apertures. At f5.6 and larger, sharpness at 70 and 85mm was slightly less than razor sharp, but nevertheless very good. Colour was warmer than the 35-70mm f3.5-4.5, contrast high, with no noticeable distortion.

In short, this lens is a cracker, being the equivalent of a 40-130mm zoom in full frame. The SURPRISE is this, the plastic mounted 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 is even better and is a real shock to me, since that was the lens that came with my 500SI 35mm SLR, many years ago, which has seen very little use. The 35-70mm at 50mm at f5.6 and f8 is just as sharp as the fixed focal length 50mm f1.7

In summary the 28-85mm is a superb sharp lens across its entire range, contrast is high, colour is on the warm side, build quality is very good, usually has a lens hood. The 35-70mm is even sharper, contrast is also high, colour is neutral, build quality does not feel as good, plastic mount etc and the focal range is less, does not come with a lens hood.

If I had to choose between the two, I would have to go for the 35-70mm, because I will always go for the sharpest tool in the box, it feels kinda cheap and flimsy though compared to the Rolls Royce feel of the 28-85mm. But image quality is my first priority so 35-70mm it is.

A word of caution. I have owned enough lenses over the years to know that individual sample quality can differ. The tests I conducted were in no way scientific, but were simply a matter of comparing images shot at identical apertures and focal lengths, under the same lighting conditions. I used my eyes as the judge. I bought the 28-85mm just 1 week ago for Ł45 on ebay, I got lucky, my copy is good. The 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 can be had cheap on ebay too, for ridiculously low prices. If you come across one of these little beauties for sale dont overlook it because of the low price and the plasticky feel, my copy at least is an absolute diamond. The Minolta 35-70mm f3.5-4.5 AF shall hearby be known as the Minolta "PLASTIC". Remember you heard it first here on www.dyxum.com, from Max Zappa.


Max Zappa
reviewer#380 date: Jan-4-2006
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
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:55mm Filter
Useful length
Very sharp
Cheap
negative:Macro a waste of time, noisy and slow AF.
comment:I bought it cheap on eBay, currently use it as my walk round lens. It can deal with most situations fairly well, colours are good and it is sharp edge to edge at all but the largest aperture. A great little lens.
reviewer#46 date: Jan-27-2005
sharpness: 3
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 3
flare control: 3
overall: 3.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:Sigma 28-135 f/3.8-5.6: image quality is similar, build quality seems better (no zoom creep). Practical filter size of 55mm instead of 62mm.
price paid:
missing
positive:- Very good 'old-fashioned' build quality
- 55 mm filter size
- Great value for money
negative:- Macro function not very usable.
- Rotating front lens
comment:This lens is very well built, *much* better than the lightweight kit lenses that are sold nowadays. The tubus has no play and there is no sign of zoom creep. The image quality is decent, especially if stopped down to f/8. The versatile zoom range makes it an all-round lens. The lens has a 'Macro' option, but it hardly deserves this name (magnification is only 1/4). It is not really usable either, because the macro position is at the wide angle side (so you have to come very close to the subject). Also the autofocus is disabled in this position. This is one of the few standard zooms with 55mm filter size (a common size for Minolta lenses). Very practical. Great value for money (discontinued, but a true bargain on the second hand market.)
reviewer#13 date: Nov-22-2004
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:Minolta 35-105 f3.5-4.5 Macro
price paid:
missing
positive:Very very sharp
Very cheap in 2nd hand market
Well build
negative:Macro setting at 28mm is useless for me
comment:This lens is as good as the older brother in MD mount. This is very interesting lens, it is cheap and well build. Suitable for street photography.

Though AF can be faster (can't complaint for an old lens).

I love using it with my Dynax 7 or 800si. It is beautifull as far as image quality go. I love lenses within 28-105. So Either I go out with a 28-85 or 35-105...

well, my 28-135 f4-4.5 is coming soon... will review when I do 10 rolls of slide.
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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