Minolta AF 28mm f/2.8: not as bad as you might think

Started Nov 8, 2014 | User reviews thread
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seachicken2000 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,242
Minolta AF 28mm f/2.8: not as bad as you might think

They're everywhere. Quite a popular lens in their day, but nobody seems to want them, so they're cheap junk.

Not as exciting as a 24mm lens, but a very useful focal length. I am not sure of the fair going rate for this lens. I picked mine up for the equivalent of $35 at auction. It's the old model in average condition, but the optics are clean.

From what I've read on the net, this lens is not particularly well thought of, so I didn't expect it would be able to withstand the scrutiny of the A7r sensor. It certainly can, but needs stopping down.

Here's a list of key points:

  • It's sharp corner to corner at f/11. At f/8 the corners are decent, and get progressively softer at wider apertures. No surprises there, except perhaps for the first point that it can be sharp everywhere.
  • I didn't notice much CA. It's very well controlled.
  • Distortion also seems well corrected.
  • It will flare with the sun in the frame.
  • Very well made.
  • Bokeh if you can get it, is quite nice.
  • Very handy pull out lens hood, that's totally useless.
  • 7 straight aperture blades. Doesn't seem big on sun stars.
  • 200g

Here are a couple of full resolution A7r test shots to illustrate what it's capable of stopped down.

All-in-all it is a very useful lens that can satisfy even the A7r if used "properly" (f/8~11). It's an old lens, with old lens flaws (and benefits), but is quite impressive nonetheless. Sony will release a 28mm f/2 lens next year that I'd expect will beat this one, if only because of better coatings (although there's a more modern Sony version of this lens, presumably with modern coatings).

Why only 4 stars? I'd rate it 5 stars in terms of value for money. I've knocked half a star off because I suspect the Contax/Yashica Zeiss 28mm f/2.8 may be sharper, and another half because I am a grouch.

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