Sony Minolta 28-135mm
Full-Frame for Sony Alpha & Minolta MAXXUM Mounts
For Sony E-Mount with Sony LA-EA4
Sony Minolta MAXXUM AF 28-135mm f/4~4.5 (Sony Alpha mount, fits Sony E-mount when used with Sony LA-EA4 adapter, crop- and full-frame and 35mm coverage, metal 72mm filter thread, 26.6 oz./754g, 5'/1.5m close focus with extra macro mode at 28mm, about $99 used). bigger. I got this one at this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay); Amazon may also have them.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection. Thanks for helping me help you! Ken.
This is a Minolta lens, but Sony bought Minolta in 2006 and has since sold compatible products branded as Sony. This lens came out in 1985 and today works great on Sony's full-frame mirrorless cameras with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter.
This 28-135mm lens was astounding when it first came out for its great quality and broad zoom range. It was the first lens to offer such performance in a broad zoom range. Minolta had a patent on a key technology, and thus had a lock on this market for quite a while.
This 28-135mm lens is sharp and works great for just about everything. The one gotcha is that it only focusses to 5'/1.5m unless you invoke the special macro mode at 28mm.
As an all-metal lens, it's probably more likely to be working well today than most of the newer crop of plastic lenses a few years old. This isn't a throw-away like too many lenses today.
● World's first autofocus super-range zoom.
● Fast: f/4.5 at 135mm, not f/5.6.
● Ideal zoom range.
● Works great on Sony full-frame mirrorless with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter.
● Very expensive back in 1985, but only about $100 today if you know How to Win at eBay.
● Only focuses to 5'/1.5m unless you use the macro mode at 28mm.
● No instant manual-focus override unless you use the DMF mode in a Sony camera.
Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.
This is a full frame lens and I'm reviewing it as such.
It's a Sony Alpha mount for use on cameras like the Sony A99. Everything works great, including in-camera stabilization and ultrafast AF, except that the AF-D Depth Map AF (whatever that is) and the automatic lens corrections don't work. So what, the images look great and everything else works, like face recognition and all the focus modes including Direct Manual Focus (DMF) override, so all is well.
It's designed for Minolta's MAXXUM AF 35mm cameras.
Minolta calls this the MAXXUM AF ZOOM 28-135mm f/4(22) - 4.5.
MAXXUM: Minolta's brand name for it's autofocus lenses, also called Dynax outside the USA.
f/4(22) - 4.5: f/4~4.5 maximum aperture, f/22 minimum aperture.
16 elements in 13 groups.
Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.
7 straight blades.
Stops down to f/22.
When used APS-C, it sees the same angle of view as a 42-200 mm lens sees when used on a full-frame or 35mm camera.
See also Crop Factor.
Angle of View
75.3º ～ 18.2º diagonal on full frame.
No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in, but the thin rear focus ring does always rotate.
Infinity Focus Stop
Depth of Field Scale
Infrared Focus Index
Yes, at 28, 35, 50, 70, 100 and 135mm.
5 feet (1.5 meters).
0.8 feet (0.25 meters) only in a special macro mode at 28mm.
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
1:11 (0.091×) at 135mm at 5'/1.5m.
1:4 (0.25×) only in a special macro mode at 28mm.
None, but works with in-camera stabilization.
Metal 72 mm filter thread.
2.99" maximum diameter × 4.29" extension from flange.
76 mm maximum diameter × 109 mm extension from flange.
26.603 oz. (754.15g) actual measured weight.
Rated 26.5 oz. (750 g).
Made in Japan.
Minolta Model Number
This is a great lens at a bargain price. Just look at the Sample Images.
Autofocus is fast on modern cameras.
It uses a screw focus system with the motor in your camera. The screw makes one full turn as focussed from infinity down to 15'/5m, and of course turns more as focussed more closely.
The thin rear focus ring turns as it autofocuses.
Face Recognition works swell on Sony cameras.
Manual focus is swell, but you usually need to move a switch on your camera to get to manual mode.
The image gets slightly smaller as focussed more closely.
Focus breathing is the image changing size as focused in and out. It's important to cinematographers because it looks funny if the image changes size as focus gets pulled back and forth between actors. If the lens does this, the image "breathes" by growing and contracting slightly as the dialog goes back and forth.
Bokeh, the feel or quality of out-of-focus areas as opposed to how far out of focus they are, is pretty good at the 135mm end where it matters. You can't get much out of focus at the 28mm end.
Here are samples at head-shot distance:
It's got strong barrel distortion at 28mm, but none at 35mm. It has pincushion distortion from 50mm to 135mm.
Distortion is well controlled; these factors correct it completely in Photoshop's lens distortion filter.
These aren't facts or specifications, they are the results of my research that requires hours of photography and calculations on the resulting data.
© 2017 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.
It handles great for a 1980s lens. Even today, most of the barrel is the big zoom ring. Zooming is smooth, precise and never drifts. As an all-metal lens, it feels great.
The only gotcha is close focus, which is only 5' or 1.5 meters. It's not unusual to have to step back now and then. The macro mode works swell, but since it only works at 28mm, it's not that useful.
I don't see any falloff worth mentioning. Looking at my Sample Images, it looks great shot wide open.
It has a glorious metal 72mm filter thread.
It has only basic multicoating, so you can get some flare and ghosts if you point it at the sun.
Here are extreme examples. Click to enlarge:
For a 1980s lens with no electronic correction on today's cameras, I'm impressed at just how little lateral color fringes it has.
Midrange it has none, and at 28mm and 135mm it has only the slightest green-magenta fringes. This is very impressive.
It doesn't get very close in its regular mode:
Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 19 July 2017. (Sony A9 with Sony Minolta 28-135mm on Sony LA-EA4 adapter at 135mm at close-focus distance of about 5'/1.5m at f/7.1 at 1/400 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full-resolution © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).
But it does get close at 28mm in its macro mode, and it's extremely sharp even wide-open:
Kienzle Flieger Automat 800/2843, 19 July 2017. (Sony A9 with Sony Minolta 28-135mm on Sony LA-EA4 adapter in macro mode at 28mm at f/4 at 1/800 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or full-resolution © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolution images properly).
You're seeing the texture of the silver paint on the watch face.
If this crop is about 6" (15cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 20 × 30" (50 × 75cm).
If this crop is about 12" (30cm) wide on your screen, then the complete image printed at this same extreme magnification would be about 40 × 60" (1 × 1.5 meters).
Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.
It's all metal! It has an all-metal barrel and all-metal insides, hoorah!
Section with focus window: metal.
Section with focus distance window: plastic.
Engraved around front element.
Painted on side of barrel.
Moisture Seal at Mount
Dull chromed metal.
Engraved and filled with white paint on bottom of barrel near mount.
Noises When Shaken
Mild to moderate clicking.
It's a little dreamier wide-open, but honestly, I'm very impressed at how it's uniformly sharp from edge to edge at every setting. It's better than many newer lenses!
It has no stabilization, but with in-camera stabilization I have no problems hand-holding at 1/8 at 30mm:
With a real 7-bladed diaphragm, it makes classic 14-point Sunstars on brilliant points of light:
To use the Macro mode, slide the silver button forwards and turn the lens past 28mm.
You set coarse focus with the zoom ring manually, and fine-tune with the regular focus ring if you're on a tripod. The AF system is deactivated in Macro; it automatically reverts to manual focus even if the camera is set to auto. Brilliant!
I find its zoom range much more useful than the limited range of the otherwise extraordinary 24-70mm f/2.8 GM — for less than one-twentieth the price.
For a $99 lens, it's extraordinary today.
The very best protective filter is the 72mm Hoya multicoated HD3 UV which uses hardened glass and repels dirt and fingerprints.
Filters last a lifetime, so you may as well get the best. The Hoya HD3 stays cleaner than the others since it repels oil and dirt.I got this one at this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay); Amazon may also have them.
This ad-free website's biggest source of support is when you use those or any of these links to approved sources when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. I use the stores I do because they ship from secure remote warehouses where no one gets to touch your new camera before you do. Buy only from the approved sources I use myself for the best prices, service, return policies and selection.
Thanks for helping me help you!
© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.
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24-27 July 2017