Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Full-Frame for Sony Alpha & Minolta MAXXUM Mounts

For Sony E-Mount with Sony LA-EA4

Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

Please help KenRockwell..com

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

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.

 

August 2017   Sony   Sony Lenses   Minolta   Minolta Lenses   Zeiss   Canon   Nikon   All Reviews

 

Sample Images

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

Doorway 14 July 2017

Doorway, 8:07 PM, 14 July 2017. Sony A9 with Sony LA-EA4 adapter, Sony Minolta 28-135mm at 30mm at 1/8 second hand-held at Auto ISO 4,000, Perfectly Clear. bigger or full-resolution.

 

Nellie Gail's Finest Home: Poker Flats Place

Lamp, 8:01 PM, 14 July 2017. Sony A9 with Sony LA-EA4 adapter, Sony Minolta 28-135mm at 135mm at f/4.5 at 1/80 second hand-held at Auto ISO 1,250. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Sasha and a Mercedes

Sasha, 15 July 2017. Sony A9 with Sony Minolta 28-135mm on Sony LA-EA4 adapter at 120mm at f/7.1 at 1/320 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Katie at the Luau

Katie at the Luau, 14 July 2017. (Sony A9 with Sony Minolta 28-135mm on Sony LA-EA4 adapter at 110mm at f/4.5 at 1/100 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger.

 

Luau deserts

Luau deserts, 14 July 2017. (Sony A9 with Sony Minolta 28-135mm on Sony LA-EA4 adapter at 28mm at f/13 at 1/60 at Auto ISO 100, Perfectly Clear.) bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Introduction

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

New   Good   Bad   Missing

Adorama Pays Top Dollar for Used Gear

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

Crutchfield

I buy only from these approved sources. I can't vouch for ads below.

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 is a very well made lens for all Sony Alpha and Minolta MAXXUM cameras. Used with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter it becomes a Sony E-Mount lens for Sony's hottest mirrorless cameras!

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.

 

New

● World's first autofocus super-range zoom.

 

Good

● Sharp.

● 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.

 

Bad

● Only focuses to 5'/1.5m unless you use the macro mode at 28mm.

 

Missing

● No instant manual-focus override unless you use the DMF mode in a Sony camera.

 

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.

 

Format

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

This is a full frame lens and I'm reviewing it as such.

 

Compatibility

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Sony

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.

Use it with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter and it works great on Sony's hottest mirrorless cameras!

 

Minolta

It's designed for Minolta's MAXXUM AF 35mm cameras.

 

Specifications

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Name

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.

    AF: Autofocus.

    f/4(22) - 4.5: f/4~4.5 maximum aperture, f/22 minimum aperture.

 

Optics

16 elements in 13 groups.

Basic multicoating.

 

Diaphragm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.

7 straight blades.

Stops down to f/22.

 

Focal Length

28-135mm.

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.

 

Focus

Rear focus.

No external movement as focussed, so no air or dust is sucked in, but the thin rear focus ring does always rotate.

 

Focus Scale

Yes.

 

Infinity Focus Stop

Yes.

 

Depth of Field Scale

No.

 

Infrared Focus Index

Yes, at 28, 35, 50, 70, 100 and 135mm.

 

Close Focus

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.

 

Image Stabilizer

None, but works with in-camera stabilization.

 

Filters

Metal 72 mm filter thread.

 

Size

2.99" maximum diameter × 4.29" extension from flange.

76 mm maximum diameter × 109 mm extension from flange.

 

Weight

26.603 oz. (754.15g) actual measured weight.

Rated 26.5 oz. (750 g).

 

Quality

Made in Japan.

 

Announced

1985.

 

Minolta Model Number

25531.

 

Price, USA

About $99 used, July 2017, if you know How to Win at eBay.

 

Performance

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

 

Overall   Autofocus   Manual Focus

Breathing   Bokeh   Distortion

Ergonomics   Exposure   Falloff   Filters

Flare & Ghosts   Lateral Color Fringes

Macro   Mechanics   Sharpness

Stabilization   Sunstars

 

Overall

Performance          top

This is a great lens at a bargain price. Just look at the Sample Images.

 

Autofocus

Performance          top

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

performance          top

Manual focus is swell, but you usually need to move a switch on your camera to get to manual mode.

 

Focus Breathing

Performance          top

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

Performance          top

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:

Sony Minolta 28-135mm Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 19 July 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Sony Minolta 28-135mm Bokeh

Davis 6250 weather station, 19 July 2017. bigger or camera-original © file to explore on your computer (mobile devices rarely display full resolutions images properly).

 

Distortion

Performance          top

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.

 

On Full Frame at 10'/3m

28mm
+4.00
35mm
±0.00
50mm
-2.70
70mm
-3.50
100mm
-3.00
135mm
-2.70

© 2017 KenRockwell.com. All rights reserved.

 

Ergonomics

Performance          top

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Minolta 28-135mm at 28mm. bigger.
Minolta 28-135mm at 135mm. bigger.

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.

 

Falloff

Performance          top

I don't see any falloff worth mentioning. Looking at my Sample Images, it looks great shot wide open.

 

Filters, use with

performance          top

It has a glorious metal 72mm filter thread.

 

Flare & Ghosts

Performance          top

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:

Minolta 28-135mm ghosts

Minolta 28-135mm ghosts

 

Lateral Color Fringes

Performance          top

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.

 

Macro

Performance          top

It doesn't get very close in its regular mode:

Minolta 28-135mm macro performance

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:

Minolta 28-135mm macro performance

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).

 

Minolta 28-135mm macro performance

1,200 × 900 pixel crop from above. 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).

 

Mechanical Quality

Performance          top

Sony Minolta 28-135mm

Sony Minolta 28-135mm f/4~4.5. bigger.

It's all metal! It has an all-metal barrel and all-metal insides, hoorah!

 

Filter Threads

Metal.

 

Front Barrel

Metal.

 

Zoom Ring

Rubber-covered metal.

 

Mid Barrel

Section with focus window: metal.

 

Focus Ring

Metal.

 

Rear Barrel

Section with focus distance window: plastic.

 

Identity

Engraved around front element.

Painted on side of barrel.

 

Internals

All metal!

 

Moisture Seal at Mount

No.

 

Mount

Dull chromed metal.

 

Serial Number

Engraved and filled with white paint on bottom of barrel near mount.

 

Date Code

None found.

 

Noises When Shaken

Mild to moderate clicking.

 

Made in

Japan.

 

Sharpness

Performance          top

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!

The only limitation to picture sharpness will be your skill as a photographer.

 

Image Stabilization

Performance          top

It has no stabilization, but with in-camera stabilization I have no problems hand-holding at 1/8 at 30mm:

Doorway 14 July 2017

Doorway, 8:07 PM, 14 July 2017. Sony A9 with Sony LA-EA4 adapter, Sony Minolta 28-135mm at 30mm at 1/8 second hand-held at Auto ISO 4,000. bigger or full-resolution.

 

Sunstars

Performance          top

With a real 7-bladed diaphragm, it makes classic 14-point Sunstars on brilliant points of light:

Don Jose's

Fans, 5:00 PM, 16 July 2017. Sony A9, Sony Minolta 28-135mm at 28mm at f/8 at 1/8 second hand-held at Auto ISO 1,600. bigger or camera-original © file.

 

Usage

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

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!

 

Recommendations

Top   Sample Images   Intro   Format

Compatibility   Specifications

Performance   Compared

Usage   Recommendations

This is a very, very handy lens to use for just about everything, and with the Sony LA-EA4 adapter as I use mine it becomes a Sony E-Mount lens for Sony's hottest mirrorless cameras!

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.

For less money, the B+W 72mm 010 is an excellent filter, as are the multicoated version and the basic multicoated Hoya filters, but the Hoya HD3 is the toughest and the best.

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, Mrs. Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

© Ken Rockwell. All rights reserved. Tous droits réservés. Alle Rechte vorbehalten.

 

Help Me Help You

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links when you get anything. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places always have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

 

 

24-27 July 2017