Minolta AF Maxxum/Sony Alpha linse
Standard Zoom Linse
Maxxum Standard Zoom – Like a “G”
If you are seriously considering adding this lens to your collection, you probably already know a lot about it. Simply put, it is one of Minolta’s finest zoom lenses in the standard range and it’s one of my favorites. Up until replacing it with a CZ2470, I’d used it as my standard zoom and probably had taken half of all my photos with this model of lens up to that point.
I sold a copy of this lens to a good customer a while ago and this is what he had to say about it:
This particular lens (S/N 10150xx) is in at least excellent condition as far as cosmetics go. There are some general light signs of wear, most notably to the underside where the lens contacts a surface at rest. The rest of the lens surfaces look great with just minimal wear. There is a small crack in the focus window but the integrity is not compromised.
Optically, the lens glass is perfect. No scratches, blemishes, cleaning marks or issue of any kind to the surfaces. And of course, no haze or fungus inside. Under bright halogen light, I can see a few small dust particles beneath the front element but nothing of significance.
Both caps are included with the lens.
The rubber zoom grip looks great with very light wear and it is not faded and crusty like so many lenses you see on Ebay.
The overall cosmetics on this lens are nice – I’d have no problem owning this particular copy (and I’m picky about my gear). The mount is clean and unmarked.
I know this lens well and I make several important checks on this lens’ mechanics to determine its condition:
- Lens creep – When hung upside down by the lens mount and nudged along past 28mm, this lens will start to creep very, very slowly from 50 to 120mm. This is an above average result for this lens – worn out copies really move. The zoom rotates smoothly with the characteristic little smooth bump at 135mm which is normal for this lens. When hung upside down at 28mm, (as when mounted to your camera and hanging the kit from your neck strap, the lens will not creep.
- Lens focus – Very smooth and fast. No issues.
- Front element “wobble” – After extending the zoom to 135mm, there is much less than a 1mm wobble to detect when attempting to move the front element laterally. It is actually quite neglibible. This is an excellent result which indicates minimal lateral wear. Try this test with your consumer grade plastic lens and see what happens! A high percentage of these 28-135mm’s do have a bit of a wobble, some a lot more than others. This one doesn’t have “a lot” or even “a bit” – it’s minimal. If your lens has serious wobble, corner and edge sharpness may be affected. Significant wobble is a sign of excess use and a worn out lens.
- Aperture action – Snappy. No oil on either side of blades.
- Macro Switch – Normal operation.
The 28-135mm is truly a beauty. Big glass, solid vintage 1st generation optics and construction, exotic engineering, Macro capability, rear internal focusing with a non-rotating front element, tack sharp reproduction from corner to corner…simply an awesome lens. Many compare it to the “G” line as far as its performance goes.
Konica Minolta has now sold its Maxxum mount to Sony, but it has been years since Minolta even made glass like this. The 28-135mm f4-4.5 is getting harder to find, as knowledgeable enthusiasts and Sony DSLR/SLT owners snap up nice used copies for their bags. With the full frame A900 and A850 on the market, and new A99 SLT available, this lens has become the affordable alternative to the Sony CZ 24-70/2.8 ($2000) Online reviews that put the two lenses head to head declare that the 28-135 is as sharp as the CZ.
Minolta stopped making this lens years ago because apparently the profit margin was slim to none. Too much glass. Too much innovation, and just too expensive to produce.
The optical performance of the 28-135mm is amazing when you consider the focal range and maximum aperture of the lens. This lens covers twice the range of a standard zoom and has macro capability (1:4) and internal focus while maintaining a fast zoom aperture of f4-4.5. It is tack sharp at any setting. Its range and relative size and weight also make it a perfect traveling companion. This lens will be at home in tight urban environments or sweeping vistas at 28mm, and is great for unobtrusive candid shots at 135mm. Coupled with the Maxxum 70-210 f4, (another Leica legend) or a 100-300 APO, you are covered through at least 95% of your picture taking needs, with just 2 high quality Minolta lenses. And in the case of the 28-135, you have one highly collectible, rare Minolta zoom lens.
- Construction: 16 elements in 13 groups
- Angle of view: 75°-18°
- Minimum focus (macro): 1.5m (0.25m)
- Maximum magnification: 0.25X
- Minimum f-stop: f/22-27
- Dimensions: 75 x 109mm
- Weight: 770 g
From a Minolta Website: “The Minolta AF 28-135mm f/4-4.5 zoom lens is the first zoom lens in the world to use a unique rear-focusing optical design. Three major design benefits are: faster autofocusing since the moving mass of lens elements is greatly reduced; reduction of overall size and weight; and closer minimum focusing distances.”