Review Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5

According provided by Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5 huge thanks to AlexVOK.

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85 mm 3

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

The Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5 is one of the first autofocus and variable focal length lenses, introduced back in 1985, suitable for Minolta AF and Sony cameras.

The focusing motor is located in the camera. Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5 will auto focus on all DSLRs from Sony or Konica Minolta:

APS-C (with cropped sensor):

Full Frame (with full frame sensor):

For autofocusing on Sony E-mount mirrorless cameras, the Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5 must be used via the original adapter. For cropped mirrorless cameras, you can get by with the Sony LA-EA2 adapter. For full frame mirrorless cameras, an adapter must be used Sony LA-EA4 or Sony LA-EA5. It's important: Sony LA-EA1 and Sony LA-EA3 adapters will not allow autofocus with this lens.

Sony E, APS-C (with cropped sensor), Sony E Full Frame (with full frame sensor).

It inherited its optical design from the manual Minolta MD 28-85mm 1: 3.5-4.5. In 1992 it was updated to the 'RS' version, with exactly the same optical design, but a slightly different body design.

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

The lens came to me in a shabby state. Almost the entire Minolta 28-85mm (except for the zoom ring) is made of metal and glass. The zoom ring is rubberized. The lens weighs almost 500 grams and feels good Japanese build to the touch.

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

A bit unusual is that as the focal length decreases, the lens trunk lengthens, thus at 85 mm focal length the lens has the shortest length, and at 28 mm - the longest. The front lens does not rotate when the focal length is changed.

The Minolta 28-85mm has fast but noisy autofocus. Focusing is carried out by a motor in the camera. In normal mode, the MDF is 80 cm (the maximum ratio for macro is 1: 8.3). The focusing ring is metal, narrow and not very comfortable, rotates 120 degrees. The lens has focusing distance marks in meters and feet, IR marks for 28, 35, 50, 70, 85 mm and focal length marks. When focusing, the front lens rotates and the trunk moves out. The diameter of the front filter is small - 55 mm.

To enter the macro mode, you need to set the focal length to 28 mm, press the 'Macro' button and rotate the focal length control ring until it stops. To exit the macro mode, you need to press the 'Macro' button and turn the control ring in the same way focal length to the other side. The 'Macro' button is on the zoom ring.

Attention: in macro mode, auto focus is not available. Since there is no focus mode switch on the lens, you should enable manual focus mode on the camera itself.

In macro mode, you can shoot with a maximum magnification of 1: 4. Due to the fact that the macro mode is available only at the widest position of the lens, you can take interesting pictures with a small focusing distance and an unusual perspective.

The lens aperture consists of 7 blades and closes to F / 22 @ 28mm and F / 29 @ 85mm.

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

The hood on the Minolta 28-85, however, as on most lenses released by Minolta in those years, is attached with the hood clips. On the one hand, it is convenient, due to the fact that you do not need to aim at the grooves, as with modern lenses, on the other hand, this design is less reliable.

The lens tolerates backlight and side light well, but still catches glare and loses contrast. The APS-C has a slight barrel distortion (28mm) and pincushion (85mm) distortion. Vignetting is almost zero. Minolta 28-85mm does not stand out in anything special and in sharpness. I would say that these days, the Minolta 28-85mm is a good average.

I tested with a Sony A55v camera, on which EGF lens is 42-127.5mm, but this lens is also suitable for full-frame cameras such as a850, a900 and a99.

Archive with original photos in format RAW can download from this link (355 MB, 22 photos).

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm

Catalog of modern Sony lenses can look at this link.

Comments on this post do not require registration. Anyone can leave a comment. Many different photographic equipment can be found on AliExpress.


The Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5 is a quality built lens that has been designed to last. The image quality does not stand out in any way. It is worth noting the macro mode at 28 mm, however, without autofocus.

Material prepared Arkady Shapoval. Training/Consultations | Youtube | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | Telegram

Add a comment:



Comments: 21, on the topic: Review Minolta Maxxum Zoom AF Lens 28-85mm 1: 3.5 (22) -4.5

  • Oleg

    “It's a bit unusual that as the focal length decreases, the lens trunk lengthens, so the lens is the shortest at 85mm and the longest at 28mm.” - this solution allows you to use the hood correctly, since the hood will overlap the view angle of the lens; 28 mm is the largest angle of view, and the hood covers only a small part, and 85 is the smallest angle of view, and the front lens seems to be hiding in the hood. Exactly the same solution on the first version of Canon 24-70 / 2.8 L USM

    • AM

      No, you are wrong - the hood moves with the trunk. As for the hood, we can say that it is exclusively nominal for this lens and practically does not protect the lens from light.

      • Oleg

        Then it’s not clear why you flip at focal lengths. On a Canon 24-70 / 2.8, the lens hood works exactly as described above.

        • AM

          I suppose that this is somehow connected with the design features of the lens;)
          In general, if you are interested, you can find a service manual on the net - there is a separate chapter (with pictures! :)) dedicated to zooming and focusing.

  • anonym

    Arkady, thank you for your work. Every day I read your boric with pleasure. I think some details are related to it with the Nikon28-85mm f3.5-4.5 macro. apparently at that time the lenses were structurally very similar and actually were a work of art.

    Here I am tormented by the question: what to take as a standard lens for the d80? nikon 28-85, it really captivates with its good quality. or Nikon 18-70 will be wider on the crop ...
    closer to me is a plastic picture with a fairly clear flu zone. and to be beautiful yesterday, like a gelik or jupiter. .
    guys help someone advice.

    • Arkady Shapoval

      At the same price, 28-105 / 3,5-4,5 is very good. If a wide angle is important, then 18-70 / 3,5-4,5 will be the best option.

      • anonym

        Kartika plays a huge role and there is one BUT, I can’t find 28-105 in Minsk for an adequate price, as I understand it is very rare glass or very good that no one sells it. found one in the whole of Belarus and then 300 ye wants, you bastard.
        at 18-70 some kind of faded picture or something or it seemed to me like that ..

  • Vladislav

    And what is this tree with yellow shaggy flowers?

    • Do_Oraemon

      Willow is.

  • anonym

    I bought minolta md 35-105 redid it to Sonya and 57 using a shank from Helios 44 m4 and an M42 adapter of such a sharp glass I still haven’t had. On aperture 4 at all focal lengths in the field is better than minolta 1.7. Pentacon 1.8 and others. accurate Minoltian colors. 105mm like a razor. you need to take the first version of the 16 lens.

  • Oleg 1

    I have several Minolt, light-sensing fixes, zooms, compared them with various lenses (I have an epic instance of Helios, which in sharpness reaches Sonya) now everyone is chasing sharpness. Minolta is not the sharpest lenses, their advantage is different, it’s
    color rendering, contrast, a soft transition from the sun to shadow, the camera doesn’t be naughty with them in BB, unlike Helios. I do a simple experiment, I shoot a flower bed next to the house, Minolot and then Helios, Zenitar. Industar, Tamron, Sigma, then show
    I’m taking pictures of the house and asking which one is better, and everyone shows on Minolta, here the colors are better. And you
    say harshness. And another advantage of Minolt is the price, for the price of Helios 77 (which is not yet known how it will be removed) I found 28-105 in a new state, I will take it.

  • Andrei

    Thanks for the information. And the test.

  • R'RёS,R ° F "RёR№

    I heard good reviews about their last (in film time) lens 24-105 / 3.5-4.5, so it’s kind of like to cut these zooms. He came out with their Dunax 7 camera. And the fact that visually Minolt lenses do not give good sharpness is yes. I once tested MD 20mm / 2.8, and even with Pentax zoom it isn’t. Although they offered it for $ 100, instead of its real value on the secondary then $ 300-400 (it was 2001), I refused. In reality, it didn’t differ in sharpness from our regular Gelios lousy sample. Maybe I was wrong, because I tried it mainly on apertures 2.8-5.6 and 8. although maybe it would give something on aperture 11, it didn’t get to that .

    • Alexander

      Henri Cartier-Bresson: Sharpness in photography is a bourgeois prejudice.

      • Michael

        It's not the same for everybody

  • Victor

    When you change the focal length, the front lens does not rotate.
    When focusing, the front lens rotates and the trunk exits.
    Which description is correct

    • B. R. P.

      Both are correct. Changing the focal length is zooming. Focusing - focusing.

  • Alexander

    Nice reliable staff.

  • Human

    in macro mode:

  • Human

    at the wide end

    • Human

      wrong topic(

Add a comment

Copyright © Blog author - Photographer in Kiev Arkady Shapoval. 2009-2023

English-version of this article

Versión en español de este artículo