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Minolta Maxxum 35-105 and 28-135 Comparison


TalkEmount Veteran
Jun 22, 2021
SE Michigan
Real Name
I purchased both of these earlier this year although I haven't done much with either other than film and a few shots with the A700 and SLT-65. I wanted to see how they'd respond on something with a more modern sensor to get some idea of them with a A to E mount adapter.

I bought the 35-105/3.5-4.5 first because they're pretty cheap, but kept an eye open for a decent price on the 28-135/4-4.5. Both lenses are pretty highly rated and are the original issue versions introduced in 1985. The 35-105 was replaced with a worse version in 1988, but the 28-135 never did have a replacement. I think I paid about $40 for the 35-105 and $80 for the 28-135.

The 28-135 ratings from Dyxum:
flare control:3.44

The 35-105 ratings from Dyxum:
flare control:4.08

The 35-105 edges out the 28-135 slightly in the overall, but a lot of that is poor flare control, not unexpected for lenses of this vintage. It's also rated slightly higher in sharpness and color, but I'm not 100% certain my copies agree. Note this is TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC and is how I'll shoot them real world. They were made under the same light and zoomed as nearly as I could, I was a bit off on the tree. With the exception of resizing these are SOOC jpegs, the camera being a G9.

The first photo in each pair is the 35-105. Both were made wide-open, so 3.5 and 4 respectively.
35-105 table by telecast, on Flickr
28-135 table by telecast, on Flickr

Again, both made wide open. In this pair the 28-135 has a clear advantage, looking at the dead leaves on the front of the squash. Click the photo and go to Flickr to enlarge.
35-105 squash by telecast, on Flickr
28-135 squash by telecast, on Flickr

This pair I goofed on the zoom a bit. These were shot two stops down from wide open. While the Maxxum lenses don't have an aperture ring, the Fotodiox adapter has a ring that allows adjustment. It isn't graduated so you have to watch your shutter speed. I turned the ring until it dropped two stops, from 250 to 60 in both cases. I figure 7.1 and 8 respectively.
35-105 tree by telecast, on Flickr
28-135 tree by telecast, on Flickr

So, what's the verdict? I don't see enough of a difference in most cases to discount either as an inexpensive addition to vintage glass. Either would be a great walking around lens, edge to the 28-135 for range. I think the color on the tree is a little better with the 28-135 as well, and the sharpness is better on the squash shot. I have to say that I cannot discount user error in any of these differences.

With both in the house to choose from, the 28-135 would go with me more times than not.
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