This entry is part 3 of 6 in the series Vintage Glass
My second old lens, Minolta Maxxum AF 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, arrived on schedule today from KEH Camera. There were two versions of the 28-85, and I ordered the original version, which was introduced back in 1985.
While it arrived too late to really make any decent images, I did at least pop the lens on the camera and pop off a few shots. None of them are particularly inspired or particularly good. The image at left is pretty much right out of the camera, with the exception of a little cropping.
As with the 50mm f/1.7, the color and the subjective feel of the image are exactly what I had hoped for: deep, punchy colors with nice, smooth bokeh. If you look closely, you’ll see that this image isn’t completely sharp, except in a very few spots. In this image, I’m shooting at the maximum focal length of the lens (85mm), wide open (f/4.5), and as close to the subject as I could be and still get anything in focus (about 32 inches).
Getting down to the lens itself. My copy is, as mentioned above, from the initial group of 11 Maxxum lenses introduced in 1985. It is built like a small tank, with a completely metal lens barrel and mount. The zoom action is silky smooth, as is the manual focus. KEH rated the lens condition as “Excellent,” and in all of the important aspects, that’s absolutely true. The glass is perfect, and I can’t even see any of the usual dust inside the lens. And, the aperture blades are clean and move freely. The only “not-so-excellent” bit is cosmetic — some discoloration on the rubber zoom ring. I think if I had rated the lens, I might have given it an “Excellent -”.
I’m really looking forward to having some time to play with it over the weekend. Hopefully, I’ll have some “real” pictures to post then.