View over Morcote and Lago di Lugano.


 28mm Morcote Overview

(October 2009) 

In this article we compare a few old Minolta zooms with the recent Sony Zeiss ZA 2.8/24-70mm and the new Sony AL 2.8/28-75mm SAM:

1) Minolta AF 3.5-4.5/28-85mm
2) Minolta AF 4-4.5/28-135mm
3) Minolta AF 2.8-4.5/17-35mm D
4) Minolta AF 3.5-4.5/24-105mm D
5) Sony Zeiss ZA 2.8/24-70mm
6) Sony (Tamron) AL 2.8/28-75mm SAM

At f=28mm all of these lenses including the Zeiss ZA 2.8/24-70mm must be stopped down to f8 or f11 for good corner performance. The only exception is the Sony (Tamron) 2.8/28-75mm wich is acceptable at f2.8 and quite OK at f5.6.




All images were taken with my Sony Alpha 900 24 MP DSLR, using a Manfrotto 055CB tripod with Manfrotto 410 three-way head, and 2s Mirror Lock Up (MLU) to reduce vibrations. Image stabilizer was "Off", ISO set to 100, and RAW files were converted using Photoshop (sharpening 50, radius 0.5 pixels, detail 50). Neither vignetting nor CAs were corrected (bear in mind that e. g. the Nikon D3, the D3x and the D300 apply such corrections automatically to their JPGs and to NEFs).



28mm Morcote MAF 28-85mm center

28mm Morcote MAF 28-85mm corner

Minolta AF 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.5: Soft corners, strong vignetting and missing details at f3.5, and very good corners at f11 - apart from pronounced color aberrations! If the CAs are corrected in post processing, the images from the Minolta 28-85 can be printed up to 35x50cm in very good quality.



28mm Morcote MAF 28-135mm center

28mm Morcote MAF 28-135mm corner

Minolta AF 28-135mm 1:4-4.5: The 28-135mm is an excellent performer in the range of 35 - 100mm, but the extremes (28mm and 135mm) are a bit weak - but look at the images of the Zeiss ZA 24-70mm before you judge the Minolta 28-135mm!



28mm Morcote MAF 17-35mm D center

28mm Morcote MAF 17-35mm D corner




28mm Morcote MAF 24-105mm center

28mm Morcote MAF 24-105mm corner




28mm Morcote ZA 24-70mm center

28mm Morcote ZA 24-70mm corner

Sony Zeiss ZA 2.8/24-70mm @ f=28mm

f2.8: Excellent in the center, not really satisfying in the corners: the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* 2.8/24-70mm
f5.6: The Zeiss still has quite lot of problems in the corners
f11: Very good corner sharpness, finally!



28mm Morcote SAL 28-75mm center

28mm Morcote SAL 28-75mm corner

Sony AL 2.8/28-75mm SAM: At f=28mm clearly the best of the tested zooms - much better than the Zeiss ZA 2.8/24-70mm. Be aware that it's different at f=70mm; at 70mm the Zeiss is crisper and has a better microcontrast than the Sony 2.8/28-75mm.