5 frames with...

5 frames with a Minolta Panorama Zoom 28 – by Charles Higham

Another plastic compact from the early 1990s: check.
Not much about it on the internet: check.
28mm to 70mm Minolta zoom lens worth testing: check.

The made-in-Japan Minolta Panorama Zoom 28 is a fairly chunky but well-designed compact with a 28-70mm f/3.5 to f/8.4 lens, autofocus, DX reading and has a decent array of manual settings including macro and landscape, but no ISO manual adjustment. It also has a panorama crop switch by the viewfinder which was one of those features which seemed to be all the rage for a while back then.

This model has a date-back so you have the option of burning the time and date onto your exposure, which of course once done is irreversible but could occasionally be useful. The back needs a CR2025 battery, and as I don’t have one at present I can’t tell you whether it can be programmed with 2018 dates.

When the camera is powered up the flash can be deactivated using two presses on a dedicated button. It needs not one but two CR123A batteries and is comfortable to hold with logically positioned control buttons behind the LCD screen, and a sensibly large and easily manipulated zoom lever. Good marks for ergonomics, although it has to be said the squishy buttons are small.


So the Minolta Panorama Zoom 28 is a reasonably well featured but essentially automated point & shoot camera. I loaded it with some Ilford HP5 Plus to see what it could do.

Outcome? The lens is nicely sharp across the frame and remains so when zoomed to 70mm. There’s not much vignetting, some predictable distortion at the wide end but it’s not excessive, and metering is spot on.

I’m quite impressed, particularly as the camera cost just a few quid.

Westgate Centre, Oxford.

70mm zoom

Westgate roof terrace cafe.

Stall, Gloucester Green Market, Oxford

Souvlaki stall

You can find more of the content and reviews I’ve submitted to 35mmc here

Do you enjoy reading 35mmc?

For as little as $1 a month, you can help support the upkeep of this website. The more people chuck me a small amount of cash each month, the more time I can spend building and improving upon it - simple as that!
Or, for $2 a month you can get access to my behind the scenes micro-blog over on Patreon!

Either way, want to help out, become a patron of 35mmc here:

Become a Patron!

Alternatively, if you just enjoyed this post, or like the odd post here and there, please feel free to chuck a few pennies in the tip jar via Ko fi here:

Write for 35mmc: read more here, about how you can help build upon this ever growing resource
Subscribe/Follow: click here, to discover all the ways you can follow 35mmc

You Might Also Like

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Thank you for commenting

...now share the post with your friends?