Ok so the "new lens" has turned up via the bay bargain of £100 (plus a bit for postage)
Opening the package, the lens is absolutely new not even a fingerprint on it no signs of use ever even the mount was pristine very unlikely it has ever been out of the box bar a quick look, so fair dues to the seller who was honest (not I've been using it for a few years quick Mr Sheen job and declaring it "new" rather than mint or whatever). Hood lens caps all as new instructions this probably went AWOL from a film 7 kit and has not been used, and if it has it's one of the best examples I've seen of a s/h lens
Quick play on APS-C reveals that at the tele end is just fine wide open all the way up to 105mm at f4.5, this was a problem on the 24-85mm where it was hazy in the tele range making f4.5 not really usable which kinda bothered me a bit. I'll be running a roll of 35mm film through it to see how it stacks up on full frame, that's the only way to test it fully. On APS-C it's ok wide end f3.5 though a tad lower on contrast not entirely unusable if you were inside and stuffed for light, it's improves quickly on stopping down a bit, I have to hit FF to see what goes on there.
there is some CA (in some highlight areas) but it does not look excessive on digital so far so I'm not sure that's a problem
The lens is even smaller than I remembered, it's stupidly small size for such a lens the comparison to the Canon 24-105mm L is chalk and cheese that's a far larger heavier lens, though it does have very good build. Build on the Minolta is "decent" as in better than kit lenses, but of course nowhere near pro..ok for what was a mid priced zoom lens, very similar to the 24-85mm. Focus ring has a fair bit of resistance, the zoom is fine though it's a bit stiff (another sign the lens has not had use)
Couple of quick tests shots