Another Minolta New MD 17mm F4 lens review – very wide and amazing lens

This is the widest lens which can be used for any scenes without geometric correction in post-editing. So, before to call it as expensive lens, lets go to see prices for modern wide lenses with their usually odd geometry to realize the simple idea – if you really need wide lens without troubles – welcome to the MD Minolta lenses owners club.

MD_17_4_DSC00531.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 17mm 1:4 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 17
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 17
A max [1/f] 4
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 11
Lens design [gr.] 9
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 72
Lens Shade
closefocus[m/ft] 0.25/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 75×53
Weight[g] 325
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. or Order No. 611-808

Lens exterior:

(forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)

 


Lens code name – Nonna ノンナ

Nonna – is a student from Pravda Girls High School. She’s the vice commander of her school’s Sensha-Dō team, as well as its sniper and she mainly operates a Soviet T-34-85 tank, although she can operate an IS-2 as well. In the anime, she only missed one shot when she served as the gunner of IS-2

 


Resolution – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – about 10% longer than minimal focus distance marked on the lens. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 9 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-100, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved  the target to the next place.

test_scene_view300x200

Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance.

Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but so many repeats of shots – 4 for corners, 2 for long side, 2 for short side are giving me insurance that test results are correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

_MD_17_4_F_preview2

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

17_4_close_dist_test_FULL.jpg


Resolution – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

_MD_17_4_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

dist_aberr_MD_17_4_0_DSC02008.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (0.25m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800, bokeh covers the frame partially)


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (0.5m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Light dots bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 0.27m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 17mm 1:4F (Minolta MD III 17mm F/4):

Minolta MD 17mm F/4.0 review avatar

So wide, with so perfect geometry and sharpness – and very small and lightweight. Someone can say that this lens is expensive, but on the other hand – is it real to find a cheaper lens with same characteristics on 17mm focus distance? If you like extremely wide angle but you aren’t ready for fish-eye – you have no alternatives. Auto-focus isn’t necessary for this focal distance. Use F8 to get sharp corners for landscapes and forget about resolution issues. (APS-C usable)

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