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Review: Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8

Another Minolta New MD 20mm F2.8 lens review.

Personally, it’s my choice among other wide options. I love this lens because geometry, sharpness and shape of hull, or may be because I’m feeling it in my hands better than others ultra-wides – this MD 20/2.8 is a very fit ‘chan’.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

MD_20_2_8_DSC00530

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 20mm 1:2.8 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 21
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 20
A max [1/f] 2,8
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 10
Lens design [gr.] 9
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.25/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×43.5
Weight[g] 240
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 515-810

Floating elements YES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 250-300
Reviewed lens SN: 8003622


Lens exterior:

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

Mounted on Minolta X-700:

Lens code name – Kay ケイ

Kay – is a student from Saunders Girls High School. She is the overall commander of her school’s Sensha-dō team and she operates a U.S. M4 Sherman.


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_20_2_8_F_preview2

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

20_2_8_close_dist_test_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

20_2_8_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_20_2_8_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

20_2_8_LONGDIST.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

dist_aberr_MD_20_2_8_DSC02009.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)


Another resources with tests:


Demo Photos dedicated article

Some of examples:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 20mm 1:2.8F (Minolta MD III 20mm F/2.8):

Minolta MD 20mm F/2.8 review avatar

Real wide lady. As I said – I very rarely shoot with lenses wider than 35mm. But if I do it – I do it with this beauty. Nice geometry (even better than popular MD 24mmF2.8), has a quite sharp corners after F5.6 which is enough for landscapes or interiors, and beautiful design and feeling in hands. This is my choice in wide angle diapason up to 35mm. Auto-focus isn’t necessary for such focal distances.

3 Comments »

  1. Minolta MC W. Rokkor NL 21mm F/2.8 or this,… That is a question… I like Minolta lenses. I use these on the SRT100X and Nikon Z6. Btw. Very interesting pages, Many greetings from the Czech Republic.

    Like

  2. Welcome ))) About the question – the tests of MCII 21/2.8 and comparison with this MDIII 20/2.8 is already done and articles are in production, I hope to publish it close to the autumn. Just can say now that choice is difficult – 20 beats 21 on the center and corners, but 21 beats 20 in the middle. Sounds strange but it is really so. I can’t recommend one instead of other – both have weaknesses and powerful sides.

    Like

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