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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:

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 examples:


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

AvatarReview_MD2028

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 corner 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.


AvatarRomantic_MD2028.png

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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