Review: Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5

Another Minolta New MD 28mm F3.5 lens review

The big surprise. One of the most underrated wide-angle lenses which was designed and produced by Minolta.

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_28_3_5_DSC00525.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 28mm 1:3.5 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 62
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 28
A max [1/f] 3.5
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 5
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×40
Weight[g] 170
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 591-810

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 25-50
Reviewed lens SN: 8010626


Lens exterior:

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

Lens wasn’t in good condition when I got it. It was cleaned and lubricated but signs of use still presented. In anyway it works fine and even more – see the resolution tests, it like a hidden hero among of minolta’s 28mm.

Another copy in better condition is mounted on Minolta X-700:


Lens code name – Kinuyo Nishi 西 絹代

Kinuyo Nishi – is the commander of the Sensha-Dō team of Chi-Ha-Tan Academy. She, along with other Chi-Ha-Tan Academy students, became an Ooarai temporarly transferred student in order to join the Ooarai team against Selection University.


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_28_3_5_F_preview2

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

28_3_5_close_dist_test_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

28_3_5_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_28_3_5_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

28_3_5_LONGDIST.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)


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 28mm 1:3.5F (Minolta MD III 28mm F/3.5):

It was a surprise for me: very sharp 28mm Minolta. Really, if you need a lens for landscapes on 28mm – this will be the best choice. In another words – if you need a working 28mm, but you can’t afford MD 28mm F2.0 – you should prefer this MD 28mm F3.5 instead of faster MD 28mmF2.8.


This lens took part in the battle:

MD28mmAll_Battle__AvatarMDZ2870_MD2835_MDZ3570_Battle__Avatar.png

MD28mmAll_Battle_Round2_Avatar.png

4 thoughts on “Review: Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5”

  1. Do you know if there are optical differences between the MD(II) and the MD(III) version of this lens? MD(II) lenses have better build quality for what I’ve seen.

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    1. This is quite old optical design, I think that differences are mostly in the coating, so lenses are the same at least or MDIII is better. And about build quality – I agree that MC I/II is built like a rock, but I don’t see advantages of MDII against MDIII, need to disassemble one for confidence

      Like

      1. Tony, I’m aware, it’s just that this review didn’t state as clearly as this one that the 28 f3.5 is superior to the f2.8:

        \link removed by admin, just one site aren’t welcome in links on LensQAWorks\

        I already had the 28 f2.8 MD(II), but I was willing to try the 28 f3.5 in case it had less flare issues on the A7mk1; it wasn’t the case. Both lenses are severely affected sometimes by having the sun at around a 75 degree angle from the lens even with the original hoods attached. Maybe the 28 f3.5 is more resistant. It is not an adapter problem, but I don’t rule out that it’s just the camera sensor. The 28 f3.5 has an advantage though. The hood is clipped outside the filter thread.

        Regarding build quality, they changed the material of the focusing threads if I remember correctly. The MD(III) series focus rings feel often cheaper. There is a metal friction sound. It happens at least on my 24-35, 35-70 (feels cheap, but no sound), 28 f3.5,, 50 f2 and 50 f1.2. My MD(III) 135 f2 doesn’t have that feeling though.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks, it is interesting. Just want to say that the results from this review have been verified with two different copies of New MD 28mm F3.5, and compared with two different copies of New MD 28mm F2.8 5×5. So, the question about advantages of New MD 28mm F3.5 is closed for me. But of course, there many other articles in internet, mostly very accurate and correct, but some of that drove me to makes my own reviews – for to find a truth

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