Review: Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8

Another Minolta New MD 35mm F1.8 lens review.

Very famous lens. Should stay in Hall of Fame of Minolta. Even fans of the other labels prefer to have it in photo-bags when nobody can spot.

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 an 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_35_1_8_DSC00524.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 35mm 1:1.8 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 67
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 35
A max [1/f] 1,8
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 8
Lens design [gr.] 6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×48
Weight[g] 240
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 605-810

Floating elements YES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 250-300
Reviewed lens SN: 8001096


Lens exterior:

(Please, 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 – Yukari Akiyama 秋山 優花里

Yukari Akiyama – Yukari is a second-year student from Ooarai Girls High School. Her height is 157 cm and her blood type is type O. Yukari’s father is a barber and her house doubles as a barber shop. She’s also the loader of the Anglerfish Team.


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_35_1_8_F_preview2

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

35_1_8_close_dist_test_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

35_1_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_35_1.8_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

35_1_8_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 minimal distance (0.25m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from the 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 the 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Long distance light dots bokeh:

On the minimal focusing distance 0.3m.

MinoltaMD35_18_DotsLongdistTotal.jpg


Another resource with tests:


Demo Photos dedicated article

Some of the examples:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 35mm 1:1.8F (Minolta MD III 35mm F/1.8):

Photographers are divided into two groups – someone prefers 50mm as the main lens, someone likes 35mm (someone is fans of 28mm, but this group is smaller). So, if a photographer prefers 35mm – then this lens is the best choice. It has enough sharpness for landscapes (started from F4 I think) and gives thin DOF for portraits – I mean that this lens is enough ideal to be universal. With this lens, I rarely think about the aperture – because the lens is good starting from 1.8.


This lens took part in the battle:FDN3520_MD3518_Battle__Avatar.pngMD3518_MD3528_Battle__Avatar

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