Review: Minolta MD 35mm 1:2.8

Another Minolta New MD 35mm F2.8 lens review.

This lady is in the row with ‘unexpectedly surprising IQ’ lens. Really, how about the cheap lens from 1981 which works like the most famous and expensive modern competitors? Got doubt? Results of tests are below.

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_35_2_8_DSC00523.jpg

Minolta New MD (MD III) 35mm 1:2.8 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 81
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 35
A max [1/f] 2,8
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] 64×38
Weight[g] 170
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 592-810

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)


Lens exterior:

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


Lens code name – Anchovy アンチョビ

Anchovy – is a student from Anzio Girls High School, and is the overall commander of her school’s Sensha-Dō team; she operates an Italian Carro Armato P40 and the Carro Veloce CV.33. Her real name is Chiyomi Anzai (安斎 千代美 Anzai Chiyomi).


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_2_8_F_preview2

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

35_2_8_close_dist_test_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

35_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_35_2_8_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

35_2_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 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 35mm 1:2.8F (Minolta MD III 35mm F/2.8):

One another gem in MD line – provide the same or even better resolution as previous 35mm F/1.8, even wide open F2.8(!). Ideal for landscapes or street – the fire resistance of it is slightly better than of 35mm F/1.8. Very underrated Minolta MD – provides the same result as modern expensive lenses with same characteristics. This lens can be more preferable for landscapes, travel- or street- photo instead of 35mm F/1.8.


This lens took part in battles:

Resolution test: Minolta MD 35mm f/1.8 vs. MD 35mm f/2.8 and one more

LensWars: Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm f/3.5 vs. MD 24mm f/2.8, MD 28mm f/2.8 (5×5), MD 35mm f/2.8

LensWars: Minolta MD Zoom 24-50mm f/4.0 vs. MD 24mm f/2.8, MD 28mm f/2.8 (5×5), MD 35mm f/2.8, MD 50mm f/1.4

MDZ35135_MD3528_MD5020_MD8520_MD13528_Battle__Avatar

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