Another Minolta New MD 85mm F2 lens review

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_85_2_DSC00518.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 85mm 1:2.0 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 140
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 85
A max [1/f] 2
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 6
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.85/3
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×53.5
Weight[g] 285
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 685-810

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 – Katyusha カチューシャ

Katyusha – is a student from Pravda Girls High School and the overall commander of the school’s Sensha-Dō team, she operates a Soviet T-34/85.


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_85_2_0_F_preview2

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

85_2_0_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

85_2_0_closedist_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_85_2_0_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

85_2_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 (0.85m), 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 (1.5m), 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 1m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Other resources with this reviews of this lens:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 85mm 1:2.0F (Minolta MD III 85mm F/2):

You know, it’s legendary lens: sharp, has great bokeh – which can shows the mood which is better for me than smooth bored bokeh from previous Minolta Rokkors 85/1.7,  has nice fire resistance. I think that it’s the one of ideal second number for photographer bag after normal lenses (35-50mm). Not my choice just because I’m not a fan of this focus distance, but it’s no doubt that this lens is one of the best among all 85mm lenses in the world, including modern (!). Works fine with auto-focus adapters like Techart-Pro. And it has a surprisingly compact size – looks even strange for 85mm. Can be used wide opened for any tasks (!). Definitely it’s an another one Minolta gem.


This lens took part in battles:

MDZ35135_MD3528_MD5020_MD8520_MD13528_Battle__Avatar

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