Another Minolta New MD (MD III) 135mm 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_135_2_DSC00516.jpg

Minolta New-MD 135mm 1:2.0 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 170
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 135
A max [1/f] 2
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 6
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 72
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 1.3/4.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 79×96
Weight[g] 725
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 691-108

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 – Arisu Shimada 島田愛里寿

Arisu Shimada – is a student of Selection University and its overall Sensha-dō commander. She skipped grades to reach university for this purpose, which has the side effect of leaving her relatively lonely in a university environment.
She is the heir to the Shimada Style, a “ninja” style known for its penchant of unanticipated moves and tactical unpredictability. The Shimada Style is the polar opposite of the Nishizumi Style. Arisu, like Miho (N-MD 50mm F1.2), feels pressure to uphold her family honor, part of which involves refusing to ally with Miho, despite holding her in admiration.


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_135_2_0_F_preview2

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

135_2_0_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

135_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_135_2_0_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

135_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 (1.3m), plants were fixed in 5m 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 (2.5m), 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 1.7m), diodes were  fixed in 5m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Another resources with tests:

www.rokkorfiles.com


Demo Photos dedicated article

Some of examples:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 135mm 1:2.0F (Minolta MD III 135mm F/2):

Amazing portrait Queen. I’m fan of this lens. Just one problem – it’s heavy, so I don’t use it in long trips (for long trips I use MD 100mmF2.5). And one more thing – this lens is expensive enough and someone says that the price so high because the lens is rare and popular of collectors. Looks true (even my sample in not a good condition isn’t cheap). But it is still cheaper than modern autofocused lenses which can give the close results on photos. Although no another lens can provide the same bokeh – Minolta MD 135 F2 has unique drawing. Whether you like it or not – depends on your preferences. Surprisingly it works fine with auto-focus adapters like Techart-Pro. And of course it’s ready to make beautiful portraits from F2 – no soft wide opened (!). Of course lens has an some noticeable aberrations, and even not on wide opened apertures, but again – it is tax for bokeh character. Don’t forget to use build-in hood. So, as you can see – this lens has disadvantages, but in anyway, my conclusion – it’s the best choice for portraits.


This lens took part in battles:

MD13520_MD13528_.png

2 thoughts on “Review: Minolta MD 135mm 1:2.0

  1. I had that lens, it was spectacular… Until the aperture had the oily blades problems. I left it in the capable hands of Minolta technicians, or so I thought, at the Minolta head office in Stockholm. When I got it back it had a big finger print inside one of the front lens elements and I had to put it back for service again and after that the lens was never right, the sharpness was fuzzy. I’m not sure why but I think they either put it back incorrectly or decentered it massively.

    Like

    1. Hello Henrik. Now I know how to remove oil from blades without full disassembling of aperture element, but it looks like a too late to tell it for you. I feel sorry for your lens. If you plan to fix it and you need information about how the lens should be looks inside and how to properly disassemble it – let me know, I’ll be glad to help you.

      Like

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