Another Minolta New MD (MD III) 135mm F2.8 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_8_DSC00515.jpg

Minolta New-MD 135mm 1:2.8 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 186
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 135
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] 55
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 1.5/5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×81
Weight[g] 385
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 593-800

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 – Saori Takebe 武部 沙織

Saori Takebe – Saori is a second year student from Ooarai Girls High School. She serves as the radio and machine gun operator 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_135_2_8_F_preview2

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

135_2_8_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

135_2_8_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_8_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

135_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 (1.5m), 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)


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 135mm 1:2.8F (Minolta MD III 135mm F/2.8):

Sometimes it seems to me that all the 135mm F2.8 lenses from 1980x made by top manufacturers are the same and very good. This Minolta isn’t exception – it also has a nice fire resistance, sharpness and honey drawing. I use it for landscapes with deep perspective and for portraits of course, mostly during the trips: it has important advantage – really lightweight for 135mm focal distance. ‘Creamy’ bokeh works good in any conditions. Some aberrations are presented of course, but nothing seriously for so fast long lens.  The lens provides enough sharpness over all the frame even on F2.8. One more note – it’s very cheap lens, absolutely underrated. Has build-in lens-hood. Works good with auto-focus adapters like Techart-Pro. So, if you didn’t get a rare, heavy and expensive MD 135mm F2.0 – take this with no doubt. Especially if your main normal focal distance is 50mm – then this MD 135mm F2.8 has a good chance to became number two in your bag.


This lens took part in battles:

MD13520_MD13528_.png

MDZ35135_MD3528_MD5020_MD8520_MD13528_Battle__Avatar

MD13528_MD13535_Battle__Avatar.png

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