Another Minolta New MD (MD III) 200mm 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_200_2_8_DSC00513.jpg

Minolta New-MD 200mm 1:2.8 main parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 203
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 200
A max [1/f] 2.8
A min[1/f] 32
Lens design [el.] 5
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 72
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 1.8/6
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 78×133
Weight[g] 700
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 659-808

Lens exterior:

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

 

 

Lens code name – Satoko Nakajima 中嶋 悟子

Satoko Nakajima – is the tank commander and radio operator of the Leopon Team and the one of the supporting protagonists of Girls und Panzer.

 

 


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_200_2_8_F_preview2.jpg

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

200_2_8_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

200_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:

Test results:


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

Vign_MD_200_2_8.jpg


Geometric distortion:

This lens doesn’t have a visible geometric distortion. No tests needed.


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

coma_aberr_200_2_8.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (about 1.8m), plants were fixed in 5m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

200_2_8_bokeh_close_3crops.jpg


Long distance bokeh (test has been repeated with two distances):

1 st test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (3m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

2nd test conditions: lens was focused on 7m (portrait distance), 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 2m), diodes were  fixed in 5m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MD_200_2_8_dots.jpg


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 200mm 1:2.8F (Minolta MD III 200mm F/2.8):

Very sharp fast long lens and for me it looks like bokeh-monster, I believe that portraits are main goal of using this lens. My experience with this lens wasn’t big (focal distance is too long for me) but even after a few portraits I can say that it can provide nice and interesting background instead of simple blur. Of course, this lens inconvenient because long and heavy, but not too expensive. Some modern digital cameras with built-in stabilization give a good shake compensation on 200mm focus distances. The lens can be operated with auto-focus adapters like Techart-Pro but I don’t recommend(!) – it’s too heavy, use on your own risk. As any another so fast and long lens, it has some aberrations, but level is low – don’t think about it when shooting. Build-in hood presented. Lens is sharp enough even wide opened F2.8 and became totally sharp on F4. So, if someone need to photograph excellent portraits without haste, and he didn’t take  overpriced MD 135mm F2, and he don’t afraid 200mm focal distance, and he has a muscles to operate with 700g lens – then this is a good choice.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s