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Review: Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0

Another Minolta New MD (MD III) 200mm F4 lens review.
Some of lenses don’t have a high characteristics, don’t became famous and looks too simple for fans, but these lenses work and definitely provide the same result as many other even more popular analogs. This MC 200mm 1:4 is from that list – works better than expected and one of the most underrated lenses produced by Minolta.

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_4_DSC00512.jpg

Minolta New-MD 200mm 1:4.0 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 215
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 200
A max [1/f] 4
A min[1/f] 32
Lens design [el.] 5
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 2.5/8
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×116.5
Weight[g] 410
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 595-800

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 30-50
Reviewed lens SN: 8003651


Lens exterior:

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

Mounted on Minolta X-700:

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_4_0_F_preview2.jpg

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

200_4_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

200_4_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_200_4_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

200_4_LONGDIST.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)


Geometric distortion:

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


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (2.5m), 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 (4.5m), 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 3m), diodes were  fixed in 5m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 200mm 1:4.0F (Minolta MD III 200mm F/4):

AvatarReview_MD20040.png

To my regret, I have never use it in real photo-sessions, so my conclusion is based on tests results: lens is really sharp and gives smooth ‘creme’ bokeh, looks very universal. Combination of wide opened F4 with this so long 200mm focal distance is enough for any tasks which I can imagine – portraits, landscapes, animals/birds in parks, etc. Actually, it can be preferable instead of faster MD 200mm F2.8 because gives an another level of convenience in walks.  Lightweight is important advantage of it, and one more plus – build-in lens-hood, another plus – it has absolutely low price, just about a few yens. Really, it’s abnormal – for today it’s one of the cheapest lens in Minolta MD line. Lens can be operated with auto-focus adapters, but be careful (!) – it gives too long ‘lever’ for mount fix. Of course it has an aberrations, but anyway – it ready to work even if wide opened. Powerful, long-focused and convenient lens.

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