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.
Minolta New-MD 200mm 1:4.0 parameters:
|Name engraved on lens||MD|
|A max [1/f]||4|
|Lens design [el.]||5|
|Lens design [gr.]||5|
|Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]||55|
|Dimension Ø x length [mm]||64×116.5|
|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|
(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.
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.
Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):
Test results (full version – all 9 positions):
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.
(frames scaled – 300×200)
This lens doesn’t have a visible geometric distortion. No tests needed.
(100% crops – 300×200)
(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):
To my regret, I have never used it in real photo-sessions, so my conclusion is based on test results: the 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 another level of convenience in walks. Lightweight is an important advantage of it, and one more plus – build-in lens-hood, another plus – it has an 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. The lens can be operated with auto-focus adapters, but be careful (!) – it gives too long a ‘lever’ for mount fix. Of course, it has aberrations, but anyway – it ready to work even if wide open. Powerful, long-focused and convenient lens.