Review: Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5
Another Minolta New MD (MD III) 300mm F4.5 lens review.
The longest lens in MD line which has been built by a classic approach to the optical design. Tests say that it was the right decision – no weakness was found, so this one is the strongly recommend 300mm lens.
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 an 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 (MD III) 300mm 1:4.5 parameters:
|Name engraved on lens||MD|
|A max [1/f]||4.5|
|Lens design [el.]||7|
|Lens design [gr.]||6|
|Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]||72|
|Dimension Ø x length [mm]||77.5×177.5|
|Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.||581-808|
|Floating elements||NO (full support by autofocused adapters)|
|Aperture blades number||6|
|Average international price (sold items)||2019: USD 100-150|
|Reviewed lens SN:||8005219|
(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.
This lens doesn’t have a noticeable coma. No tests needed.
(100% crops – 300×200)
Close distance bokeh:
Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance (3m), plants were fixed in 5m distance from the 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 (7m), 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 3.5m), diodes were fixed in the 5m distance at the dark background.
(frame scaled 1200×800)
My overall conclusion about the Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5F (Minolta MD III 300mm F/4.5):
I don’t use so long prime lenses, that’s why my opinion is based on tests only. Firstly, as I can see, this lens is sharp – it has no big difference in resolution in the center and in corners and ready for work even if aperture has been fully opened. At second, it can totally hide any background in absolutely smooth bokeh. Aberrations presented of course, but nothing serious. Usually, the long lenses aren’t very convenient, but this current is thin and lightweight enough to use it in walks in parks around. Build-in lens-hood is presented, but fire-resistance is fine too. Average price looks a lot reasonable for the technically very advanced lens. So, if you need 300mm lens – why not to take this one?