Another Minolta New MD (MD III) VFC 24mm F2.8 lens review

Once upon a time, I set out to make reviews for all existing rectilinear (non-special) Minolta MD lenses. This goal has been achieved – all 21 are presented on the site. But why not continue with other lenses and may be with other labels? This review is the first of its kind.

Important note: this review doesn’t contain tests of Variable Field Curvature -‘VFC’ feature of this lens. It will be done later. Here you can get information about how this lens works in normal mode. Welcome.

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.

MD24_2_8VFCexter31

Minolta New-MD VFC (MD III VFC) 24mm 1:2.8 parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 35
Name engraved on lens MD VFC
f[mm] 24
A max [1/f] 2.8
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 9
Lens design [gr.] 7
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64.5×50.5
Weight[g] 340
Year 1982
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 615-818
Minolta MD VFC 24mm F2.8
Minolta MD VFC 24mm F2.8

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 – Erika Itsumi  逸見 エリカ

Erika Itsumi (逸見 エリカ, Itsumi Erika) is a supporting character in Girls und Panzer​ and a main protagonist in Girls und Panzer: Phase Erika.

 

 


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:

MD2428VFC_scene_preview

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Erika Itsumi2

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

MD2428VFC_SHORT

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

MD2428VFC_FULL


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)

MD2428VFC_Vignetting


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDVFC2428geometry


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MD2428VFC_coma_aberr_


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance + about 10% of scale (0.4m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800, bokeh covers the frame partially)

MD2428VFC_bokeh_close


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (0.7m), 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 0.4 m), diodes were fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MD2428VFC_dots_3crops


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD VFC 24mm 1:2.8F (Minolta MD III VFC 24mm F/2.8):

AvatarPlank_MDVFC_24_28

It’s not easy to describe this lens independently of fact, that Minolta has another MD 24mm F2.8 lens without VFC functionality, but four times cheaper, half smaller, twice lighter, and with the same or even better optic quality. I think that photographers should get VFC-lens only if VFC option is needed, and with this lens there no necessary to buy rectilinear Minolta New MD 24mm F2.8. Of course, VFC lenses becomes more and more rare – only Minolta made such items in short period, in small amount, production has been stopped in 1980x and all of it now are objects of hunting for not only Minolta-collectors, but for collectors of overall photo-gear.  On the other words – fish-eye, shift, soft-focus etc. – these unusual types of lenses can be find easily because a lot of companies developed it, but VFC is an exclusion – only Minolta made such exotic items, that’s why this VFC-lenses have a big historical value. But if we forget about these facts, then we have an excellent wide lens, one of the best at this focal length – very usable in common everyday photography if wide-angle is needed – no chromatic aberrations even wide opened, ideal geometry, ready for landscapes from F5.6 and for close-up from F2.8.


This lens took part in the battle:

Resolution test: Minolta MD 24mm f/2.8 vs. MD VFC 24mm f/2.8

 

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