Minolta New MD macro 50mm F3.5 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.

MDM5035_onCamera2.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 50mm 1:3.5 macro parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 112
Name engraved on lens MD MACRO
f[mm] 50
A max [1/f] 3.5
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 6
Lens design [gr.] 4
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade
closefocus[m/ft] 0.23/0.9
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×55.5
Weight[g] 200
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 635-818
Minolta MD macro 50mm 1:3.5 optical design
Minolta MD macro 50mm 1:3.5 optical design

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 – Cattleya Baudelaire カトレア・ボードレール:

Cattleya Baudelaire (カトレア・ボードレール, Katorea Bōdorēru?) is a character in the Violet Evergarden series. Being a figurehead Auto Memories Doll who works for the CH Postal Company, Cattleya never stops being requested and often takes on clients with love troubles. She works alongside Violet and has been close with Hodgins since before the company was established, joining as one of its initial employees.

 


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 40cm. 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 3 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 test results looks good enough.

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:

MDM5035_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

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

Cattleya Baudelaire 23.png

Test results:

Note: little dots on the skin of the model are artifacts of printing , not the camera noise.

MDM5035_c_res_close.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:

MDM5035_e_far_preview

Test results:

MDM5035_e_res_far


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDM5035_f_vignetting


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDM5035_F3_5_Geometry_DSC05892.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDM5035_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDM5035_i_chrome_aberr_


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 0.5m distance, plants were fixed in 2m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDM5035_j_bokeh_close.jpg


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1m distance, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDM5035_k_bokeh_far_


Light dots bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to 0.5m distance, diodes were fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDM5035_l_dots_close.jpg


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 23cm, lights were fixed in more than 200m. Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MinoltaMD50_35macro_DotsLongdistTotal


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 50mm 1:3.5F macro  (Minolta MD III 50mm F/3.5 macro):

MDM5035Avatar.png

Simple, small, lightweight, convenient macro lens. I use it quite often to shooting items with 1.5x-croped camera: in this case focal distance is ‘changing’ to 75mm and it enough for usual purposes. I can say more – I’m continuing to use it for short and simple tasks even after got MD 100mm F4.0 macro lens, because convenience attracts. A lot of ‘portraits’ of other lenses in reviews on this site have been made with this ‘fifty’.

I’ve never thought about sharpness, geometry, chromatic aberrations, or coma (omg!) regarding to this lens, because on close distances it doesn’t matter, and the same about autofocus – there is no need. I just close it to F8-F16 and take photos. Mostly in M-mode. It wasn’t surprise that this lens not so good on infinity distances like other 50mm lenses, but who are going to make landscapes with it on wide opened aperture? Close it to F8 and result will be the same as from any another lens on market. Additionally it’s cheap. So, my main idea: this lens is like a tool which should always be at hand, just in case.


This lens took part in the battle:

Resolution test: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.2 vs. MD 50mm f/1.4 vs. MD 50mm f/1.7 vs. MD 50mm f/2.0 vs. MD 50mm f/3.5 macro

 

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