Lens review: Minolta New MD (MDIII) Zoom 24-35mm F3.5

Reviews of zoom lenses are long, because each of them contains, as it were, several reviews of prime lenses in one. Tests for this review are divided for: 24mm, 28mm, 35mm groups.

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.

MDZ2435_exterior_24.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom

parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 252
Name engraved on lens MD ZOOM
f[mm] 24-35
A max [1/f] 3.5
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 10
Lens design [gr.] 10
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 67×50
Weight[g] 285
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2509-110
 Rings 2-Touch

MDZ2435_Tony_optical_design2


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 – Isuzu Sento 千斗 いすず:

Isuzu Sento (千斗 いすず Sento Isuzu?) is the main female protagonist of Amagi Brilliant Park series.


Test methods descriptions:

Sharpness test – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 0.5m. 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 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


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

Isuzu_Sento_17.png

Sharpness test – 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.


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 24mm

24mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_24mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2435_24mm_c_res_close.jpg


24mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_24mm_e_far_preview

Test results:

MDZ2435_24mm_e_res_far


24mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2435_24mm_f_vignetting.jpg


24mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_24mm_F3_5_Geometry_888.jpg


24mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_24mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


24mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_24mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


24mm – Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (0.3m), plants were fixed in 1.8m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

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

MDZ2435_24mm_j_bokeh_close.jpg


24mm – Long distance bokeh:

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

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_24mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


24mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.3m, 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)

MDZ2435_24mm_m_dots_far.jpg


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_28mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2435_28mm_c_res_close.jpg


28mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_28mm_e_far_preview

Test results:

MDZ2435_28mm_e_res_far


28mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2435_28mm_f_vignetting.jpg


28mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_28mm_F3_5_Geometry_889.jpg


28mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_28mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


28mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_28mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


28mm – Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (0.3m), plants were fixed in 1.8m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

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

MDZ2435_28mm_j_bokeh_close.jpg


28mm – Long distance bokeh:

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

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_28mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


28mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.3m, 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)

MDZ2435_28mm_m_dots_far.jpg


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_35mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2435_35mm_c_res_close.jpg


35mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2435_35mm_e_far_preview

Test results:

MDZ2435_35mm_e_res_far


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2435_35mm_f_vignetting.jpg


35mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_35mm_F3_5_Geometry_890.jpg


35mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_35mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


35mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2435_35mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


35mm – Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (0.3m), plants were fixed in 1.8m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

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

MDZ2435_35mm_j_bokeh_close.jpg


35mm – Long distance bokeh:

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

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2435_35mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


35mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.3m, 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)

MDZ2435_35mm_m_dots_far.jpg


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm F3.5:

MDZ2435Avatar.png

My conclusion:

Zoom-lenses are about convenience. And this MD 24-35/3.5 is about convenience twice. At first – because it’s zoom, at second – because it is really small lens. Size and weight of it are close to the normal fifties-lenses. Another advantage is the range: 24-35 covers most popular wide angles and I can easy imagine a photographer, who are going to use only this lens in any situations. Additionally, the lens behaves the same on any focal distances from 24 to 35mm, that makes lens very predictable for photographer. Also, geometric distortion of this lens is little and photos wouldn’t need an additional correction in photo-editors. It surprised me. I do not have much experience in photographing with zoom lenses, so I imagined much more problems with geometry. But it turned out that this is quite comparable with prime lenses.
The lens is need to be closed to F11 for providing of total sharpness in corners. On the other hand – it can provides such sharpness, it is a great achievement by the way. Also, I believe that F5.6-8 is enough for any tasks – travel, street, interior etc. – this lens would be a very good choice for anything, and in many cases it can be better than a pack of primes in bag. But remember about a good light or tripod if total sharpness in corners is needed for the photo. Of course it isn’t a ‘Bokeh-Monster’ but who cares about bokeh on so wide angles with such apertures? So, center and middle are fine from F5.6, but for best corners the lens need to be closed F8 or more. One more: price of this lens on auctions is quite reasonable for today, lens looks even underrated.


This lens took part in the battle:

LensWars: Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm f/3.5 vs. MD 24mm f/2.8, MD 28mm f/2.8 (5×5), MD 35mm f/2.8

2 thoughts on “Review: Minolta MD Zoom 24-35mm 1:3.5

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