LensWars: Minolta MD Zoom 24-50mm f/4.0 vs. MD 24mm f/2.8, MD 28mm f/2.8 (5×5), MD 35mm f/2.8, MD 50mm f/1.4

In most of cases a top rated fixed focal lenses are better than zooms, but it isn’t always true, and here is the one of exclusions.

Tested lenses reviews:


Minolta MD 24 F/2.8 review avatar

Minolta MD 28mm F/2.8 5e 5gr review avatar

Minolta MD 35mm F/2.8 review avatar

Minolta MD 50mm F/1.4 review avatar

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 were made with apertures from fully opened and up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode). SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift.

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

  • Sunlight has been changed during the session.
  • I am just a man, I do not pretend that in all cases my focus settings were absolutely accurate. But I aspired to it.

Focal distance 24mm


When I received the first test results at 24mm I did not believe my eyes. I had to re-do the test again. And the result remained the same as it was.
As proof of the correctness of the tests, I demonstrate both results, they are made with a difference of more than a month. Strangely enough, but the most famous and popular MD 24 / 2.8 loses.

24mm attempt #1

#1 Scene preview (24mm):


#1 Test results (24mm):


24mm attempt #2

#2 Scene preview (24mm):


#2 Test results (24mm):


Focal distance 28mm

Scene preview (28mm):


Test results (28mm):


Focal distance 35mm

Scene preview (35mm):


Test results (35mm):


Focal distance 50mm

Scene preview (50mm):


Test results (50mm):


My conclusion:

Firstly, this MD 24-50/4 has really convenient diapason.  Secondary – it’s better than MD 24/2.8. And thirdly – zoom is cheaper than set of four primes. On the other hand zoom isn’t so good at 28-35-50mm. Very subjective choice. One point I see – if photographer mostly prefer the 24mm angle view, then it may be better to get MD 24-50/4, because diapason from 25 to 50 mm would be something like a free bonus. Additionally , the sharpness of Zoom on 25-50mm is still really appropriate even for landscapes. So, we see the one another gem of Minolta, and what about me – this lens can compete in fighting for the “Travel King Lens” award.


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