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LensWars: Minolta MD 135mm f/2.0 vs. MD 135mm f/2.8

Comparison of lenses Minolta MD 135mm 1:2.0, Minolta MD 135mm 1:2.8

Two of the best 135mm lenses in absolutely different price categories.

This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results can differ if any element is changed.

Tested lenses reviews:


Long distance – sharpness:

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 cut into 300×200 px elements (100% crops), 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.
  • Bad weather is better for this test – low-light is required for wide-opened apertures to slow down shutter speed.

Scene preview:


Test results:


‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

This is the unequal battle of one of the most expensive Minolta’s lenses versus one of the cheapest. The result is amazing: in general – both lenses are the same. Even more: if ‘to use microscope’ then the very slight advantage of Minolta MD 128mm F2.8 on apertures up to F4 can be spotted. But the difference is so small that better to think both lenses provide a similar quality from the sharpness point of view. So, resolutions tests can’t help the photographer to make a choice between this pair and lens selection should be based on other characteristics.



  1. In my mind the price difference isn’t justified for the quality you get, and it IS a heavy beast to carry around (f/2), but it does look very nice in the collection shelf, maybe there it’s justified.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re right. This is a very subjective.. I always adored lenses 135 / 2.8, but once I got my 135 / 2.0 and now I use only it if this focal distance is needed – it does not matter to me whether the difference in IQ is worth the money. I just like using it on F2 and dreaming that I can see the difference in the rendering with other lenses :). There is no logic in this, but I do so. At the same time I continue to adore the more ordinary 135 / 2.8


  3. i recently got a copy of the 135 f2 for 15 USD, i didn’t had the opportunity to use it because i own a canon 7d witch wont be working with it, i wonder if it’s worth buying a mirrorless camera just to be able to use this lens !!!


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