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LensWars: Minolta MD 135mm f/2.8 vs. MD 135mm f/3.5

Comparison of lenses Minolta MD 135mm 1:2.8, Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5

There is repeated again and again on many resources that Minolta MD 135mm f/3.5 has a great sharpness. It’s true. And just imagine – if the cheapest and simplest Minolta MD 135mm has so great reputation, what’s about others?

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.

  • I am just a man, I do not pretend that in all cases my focus settings were absolutely accurate. But I aspired to it.

Scene preview:


Test results:


‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

Well known and very popular Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 has a good reputation, but despite this, it still loses to a faster MD 135mm 1:2.8 – on any of positions, but I want to especially notice that in the middle and corner – the difference can be seen up to F8. Does it mean that MD 135mm F3.5 is a bad lens? No of course. The sharpness of this lens is enough for a lot of photographer tasks, and with a combination of lightweight, it can be very useful. What about MD 135mm 1:2.8 – for today this lens so unexpectedly cheap, that it has to be bought even if not needed right at the moment.


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