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LensWars: Minolta MD Zoom 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 vs. MD Zoom 35-70mm 1:3.5 vs. MD 28mm 1:3.5

Comparison of lenses Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom, Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5, Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5

The set of non-expensive and quite common lenses. There is no need to pay a lot of money if all that is needed – good photography.

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-200. 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.
  • Wasn’t a good weather…
  • Zoom Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 has the variable speed from F3.5 to F4.8 depends on focal distance, so, all test results on fully opened aperture were marked with F3.5 to avoid misunderstanding

Focal distance 28mm

28mm – Scene preview:


28mm – Test results:


Focal distance 35mm

35mm – Scene preview:


35mm – Test results:


Focal distance 50mm

50mm – Scene preview:


50mm – Test results:


Focal distance 70mm

70mm – Scene preview:


70mm – Test results:


‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

The target of the tests was an understanding of how the cheapest MD 28-70/3.5-4.8 is looks against other lenses. Competitors were selected because we know that MD 35-70/3.5 and 28/3.5 both are great performers, and not expensive for today. Of course, it wasn’t difficult to see the winners.

  • 28mm: as expected, prime lens Minolta MD 28/2.8 is better overall.
  • 35mm: ‘zoom vs zoom’ start fighting is here, and Minolta MD 35-70/3.5 is the winner. Not a big difference in the center, but it won’t help for MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 because middle position needs to be closed up to F5.6, and corners aren’t good on any apertures.
  • 50mm: no changes – center, and middle of MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 can be called as the same with MD 35-70/3.5 after F5.6, but corners are really bad anywhere
  • 70mm: MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 is good in the center from F5.6, in the middle – from F8, and don’t ask me about corners on any apertures.

For all cases, MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 is losing if wide opened.

Finally: this MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 just a cheap zoom lens and it can’t compete with more serious lenses. But, to be honest, I hoped to find more difference between unpopular MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 and famous gem MD 35-70/3.5 and also with prime MD 28/3.5, so results of the MD 28-70/3.5-4.5 really looks better than expected.


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