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LensWars: Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 vs. MD 28mm 1:2.8(7×7) vs. MD 28mm 1:2.8(5×5) vs. MD 28mm 1:3.5 – the 2nd round

Comparison of lenses Minolta MD 28mm f/2.0 vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(7×7) vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5) vs. MD 28mm f/3.5.

The first battle of 28mm Minolta MD (generation III) lenses was the first lenses-comparison on this site. That time I had a copy of MD 28mm 1:2.8 5×5 version and MD 35mm 1:3.5 in bad cosmetic appearance. I believe that it didn’t affect the results of the tests, but after I got other copies of these lenses I’ve retaken the tests. Here you can see the second comparison. Actually, there are no changes – the result is close the same, as it was for the first time, but article design and conclusion text are changed for better displaying of test results.

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.

  • F4 on diagrams means F3.5 for the Minolta MD 28mm F3.5
  • 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:

Minolta MD 28mm f/2.0 vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5)


Minolta MD 28mm f/2.0 vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(7×7)


Minolta MD 28mm f/2.0 vs. MD 28mm f/3.5


Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5) vs. MD 28mm f/3.5


Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8(7×7) vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5)


Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8(7×7) vs. MD 28mm f/3.5


‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

This comparison is very interesting for me personally because, firstly – four(!) prime lenses were produced by Minolta on this focal distance in a short period of time and each new with updated optical design. Secondly, I’ve found many mentions on the internet that MD 28/2.8 with 7×7 lenses is better than 28/2.8 with a 5×5 formula, but my simple logic told me that it is questionable. Thirdly, 28/3.5 is one of the cheapest primes of Minolta looks like a champion of ‘price/IQ’ index among all underrated lenses – and my tests should return popularity for this lens if it’s true. Actually, I have a few more reasons, but enough about it, here are my thoughts:

  • MD 28mm 1:2.0 – the best. Very usable on wide opened F2.0 and better than all other competitors on F2.8. Actually, I was impressed by this lens after the tests of MD 24mm F2.8 – a very big step in IQ.
  • F2.8 MD 28mm 1:2.8 (7 lenses in 7 groups) – the last place. It can be better than MD 28mm 1:3.5 just because it has aperture F2.8 instead of F3.5 of an opponent, but even on F4.0, it isn’t so good as MD 28 F3.5 wide opened.
  • MD 28mm 1:2,8 (5 lenses in 5 groups) – yes, it is definitely better than 28/2.8 with a 7×7 formula. Very important note for photographers – ‘5×5’ can provide absolutely sharp corners at F8-F11, but ‘7×7’ – can’t.
  • MD 28mm 1:3.5 – the Second Place. If wide opened it’s better than 28/2.8-5×5 on F4.0, but it became the same as MD 28/2.0 only at F8.0.

Final recommendations for photographers who are looking for 28mm focal distance lens:

  1. Minolta MD 28/2.0 is better and worth all the money (for today on auctions at least). Preferable choice.
  2. Minolta MD 28/3.5 is not so good as 先輩 with her wider F2.0 but really can show the total sharp picture on landscapes. This girl has been presented in two reincarnations in my collection and kicks both 28/2.8 opponents in two battles. Great respect and second place.
  3. Minolta MD 28/2.8 5 lenses in 5 groups – can be good over the whole field of frame if a photographer doesn’t afraid of closed apertures. Good work, third place.
  4. Minolta MD 28/2.8 7 lenses in 7 groups – very usable 28mm lens, because not everyone needs sharp corners or fast wide opened. Fourth place and not bad at least.



  1. Judging by the results, the 7×7 version is stronger in the middle, compared to the 5×5, and should be the preferred choice if it is to be used as a normal on aps-c?


  2. It is possible that 7×7 is better for aps-c. Just want to say again that results of tests can be different if any element of system is changed. And one more – I dont think that photographer will feel the differences between 5×5 and 7×7 on real photos, so better to get a lense what you like


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