Review: Minolta MD Zoom 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.5 Macro

Lens review: Minolta New MD (MDIII) Zoom 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 Macro.

Everyone knows the famous Minolta MD 35-70/3.5, which is appears wherever possible, but this MD 35-70/3.5-4.5 is much more hidden behind the scenes, and looks like a secret weapon for ‘those who knows’ – pathos words, but describe the idea. It has been tested by Great and Powerful Antony Hands in his The 35mm Shoot-out – as zoom which can compete with wide angle primes.

Reviews of zoom lenses are long, because each of them contains, as it were, several reviews of prime lenses in one. Tests for this review are divided for: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm groups.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

MDZ2885ext_068.jpg

Minolta MD Zoom 28-85mm F3.5-4.5 Macro parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 256
Name engraved on lens MD ZOOM
f[mm] 28-85
A max [1/f] 3.5-4.5
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 13
Lens design [gr.] 10
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.8/2.75
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 65.5×86.5
Weight[g] 470
Year 1983
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2503-110
Notes 2-Touch w/ macro mode

 


Lens exterior:

Reviewed copy is in the excellent condition except light white bloom on the rubberized ring of sharpness.

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)


Lens code name – Ikumi Mito 水戸 郁魅:

Ikumi Mito (水戸 郁魅(みと いくみ), Mito Ikumi?) – is a 92nd Tōtsuki Generation student and a member of the Don RS.[3] Previously an associate of Erina Nakiri, Ikumi was a rival of Sōma Yukihira until she lost a Shokugeki to him. She eventually became an ally of Sōma following the duel.


Test methods descriptions:

Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-200, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved the target to the next place. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks correct.

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

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Ikumi Mito 2 print.png

Sharpness – long distance:

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 have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-50. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

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 were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_28mm___b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_28mm___c_res_close.jpg


28mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_28mm___e_far_preview

Test results:

MDZ2885_28mm___e_res_far.jpg


28mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2885_28mm___f_vignettingNEW.png


28mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_28mm_geometry_288.jpg


28mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_28mm___h_coma_aberr_.jpg


28mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_28mm___i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


28mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_28mm___k_bokeh_farNEW.png


28mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_28mm___m_dots_farNEW.png


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

35mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_35mm___b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_35mm___c_res_close.jpg


35mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_35mm___e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_35mm___e_res_far.jpg


35mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2885_35mm___f_vignettingNEW.png


35mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_35mm_geometry_289.jpg


35mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_35mm___h_coma_aberr_.jpg


35mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_35mm___i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


35mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_35mm___k_bokeh_farNEW.png


35mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_35mm___m_dots_farNEW.png


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 50mm

50mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_50mm___b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_50mm___c_res_close.jpg


50mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_50mm___e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_50mm___e_res_far.jpg


50mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2885_50mm___f_vignettingNEW.png


50mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_50mm_geometry_291.jpg


50mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_50mm___h_coma_aberr_.jpg


50mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_50mm___i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


50mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_50mm___k_bokeh_farNEW.png


50mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_50mm___m_dots_farNEW.png


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 85mm

85mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_85mm___b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_85mm___c_res_close.jpg


85mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2885_85mm___e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2885_85mm___e_res_far.jpg


85mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2885_85mm___f_vignettingNEW.png


85mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_85mm_geometry_292.jpg


85mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_85mm___h_coma_aberr_.jpg


85mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2885_85mm___i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


85mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_85mm___k_bokeh_farNEW


85mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2885_85mm___m_dots_farNEW.png


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the LENSNAME (LENSNAME WITH MM/FF):

MDZ2885__Avatar.png

This zoom covers the wide diapason of most popular focal distances and fast enough for inexpensive zoom lens. Additionally it is well built, two-touch, lightweight, has macro mode and looks beautiful. Nice fit, yes. Don’t miss it on the auctions, it still underrated.

Optical design with aspherical and floating elements – sounds cool, even for modern times. Definitely, corners aren’t ideal, but there are no reasons for pessimism, because, firstly, it is the semi-fast 3x-zoom started from 28mm – very powerful and wide, of course it should has a weakness and this weakness looks very insignificant if to compare with more famous 2x-zooms MD 35-70/3.5 and MD 24-50/4, or may be 1.5x MD 24-35/3.5. Secondly – center and middle(!) parts of the frame are really amazing on any focal distance, contrast is great and, finally, bokeh is unexpectedly nice from 50mm to long-end. As result it can be named as another one masterpiece of optic by Minolta – absolutely convenient universal zoom-lens which covers all photographer needs – from landscapes in travels till portraits everywhere. It may be the winner of ‘one lens in the bag’ award.


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