Review: Minolta MD Zoom 75-150mm 1:4.0

Minolta New-MD Zoom 150mm F/4 (MDIII) lens review.

There are a few popular 2x-zooms produced by genius of Minolta’s engineers. Everyone knows at least ‘Leica’ MD 35-70/3.5 /sarcasm/ and I can add into that list Minolta MD 24-50/4 and may be 1.5x MD 24-35/3.5. This MD 75-150/4 is the further level. See the test results please.

Tested copy is in beautiful condition in all aspects, something like ‘Near Mint’ in Japanese sellers terminology. No any traces of disassembling and damages.

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: 75mm, 100mm, 150mm groups.

MDZ75150_exterior_281.jpg

Minolta MD Zoom 75-150mm F4.0 parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 272
Name engraved on lens MD ZOOM
f[mm] 75-150
A max [1/f] 4
A min[1/f] 32
Lens design [el.] 12
Lens design [gr.] 8
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 1.2/4
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×113.5
Weight[g] 445
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2506-110
Notes 1-Touch

Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 50-100
Reviewed lens SN: 1021780

Lens exterior:

Mounted on Minolta X-700:

Lens code name – Shiro  白:

Shiro ((しろ), Shiro) is the main female protagonist of the No Game No Life series and the calm and calculative half of the siblings.

Abandoned by her parents, Shiro is an 11 year old genius NEET (Not in Education, Employment, or Training) hikikomori (shut-in) gamer who, along with her step-brother, Sora, form 『 』 (Blank). Sora’s dad married Shiro’s mother, both having remarried, thus making Shiro and Sora step-siblings.[1]


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. Distance – 1.7m. 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)

Shiro 31 2print.jpg

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-100. 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 = 75mm

75mm – Sharpness – short distance

75mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_75mm__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

75mm – Test results:

MDZ75150_75mm__c_res_close.jpg


75mm – Sharpness – long distance

75mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_75mm__e_far_preview.jpg

75mm – Test results:

MDZ75150_75mm__e_res_far.jpg


75mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ75150_75mm__f_vignettingNEW.jpg


75mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_75mm_geometry_61.jpg


75mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_75mm__h_coma_aberr_.jpg


75mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_75mm__i_chrome_aberrNEW_


75mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_75mm__k_bokeh_farNEW _min_1_2m_.png

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m (half of scale), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_75mm__k_bokeh_farNEW_mid_2_5m_.png


75mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, 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 – see the Test #2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_75mm__m_dots_1_2m_min_farNEW.png

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_75mm__m_dots_2_5m_mid_farNEW.png


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 100mm

100mm – Sharpness – short distance

100mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_100mm__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

100mm – Test results:

MDZ75150_100mm__c_res_close.jpg


100mm – Sharpness – long distance

100mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_100mm__e_far_preview.jpg

100mm – Test results:

MDZ75150_100mm__e_res_far.jpg


100mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ75150_100mm__f_vignettingNEW.jpg


100mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_100mm_geometry_63.jpg


100mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_100mm__h_coma_aberr_.jpg


100mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_100mm__i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


100mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_100mm__k_bokeh_farNEW_min_1_2m_.png

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m (half of scale), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_100mm__k_bokeh_farNEW_mid_2_5m_.png


100mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, 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 – see the Test #2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_100mm__m_dots_1_2m_min_farNEW.png

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_100mm__m_dots_2_5m_mid_farNEW.png


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 150mm

150mm – Sharpness – short distance

150mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_150mm__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

150mm – Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

MDZ75150_150mm__c_res_close.jpg


150mm – Sharpness – long distance

150mm – Scene preview:

MDZ75150_150mm__e_far_preview.jpg

150mm – Test results:

MDZ75150_150mm__e_res_far.jpg


150mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ75150_150mm__f_vignettingNEW.jpg


150mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_150mm_geometry_65.jpg


150mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_150mm__h_coma_aberr_.jpg


150mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ75150_150mm__i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


150mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_150mm__k_bokeh_farNEW_min_1_2m_.png

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m (half of scale), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_150mm__k_bokeh_farNEW_mid_2_5m_.png


150mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, 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 – see the Test #2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_150mm__m_dots_1_2m_min_farNEW.png

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ75150_150mm__m_dots_2_5m_mid_farNEW.png


Other resources with reviews:


Here you can see how the review of this lens looked right after the release in the press:

(Thanks for the material for – from forum.mflenses.com)

old Amateur Photography Magazine:

10850_New_Doc_20190324_190606__Page_1_1.jpg

It looks like the reviewer wasn’t sure in so beautiful result… /smile/


My overall conclusion about Minolta MD Zoom 75-150mm F4.0:

MDZ75150_avatar.png

Those who watched anime ‘No Game No Life’ probably understand why I chose Shiro for the role of avatar: she has an unbelievable IQ – right as our tested Minolta MD 75-150 1:4.0. Yes, in most of cases long lenses have a nice sharpness and additionally – a nice sharpness distribution over the frame, but such level as it was displayed by this zoom is something special.

Let’s start from disadvantages. Firstly, it’s has just 2x zoom. Not a big bonus for convenience – only two lenses can be changed (for example – a popular 85 and 135mm). Or even a one in diapason 100-120mm. Secondly, it isn’t very fast, a something like F2.8 would be more preferable for a lens with portrait focus distances. And I don’t like push/pull lens design, but this is just personal opinion. No more disadvantages I can see.

Advantages. This lens is lightweight and compact as many as it possible for such diapason. It covers all required portrait distances – not more, not less. It has no noticeable aberrations. Coma, chromatic, geometry are amazing. And finally – it is sharp wide opened. Over the whole frame. Really – this is the zoom with total sharpness on any aperture. Perfectionists can find a little lack of resolution on 75mm, but it’s still better than some of primes closed to F4. As result: F4-F5.6 on such focal distances is enough for getting of bokeh for portrait scenes, and the bokeh of this zoom is fine, and easily can be confused with primes.

The zoom is just for one stop slower than popular portrait lenses like MD 100/2.5 or MD 135/2.8 – and its F4 has enough resolution for any tasks. Do you need a powerful, not rare and not expensive portrait lens with modern sharpness? Or tele-lens for landscapes with ‘tight’ perspective? Here the decision.

Lens will be looks great in photo-sessions with studio light on apertures about F8 – problem of absent of auto-focus will gone in this case, or became much less at least.

One more note: Minolta MD 75-150 was in production at short period of time only in one version – New-MD, instead of the three reincarnations of more popular Minolta MD 70-210mm 1:4.0, which isn’t so good in corners, even if closed down, but a little longer. So, if photographer needs a sharpness – this MD 75-150/4 is much preferable. I can assume that in times of film photography, the difference in sharpness was not so important as additional 1x for zoom, so the company decided to reincarnate the longer 70-210/4 in the autofocused version, despite the advantages of MD 75-150/4. But this is just my assumption.

Finally: this lens is the one another gem by Minolta. Strongly recommended as universal tele-lens for everyone.


This lens took part in battles:MDZ75150_MD8520_MD13528_Battle__Avatar.png

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