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LensRomantic: Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5

Comparison of two different copies of Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5. (New-MD, NMD, MDIII)

‘LensRomantic’ test description is here. Tests of this type are mostly for collectors or tech-enthusiasts, for photographers I recommend to go directly to the lens review.

Minolta New-MD 100mm F2.5 is one of the best-balanced portrait lenses – the ideal combination of focal distance, aperture and IQ with weight and size. Some time ago, it was forgotten, but today the lens is becoming popular again, and it is harder and harder to find it.

Copy #1 Copy #2
Serial: 1104028 1103928
Optical Condition: Excellent Very Good
Mechanical Condition: Near Mint Near Mint
Cosmetic Condition: Very good Near Mint

This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results can differ if any element is changed.

Tested lens review:


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.

  • Sunlight has been changed during the session.

Scene preview:


Test results:


‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

I do not see any differences in sharpness, which are worth mentioning.

There is just one note for F2.5 only:  if you use a microscope, you can see slightly strange behavior. In the center, the sharpness is the same for both lenses. But at the same time, the first is slightly better in the middle, and the second is slightly better in the corners. But, as I said, I do not think that this can be noticed when photographing. BTW: such behavior isn’t often but can be seen with other lenses, I’ll mark if find another pair.


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