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LensRomantic: Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0

Comparison of two different copies of Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0. (New-MD, NMD, MD-III)

‘LensRomantic’ tests 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 85mm F2.0 is the well known and one of the famous 85mm lenses in history. The hull of Copy #1 displays a lot of signs of using, but surprisingly the optical part stayed like new. Anyway, I have to say that this lens was reassembled at least two times – firstly by one of the previous owners, and later by me with the purpose to remove the result of the first disassembling.

Copy #1 Copy #2
Serial: 8001103 8001063
Optical Condition: Near Mint Excellent
Mechanical Condition: Near Mint Excellent
Cosmetic Condition: Average Near Mint

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



Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 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:

Independently of the huge difference in exterior, both lenses work like twins. Amazing result.


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