Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 – comparison

Published by Tony on

45mm lenses comparison – Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0

At the first glance, both lenses are enough similar but it is not true. There is nothing similar except focal distance and country of origin (Japan), lenses have different mounts, optical designs, sizes, years of production.

The lens for the test was provided by Egor Nikolaev (Егор Николаев) – many thanks and greetings.

Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 T*Minolta MD 45mm 1:2.0
Serial:74390532228408
Optical Condition:Near MintNear Mint
Mechanical Condition:MintMint
Cosmetic Condition:Very GoodVery Good

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

Tested lenses reviews


Note for pedants: two different copies of Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 have been used for the battle and for review, it is because of the gap in time between these two articles.

45mm lenses comparison – Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 – sharpness/resolution

Long-distance test description

  • Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) – RAW (ARW), tripod, A-mode, ISO 100, WB fixed, SteadyShot OFF, manual focus correction for F2.0-2.8-4.0
  • Targets (buildings) – fixed by gravity power on distances more than 200 meters
  • ARW post-processing – Capture One, default settings, 100% crops 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

45mm lenses comparison - Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 - infinity

Short-distance test description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

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

Scene preview

Test results

45mm lenses comparison - Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 - close distance

45mm lenses comparison – Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 C/Y vs Minolta Rokkor MD 45mm 1:2.0 – final conclusion

The Note at the first: there is a slight anomaly on F5.6 for the Carl Zeiss lens, I think that it is a focus shift effect because I did focus compensation up to F4 but not to F5.6. And it isn’t a mistake – the test has been repeated three times and all samples are the same. It seems that photographers should keep it in mind. Anyway, it doesn’t affect the results.

In one line: Carl Zeiss 45mm 1:2.8 is better in the corners but Minolta MD 45mm 1:2.8 is much better in the center and in the middle. Minolta is the winner, no doubts. But overall, both lenses have a lot of other advantages and disadvantages which aren’t linked with sharpness (price, size, brand, mount, exterior, etc.) so the recommendation is: if you choose between these two lenses, then sharpness will not be the main selection criterion.