Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 vs Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 – comparison

Published by Tony on

85mm lenses comparison – Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar T* Contax/Yashica vs Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0

The IQ of both lenses are well known among photographers, but there is not a good head-to-head comparison in the network (or I can’t find it). This gap should be covered.

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

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0
Serial:84355258001103
Optical Condition:Near MintVery Good
Mechanical Condition:Near MintVery Good
Cosmetic Condition:Very GoodNot 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

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 vs Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 – comparison – 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 the first two stops
  • 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

85mm lenses comparison - Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 Sonnar C/Y vs Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 - sharpness

Carl Zeiss 85mm 1:2.8 vs Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 – comparison – final conclusion

Minolta New-MD 85mm 1:2.0 is the winner. Two reasons:

  • Open aperture: Minolta has a little more aberrations in the center, it is the same as Carl Zeiss in the mid-position, and finally – a lot better in the corner position. In other words: Minolta gives more sharpness over the frame.
  • F 2.8: Minolta is better. Yes yes, it is expected, because Minolta has a one-stop advantage. But… it might have looked like a dishonest competition if it wasn’t for the fact that Minolta was better even at open aperture.

A little note: usually I avoid comparing lenses by prices, but here it may be acceptable – these two lenses are close to the same by modern listings on auctions, and it also makes the game enough fair.

Have a nice day!