Minolta 24mm lenses – comparison

Published by Tony on

Minolta 24mm lenses comparison:

Minolta has produced very technically advanced and as result – very famous lenses with a 24mm focal distance. Here is a friendly battle between the three of some of them.

Rokkor MC 24mm 1:2.8 VFC
MD 24mm 1:2.8 VFC
MD 24mm 1:2.8
Serial:101702380014163115101
Optical Condition:Near MintMintMint
Mechanical Condition:Near MintMintMint
Cosmetic Condition:Near MintNear MintNear Mint

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

Tested lenses reviews



Minolta 24mm lenses 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 every shot
  • Targets (buildings) – fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters
  • ARW post-processing – Capture One, default settings, 100% crops 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Minolta MC Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 VFC

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. Rokkor MC VFC vs New MD VFC. Infinity

Minolta MC Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. Rokkor MC VFC vs New MD Standard prime. Infinity

Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. New MD VFC vs New MD standard prime. 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)

Test results

Minolta MC Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 VFC

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. Rokkor MC VFC vs New MD VFC. Close distance

Minolta MC Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. Rokkor MC VFC vs New MD standard prime. Close distance

Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 VFC vs Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8

Minolta 24mm lenses - comparison. New MD VFC vs New MD standard prime. Close distance

Minolta 24mm lenses comparison – final conclusion

To show real reliable results, I had to make several attempts and show those results that are clearly free of errors. Unfortunately, VFC lenses were only available in one copy each. But the standard 24mm lens has already passed the romantic test, which gives more confidence in its performance.

For simplicity, let’s put aside the unimportant things:

Firstly: the resolution in the center of the frame. Independently of the distance, all lenses actually show no difference in the center, and the whole battle will be deployed closer to the edge.

Secondly: all tests on the close distance – can’t help to choose the winner. At such a close distance, all lenses work the same way. More precisely, the difference is negligible. Yes, we can see some drop in contrast in corners or in the middle for some lenses but all these deviations counterbalance each other. Some lenses are great in one place, some in another. These are really little things that are not worth paying attention to, and it is easier to assume that the battle at close range ended in a draw.

Now on to the important things – middle and corners at infinity:

  • Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 (no VFC) – in some conditions it is better than any of VFC. The winner!
  • Minolta MC-X 24mm 1:2.8 VFC a little bit better than MD III VFC. Really a bit, but it is enough to take The Second place.
  • Minolta MD-III 24mm 1:2.8 VFC – The Third, but with very good results in any way.

A couple of years ago, a comparison between MD VFC and non-VFC was posted on the site, so the victory of the simple non-VFC version was not a surprise. In fact, it is a well-researched lens and one of its roles for today was to give more confidence to the results. But the fact that MC VFC beats MD VFC was unexpected.

Usually, Minolta followed the rule “the newer – the better”, but here we can see that older MC a bit better. It is even more strange if to remember that both VFC lenses are similar to the optical point of view. The difference is in the exterior/mechanic only (probably in the coating). So, the question is: do we see something like a deviation between copies? Or something was changed in the technology of production? Need another couple of copies to answer. But the very fact that I  simultaneously had two lenses with the VFC function in my hands is an incredible success, these are rare and expensive lenses that are little used by modern photographers, so we should not expect the battle to continue soon. But today’s information can be considered wonderful.

Recommendations:

Standard Minolta MD 24mm 1:2.8 (MD III) would be the best choice as a super-wide lens. What about VFC lenses – I would like to carefully say that the question is still open.