Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 – vintage manual lens test and review

  • Official classification: New-MD
  • Collector’s classification: MD III

‘The best hundred’ – are appropriated words if linked with this 100/2.5. It gives predictable and guaranteed results without unexpected surprises. It was underrated for about 35 years but now it seems people start to understand what gem it is.

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 + X700

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index152
Name engraved on the lensMD
f[mm]100
A max [1/f]2,5
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]5
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]49
Lens Shadebuilt-in
closefocus[m/ft]1/3.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×65.5
Weight[g]310
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.598-100

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesVery High
Reviewed lens SN:1101416

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 exterior

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 mounted on Minolta X-700

This is a very suitable set – the camera and lens have the same design (1981 released)

Another copy with the box:

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance:10% longer than minimal focus distance marked on the lens
  • 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

Scene preview

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions)

Test results (full version – all 9 positions)

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1m, plants are in 3m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1.7m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 1.1m), diodes were fixed in 3m distance

Demo Photos dedicated article

Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 (or Minolta MD 100mm F/2.5, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

Do you need to make a beautiful photo? Just use a camera with this lens. On any aperture. This lens is absolutely sharp even wide-opened. It has nice fire resistance and build-in hood for hard light conditions. Bokeh is just stunning. And all of it with really little aberrations, that is even strange for such beautiful bokeh. Small-sized and lightweight for this focal distance. Previous years I thought that this is one of the most underrated Minolta lenses ever, but for today – prices are enough high, anyway they seem acceptable for a lens with such IQ and abilities.


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