Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro – vintage manual lens test and review

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

Not often we can say ‘must-have’ about lenses, but this 100mm macro is definitely that case – it is ideal for macro or objects photography for a reasonable price and it has no weakness.

Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro (MD III, New-MD) specifications

# in minolta.eazypix.de index163
Name engraved on the lensMD MACRO
f[mm]100
A max [1/f]4
A min[1/f]32
Lens design [el.]5
Lens design [gr.]4
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]66×88.5
Weight[g]385
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.599-828

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies High
Reviewed lens SN:8017878

Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro lens exterior

Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 0.5m
  • 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

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

Test results

Note: little dots on the skin of the model are artifacts of printing, not the camera noise.

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 1:4.0 Macro aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.5m, plants are in 2m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused 1m, diodes were fixed in 3.5m distance

Light bubbles bokeh

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.45m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Other resources with reviews:

Minolta MD 100mm 1:4.0 Macro (or Minolta MD 100mm F/3.5, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

This lens is a truly incredible macro tool – 100mm focal distance with a short (0.45m) Minimum Focusing Distance provides the optimal distance for macro-photography. Especially for demanding users the lens is able to provide magnification 1×1 – with the original macro ring.

The fastest aperture is F4 only, not F2-2.8, but with so long focal distance it can be used for portraits of course.

The lens is amazing in the macro role, so if possibilities of this lens aren’t enough for a photographer, then only bellows-systems can help. Of course, it is impossible to say that this lens is ‘the best’ among other competitors because all top photo-companies have produced lenses with the same characteristics, but I believe that even modern auto-focused lenses with huge prices can’t give more abilities for photographers than this beauty.

The lens looks like a ‘middle-priced’ item for today and it isn’t so cheap as Minolta MD 50/3.5, but definitely it isn’t overpriced. Definitely, this lens should be recommended to everyone who is going to make a few photos on a short distance.


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *