Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 – vintage manual lens test and review

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

This lens is in the list of most popular lenses among Minolta fans and it seems because this is most little and cute 135mm lens, but not because of IQ. On the other hand, test results are good and even if this lens is not so sharp as faster sisters it may be a better choice in cases when the weight plays a big role.

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 + X700

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index199
Name engraved on lensMD
f[mm]135
A max [1/f]3.5
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]1.5/5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×72.5
Weight[g]285
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.594-800

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:8075287

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 exterior

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5 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 – 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 135mm 1:3.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1.5m, plants are in 5m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (2.5m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 1.7m), diodes were fixed in 5m distance

Minolta MD 135mm 1:3.5(or Minolta MD 135mm F/3.5, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

It is lightweight and small-sized – these are the main reasons to use this lens. The F3.5 is not so fast as already reviewed MD 135mmF2.0 or MD 135mmF2.8 but it works fine from F5.6 for most of a photographer’s tasks and can be used wide open F3.5 for portraits. Additionally, it has nice bokeh and geometry. Actually, this lens IQ is very close to MD 135mmF2.8 but almost a one stop has been lost and the performance what can be getting with a faster lens for example – on F5.6 with this lens is available just on F8.

On the other hand, it’s really cheap and can always be in a bag because of the dimensions and weight. Even build-in lens-hood is presented – this ancient magic was lost by modern developers. So, this lens doesn’t have a performance advantage, but it may be a good option for long walks or if the 135mm focal distance is needed occasionally.


3 Comments

infoman · 2018-02-14 at 12:18

May the god bless you with many children for the work you do with those lenses 😉

    Tony · 2018-02-14 at 12:27

    I am grateful to you for your words. It’s important for me

Andrzej Wilk · 2020-10-23 at 11:43

I like Your job, well done, thanks

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