Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 – vintage manual lens test and review

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

Minolta has designed two portraiture bombs – one of them is already reviewed Minolta MD 135mm F2.0 and here is the second – Minolta MD 200mm F2.8. It looks like this lens has no weaknesses except one – the weight.

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 + X700

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

# in minolta.eazypix.de index203
Name engraved on the lensMD
f[mm]200
A max [1/f]2.8
A min[1/f]32
Lens design [el.]5
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]72
Lens Shadebuilt-in
closefocus[m/ft]1.8/6
Dimension Ø x length [mm]78×133
Weight[g]700
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.659-808

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number8
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:8001960

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 exterior

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8 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 200mm 1:2.8 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

This lens doesn’t have a visible geometric distortion. No tests needed.

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1.8m, plants are in 5m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (3m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance. This is a rare case for real photography but demonstrates the maximum possible blur level.

The 2nd test: lens was focused on 7m (it’s a portrait distance), houses are on infinity. This case displays the lens’s behavior in conditions what can be meet enough often

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 2m), diodes were fixed in 5m distance

Minolta MD 200mm 1:2.8(or Minolta MD 200mm F/2.8, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

This is a very sharp, very fast, and very long lens. It seems like a bokeh-monster, and definitely – portraiture is the main goal of using this lens. In fact, it is the sister of previously reviewed legendary MD 135mm 1:2.0 – the behavior and IQ are close the same. Yes, this 200mm lens is inconvenient because enough big and heavy. On the other hand, some modern digital cameras with built-in stabilization give a good shake compensation on 200mm focus distances, so today photographers stay in a much better position than it was in 80′.

The lens can be operated with auto-focused adapters but it is not recommend – the lens too heavy, so any motorized adapters for your own risk. Like any other fast and long lens, it has some aberrations, but any of them can be easily fixed in any RAW-editor. Build-in hood is presented and yes, this option gives +1000 points to this lens. The lens is sharp enough even wide open F2.8 and became totally sharp on F4.

Prices on modern auctions look reasonable for IQ/performance. So, if someone needs to photograph excellent portraits without haste, and he didn’t get overheated MD 135mm F2, and he doesn’t afraid 200mm focal distance, and he has muscles to operate with the 700g lens – then this is a good choice.


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