Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 – vintage manual lens test and review

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

Some lenses don’t have high characteristics, don’t become famous, and look too simple for fans, but these lenses work and definitely provide the same result as many other even more popular analogs. This MC 200mm 1:4 is from that list – works better than expected and one of the most underrated lenses produced by Minolta.

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 + X700

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index215
Name engraved on the lensMD
f[mm]200
A max [1/f]4
A min[1/f]32
Lens design [el.]5
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadebuilt-in
closefocus[m/ft]2.5/8
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×116.5
Weight[g]410
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.595-800

More data

Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesVery high
Reviewed lens SN:8003651

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 exterior

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0 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 1:4.0 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 2.5m, plants are in 5m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (4.5m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance. This is a rare case for real photography but demonstrates the maximum possible blur level.

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 3m), diodes were fixed in 5m distance

Minolta MD 200mm 1:4.0(or Minolta MD 200mm F/4.0, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

The conclusion is based directly on test results: this lens is really sharp and gives smooth ‘creme’ bokeh – very universal and able to cover any photo-styles because the combination of wide-open F4 with this so long 200mm focal distance is enough for any tasks which may be imagined – portraits, landscapes, animals/birds in parks, flowers, etc.

Actually, it can be preferable instead of faster MD 200mm F2.8 because it gives another level of convenience during walks – dimensions and weight are really small. Another one plus – build-in lens-hood, forgotten by a new generation, the invention of ancient engineers. And one more unexpected plus – it has an absolutely low price, just about a few yens. Really, it’s abnormal – for today it’s one of the cheapest lenses in Minolta MD line.

The lens may be used with auto-focus adapters, but be careful – it gives too long a ‘lever’ for mount fix. Of course, it has aberrations, but anyway – it ready to work even if wide open. Powerful, long-focused, and convenient lens.


5 Comments

Peter · 2018-11-06 at 19:30

Nice review! Thanks!

dylan · 2018-12-30 at 12:54

I will buy this one! Thank you 🙂

Jack Nordine · 2020-01-07 at 08:40

Nice review, thanks!

Javier del Fresno · 2020-04-12 at 18:30

Hello,

First of all I consider that the comparisions and tests that you perform are brilliant! I would like to know that would be the difference between this lens and the Minolta MC Rokkor 4.5/200.

Thank you in advance 🙂

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