Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 vintage manual lens test and review

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

Personally, it’s my choice among other wide options. I love this lens because of geometry, sharpness, and shape of the hull, or maybe because I’m feeling it in my hands better than others ultra-wides – this MD 20/2.8 is a very fit ‘chan’.

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index21
Name engraved on lensMD
f[mm]20
A max [1/f]2,8
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]10
Lens design [gr.]9
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.25/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×43.5
Weight[g]240
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.515-810
Floating elementsYES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesVery High
Reviewed lens SN:8003622

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 exterior

Mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 lens-shade

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test

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)

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 sharpness / resolution

Test results (full version – all 9 positions)

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 sharpness / resolution

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

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8

Test results

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 sharpness / resolution

Aberrations:

Vignetting

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 vignetting

Geometric distortion

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 geometry

Coma aberrations

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 coma

Chromatic aberrations

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 chromatic

Close distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.25m, plants are in 2m distance from the camera

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 bokeh

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (0.5m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 bokeh

Light bubbles bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 0.27m), diodes were fixed in 2m distance

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 light bubbles

Demo Photos

Minolta MD 20mm 1:2.8 (or Minolta MD 20mm F/2.8, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

Really wide lady.  I rarely shoot with lenses wider than 35mm, but if I do it – then take this beauty. An important trait for wide-angle: the lens provides a nice geometry, even better than popular MD 24mmF2.8. What about resolution: it has quite sharp corners after F5.6 and it is enough for landscapes or interiors.  Standard bonuses: the beautiful design and amazing feeling in hands – because this is Minolta. Like any ultra-wide lens, it does not require autofocus and stays very convenient on modern cameras.

More materials with this lens:


5 Comments

Radovan Tůma · 2019-06-12 at 00:14

Minolta MC W. Rokkor NL 21mm F/2.8 or this,… That is a question… I like Minolta lenses. I use these on the SRT100X and Nikon Z6. Btw. Very interesting pages, Many greetings from the Czech Republic.

    Tony · 2019-06-12 at 00:40

    Welcome ))) About the question – the tests of MCII 21/2.8 and comparison with this MDIII 20/2.8 is already done and articles are in production, I hope to publish it close to the autumn. Just can say now that choice is difficult – 20 beats 21 on the center and corners, but 21 beats 20 in the middle. Sounds strange but it is really so. I can’t recommend one instead of other – both have weaknesses and powerful sides.

      Radovan Tůma · 2019-06-12 at 10:04

      Thank you for your response, so I’m not going to make a mistake with either of them.

Mohammad varzideh · 2021-08-08 at 14:58

Hello tony .
Please correct the focal length in the lens abrasions test section so that this review being the best and most complete review of this gem . Mr ken Rockwell also wrote a review about this lens and said : “this is a gem of manual focus lenses” . I had this (the first version ) and It’s one of my favorite minolta lens . it’s my choice among other wide options too .
Regards .

    Tony · 2021-08-08 at 15:12

    Hello Mohammad, thank you a lot for the correction (I often use copy-paste of headers and structure from old to new articles and sometimes forget to change everything in the text).
    What about the 20/2.8 – yes-eys, probably, it is the best 20mm lens of 20 century independently of a brand

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

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