Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom – lens review

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

Well, this is the first review about zoom-lens on the site. And this zoom is genius, as it often happens with Minolta.

Tests of this lens are divided for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm groups.

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom + X700

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom (MD III, New-MD) specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index252
Name engraved on the lensMD ZOOM
f[mm]24-35
A max [1/f]3.5
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]10
Lens design [gr.]10
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm]67×50
Weight[g]285
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.2509-110
Rings2-Touch

More data

Floating elementsYES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:1002147

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom lens exterior

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom lens-shade:

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom  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

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

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

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 24mm

24mm – Sharpness – a short distance

Scene preview

Test results

24mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

Test results

24mm – Vignetting

24mm – Geometric distortion

24mm – Coma aberrations

24mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

24mm – Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.3m, plants are in 1.8m distance from the camera

24mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

24mm – Light bubbles bokeh

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.3m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview

Test results

28mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview

Test results

28mm – Vignetting

28mm – Geometric distortion

28mm – Coma aberrations

28mm – Chromatic aberrations

28mm – Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.3m, plants are in 1.8m distance from the camera

28mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

Light bubbles bokeh

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.3m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

Sharpness – short-distance

Scene preview

Test results

35mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview

Test results

Vignetting

35mm – Geometric distortion

35mm – Coma aberrations

35mm – Chromatic aberrations

35mm – Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.3m, plants are in 1.8m distance from the camera

35mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

Light bubbles bokeh

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.3m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom – other resources with reviews:

Here you can see how the review of this lens looked right after the release in the press:

(Thanks for the material for – from forum.mflenses.com)

old Amateur Photography Magazine:

Minolta MD 24-35mm 1:3.5 Zoom – overall conclusion

Zoom-lenses are about convenience. And this MD 24-35/3.5 is about convenience twice. Firstly – because it’s zoom, secondly – because it is a really small lens. Size and weight of it are close to the normal fifties-lenses. Another advantage is the range: 24-35 covers most popular wide angles and I can easily imagine a photographer, who is going to use only this lens in any situation.

One more a very good trait: the lens behaves the same on any focal distances from 24 to 35mm, which makes the lens very predictable for a photographer.

Surprisingly, the geometric distortion of this lens is a little, and photos wouldn’t need an additional correction in photo-editors. I do not have big experience in photographing with zoom lenses so I imagined many more problems with geometry. But it turned out that this is quite comparable with prime lenses.

The lens should be close to F11 for providing total sharpness in corners. On the other hand – it can provide such sharpness, it is a great achievement for zoom – not a lot wide-angle primes can take this achievement. Honestly, I believe that F5.6-8 is enough for any tasks – travel, street, interior, etc. – this lens would be a very good choice for anything, and in many cases, it can be better than a pack of primes in a bag. But remember about a good light or tripod if total sharpness in corners is needed for the photo.

Of course, this zoom isn’t a ‘Bokeh-Monster’ but who cares about bokeh on so wide angles with such apertures? Finally: center and middle are fine from F5.6, but for best corners, the lens needs to be closed F8 or more.


0 Comments

Evgeny from Ukraine · 2018-08-26 at 23:25

It looks interesting Rokkor 40-80 2.8. Have not you tried?

    Tony · 2018-08-27 at 11:23

    Yes, 40-80 is interesting lens, at least because it quite unusual, but I haven’t try it, may be in future

Göran Nilsen · 2018-11-29 at 00:31

Nice Review! I have this lens and uses it with Sony A7. I have had Sony fe 16-35mm f4 oss, but this Minolta with hdr processing makes outstanding images.Minolta md and mc in general are very good lenses.

    Tony · 2018-11-29 at 01:08

    Thanks, and yes – just outstanding. I’m going to take it into my next trip instead of 24mm and 35mm primes – it was impossible case for me until I’ve tested this zoom

Michel · 2020-03-29 at 03:35

I personally compared this lens with the Sony Zeiss 24-70 F4 on both of my Sony A7r and A7MII and without lens corrections, this lens beat the Zeiss for sharpness, CA and distortion. So i kept this Minolta !

    Tony · 2020-03-29 at 12:06

    That’s great information! I’m glad to hear it. Thank you

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