Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom lens review.

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

The zoom which is strongly recommended, even independently of the photographer’s personal preferences and of used crop-factor. This lens will work great in any case.

Tests of this lens are divided for 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm groups.

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom + X700

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index254
Name engraved on the lensMD ZOOM
f[mm]24-50
A max [1/f]4
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]13
Lens design [gr.]11
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm72
Lens Shadeclamp-on
closefocus[m/ft]0.7/2.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]75×69.5
Weight[g]390
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.676-818

More data

Floating elementsYES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:8003530

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom lens exterior

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom lens-shade

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 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 24-50mm 1:4.0 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 – Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.7m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

24mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.7m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – a 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 – Long-distance bokeh:

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.7m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

28mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.7m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

35mm – Sharpness – a short distance

Scene preview

Test results

35mm – Sharpness – long distance

Test results

35mm – Vignetting

35mm – Geometric distortion

35mm – Coma aberrations

35mm – Chromatic aberrations

35mm – Long-distance bokeh:

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.7m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

35mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.7m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-50mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 50mm

50mm – Sharpness – a short distance

Scene preview

Test results

50mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview

Test results

50mm – Vignetting

50mm – Geometric distortion:

(don’t worry please about sharpness please, this technical issue doesn’t affect the result of the geometry test. I’ll remake it soon)

50mm – Coma aberrations

50mm – Chromatic aberrations

50mm – Long-distance bokeh:

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.7m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

50mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.7m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 24-50mm F4.0 Zoom – overall conclusion

This lens looks like an ideal tool for travel photography. It has very popular and often used focal distances, it is enough sharp for all standard travel scenes. The lens isn’t too big and heavy. And we can easily imagine a photographer who prefers wide-angle but sometimes needs a 50mm perspective.

The lens can’t be called as totally sharp in corners and it should be closed up to F8 or even better for F11 if an owner needs an ideal sharpness distribution over the frame, but as I said above – the resolution is enough for walks with camera in touristic places. On the other hand, the lens is absolutely sharp in the center and in middle positions – even if wide open.

So the main question is – does the convenient diapason of focal distances can compensate for the insufficient sharpness in extreme corners at opened apertures? My answer is ‘yes’ and it worth it. Indirectly, the value of the lens is indicated by the constantly growing price on auctions. So, I recommend grabbing this lens if you find it for a reasonable price.


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