Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro lens review

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

This is not a true Minolta actually, just labeled. Anyway, Minolta’s logo can’t appear on an unworthy lens.

Tests for this review are divided for 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm groups.

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 Zoom + Sony A7

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de indexnot presented
Name engraved on the lensMD ZOOM
f[mm]28-70
A max [1/f]3.5-4.8
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]8
Lens design [gr.]8
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.8/2.75
Dimension Ø x length [mm]
Weight[g]361
Year1985
StyleMD IIIa
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.
Note2-Touch w/ macro mode

More data

Floating elementsYES
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough
Reviewed lens SN:57011889

Note: minolta.eazypix.de index doesn’t contain the data about this lens for today.

The lens has a variable speed from 3.5 to 4.8 depends on focal distance, so, all test results on fully opened aperture were marked with F3.5 to avoid misunderstanding.

Note: there is more than one version of this zoom that was produced and this lens isn’t original Minolta design but licensed from third party companies. Known at least two of them – Cosina and Hoya/Tokina. But other versions are possible too. My lens weighs 361g (‘heavy version’) and has serial 57011889, so if your copy is close by these parameters than it is a good chance that this review is applicable for your copy too.

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom lens exterior:

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • 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 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – a short distance

28mm – Scene preview

28mm – Test results

28mm – Sharpness – long distance

28mm – Scene preview

28mm – Test results

28mm – Vignetting

28mm – Geometric distortion

28mm – Coma aberrations

28mm – Chromatic aberrations

28mm  – Long-distance bokeh

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

28mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

35mm – Sharpness – a short distance

35mm – Scene preview

35mm – Test results

35mm – Sharpness – long distance

35mm – Scene preview

35mm – Test results

35mm – Vignetting

35mm – Geometric distortion

35mm – Coma aberrations

35mm – Chromatic aberrations

35mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

35mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 50mm

50mm – Sharpness – a short distance

50mm – Scene preview:

50mm – Test results

50mm – Sharpness – long distance

50mm – Scene preview

50mm – Test results

50mm – Vignetting

50mm – Geometric distortion

50mm – Coma aberrations

50mm – Chromatic aberrations

50mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

50mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 70mm

70mm – Sharpness – a short distance

70mm – Scene preview

70mm – Test results

70mm – Sharpness – long distance

70mm – Scene preview

70mm – Test results

70mm – Vignetting

70mm – Geometric distortion

70mm – Coma aberrations

70mm – Chromatic aberrations

35mm – Long-distance bokeh

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

70mm – Light bubbles bokeh:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 28-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom – overall conclusion:

This lens is not a ‘gem’ but works and shows enough good optical quality – not high, not worst, and, of course, a photographer can get nice photos with this lens. In my eyes, it looks better than a common zoom that we can find in camera’s kits from any company, even for modern times. The lens wasn’t designed in Minolta’s style, and the feeling in hands is different from other Minoltas, but this feeling is not bad – lens has a quite solid hull with good materials, just a small backlash/play of the focus-ring spoils the picture on my copy.

Of course, it is cheap, but the price doesn’t matter, because I can’t imagine people, who buy it because they strictly want this one. Mostly such lenses distributed in the role of caps with old cameras. That’s why my recommendation may be unexpected – it’s easy to get another better lens if to spend even a little bit more money, but if this lens was acquired for free than it’s a good idea to save it just in case, especially if an owner hasn’t a wide range of other lenses.

Advantages: very convenient focal distances – 28-70mm, macro 1/4, quite fast, enough sharp if closed down, small and lightweight. Add here unexpectedly good overall optical IQ – and it can be seen that this lens is not bad at least.


4 Comments

ol · 2019-07-22 at 00:57

Good review. I have the same lens myself, but wonder how the macro function works. Can you tell me how it works?

    Tony · 2019-07-22 at 12:06

    Thank you. It’s “marketing macro” – just means that on the 80cm distance to the object this lens can provide 1:4 macro on 70mm focal distance. There is no need in specific settings

ol · 2019-07-23 at 12:01

Ok thanks

Flyingcat · 2020-10-29 at 22:35

Works perfectly on my apsc nex7,sharpness is fine even at the edge.most importantly,its size really fit the nex7’s body

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