Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 vintage manual lens test and review

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

I was stunned with this lens right after the first results of testing. There are a lot of 28mm lenses around us in the world, but this 28/2.0 should get a goddess status.

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 + X700

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index41
Name engraved on the lensMD
f[mm]28
A max [1/f]2
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]9
Lens design [gr.]9
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]49
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×50
Weight[g]265
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.687-110
Floating elementsYES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesVery high
Reviewed lens SN:1103621

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 exterior

Mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 lens-shade

Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 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):

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 28mm 1:2.0 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Close distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens is focused on minimal distance (0.25m), plants are in the 2m distance

Long-distance bokeh

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

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 28mm 1:2.0 (or Minolta MD 28mm F/2.0, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

This lens is ready to be the only one lens in the photographer’s bag, of course, if wide-angle is more preferable instead of normal view – some persons love it. I can’t say that the lens has totally the best sharpness in the world – a few expensive modern lenses may provide the same level of details, but I have been impressed by the results of resolution tests. Honestly, it was ‘wow!’, yes, everything, including corners – aperture F4 may be enough for landscapes (F4.0 on wide-angle! – unbelievable), and the center is fine even F2.8. This is a gem on 28mm, take it immediately if it appears somewhere. All other standard Minolta MD bonuses, like convenient manual focusing, lightweight, durable, etc. are also traits of this lens.


2 Comments

adriangachewicz · 2019-04-14 at 11:49

Hey, I was thinking about find some 35mm to my minolta, but now I am quiet excited about something even wider, like 28mm and how it is going to work in fashion/portrait. So, I also consider some m42 lenses. Do you have any knowledge about some good 28, 29 or 30mm for m42? Maybe there are some really affortable ones and give you nice results?
And another question, is Minolta MC W Rokkor 28/2.0 is as good as the one you’ve tested? 🙁

    Tony · 2019-04-14 at 17:26

    Hi, sorry, I can’t imagine your style of photography and at the same time, there are too many options with m42 mount available. Minolta MC W Rokkor 28/2.0 still has not been tested on the site, so, all that I can say – MC-X and MDIII lenses in most cases /but not always/ show different test results. If you can’t find head-to-head comparison, then I recommend getting an MDIII to avoid risks

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