Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 – vintage manual lens test and review

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

The only 300mm lens in the New-MD line. It has been built by a classic approach to the optical design. Test results say that it was the right decision – no weakness was found.

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 + X700

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index 229
Name engraved on the lens MD
f[mm] 300
A max [1/f] 4.5
A min[1/f] 32
Lens design [el.] 7
Lens design [gr.] 6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 72
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 42646
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 77.5×177.5
Weight[g] 705
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 581-808

More data

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies High
Reviewed lens SN: 8005219

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 exterior

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

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 300mm 1:4.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

This lens doesn’t have a visible geometric distortion. No tests needed.

Coma aberrations

This lens doesn’t have a noticeable coma. No tests needed.

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 3m, plants are in 5m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (7m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance. This is a rare case for real photography but demonstrates the maximum possible level of blur

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 3.5m), diodes were fixed in 5m distance

Minolta MD 300mm 1:4.5 (or Minolta MD 300mm F/4.5, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

Firstly, as it displayed by tests, this lens is sharp – it has no big difference in resolution in the center and in corners and ready for work even if aperture has been fully opened – F4.5. Secondly, it is able to hide any background totally in an absolutely smooth bokeh. Aberrations are presented of course, but nothing serious. Usually, the long lenses aren’t very convenient, but this New-MD version is thin and lightweight enough to use it in walks in parks around. The build-in lens-hood is presented, but the lens’s fire-resistance is fine too. Average today’s prices look very reasonable for so technically advanced lens. So, yes, it can be recommended without doubts.


3 Comments

wswe · 2018-09-14 at 23:30

nice review

andyleggatt · 2022-10-19 at 22:11

I had never given a thought to the 300mm focal length until this one presented itself for sale at a reasonable price. Before purchasing it, I did wonder what possible use I could put it to! I needn’t have worried. The image sharpness and contrast are very good and the 3m minimum focus makes it good enough for ‘close work’ and provides images with fantastic transition from sharp to unfocused. Your review certainly helped me find the courage to dip into this focal length and I am very glad that I did. Thank you!

    Tony · 2022-10-20 at 20:50

    You are always welcome. I have no comparisons with similar lenses from other companies, but that’s just because its IQ is really enough for any task so I stopped looking for a competitor

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