Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 – vintage manual lens test and review

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

There are no sensations in this review because even before the tests it was known that this is one of the best lenses in the world. The very famous model, even fans of the other labels prefer to get one if nobody can spot it.

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 + X700

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index 67
Name engraved on the lens MD
f[mm] 35
A max [1/f] 1,8
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 8
Lens design [gr.] 6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×48
Weight[g] 240
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 605-810
Floating elements YES (partial support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies 100%
Reviewed lens SN: 8001096

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 exterior

Mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 lens-shade

BTW: one of the rarest collectible items by Minolta – is the 50mm 1.4-1.7-1.8 lens-shade – this is a target for any collector. But this 35mm lens-shade – is absolutely the same as for 50mm, except marks of course. And finding lens hood for 35mm lenses is much easier.

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 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 35mm 1:1.8 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.3m, plants are in 2m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (0.5-0.7m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale, diodes were fixed in 2m distance

Light bubbles bokeh

On the minimal focusing distance 0.3m

Demo Photos

Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 (or Minolta MD 35mm F/1.8, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

This lens confirmed the “legendary” status again. The main advantage – It is very universal. Let’s see: it enough sharp for landscapes (started from F4) and enough fast for portraits. And that FI.8 is not formal – it’s fully working speed. The lens has nice geometry. And geometry is much closer to normal 50mm fast lenses than to ultra-wides. But this is is still a wide-angle. On the other hand – 35mm is enough close to “normal” focal distances. Add here standard Minolta New-MD line’s advantages: small, lightweight, durable. The focusing mechanic works like a charm – it’s a pleasure to operate this lens. So, we can see the really truly gem and must-have tool. What about cost: the lens is not cheap, but not overpriced. Strongly recommended – it may be the only lens in a photographer’s bag for any cases.


1 Comment

Demo Photos: Minolta MD 35mm 1:1.8 – Lens QA Works · 2018-10-31 at 12:00

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