Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom lens review

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

There are a few popular 2x-zooms produced by the genius of Minolta’s engineers. Everyone knows at least MD 35-70/3.5 and I can add into that list Minolta MD 24-50/4 and maybe MD 24-35/3.5. This reviewed MD 75-150/4 is a further level. See the test results – it’s fantastic.

The tested copy is in beautiful condition in all aspects, something like ‘Near Mint’ in Japanese sellers terminology. No traces of disassembling and damages.

Tests for this review are divided for 75mm, 100mm, 150mm groups.

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom + Sony A

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index272
Name engraved on the lensMD ZOOM
f[mm]75-150
A max [1/f]4
A min[1/f]32
Lens design [el.]12
Lens design [gr.]8
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]49
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]1.2/4
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×113.5
Weight[g]445
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.2506-110
Notes1-Touch

More data

Floating elementsYES
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:1021780

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom lens exterior:

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom mounted on Minolta X-700

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

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom Macro 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 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 75mm

75mm – Sharpness – a short distance

Scene preview

75mm – Test results

75mm – Sharpness – long distance

75mm – Scene preview

75mm – Test results

75mm – Vignetting

75mm – Geometric distortion

75mm – Coma aberrations

75mm – Chromatic aberrations

75mm – Long-distance bokeh

Test #1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.2m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m (half of the scale), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

75mm – Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.2m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 100mm

100mm – Sharpness – short distance

100mm – Scene preview

100mm – Test results

100mm – Sharpness – long distance

100mm – Scene preview

100mm – Test results

100mm – Vignetting

100mm – Geometric distortion

100mm – Coma aberrations

100mm – Chromatic aberrations

100mm – Long-distance bokeh

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 1.2m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m (half of the scale), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

100mm – Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.2m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 150mm

150mm – Sharpness – short distance

150mm – Scene preview

150mm – Test results

150mm – Sharpness – long distance

150mm – Scene preview

150mm – Test results

150mm – Vignetting

150mm – Geometric distortion

150mm – Coma aberrations

150mm – Chromatic aberrations

150mm – Long-distance bokeh

Test#1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.2m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 2.5m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

150mm – Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.2m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

The lens is on the focusing distance 2.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom – other resources with reviews

Here you can see how the review of this lens looked right after the release in the press:

(Thanks for the material for – from forum.mflenses.com)

old Amateur Photography Magazine:

It looks like the reviewer wasn’t sure in so beautiful result… /smile/

Minolta MD 75-150mm 1:4.0 Zoom final conclusion

This lens has an unbelievable IQ – it was a little shock after I sorted out with test results. Yes, in most of the cases long lenses have a nice sharpness and additionally – a nice sharpness distribution over the frame, but such level as it was displayed by this zoom is something special.

Let’s start with the disadvantages

Firstly, it has just a 2x zoom. Not a big bonus for convenience – only two lenses can be changed (for example – a popular 85 and 135mm). Or even a one in diapason 100-120mm. Secondly, it isn’t very fast, something like F2.8 would be more preferable for a lens with portrait focus distances. And I don’t like push/pull lens design, but this is just personal opinion. No more disadvantages I can see.

Advantages

This lens is lightweight and compact as many as it possible for such diapason. It covers all required portrait distances – not more, not less. It has no noticeable aberrations. Coma, chromatic, geometry are amazing. And finally – it is sharp wide opened. Over the whole frame. Really – this is the zoom with total sharpness on any aperture. Perfectionists can find a little lack of resolution on 75mm, but it’s still better than some of the primes closed to F4. As a result: F4-F5.6 on such focal distances is enough for getting of bokeh for portrait scenes, and the bokeh of this zoom is fine, and easily can be confused with primes.

The zoom is just for one stop slower than popular portrait lenses like MD 100/2.5 or MD 135/2.8 – and its F4 has enough resolution for any tasks. Do you need a powerful, not rare, and not expensive portrait lens with modern sharpness? Or tele-lens for landscapes with a ‘tight’ perspective? Here the decision.

Lens will look great in photo-sessions with studio light on apertures about F8 – the problem of the absence of auto-focus will go in this case, or became much less at least.

One more note

Minolta MD 75-150 was in production at a short period of time only in one version – New-MD, instead of the three reincarnations of more popular Minolta MD 70-210mm 1:4.0, which isn’t so good in corners, even if closed down, but a little longer. So, if a photographer needs a sharpness – this MD 75-150/4 is much preferable. I can assume that in times of film photography, the difference in sharpness was not so important as an additional 1x for zoom, so the company decided to reincarnate the longer 70-210/4 in the autofocused version, despite the advantages of MD 75-150/4. But this is just my assumption.

Finally

This lens is the one another gem by Minolta. Strongly recommended as universal tele-lens for everyone.


2 Comments

Wei · 2022-02-02 at 03:33

Thank you! Really a wonderful review of this lens.

    Tony · 2022-02-02 at 23:36

    Thanks. It was a pleasure to test this lens

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