Minolta MD, AF prime lens review

November 1st, 2008 | Categories: Photography | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well, after spending a bit of time collecting prime lenses, I’ve decide to give them a brief review of sorts. The only way that can be objectively done is with a photographic test. Not being one for planning things out, I oped to use an old magazine and a couple of gameboy games as the test, this at least will be less a test of my focusing abilities and more a test of the clarity of the optics at a specified distance. So with no further ado, let’s introduce the lenses.

My Five Primes

My Five Primes

All of these lenses were purchased off EBay. Some of them were cheap, the AF’s however were not so cheap. So, Let’s introduce each lens shall we?

Minolta 28mm F2.8 AF Lens:

This lens thus far has been a pretty good lens. It’s dead sharp and it’s nice and stout.  It has a minimum F of 2.8 and maximum of 22.

And here are the shots taken from the lens. Keep in mind that these are directly from the camera and may look a tad dark. Click on the links to see the full size image, usually your browser will allow switching between sizes.

  1. Minolta AF 28mm Lens at F2.8
  2. Minolta AF 28mm Lens at F8
  3. Minolta AF 28mm Lens at F22

Looking at the pictures, they’re pretty sharp. My own personal opinion is that there is some blurring around the text but color rendition is pretty good.

Minolta 50mm F1.7 AF Lens:

This lens is really nice for portraiture and it has nice bokeh. I find that on my camera, auto-focus tends to focus behind the subject at F1.7.

Here are the test images.

  1. Minolta AF 50mm at F1.7
  2. Minolta AF 50mm at F8
  3. Minolta AF 50mm at F22

On this lens it’s pretty obvious that at F8 it becomes pretty clear  but at F1.7 and F22 there is some blur at the edges of the text. Again, the color rendition is pretty good and the clarity is a bit better than the 28mm AF lens. Something to take note of I guess.

Minolta 28mm F2.8 MD Lens

Something to note on all of these MD lenses is the fact that I used an adapter to facilitate mounting them on the camera. Something else to note is that they’re manual focus lenses and the focus is limited by my own vision, which is good, but not perfect. I tried to focus them via trial and error, however, I may not have gotten everything in focus at the lowest F number.

Here is the 28mm Minolta MD lens,. It feels really nice to focus and is of entirely metal build. It feels solid. Looking at it, it is almost entirely the same as the later model AF lens, certainly the majority of the design was retained for the later lens.

Here are the test images, remember, the color/focus may be different due to the adapter.

  1. Minolta MD 28mm at F2.8
  2. Minolta MD 28mm at F8
  3. Minolta MD 28mm at F22

Based on what I can see, there is little difference between the MD and the AF versions of the lenses. I suspect that my focus was folly in the F2.8 test, though I got it as close as I could over several exposures. There was slightly more chromatic aberration in the F22 test in the MD Lens as well. All in all,  a comparitive lens if you like manual focus.

Minolta 50mm Rokkor F1.4 Lens

I have to say, I really like the look of this lens. The overall appearance of it looks as though it’s of high quality. Again, quality may be skewed due to the adapter. It’s also interesting to note that its maximum aperture is F16, lower than the other lenses.

Here are the test images.

  1. Minolta Rokkor 50mm at F1.4
  2. Minolta Rokkor 50mm at F8
  3. Minolta Rokkor 50mm at F16

I have to say, with this lens at F1.4, everything seems washed out to a large degree however at F8 it appears as though it is somewhat sharper than its AF cousin despite the fact that the exposure is a tad darker. Even at F22 Vs. F16, the Rokkor appears a tad bit clearer, again, it could be the lower exposure time.

Star-D 135mm F2.8 Lens

I bought this lens because I wanted to try a manual focus lens and because it was cheap. Frankly, it’s a piece of shit. Taking a picture in any sort of light washed out the colors and any sort of night photography (with lights) results in halos and U.F.O like apparitions all through the image, though it does have the benefit of being fast. Though it is a prime lens that I own and as such, I figured it’d be worth testing.

Here are the test images.

  1. Star-D 135mm at F2.8
  2. Star-D 135mm at F8
  3. Star-D 135mm at F22

Clearly, this lens is inferior to the other lenses. While it is somewhat clear at F8, the contrast is lower than the other lenses. It’s not a bad lens of there is no other option but I’m going to try and find an AF verison.


Well, I can’t really draw too many conclusions from the images provided. I would need to take pictures in the real world and take images of more three dimensional objects in order to get a better idea of their true qualities. Truly, this is nothing more than a cursory test.

Please, if you have a comment to make, please do so

Also, here is the gallery of images used, for reference:

  1. mike wood
    March 29th, 2011 at 05:49
    Reply | Quote | #1

    I am a photographer and i need a Minolta camera how can i get it please get back to me as soon as possible with the above email address

  2. smackaay
    April 20th, 2011 at 08:37
    Reply | Quote | #2

    Just look on Ebay. That’s where i find old stuff.

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