Minolta MD 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.5 Zoom vs MD 28mm 1:3.5 vs MD 35mm 1:2.8 vs MD 50mm 1:1.4 vs MD 85mm 1:2.0 – comparison

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom comparison with prime lenses:

  • Minolta MD 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom Macro (MD III)
  • Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5 (MD III)
  • Minolta MD 35mm 1:2.8 (MD III)
  • Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 (MD III)
  • Minolta MD 85mm 1:2.0 (MD III)

One of the best zooms from pre-AF era is going to fight against famous primes on the most used focal distances. Yes, that primes are powerful, so a victory of zoom looks impossible but it will be cool even if it will show at least a close level of sharpness.
This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results may differ if any element is changed.

Tested lenses:

Minolta MD 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.5 Zoom comparison with other lenses – sharpness

Long-distance test description

  • Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) – RAW (ARW), tripod, A-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot OFF, manual focus correction for every shot
  • Targets (buildings) – fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters
  • ARW post-processing – Capture One, default settings, 100% crops 300×200 px

Focal distance 28mm

Scene preview (28mm)

Test results (28mm)

Focal distance 35mm

Scene preview (35mm)

Test results (35mm)

Focal distance 50mm

Scene preview (50mm)

Test results (50mm)

Focal distance 85mm

Scene preview (85mm)

Test results (85mm)

Minolta MD 28-85mm 1:3.5-4.8 Zoom comparison – final conclusion:

The zoom Minolta New MD 28-85/3.5-4.5 can easy to fight against primes in the center and the middle, from F5.6 at least, even if wide opened this zoom displays a very good result. The difference in resolution on these positions is small and I think that can be skipped during the selection of lens for the walk. Great result, and nice news, especially for owners of cameras with APS-C sensors.

What about corners – zoom has no chances against primes and was beaten by all others of competitors. This result can be easy predicted right after reading the main review-article, and this comparison just shows the size of the difference in resolution to help to make the right decision if the photographer is choosing between primes or zoom. It’s good to remember that resolution in corners is important in landscapes or interiors photos, but for most other styles it can be neglected easy.



XU Feng · 2019-02-26 at 23:28

Wondering which one is better, 35-70 or 28-85 at 35, 50, 70. How about a lenswar for zoom vs zoom, Tony?

    Tony · 2019-02-27 at 13:07

    Hi, I think there is no need in such battle – 35-70 is better on any available focal distance in the corners on FF. But in case of crop-cameras I think that 28-85 is preferable – corners are cut and it has a more convenient focal distances

      Xu Feng · 2019-02-27 at 20:10

      Thank you Tony. I am using FF camera and happy with my MD 35-70/3.5 so just curious about how this zoom compares the one I already have and now it is clear.

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