Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 vs MD 28mm 1:2.8(7×7) vs MD 28mm 1:2.8(5×5) vs MD 28mm 1:3.5 – comparison (v1)

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 28mm lenses comparison:

  • Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.0 MD III
  • Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.8 (7 elements 7 groups) MD III
  • Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.8 (5 elements 5 groups) MD III
  • Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5 MD III

IMPORTANT NOTE: This was the first lenses-comparison on this site. That time I had a copy of MD 28mm 1:2.8 5×5 version and MD 35mm 1:3.5 in bad cosmetic appearance. So, after I got other copies of these lenses I remade the tests. No changes in conclusion and results but I recommend reading the latest article because it is more convenient. Here you can find it.

This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. An element changed – the result changed.

Tested lenses

Test description

  • Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) – RAW (ARW), tripod, A-mode, ISO 100, 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


  • Most of Minolta’s lenses haven’t half-clicks after the first aperture position. So, for example, aperture “F2.4” for MD III 28mm 1:2.0 means an aperture set in the middle position between F2.0 and F2.8. Same about “F3.5” for MD 28mm 1:2.8
  • Sunlight changed during the session
  • My Minolta N-MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5) looks like a survivor after a small nuclear war. I admit that it probably may has a very small contrast drop, but it seems that it doesn’t affect results
  • Other available 28mm Minoltas can be found here – minolta.easypix.de

Minolta MD 28mm lenses comparison – sharpness/resolution

Scene preview

Test results for the center

Minolta MD 28mm comparison - Center

Test results for the middle

Minolta MD 28mm comparison - Middle

Test results for the corner

Minolta MD 28mm comparison - Corner

Minolta MD 28mm lenses comparison – final conclusion

It’s difficult to select the winner. You can see:

  • Center – all are the same
  • Middle – MD 28/3.5 is better than others (surprise!), MD 28/2.8 7×7 is in the second place, MD 28/2.0 is third, and MD 28/2.8 5×5 is losing here, but…
  • Corner – MD 28/3.5 and 28/2.0 both are the same and noticeable better than both MD 28/2.8 which are the same too.

Additionally, it needs to remember that MD 28/2.0 has a faster F2.0, and MD28/3.5 has max at F3.5. So, I don’t know how to select the best one from this pack, because all of these lenses are good for different tasks. Firstly, it looks like a good idea to save money and take the cheapest MD 28/3.5 for landscapes only. On the other hand, faster 28/2 is much more universal. Additionally, both 28/2.8 are a very good choice for a person who occasionally uses this focal distance and needs for something balancing in “price/speed”-terms. So, please, make your personal conclusions based on these test results.


Beduin · 2018-04-28 at 20:54

You should try the Minolta zooms from MD line. Some of them are excellent, for instance 24-50/4, 35-70/3.5, 70-210/4 and 28-85/3.5-4.5. All of them became base for designing later auto-focus line of Minolta. The image quality is often on pair with the primes at the same aperture.

    Tony · 2018-09-05 at 11:44

    Reviews and comparisons of some zooms are added to site. Including mentioned by you 24-50/4, 35-70/3.5

Rafa · 2018-09-05 at 11:27

If you get direct sunlight in your balcony it would be very interesting to test for flare/ghosting resistance on backlight situations. I have sharp lenses that aren’t well suited for landscape photography for this reason.

Anyways, based on your tests I’m buying a MDIII 28 f3.5. Let’s see how it behaves 🙂

    Tony · 2018-09-05 at 11:39

    Yes, flare/ghosting resistance is very important, I’m going to make test with front-light next season for all available lenses.
    MDIII 28 F3.5 can’t be bad in anyway because of the price )))

Bruno Dias · 2019-01-12 at 18:21

Well, maybe is just my eyes but for me it’s clear that the 28mm f2 seems better than all the others, resolution/sharpness wise. Sharp already in the center from f2 and always the best (equaled by the others – discard 28mm f2.8 5 elements – at f4.5 onward), better than all others on the corners and only bettered by the 28mm f3.5 on the middle up to f5.6. Taken into consideration that probably will have better OOF rendering, will be much better also on close distances and has usable f2 and f2.8 apertures, it seems clearly the better lens. Of course if you only shoot landscapes and want to spend 1/3rd of the money of the f2 than go for the f3.5.

    Tony · 2019-01-12 at 19:30

    Yes. MD 28mm 1/2.0 definitely better than others in these tests. Little brother – 28/3.5 can be recommend because much less price, but it is on the second place

Hias · 2019-01-25 at 02:29

I’m quite surprised about the relativly poor performance of your copy of Minolta MD 28mm f2.8(7×7). I have the older MD-II-Version of the 28mm f2.8(7×7) and also the 28mm f3.5 (also MD-II), both in good condition.
My copies are equal from f5.6 onwards on my A7II, I can’t see a big difference regarding sharpness. The main difference between my copies is that the 28mm f3.5 produces warmer colors.
I’d guess that my copy of the 28mm f2.8(7×7) is a bit better than yours, while my copy of he 28mm f3.5 is slightly inferior.
But I agree with you that the 28mm f3.5 is surprisingly good and it costs almost nothing (got mine for 12€ !).

Dan · 2024-03-25 at 16:45

Thanks for all your excellent work here – it is my main guide for buying old Minolta glass (it’s an addiction). How does the 28mm f2.5 compare to the above?

Review: Minolta MD 28mm 1:2.8 (5 lenses in 5 groups) – Lens QA Works · 2018-11-19 at 13:18

[…] Minolta MD 28mm f/2.0 vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(7×7) vs. MD 28mm f/2.8(5×5) vs. MD 28mm f/3.5 […]

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