Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5 zoom macro vs. Sony CZ FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA, MD 50mm f/1.4 – comparison

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5 Zoom Macro vs primes comparison.

  • Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5 Zoom (MD III)
  • Sony Carl Zeiss FE 35mm f/2.8 ZA
  • Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 (MD III)

The famous zoom versus famous primes – detailed battle on the infinity.

Tested lenses reviews

Minolta MD 35-70mm 1:3.5 Zoom Macro vs primes comparison – 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 35mm

Scene preview (35mm)

Test results (35mm)

Focal distance 50mm

Scene preview (50mm)

Test results (50mm)

Final conclusion

Of course, a zoom can’t beat the primes with the level of Sony FE 35/2.8 Carl Zeiss or MD 50/1.4. The main purpose of this comparison is to show what the photographer loses in terms of sharpness if he or she using a zoom lens instead of primes. Actually – not many. Just a standard recommendation – it would be better to avoid the opened aperture – at F5.6 all positions look close the same, difference is presented but too slight to be noticed – it means much better sharpness distribution over the frame.

So, if a photographer doesn’t need thin DOF during a photo-session – zoom would be preferable than a set of primes. Anyway, the sharpness is not only one trait of lenses, a user should remember about aberrations too. For example – the geometry is not a power side of the Minolta 35-70 1:3.5-4.5.

So, yes, Minolta really has produced powerful tools – zooms, primes; try everything, and choose the best for a specific case.


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