Review: Minolta MD Zoom 24-50mm 1:4.0

Minolta New MD (MDIII) 24-50mm F4.0 Zoom lens review.

Reviews of zoom lenses are long, because each of them contains, as it were, several reviews of prime lenses in one. Tests for this review are divided for: 24mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm groups.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

MDZ2450_exterior_25.jpg

Minolta MD Zoom 24-50mm 1:4.0 parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 254
Name engraved on lens MD ZOOM
f[mm] 24-50
A max [1/f] 4
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 13
Lens design [gr.] 11
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 72
Lens Shade clamp-on
closefocus[m/ft] 0.7/2.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 75×69.5
Weight[g] 390
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 676-818

MDZ2450_Tony_optical_design2


Lens exterior:

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)

 

 


Lens code name – Rem レム:

Rem (レム) is one of the twin maids working for Roswaal L Mathers in Re:Zero light novels by Nagatsuki Tappei and the manga and anime produced from it.

 

 


Test methods descriptions:

Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-200, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved  the target to the next place. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

rem_32.png

Sharpness – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-50. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 24mm

24mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_24mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2450_24mm_c_res_close.jpg


24mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_24mm_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2450_24mm_e_res_far.jpg


24mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2450_24mm_f_vignetting.jpg


24mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_24mm_geometry101.jpg


24mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_24mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


24mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_24mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


24mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_24mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


24mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_24mm_m_dots_far.jpg


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 28mm

28mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_28mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

MDZ2450_28mm_c_res_close.jpg


28mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_28mm_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2450_28mm_e_res_far.jpg


28mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2450_28mm_f_vignetting.jpg


28mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_28mm_geometry102.jpg


28mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_28mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


28mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_28mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


28mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_28mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


28mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_28mm_m_dots_far.jpg


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 35mm

35mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_35mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

MDZ2450_35mm_c_res_close.jpg


35mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_35mm_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2450_35mm_e_res_far.jpg


35mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2450_35mm_f_vignetting.jpg


35mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_35mm_geometry103.jpg


35mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_35mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


35mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_35mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


35mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_35mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


35mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_35mm_m_dots_far.jpg


TEST RESULTS on FOCUS DISTANCE = 50mm

50mm – Sharpness – short distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_50mm_b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

MDZ2450_50mm_c_res_close.jpg


50mm – Sharpness – long distance

Scene preview:

MDZ2450_50mm_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MDZ2450_50mm_e_res_far.jpg


50mm – Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDZ2450_50mm_f_vignetting.jpg


50mm – Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800) (don’t worry please about sharpness please, it’s technical issue  doesn’t affect result of geometry test. I’ll remake it as soon as possible)

MDZ2450_50mm_geometry104.jpg


50mm – Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_50mm_h_coma_aberr_.jpg


50mm – Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDZ2450_50mm_i_chrome_aberr_.jpg


50mm – Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_50mm_k_bokeh_far.jpg


50mm – Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.7m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDZ2450_50mm_m_dots_far.jpg


My overall conclusion about the Minolta MD Zoom 24mm F4.0:

MDZ2450Avatar.png

For me it is ideal lens for travel photography. It has very popular and often used focal distances and sharp enough for typical travel scenes. Not too big and heavy. It’s easy to imagine a photographer who prefer wide angle but sometimes needs in 50mm perspective. Lens isn’t totally sharp in corners and have to be closed up to F8 or even better for F11, but as I said above – resolution is enough for walks with camera in touristic places. On the other hand the lens is absolutely sharp for the center and middle positions – even if wide opened. So the main question is – does the convenient diapason of focal distances can compensate the insufficient sharpness in extreme corners at opened apertures? My answer is ‘yes’ and it worth for it. Indirectly, the value of the lens is indicated by the constantly growing price on auctions. So, I recommend to grab this lens if you find it for reasonable price.


 

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