In my research on cheap wide-angle lenses, I immediately hit the excellent lenses of Minolta. Meanwhile many lenses of Minolta are not at all so cheap to get. Prices for used lenses have increased fivefold over the past three years. Okay, these prices are required by online-merchants on platforms, such as eBay. But only a few will be able to sell the lenses for this price. If you buy your lenses in real life, for example in small photographic shops or in online forums, you can still make bargains.
As many well-known manufacturers, Minolta has produced very different lenses. There are any optical and mechanic masterpieces astonishingly sold under the label Leica or Hasselblad.
So we find in the portfolio of Minolta very expensive lenses, such as the Rokkor 58 / 1.2 or the 85 / 2.0, on the other hand also some cheap bargains, such as my specimen of a Minolta MD 28mm f / 2.8.
I bought the five-lens system, which had been built since 1983, for forty euros. This lens is supposed to be the worse of the two versions with 28mm when one can believe the sources on the Internet.
The older 7-lens in seven groups is widely praised. Unfortunately I do not know from my own experience the two in-house competitors: the Minolta MD 28mm f / 2.0 and the Rokkor 28mm f / 3.5. Such a comparison with similar motives would certainly be very interesting. Perhaps there is such a possibility in the near future.
At the moment, I have some 28mm lenses at home to make a comparison.
But let us first come to the statistics:
Focal Length: 28mm (prime-lens)
Let's go to the picture quality. When the aperture is wide open, the result in the center of the image is quite sharp, but it drops clearly towards the edges. Stopped down to 3,5 or 4,0 brings a significant improvement at the edges of the image. Contrast and resolution are then significantly better. This does not mean you can not use the lens with open aperture. The sharpness is really good for smaller prints up to 30 x 40cm. But there are much better lenses with aperture 2.8, for example my Sigma mini-wide II 28mm f / 2.8 or the Nikon 28mm f / 2.8 AiS.
The bokeh is rather restless, no wonder with only six diaphragm blades. In case of backlight, the sensitivity of the Minolta 28mm is good-natured. There are distinct flares and color fringing on the contrast edges. A little stopped down and everything will be fine.
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/80s, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/80s, ISO 100|
At all, it seems to me that the open-aperture-performance of the old lenses is too much valued. Lightly stopped down many of these old treasures are really good and a inexpensive alternative to the modern hightech optics. The microcontrast and the resolution of the old lenses are sometimes really impressive, if you stop down one or two steps.
Here again is an impression of the sharpness at open aperture, the lower picture is a 100% crop of the upper photo:
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/1000s, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/1000s, ISO 100 (100% crop from photo above)|
The Minolta delivers good to very good picture quality even with the aperture open. The contrast is better when you stopped down. This piece is light and compact and mechanically almost unbreakable. It is not the total highlight but a solid and recommendable performer. If you can buy it cheap, then take it. More than 40 to 45 euros I would not pay for it.
Finally, a few pictures and (little) crops, which I shot in the last few weeks with the Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8:
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/5.6, 1/500s, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/640s, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/160s, EVB -2.0, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/800s, EBV 4.0, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/3.5, 1/60s, EBV - 2,3, ISO 640|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/100s, EBV 1,3, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/60s, EBV -0,5, ISO 125|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/2.8, 1/60s, EBV 0,3, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/40s, EBV 0,3, ISO 100|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at f/4.0, 1/200s, EBV 2,7, ISO 100 (compare with the photo of Porst 35mm f/2.8)|
|Sony a6000 with Minolta MD 28mm f/2.8 at 2.8, 1/2500s, EBV 5,8, ISO 100|