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Testing Minolta MD Zoom 35-105mm/3.5-4.5
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 8:37 pm    Post subject: Testing Minolta MD Zoom 35-105mm/3.5-4.5 Reply with quote

After getting rid of the old 1985 vintage Minolta AF 35-105mm/3.5-4.5 that didn't see much action in the last few years (as it doesn't make sense to mount on a small mirrorless camera that I use exclusively these days) I now got its manual focus predecessor instead. It's in MD-III style, the latest calculation, supposedly optically the same as the AF version. The price was right (just over 20) and it's in beautiful condition so I'm happy. Especially as the AF version was my absolute favourite AF zoom lens I ever had (though I never really owned many to be honest).

The MF version is slightly smaller and lighter and of course handles much better. The MFD is still ridiculous at 1.5m but there's a pseudo macro setting at 105mm, so at least that's okay. Performance is great on a crop camera for an unloved old zoom that costs 20. I only managed a short 30 minute walk around an old abandoned factory down the street so far and the light was horrible so these photos aren't really representative but for now it looks good.

The lens itself:

Minolta MD Zoom 35-105mm/3.5-4.5 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

The weather has actually been horrible for a couple of weeks now, so black and white with heavy contrast and boosted sharpness is the natural choice of processing. I'll add some sunny colourful images when the weather improves and the sun comes out. More challenging light conditions will probably more easily show the limits of this cheapo but for now these will have to do:

1.
NEX6_0003_4655 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

2.
NEX6_0003_4657 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

3.
NEX6_0003_4658 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

4.
NEX6_0003_4659 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

5.
NEX6_0003_4661 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

6.
NEX6_0003_4664 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4667 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

8.
NEX6_0003_4672 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

9.
NEX6_0003_4654 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

Flickr album: https://flic.kr/s/aHskJTDNu3

I'll add more as time and weather allow. Smile


Last edited by miran on Sun Oct 23, 2016 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good! Like 1 small

That's a great price you got on it too!


PostPosted: Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How do you compare it with the macro MD 37/70 3,5?


PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

devinw wrote:
Looking good! Like 1 small

That's a great price you got on it too!

Yeah, it's on the lower end of the spectrum but not really that much below average. I'm seeing a trend here. There's two tiers of lenses in Minolta MC/MD land. There are a few overhyped ones with bloated prices that more often than not disapoint (price > performance) and then there are the overlooked ones that sell for pocket change but are actually quite good (performance > price). The 35-105 is on of those.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

papasito wrote:
How do you compare it with the macro MD 37/70 3,5?

You mean the 35-70/3.5? I don't know, to judge performance I'd have to take a closer look and do a detailed comparison. But from a mechanical standpoint there are a few obvious differences. The 35-70 is a little more compact, has shorter MFD (0.8 vs 1.5) and a constant f/3.5 aperture. The "macro" feature works about the same. The performance of the 35-70 I expect will be hard to beat as the it's nearly perfect for a zoom as it is but the 35-105 doesn't look bad either at first glance. So basically with the 35-105 you gain a little bit of tele reach but sacrifice size, weight, mfd and aperture.


PostPosted: Thu Oct 20, 2016 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
devinw wrote:
Looking good! Like 1 small

That's a great price you got on it too!

Yeah, it's on the lower end of the spectrum but not really that much below average. I'm seeing a trend here. There's two tiers of lenses in Minolta MC/MD land. There are a few overhyped ones with bloated prices that more often than not disapoint (price > performance) and then there are the overlooked ones that sell for pocket change but are actually quite good (performance > price). The 35-105 is on of those.


I agree. The japanese guys are really trying to cash in on this. If you look at some of the really hyped ones like the 85mm 1.7, you see them all over for like $400! Yikes.


PostPosted: Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

miran wrote:
papasito wrote:
How do you compare it with the macro MD 37/70 3,5?

You mean the 35-70/3.5? I don't know, to judge performance I'd have to take a closer look and do a detailed comparison. But from a mechanical standpoint there are a few obvious differences. The 35-70 is a little more compact, has shorter MFD (0.8 vs 1.5) and a constant f/3.5 aperture. The "macro" feature works about the same. The performance of the 35-70 I expect will be hard to beat as the it's nearly perfect for a zoom as it is but the 35-105 doesn't look bad either at first glance. So basically with the 35-105 you gain a little bit of tele reach but sacrifice size, weight, mfd and aperture.


Thanks Miran


PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1


PostPosted: Sat Oct 22, 2016 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finally we had some sunshine for a couple hours today. One thing I don't like about this lens is the focus travel is longer than necessary. Otherwise all good.

1.
NEX6_0003_4697 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4698 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4703 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4708 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4710 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4714 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4718 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4722 by Miran Amon, on Flickr

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NEX6_0003_4725 by Miran Amon, on Flickr