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Minolta MD 35-70 3,5 Macro
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I must have a bad example of the Minolta 35-70 macro. Mine is pretty terrible. Unusably soft until significantly stopped down and even then distinctly mediocre. I never use it. Considering its reputation I have become a bit careful with Minolta lenses. On the other hand my MD 200/4 and 135/3.5 are fantastic.

Regards, Christine


PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You must have a bad example, Minolta lenses are always very good unless there is something wrong with them.


PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
You must have a bad example, Minolta lenses are always very good unless there is something wrong with them.


I agree, I have also reached that conclusion. I wish I had the skill to fix these lenses. I am sure I could take it apart, but I would never be able to get it back together again Wink

Regards, Christine


PostPosted: Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, it's frustrating, I have had identical copies of lenses that perform very differently. A recent example is two identical Pentacon electric 2.8/135s, they had serial numbers within a few hundred of each other, one was sharp at f2.8 with mild CA that went when closed a stop or two, the other was soft with lots of CA until closed to f5.6. It's a tricky thing to put right such issues as it really needs specialist equipment so you can properly collimate them.

I hope you find a better copy, it's a really lovely lens, nice and compact and rarely fails to please with the results it gives.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I hadn't yet tried my Minolta MD 35-70 on my new camera (Olympus E-M1 mark II). Here are two 100% crops of an empty office building across the street from my apartment.

Top picture is my Minolta MD 35-70 3.5 "Macro", bottom picture is my Olympus OM 28-48 4.0. Both taken at 35mm f/5.6, within 20 minutes of each other.



EDIT:

Same, Nikon Series E 35mm 2.5 @ f/4.0. This was taken 12 minutes after the Minolta picture and before the Olympus picture.



Regards, Christine


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 12:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

connloyalist wrote:
I must have a bad example of the Minolta 35-70 macro. Mine is pretty terrible. Unusably soft until significantly stopped down and even then distinctly mediocre. I never use it. Considering its reputation I have become a bit careful with Minolta lenses. On the other hand my MD 200/4 and 135/3.5 are fantastic.

Regards, Christine


I was tempted to ask which camera you are using, but was too lazy. From what you were writing, I did suspect a small high-res sensor, though.


connloyalist wrote:
I hadn't yet tried my Minolta MD 35-70 on my new camera (Olympus E-M1 mark II). Here are two 100% crops of an empty office building across the street from my apartment.
Regards, Christine


Here we are. Probably your Minolta MD 3.5/35-70mm is fine. It simply never was meant to resolve 20 MP on 4/3 (corresponds to 80 MP on full frame), and certainly not wide open. Stopping down, you easily spoil the image quality because of diffraction. Diffraction-wise, probably f4 would be optimal, but that's not the sweet spot of the MD 3.5/35-70mm!

Most users hailing the MD 35-70mm use it with a 24 MP FF camera - that equals to 6 MP on the 4/3 sensor: Try reducing your 20MP image to 6MP, and tell us how it looks Wink - That would the quality the 24MP FF user is looking at when he judges the quality of his lens.

Not too many vintage lenses will be good enough for 80 MP Full frame (=20 MP 4/3 sensor). Probably most of the fast normal lenses, stopped down to f4 ... f5.6 should work, and maybe a few good fast small tele lenses (e. g. MD 2/85mm, nFD 2/100mm, AiS 2.5/105mm, MD 4/100mm Macro, to name a few).

S


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

Here we are. Probably your Minolta MD 3.5/35-70mm is fine. It simply never was meant to resolve 20 MP on 4/3 (corresponds to 80 MP on full frame), and certainly not wide open. Stopping down, you easily spoil the image quality because of diffraction. Diffraction-wise, probably f4 would be optimal, but that's not the sweet spot of the MD 3.5/35-70mm!

Most users hailing the MD 35-70mm use it with a 24 MP FF camera - that equals to 6 MP on the 4/3 sensor: Try reducing your 20MP image to 6MP, and tell us how it looks Wink - That would the quality the 24MP FF user is looking at when he judges the quality of his lens.

Not too many vintage lenses will be good enough for 80 MP Full frame (=20 MP 4/3 sensor). Probably most of the fast normal lenses, stopped down to f4 ... f5.6 should work, and maybe a few good fast small tele lenses (e. g. MD 2/85mm, nFD 2/100mm, AiS 2.5/105mm, MD 4/100mm Macro, to name a few).

S


Entirely possible. The only thing I would like to bring up is that most of the more than 40 film-era lenses I own perform very nicely on M4/3. I have a few Tokina lenses that give similar results as the MD 35-70. That is why I compared it to the OM 28-48, which is a wide zoom of approximately equal aperture range and era. I suppose this once again tells us something we already knew: glass capable of resolving the modern equivalent of 6MP is fine on film. Some lenses can resolve that much and are fine on film but fall short on camera's with higher resolution sensors. Some lenses could resolve more than the equivalent of 6MP which was also fine on film, but these do better on high resolution sensors.

And as I mentioned earlier, my MD 135/3.5 and 200/4.0 are both very good at 5.6.

In spite of the impression I might leave based on this discussion, I don't normally indulge in "pixel peeping". But here goes: same 100% crop of the MD 35-70 at about 6MP, reduced using "Bicubic sharper".



A 100% crop at 20MP of the same scene but a few hours later, so the sun has moved. A wide slow lens: Meyer-Optik Görlitz Primagon 35mm 4.5, wide open at 4.5.



Regards, Christine


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's how a 100% crop form the center looks.

Sony A7II (24 MP FF), RAW conversion with Photoshop, no CA correction applied
Minolta MD-III 3.5/35-70mm @ 35mm f8 (top) and f3.5 (below)

CLICK TWICE ON TE IMAGE TO SEE AT FULL RESOLUTION!



Stephan


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

connloyalist wrote:
The only thing I would like to bring up is that most of the more than 40 film-era lenses I own perform very nicely on M4/3.


I have no experience whatsoever using vintage glass on 20 MP 3/4 sensors (equiv to 80 MP FF), but I have seen quite a few vintage lenses struggle on 24 MP APS-C (equiv 54 MP FF) back in 2010 when I was shooting with A77 preseries cameras. While 24 MP FF usually works quite well for vintage glass, provided you can use the optimal aperture (usually f11), the 50 MP+ FF camera class is much more fuzzy about glass. Even on the 43MP A7RII (which I use regularly with vintage glass) one has to be really careful: Good glass, optimal aperture (around f8 to avoid diffarction), and careful post-processing to remove CAs.

I can perfectly use my Minolta AF 2.8/200m APO on the 24 MP A900 with all apertures from f2.8 to f11. On the 24 MP APS-C (54MP FF equiv) A6000 i'm restricted to f4.5 ... f8.

S


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 2:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, these look very good. It occurs to me that the difference between me reducing a 20MP M4/3 to 6MP and a 24MP FF image is the size of each photo site (? pixel) on the sensor. A M4/3 image reduced is still a small photo site. A photo site on a 24MP FF sensor is a lot bigger. So perhaps the size of each photo site on the sensor is the difference, with this particular lens doing better with larger photo sites?

Would that imply that as/if/when full frame sensors move to higher resolutions and consequently smaller photo sites this lens will start to suffer there as well?

Interesting to see how the resolving power of these film era lenses apparently differed from one lens to the next. To me that is one of the things that makes exploring film era lenses interesting: you never know what you will run in to, each lens is a discovery.

Regards, Christine


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

connloyalist wrote:
Yes, these look very good. It occurs to me that the difference between me reducing a 20MP M4/3 to 6MP and a 24MP FF image is the size of each photo site (? pixel) on the sensor.


Not really. Let's look at a (hypothetical) example of a 24 MP FF sensor (24 x 36mm, 4000 x 6000 px) vs a 24 MP sensor with 1/4 of the FF area (12 x 18mm, 4000 x 6000 px). Of course the smaller sensor needs twice the resolution of the larger one if you want to get the same image quality. However, if you combine four pixels of the smaller sensor into one pixel, those combined pixels will have the same size as one pixel of the larger sensor. Therefore, if you re-size your 24Mp image from the smaller sensor to 6 MP, it will look similar to a 12 x 18mm crop fro the larger (FF) sensor.

Of course, in reality the re-sized image (6MP) from the smaller sensor will look better than the 6MP crop from the FF sensor, since every pixel on th re-sized image has the complete color information (from one red, one blue and two green pixels), while the complete color information from the large (FF) sensor is extrapolited from neighboring pixels.


connloyalist wrote:
A photo site on a 24MP FF sensor is a lot bigger. So perhaps the size of each photo site on the sensor is the difference, with this particular lens doing better with larger photo sites?

Yes, exactly.


connloyalist wrote:

Would that imply that as/if/when full frame sensors move to higher resolutions and consequently smaller photo sites this lens will start to suffer there as well?

Yes. I can see it happen already on my 24 MP APS-C Sony A6000 (corresponds to 54 MP FF) and to a lesser extent on the 43 MP FF A7RII.

connloyalist wrote:

Interesting to see how the resolving power of these film era lenses apparently differed from one lens to the next. To me that is one of the things that makes exploring film era lenses interesting: you never know what you will run in to, each lens is a discovery.

Regards, Christine

Completely agree on that Wink

S


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stevemark wrote:
Good glass, optimal aperture (around f8 to avoid diffarction)

One has to stop at F5.6. High-resolving lenses, like FDn 50/1.4, clearly take a hit in the center at F8 on 36Mp FF sensor.


PostPosted: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had two copies of the 35-70 / 3.5 Macro, and I've got a non Macro ( and a couple of AF Macro's that I have used with the LA-EA4 ) and they have all been superb lenses on my NEX5 14.2mp and A7II 24.3mp , but not so great on the A6000 24.3mp - but still plenty good, I used it a lot. My 'keeper copy' of the MF Macro is my go to lens when I'm out walking when it's raining and I don't want to change lenses, so it gets a lot of use, and I have got 16 assorted short zooms covering 28 to 100 to choose from. The Olympus Zuiko Auto S 35-70 / 4 is possibly the next best lens, but the Vivitar S1 VMC 28-90 / 2.8 3.5 really takes some beating. I've started using a Sigma 28-70 / 2.8 a bit more, and the more I use it the better it gets, it's a bit of a sleeper in this category.

The Minolta 35-70 non Macro is not the easiest lens to take apart, but I saved mine the other day. There was fungus on every element of an otherwise perfect lens. I'd had it on my table at the Camera Fair for £5 - I'd have probably given it to someone who begged! But I tried cleaning it, and it's spotless, and a very good lens. It is possible to get most of the glass out without separating the helicoid or disturbing the aperture, I cleaned one element in the body, not ideal, but possible.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 9:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a 35-70 Makro on my A7rii (42mp) and was at first a bit disappointed as it's prime-Killer reputation. At least my copy was not up to par to a good prime.

But it's still plenty sharp (stopped down, but it's good even wide open) and I was especially surprised by it's useful macro mode. And lest not forget: still a vintage zoom.

But looking at the image above - I'm not sure if it may be a bad copy there. I would expect a better performance.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big R wrote:


But looking at the image above - I'm not sure if it may be a bad copy there. I would expect a better performance.


I would second that. Maybe a bad copy. If results do not improve a bit stopping down from 3,5 maybe focus shift has not been taken into account.


PostPosted: Wed Nov 11, 2020 7:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big R wrote:
I had a 35-70 Makro on my A7rii (42mp) and was at first a bit disappointed as it's prime-Killer reputation. At least my copy was not up to par to a good prime.


There's a lot of nonsense being written in the internet. Of course zooms are almost always inferior to a similary priced prime from the same time frame. Minolta MD-III zooms (3.5/24-35mm, 3.5/35-70mm, 4/75-150mm, 4/70-210mm) are very capable, and among the best vintage zooms I know, but their MD-III prime counterparts are - at least slightly - better. The only exception may be the 4/70-210mm at f=135mm: The zoom has less lateral CAs.

S


PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 10:45 am    Post subject: MD 35-70mm adapter issues ? Reply with quote

Could it be that the adapter is not bridging the register distances difference perfectly? For zooms and floating element lenses this has to be correct, there is no other remedy than tweaking the adapter or buy a better adapter to get that right.

Last edited by Ernst Dinkla on Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:29 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Thu Nov 12, 2020 11:15 am    Post subject: Re: MD 35-70mm adapter issues ? Reply with quote

Somehow I've managed to get four of these zooms and when comparing them they preformed almost the same. On my 24mp Sony a7 the photos are very good in my opinion, for a zoom that is. And I find it good enough for landscapes.

Recent photos: The ones with color are the new ones, BW shots are analog.
https://www.flickr.com/search/?user_id=158051784%40N03&view_all=1&text=35-70mm