Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Minolta MD 85mm f2 -- First Impression

Rise Up
Rise Up -- NEX-5N & Minolta MD 85mm f2

Got this Minolta MD 85mm f2 along with the RF Rokkor 250mm f5.6 mirror lens.  Compared to the MC-Rokkor 85mm f1.7, this lens is much smaller and half as heavy.  Very compact with a 49mm filter size but of course is a 1/3 stop slower than the f1.7 sibling.  Unfortunately, the focusing ring is a tad too tight, making it hard to adjust fine focus.  It's usable but annoying.  It needs to be adjusted.

As with most Minolta manual focus lenses, the image quality does not disappoint.  I haven't really gotten any really bad MD/MC primes yet. Practically all of the old Minolta lenses (no zoom) I have tried are excellent.  Many people like this better than the MC-Rokkor 85mm f1.7 due to its smaller size/lighter weight.  To me, I still prefer the all metal f1.7 version, not to mention the 1/3 stop of extra light coming into the sensor.  Perhaps, one day, I will find some time to do a comparison of these two very desirable lenses.


  1. I am particularly partial to the MC variety of Minolta lenses, perhaps the heavier construction just feels good. I am anxious to see some comparative studies of the two 85mm lenses you have.

    I actually prefer the 100mm f2.5 over the 85mm focal length, but mostly because I simply prefer the 100mm field of view in 135 format.


  2. @Fernando Cundin: Like yourself, I like MC lenses better than the later MD versions. The build of the MC lenses are exceptionally good and many of them have 8-blade apertures instead of the 5/6 of the new versions. The 100mm f2.5 is rare and very hard to find, but I do like my 100mm f2 Canon EF lenses when most people would go for the 85mm f1.8. I also prefer the 100mm focal length, especially on full frame.

  3. Well, I have quite a stack of Minolta MC & MD lenses, acquired over 35 years, both new and second-hand.
    Some, like the 35mm f1.8 and the 200mm f3.5 are definitely intended for professional use; whereas some others are definitely intended for the amateur market.
    The 85mm f2 is definitely in the latter category, whereas the f1.7 version is definitely in the former category. It's as simple as that. The 85mm f2 I own is no match for my old 135mm f2.8. It's nowhere near as sharp.