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Thread: Minolta MD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 macro zoom

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    Default Minolta MD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 macro zoom

    Attachment 3198

    Description

    According to Joe McGloin’s MINMAN web site, the Minolta MD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 macro zoom lens (like the very similar MD 35-135mm) was manufactured by Tokina. The 14-element version was introduced in late 1983. This is a “one-touch” zoom with a sliding outer barrel. A depth-of-field scale is printed on the inner barrel. The macro collar and release button can be engaged only at 105mm.


    I bought my MD 35-105 new from a local camera shop over twenty years ago.

    Specifications


    14 elements in 12 groups
    Angle of view: 63 to 23 degrees
    Minimum focusing distance: 1.5m (5 ft.), or 0.41m (1 ft. 4-1/8 in.) in macro mode
    Maximum aperture: f/3.5 at 35mm, f/4.5 at 105mm
    Minimum aperture: f/22 at 35mm, f/28 at 105mm
    Magnification in macro mode: 0.25X
    Filter thread: 55mm
    Dimensions: 64mm dia. x 88mm long (2-1/2” x 3-7/16”)
    Weight: 430g (15.17 oz.)


    Measurements


    I did not attempt any measurements. I did, however, make several comparison shots using the Minolta lens and the Olympus Zuiko Digital 14-54mm lens.


    Of course, these two lenses are very different in range and design. I chose the lace>Olympuslace> 14-54mm as a baseline for two reasons: (1.) it is familiar to many four-thirds camera users, and (2.) I happen to own one. (A better basis for comparison might be the Sigma 105mm f/2.8 EX DG macro. Anyone care to donate one in the interest of science?)


    All images were made using the same Olympus E-510 camera with the stock viewfinder. The Minolta lens was mounted with the CameraQuest adapter (reviewed in a separate thread). Settings: SHQ JPEG, ISO 100, noise reduction off.


    At 35mm, the Olympus lens produces better contrast than the Minolta. Sharpness is about equal. I don’t see any excessive chromatic aberration, distortion or vignetting with either lens. At f/3.5, both lenses have depth-of-field limitations and neither could keep the entire structure in focus. I got the best image at f/11.


    Attachment 3199


    At 54mm the two lenses produce equally good photos. In fact, enlarged details from the two lenses are practically identical.


    Attachment 3200


    Conclusions


    Pros


    Image quality comparable to high-grade Zuiko Digital lens
    Versatile zoom range in a fairly small lens
    Reasonable price ($40.00-150.00 in decent condition)


    Cons


    Relatively slow, especially at 105mm
    “Macro” feature enlarges only to 1/4 life size
    Will not focus closer than about 16 inches with macro engaged
    Barrel may slide and change focal length accidentally when lens is tilted up or down
    Scarce on the used market, compared to other Minolta zoom lenses
    Last edited by porkypine; 02-20-2009 at 01:48 PM. Reason: correct formatting

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    Default Re: Minolta MD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 macro zoom

    Very nice review, and great first post. Welcome to the forum!

    Yours Bojan

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    Tomislav Vucic

    Default Re: Minolta MD 35-105mm f/3.5-4.5 macro zoom

    I have had a copy of this lens for a few months now but it is in a very bad state so I was initially planning to throw it in the bin after dismantling to learn more about lenses.

    This review prompted me to test out my copy and I'm impressed. The images it produces do indeed look sharp. My lens is in a very bad shape as the photographs here show but I plan to revive it now.

    Thanks for recording this valuable information. It's a dated thread but it was very useful!

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