Minolta zoom lenses

Last week I was able to acquire the less common version of the Minolta MD Zoom 35-70mm 1:3.5, the plain MD version without the macro setting and a closest focussing distance of 1m, which explains why this version wasn’t very popular: 1m is inconveniently long, especially for use at a 35mm focal length.

Another acquistion was the early version of the Minolta AF Zoom 35-105mm 1:3.5-4.5, a lens that I bought primarily because some people think highly of its optical performance.


It generated enough curiosity to get one and test it, and I must say it isn’t half bad on the Sony A7. Only the extreme corners never really sharpen up on stopping down. I also made a lens correction profile for geometric distortion and chromatic aberration for use in Adobe Lightroom/Camera Raw and this didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. It appears that the geometric distortion changes quickly from barrel to pincushion between 35mm and 40mm. Combined with the fact that the focal length is reported to the EXIF data in multiples of 5mm, this results in residual pincushion distortion in the 40-45mm range because the correction isn’t always appropriate for the actual focal length that the lens was set to. Not really suitable for architecture.

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