Sunday, 13 July 2014

Minolta MD ZOOM 35-70 mm f / 3.5

I have never been a big fan of legacy zoom lenses. But after reading some raving reviews about  Minolta MD zoom 35-70 f/3.5 I took the plunge and got a very good copy (macro, 7 blades version) from eBay.

The lens was designed in collaboration with Leitz (Leica Vario-Elmar-R 35-70 mm f / 3.5) and is highly regarded for its optical qualities.
Here is my first impression.

The lens is fairly compact, very well built with smooth operations and weighs 350gr. Specs: 8 elements in 7 groups, constant aperture  f3.5, 7 aperture blades, filter diameter: 55 mm. I saw someone reported a 6-blade version, but may be it was just a typo. I just double checked and confirming that  macro version has 7 blades.

First I took couple shots just to see if it works properly

at 35mm @ f/3.5

at 70mm @ f/3.5

and was immediately impressed. The lens was sharp even at f/3.5.

Then I spent some time in the garden taking photos in macro mode with aperture set to 5.6

and 100% crop

another one

100% crop

Macro 1:4

What can I say? So far I am very pleased. The lens is sharp, contrasty, with very well controlled distortion / vignetting and beautiful OOF blur / bokeh.

It looks like all praises were fully justified and now I look forward to using it a lot during my next trip to the cottage country.


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