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Minolta 20mm f/2.8 AF Lens Review


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Background


Make sure to check out our impression the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D camera for additional images from this lens.

 

A 20mm lens is considered a wide angle and this is true for a full frame camera. Added to an APS-C camera and this becomes roughly a 30mm field of view and less wide, but not yet standard. This Minolta 20mm f/2.8 was made for the film era and we will look and see if it can still be a contender in the digital world!

 

We have high hopes as we have used other lenses from other manufacturers in similar situations and have found more diamonds than we expected!

 

All images were processed from RAW in Lightroom Classic.

Disclaimer: I process files to see what is possible to get from the lens and camera combination. If looking for SOOC JPG or similar, you’ll want to check other sites for that.

 

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Handling/Size/Weight/Build


Not a pancake and then again, not a huge lens either. I feel like this is a standard sized prime lens.

 

It is not very heavy, but the build feels good. Metal construction and a rubber pad on the bottom of the lens barrel to aid in getting a positive grip for mounting and unmounting.

 

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Weather Sealed


My guess is not, but you never can tell how some of these legacy lenses were built. In my short time with this lens it has been out in temps ranging from 40F down to 26F with no issues. Light rain…no problems. A dunk or downpour…probably would not risk it.

 

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Image Quality


So here is what most want to know. Yes, this is a sharp lens. Is it the sharpest? Probably not – but it is more than usable wide open at f/2.8 much to my surprise. I expected it to be a little soft, perhaps have some blooming to it. That was not the case. Even the bokeh is pleasant.

 

Colors and contrast are there and I like it very much. If you like the less clinical sharpness and rendering, this is a good lens for you. It is good where it needs to be and gives you a nice film-leaning output.

 

If you want a quality wide 20mm/30mm (field of view) optic in a-mount with good center sharpness – here you go. Even on the Maxxum 7D – 6mp CCD sensor – you’ve got good stuff going on here!

 

I do notice that sharpening settings I used for the Minolta 50mm f/1.7 do not translate to the 20mm f/2.8. I have to use less masking and a bit more detail to get it to something I like.

 

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Focusing


Focus is competent on this lens. Fast and confident when using the middle AF point. Failings in auto focus are going to be with the camera here more so than the lenses. The aperture is fast enough to give you the light it needs to focus. The early versions of digital SLR hold it back in some areas.

 

It is not something that should surprise you. Repeating vertical lines, low contrast or solid color areas will give the AF system some issues. Knowing this, you can easily work around it.

 

The focus motor makes noise, but not a lot and it is geared for quickness. I feel it does well.

 

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OIS (Optical Image Stabilization)

 

This lens has no VR built into it. The a-mount cameras have an anti-shake (AS) system that handles this.

 

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Bottom Line


What more is there to say other than that this is a quality, legacy film/early digital standard fast prime lens. It focus’ fast and is sharp wide open. If you have a camera that can focus it using the screw drive or an adapter that includes the screw drive -you have a winner here.

 

Some post processing differences are necessary to get the best out of the sharpness, but that can be said for just about every lens.

 

Bottom Line = Highly Recommend!

 

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See my content here:

http://www.visualohio.com | BESTLIGHTPHOTO BLOG | 500px Profile & Pics

 

I shoot Nikon, Olympus, Minolta, Pentax and Leica.  Probably not enough!  LOL

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