I’ve had in my collection for some time now a Minolta MD W.Rokkor 20mm f/2.8 lens. While I haven’t completely neglected the use of this lens, it has spent more time in the cabinet than out of it. This past week, I had need of a wide-angle lens to capture photos of our house we intend to sell. We moved down to Florida back in March of this year to spend time with my Dad before he passed away. His health declined much quicker than anticipated and, as you might have seen in a previous post, he passed back in the end of September.
My wife and I have longed to live someplace that’s full of opportunities for outdoor adventure for us and the kids to experience. What better place than the State of Alaska! Our plan now is to sell our home here in Florida and move up to the Anchorage area before my oldest kids start moving out on their own.
A few weeks back, an OutFor30 reader had asked for my thoughts on the Minolta 20mm lens. At that time, I hadn’t used it enough to give a good answer but now that I’ve had nothing else in my hands for the past week, I feel I can comment with some level of confidence.
I’ll first share with you a few of the images I shot for the listing on Zillow and then offer my thoughts of the lens at the end. I’m no real estate photographer so bear with me now. I have a whole new level of respect for the men and women who do this professionally. It comes with a whole different set of challenges I normally face shooting travel and landscapes.
Each photo, I’ve put a note about the lighting for that shot. All images are single-exposure, shot in 14-bit uncompressed RAW.
Long-exposure + natural light + house lights +light painted with flashlights.
Natural (house) light
Natural (house) light
Natural + interior lighting
Natural + interior lighting + remote flash
Natural + remote flash.
This little Minolta has a lot going for it. With an average eBay price of around $280 it’s a bargain. I’ve shot with wide-angle lenses costing 2x or higher that didn’t perform as well. It isn’t perfect but I feel its strengths outweigh any of its weaknesses.
- Excellent Minolta Color
- At f/2.8 it’s sharp across most of the frame, and by f/5.6 it’s sharp edge-to-edge
- Distortion is subtle, simple (no mustaching), and easy to correct
- Lightweight and very easy to handle
- Can accept regular filters
- Strong, direct lighting can result in localized contrast loss
- At apertures faster than f/8, it shows noticeable (correctable) chromatic aberration
- Vignetting stands out at pretty much every aperture, all of which is easily corrected in Photoshop
Next time I require a wide-angle lens, I may be grabbing this one instead of my trusty Minolta or Olympus 24mm. I think this will make for a great landscape lens – hopefully up in Alaska 🙂