The Minolta AF 135 f/2.8 is considered as an excellent fast prime lens or a must have. Can an old M42 prime be as good or better than the hyped Minolta fast prime?
The fact is the M42 Jupiter 37A is 6X less expensive on the after market (both are discontinued)
I will also compare these 2 prime lenses with:
- The Minolta AF 70-210 f/4.0 (the beercan : a legend)
- The Minolta AF 75-300 also called bi beercan
- Then the Konica-Minolta 75-300 D (the kit telezoom currently continued and rebranded Sony)
The camera used for the test is the Sony Alpha 700 with Super Steady Shot OFF, cRaw mode, A mode, with a tripod
The test scene is the following:
Center crop (100%)
|f/||Jupiter 37A (M42)||Minolta AF 135 2.8||Beercan 70-210||Big Beercan 75-3||KM 75-300 D|
At f/2.8, the Minolta AF 135 f/2.8 is a bit soft. Frankly, I am disapointed by the results obtained with this lens. In the real life, it is capable to produces lovely picture as the most horrible ones. Difficult to predict why. But I love this lens because of it compactness, and it's fast and accurate autofocus.
At f/3.5, the Jupiter 37 is wide opened, and is as sharp as the other lenses at all aperture. It become sharper and sharper when stopped down to f/5.6
At f/4.0 the Minolta Beercan is wide opened and is very soft. The results obtained with this lens are also disapointing because it is a very hyped. Certainly over hyped.
At f/5.6 and f/8.0 all teh lenses are sharp.
The overall more detailed image comes from the Jupiter 37A at f/5.6
The old M42 Jupiter 37A is sharper than all the other lenses (at all apertures) and is the winner of this match. It is also the less expensive. I think this is a bargain considering the prices on the after market for this lens.
Warning : the purpose of this match is to compare lenses, not to state that some of them are bad lenses. You must keep in mind that looking a 100% crop pixel make only sense if you plan to make huge prints (e.g. 75cmX50cm)