Another Minolta New MD 50mm F1.2 lens review.

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

MD_50_1_2_DSC00522.jpg

 Minolta New-MD (MD III) 50mm 1:1.2 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 92
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 50
A max [1/f] 1,2
A min[1/f] 16
Lens design [el.] 7
Lens design [gr.] 6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 65×46
Weight[g] 310
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 589-800

Lens exterior:

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)

 


Lens code name – Miho Nishizumi 西住 みほ

Miho Nishizumi – is a second year student from Ooarai Girls High School. She became the overall commander of her school’s Sensha-dō team due to the support of other members of the team. She is also the commander of the Anglerfish Team and her team operates a German Panzer IV. She is the youngest daughter of Shiho Nishizumi and younger sister to Maho Nishizumi (codename of N-MD 24mm F2.8).

 


Resolution – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – about 10% longer than minimal focus distance marked on the lens. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 9 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-100, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved  the target to the next place.

test_scene_view300x200

Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance.

Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but so many repeats of shots – 4 for corners, 2 for long side, 2 for short side are giving me insurance that test results are correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

_MD_50_1_2_F_preview2

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

50_1_2_close_dist_test_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

50_1_2_close_dist_test_FULL.jpg


Resolution – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

_MD_50_1_2_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

50_1_2_LONGDIST.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance (0.45m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800, bokeh covers the frame partially)


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Light dots bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 0.5 m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


One example wide opened (I’ll add more later):

MD5012_example_03064.jpg


Another resources with tests:

jonasraskphotography.com


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 50mm 1:1.2F (Minolta MD III 50mm F/1.2):

One of the lenses which I always strive to take with me. Actually – this is my number one in the bag for most cases. This lens isn’t sharpest among other lenses, but very sharp, it doesn’t have the best bokeh, but this bokeh is lovely enough. The 50mm is most universal and can be use for landscapes, street and portraits. Additionally it can provide thin DOF, and F1.2 can be used in low light. If I were allowed to have only one lens, then I would choose this one. It is ready for landscapes even from F2.8, for all another tasks from F2.0, and it really can be used on F1.2 without tons of soft like it often happens with another ultra-fast lenses. I recommend auto-focus adapters like Techart-Pro especially if you like wide opened apertures, on modern mirrorless cameras the support for manual focusing with thin DOF still isn’t enough.


This lens took part in the battles:

FDN5012_MD5012_Battle__Avatar

MD5012_MD5014_MD5017_MD5020_MDM5035_Battle__Avatar

MC5812_MD5012_Battle__Avatar

One thought on “Review: Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2

  1. Hello, nice site and review. I have the earlier version of this lens, optically identical it is said. It’s perfectly useful for lots of things wide open if you aren’t the type of person to prefer macro lenses for human portraits, I find, and like how it tends to make the background rather bright. As long as one can avoid bokeh highlights stopped down it’s a fine lens. If I need sharp wide open I use the MD 50/2.

    Like

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