Another Minolta New MD 50mm F1.7 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_7_DSC00520.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 50mm 1:1.7 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 102
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 50
A max [1/f] 1,7
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 6
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 49
Lens Shade clip-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×36
Weight[g] 165
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2520-800

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 – Darjeeling ダージリン

Darjeeling – Darjeeling is a third-year student from St. Gloriana Girls High School. She is the overall commander of her school’s Sensha-Dō team and she operates a British Churchill tank.


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_7_F_preview2

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

50_1_7_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

50_1_7_closedist_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_7_F_longdist_scene2

Test results:

50_1_7_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 0.50m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Another resources with tests and reviews:

And strange comparison with Canon 50 F1.8:

Minolta MD 50mm 1.7 Adapted to the Sony A6000:

Minolta 50mm 1.7 Vintage Lens for Sony a6300/A7:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 50mm 1:1.7F (Minolta MD III 50mm F/1.7):

All I said about MD 50mmF1.4 can be applied to this fifty. This lens works quite the same. It has a little less sharpness but the difference too small to find it on real pictures, only “head to head” comparisons can give you chance to see the such micro difference. Even more – this lens has advantage in the corners, and it can be important in some cases. If you need to save a few money for 50mm Minolta lens – buy this 50/1.7 instead of 50/1.4. Just one thing – if you planned to play with bokeh and thin DOF, then you should prefer the faster model. I recommend auto-focus adapters especially if you like wide opened apertures, because on modern mirrorless cameras the support for manual focusing with thin DOF still isn’t enough.


This lens took part in the battle:

Resolution test: Minolta MD 50mm f/1.2 vs. MD 50mm f/1.4 vs. MD 50mm f/1.7 vs. MD 50mm f/2.0 vs. MD 50mm f/3.5 macro

2 thoughts on “Review: Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7

  1. Thanks for all the very clear information and examples! I’m going to buy an adapter with auto-focus like you suggested!

    Like

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