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Review: Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7

Another Minolta New MD 50mm F1.7 lens review.

One of the most common lenses from Minolta. Not so famous as faster sisters 50/1.4 or 50/1.2 that is why a very cheap for today, but at the same time – absolutely wonderful fifty that will never let you down and works wonderful, like any other Minolta’s 50mm.

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 an 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

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 50
Reviewed lens SN: 9117464


Lens exterior:

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

Mounted on Minolta X-700:

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 minimal distance (0.45m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from the 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 the 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 that I said about MD 50mmF1.4 can be applied to this fifty. Both lenses work quite the same. Reviewed 50mm 1:1.7 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 such micro difference. Even more – this lens has an advantage in the corners, and it can be important in some cases. If you need to save a few yens for 50mm Minolta lens – buy this 50/1.7 instead of 50/1.4 and don’t care – nobody can differ real photos from this lens and from MD 50/1.4. Just one thing – if you planned to play with bokeh and thin DOF, then you should prefer the faster model.


This lens took part in the battle:

MD5012_MD5014_MD5017_MD5020_MDM5035_Battle__Avatar

2 Comments »

  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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