Review: Minolta MD 50mm 1:2.0

Another Minolta New MD 50mm F2 lens review.

Minolta fans love this lens more than any another Minolta New MD fifties. Well, see.

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_2_DSC00519.jpg

Minolta New-MD (MD III) 50mm 1:2.0 parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 105
Name engraved on lens MD
f[mm] 50
A max [1/f] 2
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] 150
Year 1981
Style MD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2510-100

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 30-40
Reviewed lens SN: 2093004


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 – Erwin:

Erwin – is a second year student from Ooarai Girls High School. She’s also a member of history buffs club or Reki-jo. She’s also the radio operator of the Hippo Team and she operates a German Sturmgeschütz III.


Sharpness – 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_2_0_F_preview2

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

50_2_0_closedist_SHORT.jpg

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

50_2_0_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_2_0_F_longdist_scene_v2a

Test results:

50_2_LONGDIST_v2.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 (0.5m), 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 0.5m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)


Other resources with reviews:


Here you can see how the review of this lens looked right after the release in the press:

(Thanks for the material for – from forum.mflenses.com)

old Amateur Photography Magazine:

big_10850_New_Doc_20190325_215730__Page_1_1.jpg


My overall conclusion about the Minolta N-MD 50mm 1:2.0F (Minolta MD III 50mm F/2):

Cheapest fifty of Minolta. And works really close to faster 50F1.7. I envy to photographers who do not pay attention to the maximum aperture size, as they can save money by getting same photos as those who shoot with faster 50mm lenses. As in previous case with MD 50mmF1.7 – the difference with faster lenses can’t be called as noticeable

I know that on some forums people describe this lens as the sharpest fifty. Or even made by Leica technology. But, firstly, in those years, Leica wasn’t a top manufacturer, and could hardly do something that Minolta could not do. And secondly – this lens is not the sharpest. This is just the usual wonderful fifty, like any other lens made by Minolta.

Main idea: take any Minolta 50mm lens and you’ll be limited by your skills, not by the lens characteristics – they are sufficient for any tasks, and this MD 50mm F/2 is no exception.


This lens took part in the battle:
MD5012_MD5014_MD5017_MD5020_MDM5035_Battle__Avatar

MDZ35135_MD3528_MD5020_MD8520_MD13528_Battle__Avatar

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