LensWars: Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2 vs. MD 50mm 1:1.4 vs. MD 50mm 1:1.7 vs. MD 50mm 1:2.0 vs. MD 50mm 1:3.5 macro
Comparison of lenses Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2, Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4, Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7, Minolta MD 50mm 1:2.0, Minolta MD Macro 50mm 1:3.5.
This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results can differ if any element is changed.
Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) – fixed on the tripod. Targets (buildings) – fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots were made with apertures from fully opened up to F11. ISO-50. 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. Focus was set on the center of the picture.
Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings, cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.
As you know, Minolta’s N-MD series lenses haven’t “half-click” after the first aperture position, so I stoped ring in the middle position, but it’s impossible to set it precisely, so, if you see that a picture taken, for example, with N-MD 50mm f/1.2 on aperture 1.4 – it means that picture was taken on aperture set in the middle position between 1.2 and 2.0. Same for N-MD 50mm f/1.4 with photo taken on f1.7 etc.
- Sunlight has been changed during the session. A lot of times.
- I am just a man, I do not pretend that in all cases my focus settings were absolutely accurate. But I aspired to it.
Test results for the center (100% crops, click it):
Test results for the middle (100% crops, click it):
Test results for the corner (100% crops, click it):
It’s impossible to choose the best 50mm Minolta’s because all of them are good for different tasks.
And very important – all lenses became identical after F5.6, so my notes below are about differences of the lenses close to opened apertures.
- It doesn’t matter, how this lens takes the pictures on infinity and with fully opened aperture because it is – macro. It can’t be compared with other 50mm lenses.
Minolta N-MD 50mm f/1.2 (my opinion – most universal):
- Center – not so good as others up to F2.8
- Middle – better than others on any F
- Corner – not so good as N-MD 50mm f/1.4 and N-MD 50mm f/1.7 up to 4.5, but the same as N-MD 50mm f/2.0
Minolta N-MD 50mm f/1.4 (my opinion – sharpest):
- Center – the best among others on any F
- Middle – close to N-MD 50mm f/1.2 and better than N-MD 50mm f/1.7 and N-MD 50mm f/2.0
- Corner – not so good as N-MD 50mm f/1.7 up to F2.8 but better than N-MD 50mm f/1.2 and N-MD 50mm f/2.0
Minolta N-MD 50mm f/1.7 (my opinion – most averaged distribution of sharpness over the image):
- Center – not so good as N-MD 50mm f/1.4 on F1.7 but became the same on F2.0 and better than N-MD 50mm f/1.2 and N-MD 50mm f/2.0
- Middle – not so good as others up to F4.5
- Corner – better than others on any F
Minolta N-MD 50mm f/2.0 (my opinion – very good lens in anyway):
- Center – better than N-MD 50mm f/1.2, and close to N-MD 50mm f/1.7 and N-MD 50mm f/1.4 even on opened F2
- Middle – not so good as any others up to F4
- Corner – the same as N-MD 50mm f/1.2 and not so good as N-MD 50mm f/1.4 and N-MD 50mm f/1.7
Please, make your personal conclusions based on these test results, because I can’t be objective. I love all 50mm New MD lenses independently of resolution tests, but a few words I’ve posted in dedicated article – Total conclusion about all reviewed Minolta MD lenses