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LensWars: Minolta MC 58mm f/1.2 vs. Minolta MD 50mm f/1.2

Comparison of lenses Minolta Rokkor MC PG 58mm 1:1.2, Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2.

This comparison is correct only for conditions and equipment used for tests. Test results can differ if any element is changed.

Tested lenses reviews:


Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) – fixed on the tripod. Target – fixed on the distance in about 4 meters (good for average portraits). All shots were made with apertures from fully opened and up to F8. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affecting. Focus point – 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 MC and N-MD series lenses haven’t “half-click” after the first aperture position, so I stopped ring in the middle position, but it’s impossible to set it precisely, so, if you see that a picture taken with aperture 1.4 – it means that picture was taken on aperture set in the middle position between 1.2 and 2.0.

Test shots for center and for corner positions was made separately on different pictures. It helps to avoid field curvature affecting.

Here is two tests: Test#1 has no compensation for difference of 50mm and 58mm, so the details on picture from Minolta MC 58mm F1.2 lens is slight bigger than from Minolta MD 50mm F1.2. I am sure – it’s incorrect approach,  but I’ve meet a comparisons of ‘around 50mm’ lenses which are using this scheme, especially tests with focusing to infinity – landscapes, city-views etc. Test#2 has the compensation – Minolta MD 50mmF1.2 stays a little closer to the target than MC58mmF1.2. Now you can view tests results for both methods and make your personal opinion about importance of these so short additional 8mm when we make comparisons of fifties.

  • I am just a man, I do not pretend that in all cases my focus settings were absolutely accurate. But I aspired to it.
  • Red zone on the previews of the scenes displays the 100% crop of the full-size frame

Test#1 – distance is the same for both lens

Here is no compensation for the difference in 50mm and 55mm, so the details on the picture from Minolta MC 58mm F1.2 lens slight bigger than from Minolta MD 50mm F1.2. I’m sure – this test can’t demonstrate the real difference, it shows how comparisons shouldn’t be performed.

Scene preview for the center:

Scene preview for corner:

Test#1 results:

Test#2 – distance is different

Here is a test with compensation for the difference in 50mm and 55mm focal distances, so the details on the picture from Minolta MC 58mm F1.2 lens have the same size as from Minolta MD 50mm F1.2

Scene preview for the center:

Scene preview for corner:

Test#2 results:

My conclusion:

From the sharpness point of view – younger Minolta MD 50mm F1.2 is definitely better than Minolta MC PG 58mm F1.2. The difference isn’t big, but it easy to see it. Though, in real life it’s impossible to choose the best of these two – both are good for different tasks. You know – not only resolution is important for photography. Please, make your personal conclusions based on these test results and on reviews of these great lenses.



  1. MC lenses don’t have a chance against MD in comparisons – too soft, bad fair resistance, may have issues with colors on modern sensors. The MC 58/1.2 is the only exception for me, but I can’t say that I like this lens much – it has nice bokeh and… that’s the all advantages.
    Additionally, I prefer the build quality of New MD lenses – light, small, reliable. For me these lenses is an alternative for expensive modern lenses in shooting. But if the target is collecting of lenses – than older lenses of course would be more interesting


  2. I have MC 58mm 1.2 and MDII 50mm 1.4.

    MC 58 mm 1.2 has nicer bokey and has 8 blades which gives better results than 6 blades. Of course, it is also better for portrait while 50mm is sharper and wider angle. Both complementary. It is big though…so nice at f2.0…

    Many modern MD have only 6 blades (MD 200 mm f2.8 has 8) which is probably the only significant disadvantage compared to modern lenses for off focus image.
    Thanks for excellent work. Still missing reflex lenses if I dare

    Liked by 1 person

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