Another Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm F/1.4 lens review – 55mm filter thread, MDI version.

This is the first Minolta MD series lens with 50mm focal distance, and the second 50 mm lens in whole Minolta SLR career – for SR-mount cameras. The note about SR-mount is required because  there were a three 50mm lenses by Minolta for LTM (1947-1958?) – all three have been reviewed on this site, so, this article is about one of famous SLR fifty in the world – the great Rokkor MD of the first generation.

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.

MDRI5014ext_065.jpg

Minolta Rokkor MD (I) 50mm F:1.4 parameters:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 94
Name engraved on lens MD ROKKOR(-X)
f[mm] 50
A max [1/f] 1.4
A min[1/f] 16
Lens design [el.] 7
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade screw-in
closefocus[m/ft] 0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 64×40
Weight[g] 245
Year 1977
Style MD I
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 2521-1xx (-3xx)

MDR5014_Tony_optical_design2.png


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 – Mira Yurizaki 百合崎・ミラ

Mira Yurizaki (百合崎・ミラ Yurizaki Mira?)  – is an Android made by Seira and Shidou Yurizaki and the newest member of the Recovery House where she works as the partner of Kyōma Mabuchi.

 


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. 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 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-200, 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. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks 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

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Mira Yurizaki 2print.png

Scene preview:

MDR5014__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MDR5014__c_res_close.jpg


Sharpness – 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-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 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:

(Information for perfectionists: yes, the horizon line is tilted in the photo – this is because of the need to have key points in the photographs in the special places for different tests of different lenses)

5014_MC_MDI_MDII_MDIII_2018nov__e_far_preview

Test results:

MDR5014__e_res_far_v2.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MDR5014__f_vignettingNEW.png


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDR5014_geometry_712.png


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDR5014__h_coma_aberr_.jpg

Additionally, one extra sample on F2.8 for better understanding the dynamic of coma aberrations changes:

MDR5014_coma_F_2_8_86.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MDR5014__i_chrome_aberrNEWv2_.png


Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.45m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less, see the next Test#2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDR5014__k_bokeh_far_min_45cm_farNEW.jpg

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDR5014__k_bokeh_far_mid_1m_farNEW.jpg


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.45m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less – see the Test #2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MDR5014__m_dots_far_mid_45cm_NEW.jpg

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)MDR5014__m_dots_far_mid_1m_NEW.jpg


Other resources with reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm F1.4 with 55mm filter thread (MDI):

MDR5014__Avatar.png

Have you ever seen bad fifty from Minolta? I haven’t. And this MDI 50/1.4 isn’t exclusion. It has enough resolution for portraits even wide opened, becomes great on F2.0, ready for landscapes from F4 and absolutely sharp over the whole frame on F5.6. It provides creme bokeh and light bubbles with contrast borders, this bokeh can be described as  ‘classic’ – beauty and predictable without any pronounced features. So, photographer don’t need to spend a many time to researching of the character of this lens – anyone can start to taken photo without any training – this Rokkor works as standard fiftie with beautiful rendering and standard sharpness distribution over the frame. Lens isn’t rare for today and can be purchased for a reasonable price on auctions. Of course it works fine with any digital mirrorless cameras, and with autofocus adapters too. Minolta has produced five 50mm F1.4 lenses for SR mount, and all of them with quite close IQ, so, if you got this one Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 then you don’t need to search for something another on this focal distance among other SLR-lenses.


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