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LensRomantic: Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2

Comparison of three different copies of Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.2. (New-MD, NMD, MD-III)

‘LensRomantic’ tests description is here. Usually, tests of this type are mostly for collectors or tech-enthusiasts, for photographers I recommend to go directly to the lens review but not this time – see the conclusion.

MD 50/1.2 – the latest superfast lens by Minolta. The queen.

This comparison has been started with two copies, but the results were abnormal, so, the third copy has been added lately.

The initial pair:

Copy #1 Copy #2
Serial: 8008540 8002838
Optical Condition: Near Mint Near Mint
Mechanical Condition: Near Mint Near Mint
Cosmetic Condition: Near Mint Very Good

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

MD5012_romantic_exterior_381_logo.jpg

MD5012_romantic_exterior_382_logo.jpg

Minolta New-MD 50mm F1.2 full review:

Long distance – sharpness:

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 were made with apertures from fully opened and up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode). SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift.

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 cut into 300×200 px elements (100% crops), combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Notes:
  • Sunlight has been changed during the session.

Scene preview:

MD5012_Romantic_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MD5012_Romantic_.jpg

The result was looking strange – in fact, the difference between other identical Minolta New-MD 50mm lenses is much less, but this two MD 50mm 1:1.2 work enough differently. (I’ve repeated the session a few times – the result is stable)

That’s why another copy was acquired and the test has been repeated:

The second pair:

Copy #1 is the same as from the first comparison, Copy #3 – the new one

Copy #1 Copy #3
Serial: 8008540 8012631
Optical Condition: Near Mint Near Mint
Mechanical Condition: Near Mint Near Mint
Cosmetic Condition: Near Mint Like New

Scene preview:

MD5012_8008540_8012631_Romantic_e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

(To avoid misunderstanding the real serials are marked in the diagram)

MD5012_8008540_8012631_Romantic_try3.jpg

‘What does it mean?’ – my conclusion:

As it is already said, the first test showed the big difference in the behavior of the lenses. At the same time, if we consider them separately, then both seem to be workable. Personally, my opinion – copy number two is a bit abnormal, possible it has been damaged. I even checked the fixing of optical and body elements and reassemble the lens, but the behavior has not changed. When Copy#3 appeared, it took a position close to the better Copy#1.

MD5012_Romantic_Avatar.png

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