Minolta AF 50mm F3.5 Macro A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#20410 date: Nov-5-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.8
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM (1x)
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM (0.2x)
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Minolta AF 50 F1.4
Minolta AF 50 F1.7
Minolta MD 50 F2
Neewer 50 F2(.4)
Tamron SP 60 F2 (1x)
Sigma 60 F2.8 DN Art
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 RS (1x)
Minolta MD 50-135 F3.5
price paid:37 USD (used)
positive:Nice smooth bokeh
Very sharp wide-open to the corners on a 2X TC
Decent rubber focus ring
Curved aperture blades
Flat focus plane
Very little CA
55 mm filter size
1:2 (0.5x)
Inaccurate AF
Poor at 1:1 using extensions.
comment:I purchased two of these a couple of years apart. The first wasn't very sharp, but I liked the rendering. I cleaned some crud off of the front element of the second copy. This lens was $200 when released in 1994 just over $100 cheaper than the 50/2.8. Cosmetically it matches the other RS series lenses. Supposedly it uses a different optical formula (5/5 vs 6/4) than the older, manual focus Minolta 50mm F3.5 1:2 Macro lenses dating from 1961. This is the simplest A-mount lens in terms of actual parts. "JAPAN"

The larger body is used to accommodate a deep fixed hood. The working distance is fairly large because of the fairly low 1:2 maximum reproduction ratio.

The field-of-view is slightly narrower than the faster Minolta 50's and significantly narrower than the 50 F1.8s at the same focus distances. The field-of-view is just slightly wider than the long end of the 18-55 SAM II.

It is really hard to tell which 50 mm lens is the sharpest even after adding a 2X teleconverter to an APS-C camera. This lens definitely works the best on a Kenko MC7 teleconverter--very sharp to the extreme corners wide-open. The 50 F1.4 and 50 F2.8 just have much more CA even stopped down.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 60
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.63
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.72
  • overall: 4.84
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