Minolta AF 50mm F2.8 Macro RS A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 19   
reviewer#11736 date: Mar-19-2014
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Original Minolta 50mm macro
Minolta 50mm 1.4
Tamron 60mm f2 macro
Konica Minolta 100mm 2.8 macro
price paid:Gift
positive:Sharp
Wider focusing ring than original.
Easy to find and cheap. Best deal in A-mount macro.
Focus limiter switch.
Extending barrel means no hood is necessary to keep out stray light.
negative:Not a D lens
Small working distance at 1:1
loud AF
Extends when focusing.
comment:BUY THIS LENS.

This is a great lens and the first Minolta lens I paired with my Sony Alpha body. Let me start by saying that this is by far the very best value in A-mount macro lenses. Only a few years ago it was fetching about $250 consistently and was well worth it. These days it can be found for $175-$200. What a steal. This lens remains popular because it is well made and delivers fine results.

Images are mostly unchanged, but that is where the similarities end with the original model. The RS model is better, yet sells for only about $25 more. Do not buy the original to save that tid bit. It is known to have the potential for developing an internal problem. Besides, the RS has a much much more friendly manual focus ring. That upgrade alone is worth the extra cash, considering manual is often used for macro shooting. Minolta also added a limiter switch. It is also just plain nicer looking. In short, there is no reason to choose the original.

Until i bought the Tamron 60mm f2 Macro, I used this lens often. I still use it alot as a dedicated macro and will never sell it. This is my go-to macro lens when using Novoflex Balmin-AF Bellows. But the Tamron sees more use these days based on it's versatility. It is a better walkaround prime than the Minolta. Niether compares to the 50 1.4 in terms of focus speed, but the Tamron is fairly satisfying when used as a walkaround prime. The Tammy beats the Minolta 2.8 macro in terms of smooth bookeh. Sharpness and color are too close to declare a winner. Focus speed is similar. Tamron has far better working distance at 1:1, which is a big plus. The Tamron is also double the price and limited to use on aps-c. On a side note, the Tamron doesn't function on my Novoflex Bellows.

Compared to the newer model made by Konica Minolta and now Sony, the performance is on par. However, these newer models do have ADI. Also I do slightly prefer that the new model has the magnification markings on the barrel as it extends.

As I said earlier, this lens is the best deal hands-down. Unless you insist on ADI, quieter focus, or more working distance, paying double the money to buy the Tamron is unjustified. Choosing the KM or Sony is very questionable because they sell for alot more than this lens, even used. Other than ADI, they aren't much different really. As this was the glass that got my Macro enthusiasm started, I fell in love with it. I recommend it whole-heartedly. I don't see the price of these dipping much lower. It will hold its value better than buying a brand new Sony, Sigma or Tamron.

For you Minolta diehards...

Please give this lens its just due. It deserves legendary status alongside the likes of all the old favorites.

reviewer#11583 date: Jan-4-2014
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:AF 55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor
55/2.8 Micro-Nikkor Manual focus
Pentax Super Takumar 50/4 Macro M42 mount
price paid:112 USD
positive:Really inexpensive for macro prime lens
Sharp as hell, pixel peeping heaven
Plane of focus perfectly shallow even at f8.
Focus ring is large enough to grip for MF using focus peaking
Deep front lens element is like a built-in shade for better flare control
negative:AF is slow
Bokeh is marred by CA, but is correctable in software
comment:I was looking for a standard focal length lens and like the versatility and sharpness of a short tele macro prime for APS-C. I have a lot of experience shooting tight 2 person portraits with 50/2.8 macros and off-camera strobe and love the way the plane of focus holds detail in a very shallow plane. Compared with my Nikkors, costing 3x to 4x the price, the Minolta is visibly less sharp and the CA can be more problematic, esp, when backlit and with high contrast colors like a spider or insect. In a pinch however, this lens does the job and bokeh is pleasing. Colors are nice but slightly more warm and diffraction more visible at F22 and smaller, compared with the Nikkors. Still, much better than the 70's vintage macro SuperTak 50/4 in all respects. For the price, it was a steal!
reviewer#11187 date: Jun-9-2013
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sony 1.4 35mm G
Lensbaby Composer Pro
Minolta 1.4 85mm G
Minolta 200mm G HS
price paid:150 USD
positive:Sharper then some G lenses
negative:50mm
Slow focusing but it is macro
comment:For 100 to 200 bucks you can't go wrong. Must have lens in your bag! The 100mm macro would be fun but for twice the price I'll wait because I don't mind getting up and close to my subject.
reviewer#11048 date: Apr-16-2013
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm 1.7
Tamron 17-50
Sony 16-50
price paid:160usd
positive:Sharp
1:1 true macro
Solid build
Focus limiter switch
Minolta colors
negative:Hunts for focus (to be expected)
Some light fall off
comment:On the used market, an incredible value for a true macro at a useful focal length. While 100mm may be better for bug watching, the 50mm still is useful for most macro situations.
Beyond the macro use, it's just an incredibly sharp lens for general purpose shooting. The only downside of using it as a fixed focal length general purpose lens, is that it can hunt for focus for an eternity. The focus limiter switch can help, but it's still not a fast focusing lens.
Still, with the overall quality of the lens, my Minolta 50 1.7 will now collect dust except for the absolute extreme low light situations.
Updated to reflect use on the A99 --- I invested in the A99 but have not yet purchased any of the newest walk-around zoom lenses. Been using the 50mm macro as my main walk around lens with spectacular results. A bit of vignetting wide open is the only slight downside.
In terms of sharpness, color and contrast, at the 50mm focal length, I can't imagine that I'd get better results from the expensive Zeiss lens.
reviewer#10410 date: Jul-29-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50f3.5 macro
Minolta 50f2.8 macro "OLD"
Sony 50f1.8
price paid:70 Euro (like new)
positive:- sharp, sharp, sharp !
- nice contrast
negative:-AF a little bit too slow for me, but good for a macro
comment:This lense is really good for macro.
I used it mainly for portraiture in the past but now I am using a Sony 50mm@f1.8. The 50mm macro is sharpest but the AF is too slow to catch my kids.

I put also only 4 for the build but frankly speaking, even if it has more plastic than the old version, the build is very good.

I compared the old and the RS version. Optically, I did not detect any difference !

I also compared both macro 50mmf3.5 and 50mmf2.8. the f3.5 is maybe slightly better à f3.5 but same when you step down.
reviewer#10118 date: Apr-13-2012
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Sony 50mm f1.4
tamron 90mm
price paid:
missing
positive:Crazy sharp
Focus limiter
negative:50mm a little short for macro work
comment:The main advantage of the RS version of the original is the inclusion of a limiter switch. This is important as it gives the lens enough AF speed to let it serve as a dual purpose walkabout prime and macro lens (without the limiter the AF speeds would be too frustratingly slow as a general purpose lens).

Pixel peepers will absolutely adore this lens, it's crazy sharp. If the regular 50mm f1.4/1.7/1.8 lenses left you wanting and you're prepared to accept f2.8 as your max aperture this will deliver the sharpness the others didn't.

Extremely contrasty colours (more so than regular minolta colours) not sure whether this is a good or bad thing yet.
reviewer#8038 date: Oct-3-2010
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:MAF-100 F2.8 Macro RS,
SAL-50F14,
SAL-50F18,
price paid:300 USD
positive:- small,
- light weight,
- very sharp,
- lovely colours,
- good build,
- great bokeh,
- focus hold and limiter
- circular aperature
negative:- need to get really close for 1:1 macro
- slow-focuses (supposedly all macros do)
- focus hunts (supposedly all macros do)
- a bit loudly when focusing (old construction)
- lack of lens hood
comment:In my opinion this is probably one of the sharpest lens(es) Minolta ever made. I am impressed how this lens performs wide open, DOF and bokeh are very pleasing.
reviewer#7690 date: Jul-14-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Tamron SP90 2.8
Min 50 1.7
Min 35-70 4
price paid:175 GBP
positive:Everything really!Very sharp, lovely colours, great build, limiter/hold
buttons, nice price.
negative:None yet.
comment:After buying a 70-300g a little while back, I decided to sell my Sp90 to recoup some cash -as most of my macro work is with flowers, losing the extra reach wasn't a problem, and the 70-300 more than made up for it :) So after looking at all the shorter macros, I managed to get an rs off ebay for a good price.
And I'm glad I did! The 50 2.8 rs is a fantastic little lense, amazing iq, versatile legnth, solid build & looks the business to boot.
Out of all the Minolta glass I've owned so far, the colours from this lense are the most pleasing, like the 1.7 but better.
Great lense!
reviewer#7072 date: Mar-13-2010
sharpness: 4
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.2
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 200/4 APO Tele Macro
price paid:230 eur (used)
positive:Small, sharp, relatively cheap, maintains its focal length at close focusing, focus hold and limiter
negative:Not so much
comment:A nice walkaround macro, maintains its focal length at close focusing so the working distance is not much less than for longer macros losing their focal length at close focus. The rare Min 200/4 is in different class - pricewise, optically, mechanically and it weights a lot.
reviewer#6647 date: Dec-27-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:50mm
f/1.4

price paid:150 GBP (used)
positive:Sharpness, size, feel
negative:slower compared 50 f/1.4 - but that is to be expected.
comment:I was delighted to pick up one from a friend who needed cash few months ago. Using it since then, I am impressed how this lens performs wide open, the sharpness, DOF and bokeh are very pleasing. I am experimenting now and taking this gem on a project instead of my old good prime 50mm f/1.4, which has given me many beautiful pictures. As a (mainly) wide open shooter this lens is a blessing for my A900. Focus is slower then 50/1.4 but is OK.

This lens is a great addition. I am interested in high quality visuals at affordable price, and that is what this lens can offer. You'll get the real Minolta look and spirit. So delay no more and let one come to you soon, you'll have a good company for a long time to come.
reviewer#6080 date: Sep-18-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- Minolta 50mm f/1.7
- Minolta 28-70mm f/2.8 G
- Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Sony Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T*
price paid:
missing
positive:- 1:1 macro
- very sharp straight from f/2.8, across the frame
- very high contrast
- very nice bokeh
- circular aperture blades
- useful focus limiter
- useful focus hold button
- small and light
negative:- build is very decent but not great, more like a 4.5
- lack of lens hood
- need to get really close for 1:1 macro
comment:This is probably (one of) the sharpest lens(es) Minolta ever made. Its sharpness, straight from wide-open aperture and across the whole frame, is on par with the highly-appraised Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 stopped down to f/2-2.8, or the Minolta 50/1.7 stopped down to f/4.

I sometime use it as a casual walk-around/portrait lens. The focus limiter, when engaged, really makes a difference in its AF speed. I also found the focus hold button useful from time to time. Portability is great too, it easily fits in my pocket.

Note you have to get really, really *CLOSE* to your target in order to do macros near 1:1. For flowers and many still objects this may not be an issue, but for insects and others you'll be better served with a 90/100mm or 180/200mm macro lens.

Build could be better and there's no lens hood for it (most people probably don't need one b/c the recessed front element).
reviewer#5909 date: Aug-25-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta AF 50mm F1.7
price paid:299 USD
positive:sharpness is exc.
focus range limiter
focus hold button
filter doesn't rotate when focusing
easy to carry
negative:
missing
comment:It's my first really macro lens.
Sharpness is like a G-series lens.
Focus range limiter is great!!!
reviewer#5575 date: Jun-22-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Min 50 1.7
Min 28-135
Min 100/2
CZ 16-80
Sig 17-70
Min 35/2
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp.
Minolta colour.
Easy to hand-hold.
Focus limiter; actually pretty quick to focus.
negative:You do have to get close for 1:1.
comment:This is my first ever dedicated macro. It's a beautiful lens and very usable. I like the 50mm length because it is easy to hand-hold, and I'm not a regular tripod user. It is a clear, sharp lens with smooth Minolta look and colour. Also very nice bokeh both close up and further back.

I also find the focus, with the limiter switched on, to be very acceptable on the a700 and a850. No problems snapping into focus on indoors shots. I also find the rubber focus ring in this RS version very usable for manual focussing, which is what I use when close up.

A 90 or 100mm macro might be better for their ability to keep some distance from the subject. The upside of the 50mm is it isn't shaking all over when you hand-hold close up. It's a great little lens, and I'm loving the macro photography experience.

I'd put the build at 4.5, but it's more 5 than 4. If I had to pick just one prime this would be it.
reviewer#5279 date: Apr-23-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20mm ƒ/2.8 Original
Minolta 24mm ƒ/2.8 Original
Minolta 28mm ƒ/2.0 Original
Minolta 35mm ƒ/1.4 G RS
Minolta 58mm ƒ/1.2 MC Rokkor PG
Minolta 85mm ƒ/1.4 G RS
Sony 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
Sony 75-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6
price paid:$225 USD (Mar 2008)
positive:· Sharp
· High contrast
· True 1:1 macro
· Nice natural 50mm field of view
· Decent bokeh
· Filter ring does not rotate when focusing
· Minolta RS lens ergonomics
· Circular aperature
· Excellent manual focus ring
· Cool button & knob
· Cheap
· Plentiful on eBay
negative:· Sterile & clinical colour (compared to 35/1.4, 58/1.2 & 85/1.4)
· Plasticky material
· No hood (although recessed front element acts as a hood, if you put a filter on then there is no effective hood)
· Barrel extends when focusing (at 1:1 magnification, the subject is essentially right at the end of the lens barrel)
· Slow aperature (ƒ/2.8, i'd like a thinner DOF and faster shutter speed)
· Slow-focuses (supposedly all macros do)
· Focus hunts (supposedly all macros do)
comment:One of the most asked questions on Dyxum is whether the 50 macro can double as a portrait lens. I'd say no. It focus hunts, focuses too slow, cold colour (compared to Minlta G lenses) and has sensor reflection:

TheSyberSite - The Digital Sensor Reflection Effect

That said this is the goto lens for everyone who only cares about sharpness and MTF scores. It does exactly what it's designed to do, period.

Mine was pretty cheap since it had micro scratches in the front element, but I don't see any affect on IQ.
reviewer#3116 date: Dec-27-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Sigma AF 2.8 90mm Macro (1:2)
Sigma AF 24mm Macro (1:4)
Sigma AF 28-70 variable aperture (Beer-can)
price paid:300USD (new)
positive:Very Nice Lens, comfortable size, great quality build and optics. Versatile from macro to normal and becomes a short tele-photo on Digital Cameras.
negative:Only thing: Focus Limiter Switch was poorly made and fell off.
comment:This is my most often used lens. I like the quality and the ease of use. The Focus limiter is great and so is the focus hold button (though not as useful on Konica-Minolta Maxxum 7D because of the AF switch).

These lenses are starting to show their age. It's been almost 10 years since I got it and I need to service it (minor issues), like fixing the focus limiter and I might have a dust particle inside the chamber.
reviewer#2830 date: Oct-7-2007
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: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:MinO 50/1.7
MinO 50/1.4
Tamron AF SP 90/2.8 Macro
price paid:300 CAD (used)
positive:Very sharp.
Focus limiter.
negative:None as of yet.
comment:
missing
reviewer#2127 date: Apr-8-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 50mm f1.7 RS
price paid:250 Euros
positive:Sharpness, colours, versatility
negative:Can't think of anything.
comment:My first real macro lens. Although still learning, I love it. Besides the usual macro properties (excellent sharpness and contrast) I like the fairly 'normal' perspective of this focal length - although one has to get really close for macro shooting. A little added bonus of 50mm is increased 'handholdability' compared to longer focal lengths.
Using the focus limiter AF is fairly fast in the longer range.
reviewer#1001 date: Jul-8-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Great sharpness and bokeh in a small package. Focus limiter is of great help.
negative:Slow focussing, but this is the nature of the lens. It's not meant for fast moving subjects.
comment:The most versatile Minolta lens in the 50mm range, other than macro, it can handle portraiture and street photography as well. A great macro performer (true 1:1). I use this lens more than my 50mm f1.4 because of its versatility.
reviewer#990 date: Jul-7-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 24MP24 MP36MP36 MP
ownership:I have experience with this lens
compared to:50/3.5 Macro
60/2.8-5 Macro Nikkor
price paid:
missing
positive:Sharp, versatile, nice ring, focus limiter.
negative:You have to be on top of your subject to get 1:1
comment:I'm surprised this lens hasn't been reviewed, it's just as good as the 100/2.8 RS, just of a different focal length; some might say a more general and versatile focal length.

I'd claim this to be one of the most usefeul lenses money can buy, especially as you don't need much money to buy it. If you treat it as a 50mm that can go down to 1:1 then you're all set for a day of general photography; especially if you use the perfectly usable focus-limiter to stop it searching.

Sharpness, as in all the Minolta macros, is second to none.
reviews found: 19   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 19
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.84
  • build: 4.53
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.47
  • overall: 4.75

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