Minolta AF 50mm F1.4 RS A-mount lens review by Phil Wood

reviewer#45629 date: Dec-30-2020
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 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta - AF 50 F1.4
Minolta - AF 50 F1.7
Minolta - AF 50 F1.7 RS
Sony - AF DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Minolta - AF 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta - AF 50 F3.5 Macro
price paid:110 GBP
positive:Sharp, fast, colour
negative:Vignetting wide open, ghosting.
comment:Optically it is the same as the previous version. So I will concentrate on the differences that make this, in my opinion, the better purchase:
1. Focusing ring. Although referred to as an RS lens this is not, like most RS lenses a generation II (1990 style) remodeling like the f1.7, but a third generation (1998 style) revamp. Consequently it has a wider, nicely knurled focus ring that comes to ones hand more easily and provides better grip than the narrower smooth rubber of the 2nd gen lenses or the original narrow knurled plastic.
2. Hood. The 1985 original f1.4 and f1.7 had built-in hoods that slide out and, if you are lucky stay out - they do seem to have a tendency to slide back in at the slightest provocation. The f1.7 RS improved the situation by locking the hood out with a little twist. This f1.4 RS discards the built-in hood entirely and comes with a conventional bayonet mounting hood. There is something to be said for the neatness of the f1.7 RS solution, but I'm very happy with the detachable hood - just make sure the lens you are buying has one.
3. Filter mount. The f1.7s and the f1.4 take 49mm filters, this lens has the 55mm filter mount Minolta used for far more of their lenses. Since I got this lens I can leave the 49mm filters at home.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 37
  • sharpness: 4.64
  • color: 4.84
  • build: 4.70
  • distortion: 4.89
  • flare control: 4.30
  • overall: 4.67
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