Minolta AF 50mm F1.4 A-mount lens review by N_Raged

reviewer#10354 date: Jul-3-2012
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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:Sigma 30mm f/1.4
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 85mm f/1.4 G RS
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8
price paid:$200 CAD (used)
positive:+Very good bokeh when stopped down to f/2.0.
+Center resolution @1.4 is very usable.
+Great colour.
negative:-Some fringing at large apertures.
-Not the sharpest prime overall.
-Busy bokeh around f/1.4-1.7.
comment:All the common fringing issues associated with old Minolta lenses is present. Purple and Pink fringing plague highlight areas of the image, but goes away when stopped down to f/4. Lateral chromatic aberration is minimal throughout. Very similar to the 50/1.7 here.

Contrast is a bit low at f/1.4 with some veiling that doesn't obscure detail, but firms up nicely by f/2.0. Much better than the 50/1.7 in this regard.

Absolute sharpness (aka. micro-contrast) when stopped down to anywhere between f/2.8-8 isn't this lens' strong suit. The kind of sharpness can be described as more "pleasant sharp", rather than "pixel peeping bleeding sharp". Makes it great for portraits. On par with the 50/1.7.

All that being said, I always wanted to upgrade my Minolta 50/1.7 because everything above f/2.8 was just hideous. Now I'm quite happy with this 50/1.4. A very pleasant image maker.

Bokeh at f/1.4-1.7 have a slight outlining effect to them which makes it look busy. At f/2.0 the bokeh is completely uniform and blends together oh so nicely to make seamlessly creamy background transitions.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 124
  • sharpness: 4.68
  • color: 4.81
  • build: 4.64
  • distortion: 4.77
  • flare control: 4.13
  • overall: 4.60
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania