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

reviewer#39909 date: Aug-4-2017
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 4
flare control: 4
overall: 4.3
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:Canon 50/1.4, Pentax SMCT 50/1.4, Zuiko OM 50/1.4.
Minolta 50/1.7,
price paid:part of a set
positive:A genuine contender for best of the old design 50/1.4's.
Outstanding performance in most scenes by about F2.5 and effectively perfect sharpness/contrast by about F3.5. Surprisingly high resolving power even wide open.
negative:Yes, it does tend towards a slightly glowy, hazy rendition at 1.4 (even though in pure resolution terms, it is doing well), but it improves fast as you stop down, and is actually FAR better than the other old 1.4 designs in this respect. If you are prepared to pay for a newer design, you will see even less of this than with this lens.
Tendency for purple to appear in light source bokeh at some longish distances when shooting at night. (My 50/1.7 didn't do this).
Flare control, while better than Minolta zooms, isn't really noticeably better than eg a 50 year old SMCT Pentax or other good, old primes...3.5 would be a fair score, and I could have gone for 3.
comment:Better than the 1.7, particularly for corner sharpness, for a minimal size/weight penalty. I also prefer it to the other 1.4 lenses I've owned (I would rank this in first and the other three in the order I presented them above, although my Zuiko was an old silver-nosed one).

Years ago I used an MD Rokkor 50/1.4 and it is obvious that this is optically very similar to that lens, if not identical. Its character and performance are obviously on a par.

Examine photos taken with it online to see if its slight colour bokeh tendency annoys you. I really think it's very good indeed and that it seems to have been a clear winner for Minolta over their Japanese rivals.

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