Minolta AF 50mm F1.7 A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#28610 date: Jun-18-2016
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.4
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:Minolta 40 F1.7
Konica AR 40 F1.8
Canon EF 40 F2.8 STM
Pentax-M 40 F2.8
Pentax-DA 40 F2.8 XS
Pentax-FA 43 F1.8 Limited
Samyang AF 45 F1.8 FE
Tamron SP 45 F1.8 USD (VC & non VC)
Minolta MD 45 F2
Rokinon 50 F1.2
Zeiss 50 F1.4 Planar
Yongnuo 50 F1.4
Canon EF 50 F1.4 USM
Sigma 50 F1.4 EX DG HSM
Minolta MD & AF & Sony AF 50 F1.4
Minolta MD & AF 50 F1.7 RS
Sony FE 50 F1.8
Canon EF 50 F1.8 STM
Fotasy 50 F1.8
Konica AR 50 F1.8
Vivitar 50 F1.8
Sony DT 50 F1.8 SAM
Sony E 50 F1.8 OSS
Minolta MD 50 F2
Sony FE 50 F2.8 Macro
Neewer/Meike 50 F2
Sony A 50mm F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
price paid:22 USD (used)
positive:Small and light
Smooth focus control
Minimal distortion
negative:Haziness/axial CA
Some lateral CA
Hard to nail focus
Busy bokeh
49 mm filter size
comment:This is a very clean copy purchased on eBay. "JAPAN"

This is a small lens. It even makes the Sigma 24 f/2.8 Super Wide II look big. The front element is very recessed so it probably could have been even smaller. The outer plastic cover and inner aluminum frame seem to be identical to the Minolta/Sony 28mm F2.8, but the inner barrel of the 28 mm prime sticks out further. The little built-in hood doesn't lock into place like the similar hood on the RS version.

It certainly has depreciated less than most Minolta lenses. It was selling just above $50 when original released. The current Sony DT 50 1.8 SAM is $170. It is definitely heavier than DT prime despite the lack of a SAM motor.

The focal length is noticeably longer than the Sony DT 50 F1.8. It is a pretty sharp lens at least when stopped down, but the corners remain a bit soft. Both of my copies of the DT 50 mm prime are much sharper and show more contrast.

The built-in hood is very small--probably sized more for the 28 mm lens. I'd prefer a large reversible hood like the one included with the later versions of the 50 f/1.4.

On the A58 it has two aperture settings both of which report as f/1.7. It goes 1.7, 1.7, 2, 2.2, 2.5, 2.8, etc. The iris definitely closes down some on the second setting. The camera also selects different exposures on the two "1.7" aperture settings. The closed down "1.7" might actually be a 1.8 aperture setting. Just like the RS version the 7 aperture blades are basically straight and show as a polygon even at the first partial step down.

Manual focusing is very smooth with just a little mechanical noise. Auto focusing is quite loud. It definitely displays what some call focus shift with stopping down. The sharpest appearing focus wide-open is a bit off when stopped down.

Overall very decent performance--better overall image quality than the zooms at the same settings.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 420
  • sharpness: 4.63
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.57
  • distortion: 4.74
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.58
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