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

reviewer#3752 date: Jun-24-2008
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.5
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP; 24MP24 MP; 36MP36 MP; 42MP42 MP; 61MP61 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:AF50/1.7RS
AF50/1.4
AF100/2
Tam 17-50/2.8
price paid:50 USD (used)
positive:TOP value for the price
Very sharp
Excellent colors
Very fast
Light weight
Simple, sturdy construction

negative:Quality of these older lenses can vary greatly from one to the next.
Could be very slightly faster and sharper, for 10x the price.
comment:Dollar for dollar, this is one of the best values on the used market. The price for individual lenses is up over $125 US these days, but it is still easy to pick this lens up as part of a used 7000 or 5000 package for half that price. For the money you get a lens that is very fast, very sharp, and provides classic Minolta colors.

In comparison shots against the 50/1.7RS, I found little if any difference in performance. In comparing to the 50/1.4, I found that the 1.4 was VERY VERY slightly sharper in the f/2.8-f/11 range. Wide open the 1.4 was actually slightly softer than the 1.7. The only two lenses I've owned that produced meaningfully sharper shots are the 100/2 and the 200/2.8. For the money, I think the 50/1.7 is a 'must have'.

Caveat emptor! The condition of these lenses varies widely, and it's impossible to judge the performance based on outward appearance. Be prepared to buy two, compare them, keep the better and sell the other. Be prepared to possibly have to do this more than once. Rest assured that it will be worth it in the long run.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 421
  • sharpness: 4.62
  • color: 4.78
  • build: 4.57
  • distortion: 4.74
  • flare control: 4.17
  • overall: 4.58
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