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

reviewer#3956 date: Aug-12-2008
sharpness: 4
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.6
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:AF:
Tokina AT-X 28-70/2.8
Tamron SP AF 17-50/2.8
M42:
SMC Takumar 50/1.4
Mamiya/Sekor 55/1.4 & 1.8
Yashica Yashinon-DX 50/1.7
Schneider-Kreuznach Xenar 50/2.8 (Edixa)
price paid:740 SEK (used)
positive:Nice gradation in contrast.
Beautifull colours.
negative:Corner sharpness - might be an even bigger issue on fullframe.
comment:I have the old crossed-x version which features a metall interior and good quality plastic outer barrel. It feels solid and the manual focus is almost as smooth as an old M42-lens. AF is fast and quiet, but I guess it should be even faster considering the type of lens.

Colours are beautifully saturated rather than neutral and contrast is pleasing from f2.8 onward - not excessive but rather "old school" optimized for nice gradation. Bokeh is highly subjective, in this case - smooth, no aperture shapes, slight bright line, no double line. Green bokeh CAs.
There's that glowing/romantic effect fully open, gone by f2.2 - at that setting center sharpness is already good but the corners doesn't catch up until f5.6 on APS-C. Flare is present but doesn't ruin pictures.

It is better than the zooms - the Tamron has it beat on sharpness but the bokeh is not very nice according to my taste (distracting double line issue). Also, the pumped up contrast produces harsh gradation (also a matter of taste).
The Tokina has big issues with flare that affects sharpness and contrast.

The Schneider-Kreuznach is the only prime in this comparison that is softer than the Minolta. The colors of the Yashinon-DX is a bit dull and the Mamiya 55/1.4 has problems with flare that affects sharpness. The rich, saturated colours and the overall pleasing result (plus the convenience of AF and automatic aperture) makes the Minolta 50/1.7 a keeper.
All the other 50s has their specific use. The SMC Tak is always in my bag.

Conclusion:
"You can't go wrong with a 50". The Minolta AF 50/1.7 might not be the best 50 ever made, but, as others have stated - it is a great addition to the bag.

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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