Minolta AF 50mm F2.8 Macro D A-mount lens reviews

reviews found: 13   
reviewer#12174 date: Mar-10-2015
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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:30 Macro SAM, Sony 50 f1.4, Sony 100 Macro
price paid:£150
positive:Sharp, portable, very easy to use, very versatile. Focus hold button. Non-rotating focusing ring for AF.
negative:Build quality not fantastic (limiter switch a bit flimsy)
comment:Optically up there with the 100 Macro. Superbly versatile.
reviewer#6935 date: Feb-20-2010
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Minolta 100 f/2.8 macro (D)
Minolta 24-85 f/3.5-4.5 RS
price paid:€ 388 (used)
positive:Very good IQ
Small
Light
1:1
Looks
Focus limiter
FL perfect under certain conditions
negative:No hood - not a problem as front element lies very deep
Hard to find
comment:Happy i had found one in as new condition and with box and papers.
As i wrote in my review of the Minolta 100 f/2.8 macro (D), the next lens would be this 50 f/2.8 macro (D). Actually it was quite hard to find it as it took me 4 months to find a good one.
Why this lens and not the Sony? Well the Sony is the same lens, but i already had the Minolta 100 macro so wanted uniformity. Could get the Sony cheaper actually, but was happy to find an almost new one with box (the 200 macro would fit nice next to these two..).

On the alpha 900 it works just like the 100, one has to get closer to the subject of course. In fact i bought this lens for use on the Konica Minolta 5D and the alpha 550 for studio shots. The 100 was just a bit too long here. Also, the 50 gives another perspective to the photo which certainly justifies it.
After a few months use i can add the 50 works great for items like model cars, small equipment like valves or car parts, especially on the 900. And it is so small - yes i really like that aspect. If i go hiking i often take the 50 instead of the 100 for that reason.

There are two other matters i want to add. First the lens seems to focus a tad quiter compared to the 100 and second there is no hood! The product literature confirms this lens doesn't need one and the front element lies very deep. Have tried it under sunny circumstances and it seems true. I haven't noticed any sensor reflections until now - think the (D) is updated in this respect (?).

For me the lens works nice in MF too - no problems with coupling here although the play here seems a little more compared to the 100 macro D.

Under "negative" i mentioned the fact it has no hood and is somewhat hard to find but don't take these too seriously.

I'm not a fan of filters but i've added an Hoya UV filter to protect the front element. The reason for this is that i sometimes find one has to approach a subject very close and touching the front element is possible. A filter prevents damage in these cases.
reviewer#2373 date: May-27-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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:100mm 2.8 macro D.
Tamron 90mm 2.8 macro AF.
price paid:$370 new
positive:If you like a focal length of around 50mm, you'll love this lens. One of the sharpest of my many expensive lenses. In my top five.
negative:
missing
comment:This is another incredible lens. Exeplary optical perfection. I just much prefer a longer focal length, like my 90mm to 105mm macros and my 135mm primes.
reviewer#2354 date: May-25-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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:KM 2.8/100 Macro D
price paid:
missing
positive:- image quality
- programmable button
- range limiter switch
negative:- the focus ring has to much free play and sometimes slips
comment:Very good (perfect) image quality. It is my favourite lens for botanical photograpy. My only concern is the manual focusing. The focus coupling mechanism is so badly designed, that (despite the broad focus ring) focusing manually is harder than with the previous models w/o coupling. In the first time i even thought i got a bad copy, but tried some other samples and accepted the reality. I can't imagine why could not they implement the coupling mechanism of the 2.8/100...
I have not experienced flare artifacts with this lens so far (1 year), although i know the phenomenon very well (previously owned 2.8/50 original macro).
reviewer#2072 date: Mar-28-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
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:35mm macro film lenses
price paid:US$310 (new)
positive:Outstanding optical performance.
negative:Handling and focusing can be fiddly. Vulnerable to sensor reflections under certain conditions.
comment:This is an excellent lens overall. I use it frequently and the resulting images are never disappointing.

The lens is bulkier than some other 50mm macros, but the speed and built-in 1:1 magnification are well worth the trade-off to me.

There are just two disadvantages to be aware of. First, the focusing ring of this version is a 'slip clutch' sort of design, so there is a bit of play during manual focusing. This feels strange compared to a standard focusing ring. On the other hand, the ring locks in place after autofocusing, which can be helpful.

Second, the lens is vulnerable to sensor reflections under certain conditions. (All four of the Minolta/KM/Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro versions are optically the same, so they should be equally vulnerable.) For details regarding this issue, see my tests:

http://thesybersite.com/minolta/sensor-reflection

Neither of these drawbacks is significant in my opinion, and I'm very pleased with the lens.
reviewer#1807 date: Feb-10-2007
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Tack sharp, no distortions.
negative:Comes without lens hood.
comment:Best macro lens I've ever used, image quality is awesome.
reviewer#838 date: May-26-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 50/2.8 original, Minolta 50/3.5, Sigma 50/2.8 EX (pre-DG), Sigma 105/2.8 EX (pre-DG), Tamron SP 90/2.8 Di
price paid:
missing
positive:- manual focus ring
- manual focus ring doesn't move when you are in AF
- the scale on the snoot
- D ... good for studio
negative:- bit plasticy
- the knobs and buttons make it a bit fiddly to get in/out of bag
- would like a lens hood for use in the field
- price/availability
comment:near Perfect.

Well built if a little plasticy, would prefer it to the be metal.

Images are stunnnnnnnningly sharp.

Neither +ve or -ve: it hunts a little. All macro lenses do.

Pop the 5D or 7D into ISO:Low 80, turn the studio flashes on (3600HSDs in my case) and this is a perfect studio lens. The 50 length is by far the best for studio work.

In the field it is also a very strong performer

(only bought it because I found a bargain price, I wouldn't buy this at its new price)

Faultless, except for price and build.
reviewer#746 date: May-4-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:50/3.5 - 105/2.8 ex - 180/3.5 ex
price paid:
missing
positive:1:1 - sharp - nice, deep contrast - gorgeous color, nice feel
negative:ring slips past max or min focus - hard to find
comment:just got this lens from B&H and have to say, out of all four macros i owned, this is my favorite!...since when does something built out of plastic make it flimsy?...this lens does NOT have a 'flimsy' build!...it feels nice and solid...the only complaint i would have is the focus ring slipping past minumum or maximum focus, very odd indeed...if insect photography is your fortay, this is not the lens for you, go with the sigma 180/3.5 or the minolta 200/4 (if you have the cash!)...if your subject stays where you need it and you have control over the lighting (or bright daylight), get this lens...it is absolutely awesome...i do photography for a living and am very experienced, i plan to hold this lens in my permanent '5 lens' setup: 20/2.8|50/2.8|85/1.4|100/2.8sf|200/2.8
reviewer#690 date: Apr-15-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 4
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
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 own this lens
compared to:Minolta 100/2.8 macro AF
Canon 50/2.5 compact macro
Sigma 50/2.8 macro EX
price paid:380
positive:Sharpness, small size, fast
negative:None
comment:Sharpness surprised me when I tried it out on 7D so with no hesitation I had this shortly. It has become the standard prime lens whenever I carry my camera out and the light weight, and small size must be the reasons.
I later bought Canon's similar one but did not get the same satisfaction.
reviewer#447 date: Jan-26-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Very Sharp
Nice Bokeh
Makes a nice portrait lens on 7D
1 to 1 Macro
negative:Slow AF
Flimsy / Plastic Construction
comment:I used my $150 "rebate" check to buy this lens and have been very happy with it. The sharpness and color are perfect. The 1:1 Macro capability has opened up a whole new range of photographic possiblities for me which I have been throughly enjoying. This lens combined with a pair of wireless flashes is a great combo. The AF can be VERY slow if the camera hunts through the full focus range. The build is a bit "cheap" but the fantastic optical quality more then makes up for it.
reviewer#391 date: Jan-9-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 3
distortion: 4
flare control: 5
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 have experience with this lens
compared to:AF 50 f1.7
AF 28-135 f4-4.5 @ macro mode
price paid:
missing
positive:Very Sharp Image
Very Good Color
Big Focus Ring
Focus Range Limiter
Circular Aparture for nice Bokeh
negative:Slow AF
Plastic body
Focus ring rubber slips at limit
comment:My first true macro lens, been playing around with it with some random subjects and I am very pleased with it. The color out of the box with no touch up is superb and and the super narrow DOF at f2.8 is quite amazing when shooting macro subject. My previous main macro lens was the 28-135 f4-4.5's macro range, but it's f4 and much bulkier to handle in low light for small subject(harder to tell focus as well when using MF). Plus at 28mm it just can't quite fill the frame with a small subject.

The only issue I have with it so far is the rubber Focus ring seems to be slipping at the end of the travel, and this was a brand new lens.

Highly recommanded for someone looking for a macro.
reviewer#376 date: Jan-2-2006
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 4.8
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:Much sharper than Nikon 60mm F2.8 Macro.

KM 100 f2.8 marco would be faster in focusing and handling; also better for smaller objects (bugs) with a longer working range.
price paid:
missing
positive:Extremely sharp and high contrast.
Reasonable priced.
negative:Rather slow focusing.
comment:Its high contrast nature help getting accurate color in a snap; also very sharp.

It captures less highlight color information than a"G" lens and less saturated color, that's why I give it a 4 in the "Color " rating.

However, great for product shots, "pop" and clean.

For maximum magnification, the object is 3cm in front of the protective filter...

reviewer#313 date: Dec-21-2005
sharpness: 5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 5
overall: 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 have experience with this lens
compared to:
missing
price paid:
missing
positive:Very sharp, great pictures
negative:AF somewhat slow but then it is a macro
comment:I use this for both macro and regular shooting. Since I got this I hardly use my 50mm 1.7 anymore.
reviews found: 13   

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 13
  • sharpness: 5.00
  • color: 4.85
  • build: 4.00
  • distortion: 4.92
  • flare control: 4.77
  • overall: 4.71

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