Minolta AF 50mm F2.8 Macro RS A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#43018 date: Feb-18-2018
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 used to own this lens
compared to:Opteka 15 F4 Macro
Tamron 20 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Tamron 24 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Tamron 35 F2.8 OSD M1:2
Sony FE 50mm F2.8 Macro
Sony A 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F3.5 Macro
Minolta MD 50 F3.5 Macro
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro D
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:58 USD (used)
positive:Modest size and weight
Circular aperture
Decent focus grip
negative:Axial CA
Extends to focus
Some focus plane curvature in non-macro use
No Lens Compensation
No Distance Encoder
Slightly warm color cast
comment:The original AF version of this lens was $350 in 1985. This version was $300 when released in 1993. Minolta added a focus hold button and a range limiter switch to this version along with a more circular aperture. Cosmetically it matches the other RS series lenses especially the 100 mm Macro. Sony's list price for their current version of this lens is $600. This is a nice clean copy with original caps purchased from an individual eBay seller. "JAPAN"

This lens extends almost as much as the 100 mm macro at 1:1. The focus scale looks to be nearly identical to the 50 F3.5. The amount of grip rotation and barrel extension at 1:2 is very similar to the smaller lens. The optical elements are barely any larger. The front elements of both are deeply inset.

This lens performs similarly to the less expensive F3.5. It has a slightly warmer color cast unlike the F3.5. It has relatively high amount of chromatic aberration. Sharpness and CA might be down to sample variation. It is much sharper than my 100 F2.8 RS.

I replaced this lens with the Sony version to gain the distance encoder and Lens Compensation support, and then quickly replaced that lens with the Sony FE 50 F2.8 Macro.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 26
  • sharpness: 4.90
  • color: 4.85
  • build: 4.65
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.54
  • overall: 4.79
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