Minolta AF 50mm F2.8 Macro RS A-mount lens review by 6tyNine

reviewer#5279 date: Apr-23-2009
sharpness: 5
color: 4
build: 3
distortion: 5
flare control: 3
overall: 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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 20mm ƒ/2.8 Original
Minolta 24mm ƒ/2.8 Original
Minolta 28mm ƒ/2.0 Original
Minolta 35mm ƒ/1.4 G RS
Minolta 58mm ƒ/1.2 MC Rokkor PG
Minolta 85mm ƒ/1.4 G RS
Sony 18-70mm ƒ/3.5-5.6
Sony 75-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.6
price paid:$225 USD (Mar 2008)
positive:· Sharp
· High contrast
· True 1:1 macro
· Nice natural 50mm field of view
· Decent bokeh
· Filter ring does not rotate when focusing
· Minolta RS lens ergonomics
· Circular aperature
· Excellent manual focus ring
· Cool button & knob
· Cheap
· Plentiful on eBay
negative:· Sterile & clinical colour (compared to 35/1.4, 58/1.2 & 85/1.4)
· Plasticky material
· No hood (although recessed front element acts as a hood, if you put a filter on then there is no effective hood)
· Barrel extends when focusing (at 1:1 magnification, the subject is essentially right at the end of the lens barrel)
· Slow aperature (ƒ/2.8, i'd like a thinner DOF and faster shutter speed)
· Slow-focuses (supposedly all macros do)
· Focus hunts (supposedly all macros do)
comment:One of the most asked questions on Dyxum is whether the 50 macro can double as a portrait lens. I'd say no. It focus hunts, focuses too slow, cold colour (compared to Minlta G lenses) and has sensor reflection:

TheSyberSite - The Digital Sensor Reflection Effect

That said this is the goto lens for everyone who only cares about sharpness and MTF scores. It does exactly what it's designed to do, period.

Mine was pretty cheap since it had micro scratches in the front element, but I don't see any affect on IQ.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 26
  • sharpness: 4.92
  • color: 4.85
  • build: 4.65
  • distortion: 5.00
  • flare control: 4.54
  • overall: 4.79
Dyxum.com - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania