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

reviewer#6080 date: Sep-18-2009
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 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I used to own this lens
compared to:- Sony 100mm f/2.8 Macro
- Minolta 50mm f/1.7
- Minolta 28-70mm f/2.8 G
- Sony Carl Zeiss 24-70mm f/2.8 Vario-Sonnar T*
- Sony Carl Zeiss 85mm f/1.4 Planar T*
price paid:
positive:- 1:1 macro
- very sharp straight from f/2.8, across the frame
- very high contrast
- very nice bokeh
- circular aperture blades
- useful focus limiter
- useful focus hold button
- small and light
negative:- build is very decent but not great, more like a 4.5
- lack of lens hood
- need to get really close for 1:1 macro
comment:This is probably (one of) the sharpest lens(es) Minolta ever made. Its sharpness, straight from wide-open aperture and across the whole frame, is on par with the highly-appraised Sony Zeiss 85/1.4 stopped down to f/2-2.8, or the Minolta 50/1.7 stopped down to f/4.

I sometime use it as a casual walk-around/portrait lens. The focus limiter, when engaged, really makes a difference in its AF speed. I also found the focus hold button useful from time to time. Portability is great too, it easily fits in my pocket.

Note you have to get really, really *CLOSE* to your target in order to do macros near 1:1. For flowers and many still objects this may not be an issue, but for insects and others you'll be better served with a 90/100mm or 180/200mm macro lens.

Build could be better and there's no lens hood for it (most people probably don't need one b/c the recessed front element).

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
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