Minolta AF 50mm F3.5 Macro A-mount lens review by QuietOC

reviewer#20410 date: Nov-5-2015
sharpness: 4.5
color: 5
build: 5
distortion: 5
flare control: 4
overall: 4.7
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:Sony DT 30 F2.8 Macro SAM
Sony A 50 F2.8 Macro
Minolta AF 50 F2.8 Macro RS
Minolta Macro Rokkor-X 50 F3.5
Tamron SP 60 F2 Macro
Sigma EX 70 F2.8 DG Macro
Tamron SP 90 F2.5 Macro
Minolta AF 100 F2.8 Macro RS
Vivitar 135 F2.8 Close Focusing
price paid:37 USD (used)
positive:Nice smooth bokeh
Very sharp wide-open to the corners on a 2X TC
Decent rubber focus ring
Curved aperture blades
Flat focus plane
Very little CA
55 mm filter size
negative:f/3.5
1:2 (0.5x)
Inaccurate AF
Poor at 1:1 using extensions.
comment:I purchased two of these a couple of years apart. The first wasn't very sharp, but I liked the rendering. I cleaned some crud off of the front element of the second copy. This lens was $200 when released in 1994 just over $100 cheaper than the 50/2.8. Cosmetically it matches the other RS series lenses. It uses a different optical formula (5/5 vs 6/4) than the older, manual focus Minolta 50mm F3.5 1:2 Macro lenses dating from 1961. This is the simplest A-mount lens in terms of actual parts. "JAPAN"

The larger body is used to accommodate a deep fixed hood. The working distance is fairly large because of the fairly low 1:2 maximum reproduction ratio.

The field-of-view is slightly narrower than the faster Minolta 50's and significantly narrower than the APS-C 50's. The field-of-view is just slightly wider than the long end of the 18-55 SAM II.

This lens is sharper than the old MD 50 F3.5. As far as I know there is no matched extension for 1:1 like there was for MD lens. The 50 F2.8 RS has much more CA even stopped down.

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 62
  • sharpness: 4.94
  • color: 4.97
  • build: 4.63
  • distortion: 4.95
  • flare control: 4.71
  • overall: 4.84
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