Thoughts on A7 with the Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 legacy manual lens

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Joe Przybylski
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Thoughts on A7 with the Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 legacy manual lens
5 months ago

In a nutshell I love this combo.

I purchased the A7 kit with 30-70mm lens. I don't mind the lens. But the thing is just so big it annoys me. I wanted something smaller and I've been dying to try an adapter with legacy glass ever since I tried out the Sony NEX 5 when it was released but never did.

So - I went on eBay and did a search for some manual 50mm lenses. I found an inexpensive ($26) Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 and decided that was the lens I'd try. I then went to Amazon and found a well-reviewed adapter (Fotosy Pro Minolta > Nex Emount adapter).

I received them in the mail and did some test shots. While I am not blown away by the sharpness of the lens in any respect (although it rivals and in some cases beats the 30-70mm kit) I am blown away by the ease of use of Manual lenses on A7's.

When I first started shooting with SLR's I was very fond of manual focus/aperture and - although I've become used to how most DSLR's implement focus/aperture I always missed the feel and responsiveness of having these functions on the lens. But I was worried about focus accuracy.

I was a little worried about how this would work on the A7 - I literally had no idea if aperture would behave and be changeable, or how focus would work. Would I be able to use any camera functions beyond the shutter release?

Well Sony's implementation of manual focusing with peaking is just amazing. And aperture, focus, ISO, everything - they all work and they work surprisingly well.

The low-light capabilities of the A7 coupled with the f1.7 of the Minolta lens are exhilarating to me!!!

I took some test shots yesterday and, while I could probably have gotten away with stopping the lens down to 2.8 or higher to test sharpness - I was just floored by the silky smooth bokeh of the f1.7.

Here are some test shots. I highly recommend the A7 and if you can find a good condition used version - also the Minolta MD 50mm f1.7 lens.

Shots below taken in VERY low light (just small night lights) handheld, with no OSS (since it's not available on the lens)

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