The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro

Started Dec 25, 2013 | Discussions
kotmj
Regular MemberPosts: 271
Like?
The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
Dec 25, 2013

I can't believe they made such things in the 80's. I took shots at 2.8, 3.5, 5.6 and 8, at infinity of a distant forested hill. I then pixel peeped them. I could not tell the difference between a 2.8 and a 5.6, even at the edge of the frame (Sony A55, crop sensor). Stopping down makes no difference to the imaging performance.

I then compared it to the Pentax Super-Takumar 55/1.8. The Minolta 50 is sharper at 2.8 than the Takumar at 5.6. Far sharper. At 2.8, the Minolta mops the floor with the Takumar.

Sony SLT-A55
If you believe there are incorrect tags, please send us this post using our feedback form.
kotmj
Regular MemberPosts: 271
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to kotmj, Dec 25, 2013

The lens probably has amazing MTF diagram curves, even at the 40lp/mm level. Distortion, as you'd expect of a macro lens, is essentially nil.

The only real weakness of the lens is colour fringing in very high contrast edges and in the OOF highlights (bokeh colour fringing).

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Ralf B
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,323Gear list
Like?
Greenish tint in 2nd pic
In reply to kotmj, Dec 25, 2013

kotmj wrote:

Your other thread on the on-sophisticated colors has no sample pics yet.

I downloaded your second pic which has a greenish tint on my calibrated monitor, and did a one-click fix on the white balance with apple aperture:

How about the colors in this edited version?

And looking at the result, I also bumped exposure up a bit and did an auto levels to get a bit more pop into the pic which appears mute by the exposure chosen:

Enough pop now?

Cheers,

Ralf

 Ralf B's gear list:Ralf B's gear list
Sony Alpha DSLR-A900 Sony Alpha DSLR-A700 Sony SLT-A55 Sony 16-35mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* Sony 24-70mm F2.8 ZA SSM Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* +13 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Wally626
Senior MemberPosts: 1,852
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to kotmj, Dec 25, 2013

kotmj wrote:

I can't believe they made such things in the 80's. I took shots at 2.8, 3.5, 5.6 and 8, at infinity of a distant forested hill. I then pixel peeped them. I could not tell the difference between a 2.8 and a 5.6, even at the edge of the frame (Sony A55, crop sensor). Stopping down makes no difference to the imaging performance.

I then compared it to the Pentax Super-Takumar 55/1.8. The Minolta 50 is sharper at 2.8 than the Takumar at 5.6. Far sharper. At 2.8, the Minolta mops the floor with the Takumar.

pics deleted

I think you will find it performs much better across the board then the Minolta 50 f/1.7 as well. It has a few things that give it an advantage. Designing a lens with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 eliminates some of the issues required to make it two stops faster, those compromises exist even after the lens is stopped down. Second the Minolta was a more expensive lens, most of this cost is due to the more complex lens structure needed for macro corrections, but also allows for better quality control and other aspects of construction that make for a good lens. Third is that the super-takumar is an older generation of lens and was not as good a quality as the latter takumar lenses. (I think I got that right, my knowledge of Pentax lenses is lacking) Finally the super-takumar has to be adapted to the A55 and that can lead to corner issues, see Roger's blog posts at Lens Rental for more information on that factor.

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/09/there-is-no-free-lunch-episode-763-lens-adapters

http://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2013/12/sony-a7r-a-rising-tide-lifts-all-the-boats

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
havoc315
Senior MemberPosts: 1,794Gear list
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to kotmj, Dec 25, 2013

Since I upgraded to the a99, my Minolta 50/2.8 macro has become my main lens, on the camera by default.
Agreed, it is amazingly sharp. Other than a little vignetting wide open, it's flawless.

Supposedly the Minolta 100 macro is even better. I'm very tempted to get one, except I don't really need it. ( don't need it for macro and already have good 85 and 135 primes ).

 havoc315's gear list:havoc315's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Owen
Senior MemberPosts: 2,176
Like?
Mop the floor?
In reply to havoc315, Dec 25, 2013

I love my Minolta macro. I would never use it to mop the floor though............

Owen

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dlkeller
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,391
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to havoc315, Dec 26, 2013

I'm not sure the 100 macro is any better except that the longer FL is preferred by many as they can use a longer distance from the object--especially nice for things such as insects.  I love my 50/2.8 macro.

-- hide signature --

Dave

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
thebustos
Senior MemberPosts: 2,134Gear list
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to kotmj, Dec 26, 2013

Does anybody have a comment as to how this compares to the newer Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro? And before I forget which Minolta 50mm Macro is this (there are three at f/2.8)?
--
Good luck and happy shooting!

 thebustos's gear list:thebustos's gear list
Sony SLT-A77 Sony DT 35mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 50mm F1.8 SAM Sony DT 30mm F2.8 Macro SAM Sony DT 16-50mm F2.8 SSM +9 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
kotmj
Regular MemberPosts: 271
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to havoc315, Dec 26, 2013

Yeah, I know, Ken Rockwell calls the 100/2.8 "optical perfection" or somesorts.

I have all the macro function I need with the 50/2.8, and I doubt if I had the 100/2.8 it would see much use at all.

Besides, stopping down the 50/2.8 only very marginally improves imaging performance (crop sensor), so any improvement the 100/2.8 would bring is fairly irrelevant.

So yeah, I don't need the 100/2.8

But I want it the way one might want a piece of art. Just for the pleasure of owning it.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
havoc315
Senior MemberPosts: 1,794Gear list
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to thebustos, Dec 26, 2013

There is a Minolta 3.5 aperture macro-- put that was aside.

There are 2 Minolta 50/2.8 macros. I believe they are optically the same. I own the RS version which includes a useful focus limiter switch. And I'm pretty sure the Sony version is still optically the same as well.

 havoc315's gear list:havoc315's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Renato1
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,324Gear list
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to kotmj, Dec 26, 2013

I bought a beat up old Minolta 50mm Macro lens some years ago. When I got it in the mail I thought I'd been dudded. But it worked and still works beautifully. Much easier to use than the 100mm Macro.
Reading the comments here made me wonder if it works differently in macro mode with a teleconverter attached? Will adding a 2X teleconverter make it as difficult to use as the 100mm? Must give it a try in the next week.
Cheers,
Renato

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
havoc315
Senior MemberPosts: 1,794Gear list
Like?
as a landscape lens...
In reply to kotmj, Dec 26, 2013

A couple landscapes I took with this lens and the A99 yesterday.

One reason I'm hesitant to spend so much on the Zeiss 24-70.....    Obviously have a variable focal length would be nice, but would the Zeiss 24-70 produce any better IQ than these images right here?  Even totally pixel peeping, they are incredibly sharp.

 havoc315's gear list:havoc315's gear list
Sony RX100 Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-85mm F3.5-4.5G ED VR +2 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
clarkt
Contributing MemberPosts: 695
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to thebustos, Dec 26, 2013

thebustos wrote:

Does anybody have a comment as to how this compares to the newer Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro? And before I forget which Minolta 50mm Macro is this (there are three at f/2.8)?
--
Good luck and happy shooting!

Yes. I use both the Min 50 and Sony 50 macros on my a700. As far as sharpness goes, I have not noticed any diff between the Minolta and Sony versions. The Minolta macro has noticeably warmer colors than the Sony, but exhibits some 'color noise' (for lack of a better word) when compared to the Sony version. In fact, I find that all my Minolta lenses have this subtle speckled effect on my digital camera. But after all, they were not originally designed for digital and I do notice it.

Here is a collection of rose pics I took, hand-held, using the Minolta 50/2.8, and you can see the colors are fabulous:

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/rosegarden

And some other botanicals with the Minolta lens:

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v29/p1028345292-5.jpg

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/img/s11/v31/p676310333-5.jpg

http://cthompson.zenfolio.com/img/s1/v20/p739144929-5.jpg

I also have the Sony 100/2.8 macro. In my opinion it delivers superior IQ over the Minolta and Sony 50mm macro lenses. But due to MFD you just can get as close to your subject, obviously.

-- hide signature --

-=C
http://cthompson.zenfolio.com
"The wind blows over the surface of the lake. In this way, the effects of the invisible are made visible." … I Ching

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
sybersitizen
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,857
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to thebustos, Dec 26, 2013

thebustos wrote:

Does anybody have a comment as to how this compares to the newer Sony 50mm f/2.8 Macro?

All three Minolta 50/2.8s and the Sony 50/2.8 have the same optical design... but the diaphragm shape is different in later versions, and so are the focusing methods and support for focus hold and ADI, and so are the coatings. The newest coatings help minimize the inherent sensor reflections, but probably won't completely eliminate them.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
HansB951
Junior MemberPosts: 36Gear list
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to havoc315, Dec 26, 2013

I own both, but always end up using the 50. Just lovely.
--
Hans

 HansB951's gear list:HansB951's gear list
Sony SLT-A77
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dlkeller
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,391
Like?
Re: The fabulous Minolta 50/2.8 macro
In reply to Renato1, Dec 27, 2013

It won't focus as quickly due to loss of light and you also get a significant decrease in optical quality with the 2X.

-- hide signature --

Dave

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads