The Minolta 50mm 1.7 almost makes me feel stupid for buying a modern AF lens

Started Mar 7, 2016 | Discussions thread
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SimonV Regular Member • Posts: 284
The Minolta 50mm 1.7 almost makes me feel stupid for buying a modern AF lens
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Sorry for the sensationalist title, but that's what I'm currently feeling. I recently got a Sony A7 and a Sony FE 35mm 2.8, and decided to try out some older manual lenses too since the full frame mirrorless is so handy for that. I got a Minolta MD 50mm 1.7 for about 50 bucks, and at first it was pretty much what I expected, not so sharp at 1.7, felt pretty much like the other cheap end legacy lenses I've tried; fun and sometimes cool characteristics, but often trumped by modern high-ish end lenses, at least in some areas.

Today I went out and took some first shots in decent daylight, and I'm honestly surprised by the sharpness of the lens. At 1.7 you can get some decent shots sharpness-wise, but at 2.8 it's very sharp indeed. While the Sony FE 35 is very sharp too, the autofocus with the A7 is often so slow it often feels like I could get the same shot in focus in the same time with the Minolta.

Now, of course the Sony is 35mm and that's the focal length I want, but the quality produced by the Minolta just makes it feel slightly silly to pay 10x the price for a modern lens that you'd assume would be vastly better 20-30 years later. Of course there are other factors too, and coming from the Sigma 35mm 1.4 I feel more critical than before :). Too bad you can't find faster legacy 35mm's as cheaply :).

Now, these are sharpened a bit in post, but demonstrate the sharpness regardless since you can't sharpen what isn't there in the first place.

Minolta MD 50mm 1.7@2.8

Minolta MD 50mm 1.7@2.8

Sony a7
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