Auto Yashinon-DX 50/1.4

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Travis Butler
Travis Butler Senior Member • Posts: 1,412
Auto Yashinon-DX 50/1.4

I have a soft spot for Yashica, so when I found this at a sale... I couldn't say no, could I?

It's a beautiful lens. Focus damping is a bit heavy but very smooth; combined with the long focus throw, it feels like a deliberate choice in the service of fine-detailed focus adjustments. Aperture ring clicks softly but has very little play. From a mechanical and build quality standpoint, it's a top-tier lens.

And I have to admit, I like the way it looks.

Unfortunately, I'm not as impressed with the images it makes. As someone noted here a little while ago, it's fairly low contrast:

E-M1 II, Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50/1.4

E-M1 II, Yashinon-DX 50/1.4

(The good news is that RAW images from it do respond well to contrast boosting in PP.)

Yashinon-DX 50/1.4

It does appear pleasingly crisp close-in with the contrast boosted, although soft (or missed the focus) at 100%. Unfortunately, the minimum focus distance is a good 10-15cm longer than most of my 50mms, which makes it harder for close work.

Does decently at range, but not enough to really grab me. (Is it just me, or does the tree remind anyone else of pics of the savannah?)

Rendering's nice, but it doesn't really grab me more than some of the other fast 50s.

Color's not bad, though!

The bokeh on the background tree might be interesting if I could find the right situation, but not really helpful here.

Overall... like I said, I have a soft spot for Yashicas, it's beautifully built, and it looks nice; mechanically, I think it's superior to the MC Rokkor I compared it to, though just a little. It's capable of taking pics I like. But so far, I just haven't found anything that makes it stand out above my other 50s - and while the Yashinon takes nice enough pics, it can't match some others that are also mechanically nice. So it's probably going to wait until I can find another good opportunity to try and find some unique qualities.

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 Travis Butler's gear list:Travis Butler's gear list
Fujifilm X20 Nikon Coolpix A Pentax Q Pentax K-50 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 +18 more
Olympus E-M1
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