Sony SEL-1855 VS Minolta Rokkor MC 50mm 1.4

Started Mar 10, 2011 | Discussions
kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Sony SEL-1855 VS Minolta Rokkor MC 50mm 1.4

Hello,

Here's the first step to the comparison of the NEX SEL-1855 kit lens VS my "new" Minolta Rokkor MC 50mm 1.4.

The purpose is to compare sharpness at different apertures, in 5 zones of the image : center, top right, bottom right, bottom left, top left.

I'd also like to compare the color rendering, the bokeh, distortion and CA, but I'll need some new equipment. A tripod is the first on the list. My NEX was on a pile of books, I must admit it was a real pain trying to keep the same framing. I had to zoom the kit lens to 55mm, don't know if it's caused by the MD adapter.
I took a map of a MMORPG I played some time ago : Age of Conan.

Methodology :

  • M mode

  • ISO : 200

  • WB : Incandescent

  • Creative mode : Std

  • DRO Off

  • All RAW shots

  • Minimal RAW processing in Camera RAW : No sharpness, chroma, lens correction at all. The only treatment is an auto-exposition setting, to make the comparison easier

  • Took 3 shots of each aperture and kept the sharpest one

  • Reset of the manual or auto focus at each single shot

  • Focus on the center of the image (flexible spot or MF assist 14X)

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Center Crops

Here are the 1:1 Crops.
Center
Minolta-Rokkor-50-f1.4-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.4-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.8-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f3.5-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4.5-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f5.6-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f8-Center.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f11-Center.jpg

SEL-1855-f5.6-Center.jpg

SEL-1855-f8-Center.jpg

SEL-1855-f11-Center.jpg

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Top Right Crops

Top Right
Minolta-Rokkor-50-f1.4-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.4-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.8-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f3.5-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4.5-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f5.6-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f8-TopRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f11-TopRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f5.6-TopRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f8-TopRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f11-TopRight.jpg

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Bottom Right Crops

Bottom Right
Minolta-Rokkor-50-f1.4-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.4-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.8-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f3.5-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4.5-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f5.6-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f8-BottomRight.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f11-BottomRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f5.6-BottomRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f8-BottomRight.jpg

SEL-1855-f11-BottomRight.jpg

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Bottom Left Crops

Bottom Left
Minolta-Rokkor-50-f1.4-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.4-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.8-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f3.5-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4.5-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f5.6-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f8-BottomLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f11-BottomLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f5.6-BottomLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f8-BottomLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f11-BottomLeft.jpg

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Top Left Crops

Top Left
Minolta-Rokkor-50-f1.4-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.4-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f2.8-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f3.5-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f4.5-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f5.6-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f8-TopLeft.jpg

Minolta-Rokkor-50-f11-TopLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f5.6-TopLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f8-TopLeft.jpg

SEL-1855-f11-TopLeft.jpg

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Conclusions

Sorry for the very long posts, this should not be the ideal way to compare, I'll try to improve that.
My first conclusions are :

  • The rokkor is not sharp at f1.4, improves a lot at f2, is really good at 2.8 and is sharpest at 5.6

  • The rokkor is nearly as sharp in the corners

  • The kit lens is sharpest at f8 but both f5.6 and f11 do well

  • The kit lens is rather sharp at the center but not as sharp in the corners

You can find all the original files in this gallery :

1855

What's your opinion ?
Don't hesitate to comment and criticize.

boardsy Senior Member • Posts: 2,215
Re: Conclusions

Wow, exhaustive sharpness tests, thanks!

Pity you can't shoot the kit lens wide open at longer focal lengths. Are there good reasons for this - i.e. does it become prohibitively difficult and/or costly to make the lens performant at longer lengths wide open?

Alan

Mark_McD Senior Member • Posts: 1,759
Re: Conclusions

boardsy wrote:

Wow, exhaustive sharpness tests, thanks!

Pity you can't shoot the kit lens wide open at longer focal lengths. Are there good reasons for this - i.e. does it become prohibitively difficult and/or costly to make the lens performant at longer lengths wide open?

Alan

I'm not sure what you mean... you can shoot the kit lens wide open at longer focal lengths. it just happens that the wide open is 5.6

I'm guessing you mean you'd rather the kit lens to be a faster lens. Most zoom lenses aren't very fast, part of it is by design part of it is cost/weight.

the focal length range and speed of the nex kit zoom (SEL1855) is pretty standard among cameras for kit lenses. (you'll find deviations on other crop factor kits like mFT to accomplish similar EFL)

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cybersri Regular Member • Posts: 238
Re: Conclusions

Nice comparison... I have MD 50mm 1.7 and happy with the performance for the price. But thinking about switching to takumar because i heard SMC version got better flare control and sharpness. I wonder what is the best 50mm under 100 bucks??

Jinxt Regular Member • Posts: 270
Re: Conclusions

Definitely a most exhaustive test! Great work!

I'm not sure I see the purpose to compare two completely different lenses though. One's a partial zoom kit with a F/3.5-5.6 while the other is a fast prime.

OP kaktusss Regular Member • Posts: 417
Re: Conclusions

Thanks for your comments.

As I said in an earlier post, the purpose is not to bash the kit lens, but to see if these old manual prime lenses can bring sharpness where the kit lens doesn't : below 5.6.

I hesitated a lot before buying my rokkor so I thought it could help people (mostly beginners like me who want to know what a cheap prime can bring) decide if it suits their needs.

I can now say that even with the manual focus, extra size and weight, this lens is worth every $ with my particular usual need : a fast, sharp, low light portrait lens. It has given me the extra creative touch I needed. The kit lens has showed great sharpness in the center, is very light, rather compact and versatile but I'll certainly change it by a 50mm prime e-mount lens if it is released, one day.

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