Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Started Jul 13, 2014 | Discussions
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Dkaplan74 Regular Member • Posts: 124
Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Has anyone used this combo and what are your conclusions. I am finding I am getting sharp images in good light (outdoor daylight), but indoors under lower light it is hard to get a sharp picture without pumping the ISO which can get a bit noisy. Is the problem that the lens just isn't that sharp? I love manual focusing. Would I have better results w a Voigtlander or Zeiss M mount? Thanks!!

narenek
narenek Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

I'm guessing you had the lens wide open the lower light shots. most lenses with this high an F stop tend to be a little soft wide open and this one is no exception. So unless you spend big bucks it's not so much a characteristic of that lens but that particular type of lens.

Of the minolta 50mm lenses probably the f2 is the best for sharpness wide open.

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shaolin95
shaolin95 Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

narenek wrote:

I'm guessing you had the lens wide open the lower light shots. most lenses with this high an F stop tend to be a little soft wide open and this one is no exception. So unless you spend big bucks it's not so much a characteristic of that lens but that particular type of lens.

Of the minolta 50mm lenses probably the f2 is the best for sharpness wide open.

Of all the 50mms I have tried they indeed softy wide open. My Canon FD50mm 1.4 has been the sharpest, less glowy so far. The rokkor at 2.0 becomes much sharper for sure. I had a Hexanon 50mm 1.4 that was basically an "artistic rendition" when at 1.4

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 16,906
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
2

Would be interesting to see this one on a Sony.  I use the 50f1.7 on my Fuji gear and love the results.  Of course the DOF would be shallower on the Sony.....this is what I get from the Minolta

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The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 16,906
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

shaolin95 wrote:

narenek wrote:

I'm guessing you had the lens wide open the lower light shots. most lenses with this high an F stop tend to be a little soft wide open and this one is no exception. So unless you spend big bucks it's not so much a characteristic of that lens but that particular type of lens.

Of the minolta 50mm lenses probably the f2 is the best for sharpness wide open.

Of all the 50mms I have tried they indeed softy wide open. My Canon FD50mm 1.4 has been the sharpest, less glowy so far. The rokkor at 2.0 becomes much sharper for sure. I had a Hexanon 50mm 1.4 that was basically an "artistic rendition" when at 1.4

How does the Konica Hexanon 1.4 compare to the 1.7 I currently use on my Konica T3n?

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Dkaplan74 OP Regular Member • Posts: 124
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

I'm guessing the Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 would be much sharper, but at that price might as well get the Zeiss 50mm 1.8.

The Davinator
The Davinator Forum Pro • Posts: 16,906
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Dkaplan74 wrote:

I'm guessing the Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 would be much sharper, but at that price might as well get the Zeiss 50mm 1.8.

Can the Nokton f1.1 be adapted to Sony?  I've never checked.

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Brian_Smith
Brian_Smith Senior Member • Posts: 2,551
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
1

Dave Luttmann wrote:

Dkaplan74 wrote:

I'm guessing the Voigtlander 50mm 1.5 would be much sharper, but at that price might as well get the Zeiss 50mm 1.8.

Can the Nokton f1.1 be adapted to Sony? I've never checked.

Yes Dave, I've been using that combination - it works particularly well with the Voigtlander VM-E Close Focus Adapter.

It's a great "speed lens" so it's a good choice for extremely shallow depth of field - but in terms of sharpness, it's doesn't come close to the sharpness of the FE 55/1.8.

shaolin95
shaolin95 Senior Member • Posts: 1,889
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Dave Luttmann wrote:

shaolin95 wrote:

narenek wrote:

I'm guessing you had the lens wide open the lower light shots. most lenses with this high an F stop tend to be a little soft wide open and this one is no exception. So unless you spend big bucks it's not so much a characteristic of that lens but that particular type of lens.

Of the minolta 50mm lenses probably the f2 is the best for sharpness wide open.

Of all the 50mms I have tried they indeed softy wide open. My Canon FD50mm 1.4 has been the sharpest, less glowy so far. The rokkor at 2.0 becomes much sharper for sure. I had a Hexanon 50mm 1.4 that was basically an "artistic rendition" when at 1.4

How does the Konica Hexanon 1.4 compare to the 1.7 I currently use on my Konica T3n?

I sold the Konica and kept the 1.4 Rokkor and also preferred a Pentax 1.7 over the Konica to be honest. While my copy looked brand new (box and lens was mint), it may have been a not so good copy..who knows.

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Scrollop Regular Member • Posts: 113
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Hmmm, I find it quite sharp wide open. I use focus peaking with creative setting on BW with sharpness +3 to help it along.

Great lens. Lovely colours.

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ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 3,982
Probably camera shake

Dkaplan74 wrote:

Has anyone used this combo and what are your conclusions. I am finding I am getting sharp images in good light (outdoor daylight), but indoors under lower light it is hard to get a sharp picture without pumping the ISO which can get a bit noisy. Is the problem that the lens just isn't that sharp? I love manual focusing. Would I have better results w a Voigtlander or Zeiss M mount? Thanks!!

Obviously, lenses don't get more or less sharp when you change ISO. Remember the 1/FocalLength seconds slowest shutter speed rule? I suspect that you're using too slow a shutter speed and getting a tiny bit of camera shake. Note that the 1/FocalLength rule was back in the days of film, and film didn't resolve 24MP like your A7 does, so you probably need a little higher speed to make the shake go away. 50mm would say 1/50s, and Sony cameras tend to use 1/60s for many things, but a little faster speed would be wise. For the A7R's higher resolution, or if you've been operating a vibrating power tool recently (not kidding; this can cause measurably more shake for a day or longer), push the shutter speed higher still. Alternatively, if you don't mind JPEG capture, use one of the multi-shot modes -- they aren't quite as good at removing camera shake as the sensor-movement in A-mount bodies, but they definitely help (and can help remove subject motion too, which sensor movement can't).

One more note: comparably fast lenses with shorter focal lengths don't need as high a shutter speed. Neither do lenses with OSS. The speed difference between even an f/1 and f/1.4 is just one stop, so the exotic ultra-fast lenses would only make a difference in borderline cases... and maybe not even then, because there are other issues that make the exposure difference between f/1 and f/1.4 less than you'd expect. In fact, in terms of minimizing camera shake in poor light, the 50mm f/1.8 with OSS is really hard to beat... probably need an f/0.6 or so to match it without OSS. (Although OSS does nothing to reduce subject motion blur.)

There's also the issue that with avery thin DoF, if you're slow focusing, by the time you actually click the shutter the subject may have moved just enough to be a touch out of focus. The only fixes are practice, AF, or stop down a little. Actually, a trick called "trap focus" can solve this too, but Sony E-mount bodies don't directly support trap focus.

Anyway, I find my Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 to be sharp enough wide open on my A7. Heck, it's even ok on my NEX-7. Yes, it has some glow -- most fast 50s do wide open, because they deliberately undercorrected SA a bit to improve bokeh rendering. The glow doesn't really hurt resolution, but does lower contrast, so boosting contrast a little is a reasonable fix if you see that as a problem.

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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 21,797
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

I don't like this lens, it has a lot of flair and is soft, but maybe it's too old and has a lot of micro-scratches.

Jefenator
Jefenator Senior Member • Posts: 2,078
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Most of the old 50mm 1.4 lenses I've tried are a bit soft and hazy wide open but much, much better when stopped down to f/2, so I usually use that setting unless light is extremely low.

A 1.4 stopped down to f/2 usually performs better than my old 1-cam Leica Summicron-R wide open.

I did recently acquire a Minolta MD 50/2 which does pretty darn well, wide open. Better than the old Summicron-R (which I hate to say because I paid about 15x more for the 'cron). I haven't had time to test it directly against a stopped down faster lens yet, but I'd say it is fully acceptable - very pleasant surprise from a lens that is light, almost pancake small and cost only $25. 

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Lightshow
Lightshow Veteran Member • Posts: 4,568
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

Has anyone used this combo and what are your conclusions. I am finding I am getting sharp images in good light (outdoor daylight), but indoors under lower light it is hard to get a sharp picture without pumping the ISO which can get a bit noisy. Is the problem that the lens just isn't that sharp? I love manual focusing. Would I have better results w a Voigtlander or Zeiss M mount? Thanks!!

Without seeing some pictures it's all just a guess at what the issue is.
Low light is typically harder to get sharper shots, with my NEX-7 noise obscured detail in the EVF and it was difficult to judge where the plane of focus was, my A7r is much improved.
If you are looking for a sharp lens to manual focus, look for a Topcor RE 58/1.8
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captura Forum Pro • Posts: 21,797
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
1

Jefenator wrote:

Most of the old 50mm 1.4 lenses I've tried are a bit soft and hazy wide open but much, much better when stopped down to f/2, so I usually use that setting unless light is extremely low.

A 1.4 stopped down to f/2 usually performs better than my old 1-cam Leica Summicron-R wide open.

I did recently acquire a Minolta MD 50/2 which does pretty darn well, wide open. Better than the old Summicron-R (which I hate to say because I paid about 15x more for the 'cron). I haven't had time to test it directly against a stopped down faster lens yet, but I'd say it is fully acceptable - very pleasant surprise from a lens that is light, almost pancake small and cost only $25.

Congrats! I've been saying the same about my MD 50 /2.0 for years. It is sharp right from f2, wide open. Very compact, well-made with modern coatings; it has good flare protection, warm colors and nice bokeh.

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,575
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

I have both MD Rokkor 1.4 and 1.7. And I also felt that the 1.7 is sharper when used in-door. I actually did multiple tests in-door and found that the 1.7 consistently gives better contrast (at common F-stops 2.8 and 4.0). Even F1.7 appears better than F2.0 (of the F1.4). The camera was resting on my table and shutter fried with a timer so camera shake is not an issue.

Maybe I have a lemon (nothing visible to me). But outdoor, the 1.4 seems to be better. I don't know how to explain it.

Taken with NEX-3N. So image is cropped:

MD Rokkor F1.4 @ 1.4

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jtr27 Contributing Member • Posts: 861
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
1

I have the later Minolta MD 50mm F1.4 (no Rokkor in the name), and love it.  I agree with a prior poster that slow shutter speed may be an issue when using indoors.

123Mike Senior Member • Posts: 4,643
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
1

According to this:

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/new-and-old-camera-lenses-by-yuri-stangrit/comparisons-and-reviews/several-50mm-prime-lenses-comparison/

The MC Rokkor-PG is the cream of the crop. The MD one appears needing much harder stopping down and even then it runs behind.

Have you tried the crop plastic fantastic 35/1.8 lens on it yet? It covers almost full frame. Edges and corners aren't hot then, but the center is *quite* sharp. It's quite the surprise given the price of the lens is just barely over $100 these days.

I don't have a full frame camera, but instead I've used that with a focal reducer ($100 Roxsen A-mount to E-mount). The auto focusing on that lens isn't great though...

joe6pack Senior Member • Posts: 1,575
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4

123Mike wrote:

According to this:

http://natalispalette.jimdo.com/new-and-old-camera-lenses-by-yuri-stangrit/comparisons-and-reviews/several-50mm-prime-lenses-comparison/

The MC Rokkor-PG is the cream of the crop. The MD one appears needing much harder stopping down and even then it runs behind.

I'm not sure the tests are done right. The result for MD rokkor appeared less sharp at 4.0 than 2.8. It is certainly not my experience.

Also, it says for the 1.4 test:

"There are three fast prime lenses: Olympus OM-System Zuiko Auto-S 50 mm f/1.4, Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 50mm f/1.4, Minolta MD Rokkor 50 mm f/1.4. In terms of sharpness they showed almost identical results. However, if you look closely, the picture of the Minolta MD Rokkor 50 mm f/1.4 looks somewhat better: a little more contrast, perhaps due to more modern antireflection coating."

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Joe Przybylski
Joe Przybylski Regular Member • Posts: 110
Re: Sony A7 w Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1.4
1

I have the 50mm 1.4 with the A7 and I love it. All of the shots below are wide open but I find if I stop it down a little I get amazing results. The only time I use the kit lens is if I need faster autofocus when I don't want to "think" but other than that it's the lens that stays on my camera most of the time.

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