Konica Minolta 50mm f/1.4 AF
(From Konica Minolta lens literature) This lens is designed to closely duplicate the natural angle of the human eye. The versatility, wide-angle coverage, and unmatched cost performance makes this one of the most popular lenses used.
Konica Minolta 50mm f/1.4 AF User Reviews
9 out of 10 points and recommended by vortecguy (1 reviews)Low F, lowlight, almost no Chromatic Aberrationfixed focal length, lens hood is SHORT
I used to use this lens on a Minolta SLR cameras, then started using a Sony A350 and now a Sony A55, this lens is the one I go back to ALWAYS for lowlight and clear corner to corner images.reviewed April 18th, 2011 (purchased for $40)
If you are taking photos with your camera for reproductions ( paintings, art, etc ) this is the lens to use, for portraits this is also a great short range lens with short focal length to make the subject pop!!! LOVE IT!!!
8 out of 10 points and recommended by touristguy87 (33 reviews)a decent $300 primevery very very limited-use
This looks remarkably like the Sony 50mm F1.4 that I bought and tried on a 5D, and returned, so maybe this is at least halfway-legitimate.reviewed August 1st, 2008 (purchased for $300)
I just wanted to say that light flare of the type mentioned here is pretty common, the lens that I tried had it at first, pretty bad, until I took the UV filter off the lens and then it went away.
This is not a bad lens but it suffers from the same problem as all primes. This is a decent prime. I can't comment on the build quality, to me it is "plastic body" and looks nice but easily scuffed and the coatings seem adequate, the lens is definitely clear with good color and low distortion. I doubt that it is all that great of a value at the $300 retail price that I paid for one...unless you were to compare it to the $1200 prime which it could be, I guess.
I could see carrying one of these in my pocket for those portrait/museum shots, especially on a KM/Sony camera with body IS. That's about all that it would be good for, but a generic zoom will have way too much distortion at wide-angle for museum shooting and need to be stopped-down to F8 to match the sharpness of this lens at F4. On the other hand you could shoot it at a moderate focal-length to minimize distortion, and then the only problem would be the 2 stops of speed lost to excess DOF...given a *great* body or good light this is not a problem, and I think that in general primes are really going the way of film for this reason. They are really of use only when the shooter needs either a very-short DOF with decent center-sharpness (because the lens is not going to be sharp across the frame even at F2) or the absolute minimum of distortion at a fixed, moderate focal-length. That's, like, "orthogonal" to my usual needs, but I can see the utility of this lens. It would be fun to shoot landscapes with it and see just what it would take to match the overall IQ with a decent zoom lens. But it would never be as stable as a shorter lens in low light, or give me the FOV, longer shots and tighter crops that I now take for granted with a good superzoom.
Given the price, size and scope of this lens, as a prime in and of primes, it's a good deal. If a prime makes sense, a decent $300 F1.4 prime makes a *lot* of sense. It is not going to be legendary either for its sharpness near wide-open, or for the hit on your credit-card balance. The resale value of a $300 lens, I wouldn't worry about too much. Last but not least as the front element is recessed pretty far down into the lens, it's not all that easy to scratch but still it could be done. But hey if it *does* get scratched, it's a $300 lens and now that Sony has picked up the line it's about as generic a prime as they come. No problem. Definitely a good second-lens.
Actually apparently now the thing to do is to read on the Internet and find an old prime, like a KM Hexanon prime, and adapt it to fit your camera, so if you don't mind MF and you want a good prime really cheap there is quite a market for them on eBay. Definitely worth looking into if you like primes.
10 out of 10 points and recommended by KM5D (2 reviews)Fast. lightweight, tack sharp, good build, portable, fast focus.none
Hi, I am writing this review as I think an injustice has occurred by the review that is first on the list. This especially because there is only one other reviewer who had problems with his Minolta 50 F1.4 autofocus and down rated it.reviewed April 12th, 2008
I have used my copy of the 50mm F1.4 for 25 years as I purchased it when the first Maxxum came out with the crossed xxs. It is and has always been my favored lens either with film or the APS digital sensors.
I find that it is tack sharp and is in fact the sharpest lens that I have and equals the two 50mm F2.8 macros (one the old Minolta and the other the new Sony) at the same aperture and at same distances. I have had the 28mm F2.0, 28-135 F4.0-4.5 (which is basically a G lens but was produced before the G designation was first used). I also have the beer can 70-210 F4.0. In addition I have three 50mm 1.7 (picked up on ebay with oil and repaired with help from Peter Gantz and the pbase site). And I have a sigma 18-200, 75-300 APO, and several smaller zooms. So when I say that it is the sharpest lens that I have that is compared to the others above.
It gives beautiful bokeh and at 1.4, where it is centrally tack sharp, everything outside of what you are focused on is nicely blurred. A lot of people don’t understand lenses well and state that this or that lens is soft at 1.4 and downrate it for that. But in fact all lenses are softer at 1.4 or wide opened than they are stopped down two to 4 stop where performance is maximal. So the comparison should be which manufacturers lens is softest at 1.4. Nikon, Canon, Pentax, and Olympus also have the same softness and even more than the Minolta. Every site that I have been to that has done formal testing (like photodo.com as well as several others) routinely rate the Minolta 1.4 above both the Nikon and Canon varieties. Even this site rates the Sony 1.4 very high. And the coatings on the Sony 1.4 appear to be the very same as on the older Minolta models – I have personally looked at that and see no differences in the colors of relative intensities of the reflections by looking into the front and rear of both lens.
The reason that the prior reviewer did not like the lens was because of flare wide open with a strong light – such as street lights. I have tried taking pictures in this mode and see only barely visible images of the lights 180 degrees away. But once again any lens this fast and wide open is prone to this aberration as well as the fact that some sensors may accentuate this.
So my rating of the lens is a 10, but that takes into consideration the alternative lenses available as well as the stopped down performance. I feel you have to compare apples to apples. And you can’t derate a lens because the performance at 1.4 is not as good as at F5.6 as that is a given fact with any wide – fast lens.
Another consideration, in regard to the old Minolta and new Sony version is that the Minolta’s exterior is all beautifully finished metal and the Sony has this soft rubbery stuff and is partly plastic. As some of you know this coating deteriorates in time and the lens will look terrible. The older version is a better value in my humble opinion as 100 years from now the case of the lens will look the same as it does today. I feel the rubber coatings on the Sony stuff will have peeled, flaked, and fallen apart in ten to fifteen years. Then see what the resale value becomes.
And lastly, I have used this lens frequently and hard over the past 25 years. I must have more than 25,000 shutter actuations on it and it has never given me the slightest hint of a problem. Nothing else speaks as well for its reliability and endurance. You will not be disappointed with this lens either for the APS or full frame sensors to come.
I hope this review was helpful to you. If you agree and have used this lens please write a review giving your accurate appraisal.
7 out of 10 points and not recommended by EridanMan (1 reviews)Small, light, fast75mm eq not so useful on 1.5x crop, flare.
The 50 1.4 was one of the first lenses that I purchased for my 7D... (the other two being the Tamron 28-75 2.8 and the Sigma 70-200)...reviewed December 4th, 2005
And it is also one of my least used.
That is not to say that it is in any way, shape or form a bad lens. Its small form factor is very useful for social situations (less 'intimidation factor'), it is very fast...
The problem with the 50/1.4, Imho, is two fold.
First... the natural versatility of the the 50mm is really lost in a 1.5x camera... on the 7D, it becomes a 75/1.4... still a very respectable lense- but for portraits, not general-purpose... So its the perfect low-light portrait lense, right?
Not so fast, because the other problem with the 50/1.4 is, at least my copy (Type I), is flare... not so much veiling flare, but point flare of light sources in your image are VERY prominent... any light fixtures or point lights (landscape or indoor) are rendered in almost perfect detail 180 degrees away from the image's center in ghostly green... this makes the lense practically worthless for any type of night shooting (unless you go to great lengths to keep any form of light source out of your image)... Perhaps its just the coatings on my older copy have worn out - but its really sad - the fastest lense in my bag is worthless for the type of night shooting that fast lenses are good for...
So whats left? portraits? Yes, indeed its a good bright portrait lens- but then what's the point of the F1.4? In fact, my Tamron 28-75 F2.8 is every bit as sharp throughout its entire range, gives me more portrait flexibility, and since the 50/1.4 is near worthless at night - the added speed isn't even an advantage...
This is not to say, in any way that the 50/1.4 is a _bad_ lense... in fact, it has spectacular image quality, and with very careful framing can take wonderful low-light images wide open... My biggest problem is that, while it is a wonderful optic, its few downsides are such that they cancel out all of its advantages, leaving a lense that spends far too much time in my camera bag and not on my camera...
In short - a great peice of glass...
But save your money - buy elsewhere.
For General Purpose Prime:
Sigma 24/2.8 - cheaper, same size, better FOV, no flare
Anything 36/1.8 - 50mm eq
Minolta 36/1.4 G
Tamron 28-75/2.8 - More versatile, better in low light (because it doesn't flare).
Minolta 85/1.4 G - Better Portrait length, better image quality.