Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 – vintage manual lens test and review

  • Official classification: New-MD
  • Collector’s classification: MD III

This is one of the most common lenses from Minolta. Not so famous as faster sisters 50/1.4 or 50/1.2 that is why it is a very cheap for today, but at the same time – absolutely wonderful fifty that will never let you down and works wonderful, like any other Minolta’s 50mm.

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 + X700

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 (MD III, New-MD) specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index102
Name engraved on lensMD
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]1,7
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]6
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]49
Lens Shadeclip-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×36
Weight[g]165
Year1981
StyleMD III
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.2520-800
Floating elementsNO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies100%
Reviewed lens SN:9117464

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 exterior

Mounted on Minolta X-700

This is a very suitable set – the camera and lens have the same design (1981 released)

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 lens shade:

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance:10% longer than minimal focus distance marked on the lens
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions)

Test results (full version – all 9 positions)

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 0.45m, plants are in 2m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Light bubbles bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 0.5m), diodes were fixed in 2m distance

Other resources with tests and reviews

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.7 (or Minolta MD 50mm F/1.7, New-MD, MD III design) – overall conclusion

Everything what were said about MD 50mmF1.4 can be applied to this fifty. Both lenses work quite the same. Reviewed 50mm 1:1.7 has a little less sharpness but the difference too small to find it on real pictures, only “head to head” comparisons can give you a chance to see such micro difference. Even more – this lens has an advantage in the corners, and it can be important in some cases. If you need to save a few yens for 50mm Minolta lens – buy this 50/1.7 instead of 50/1.4 and don’t care – nobody can differ real photos from this lens and from MD 50/1.4. Just one thing – if you planned to seriously play with bokeh and thin DOF, then you should prefer the faster model.


6 Comments

Pim · 2018-04-06 at 19:46

Thanks for all the very clear information and examples! I’m going to buy an adapter with auto-focus like you suggested!

    Tony · 2018-04-07 at 10:56

    Thank you too. I recommend to read it – http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/1452716/0 – actually, Techart PRO isn’t ideal product and in combination with SLR-lenses it doesn’t work so great as original autofocused lenses, but anyway it helps a lot, especially on thin DOF. Just need to get a bit more practice

Putin · 2020-05-23 at 18:30

I own this lens. But in high contrast condition or backlit , photos have chromatic aberrations especially in bokeh photos. This lens is in good condition, good coating. Why?

Howie Dewing · 2021-05-14 at 22:06

This was my first Rokkor-X lens, coupled with my first 35mm SLR, an SR-T 201. A really good lens, useful in a variety of situations. A friend gave me a Nikomat FT with a phenomenal Nikkor f/1.4 lens. Compared with the warmth of the Rokkor, shots from the Nikkor were every bit as sharp, but cold and clinical. Plus those old Nikkor lenses were pains to mount with those “rabbit ear” lugs (“the 5.6 shuffle”). Thank God Minolta designed their SR mount correctly from the start. I now have three of the best nifty fifties out there, an MC Rokkor-PF f/1.4 and two f/1.2 lenses, an MD I and an MD III, but that f/1.7 is still a fine lens and will always be missed.

    Tony · 2021-05-16 at 16:39

    You have a wonderful set. Congratulations. As for 50/1.7, it is quite common and cheap, it can be acquired just because of nostalgia ))

Mohammad varzideh · 2021-08-14 at 12:29

Good review and really good lens . This lens is awesome .

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