Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I – vintage manual lens test and review (55mm filter thread)

  • Official classification: MD
  • Collector’s classification: MD I

This is the first Minolta MD series lens with 50mm focal distance and the second 50 mm lens in the whole Minolta SLR career – for SR-mount cameras. This note about SR-mount is required because there were three 50mm lenses by Minolta for LTM (1947-1958?) – all three have been reviewed on this site, so, this article is about one of the famous SLR fifty in the world – the great Rokkor MD of the first generation.

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MDI + Sony A

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I – specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index94
Name engraved on lensMD ROKKOR(-X)
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]1.4
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]7
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.45/1.5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64×40
Weight[g]245
Year1977
StyleMD I
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.2521-1xx (-3xx)

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh
Reviewed lens SN:3196170

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I lens exterior:

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • 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

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

 

Scene preview

Test results

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

(Information for perfectionists: yes, the horizon line is tilted in the photo – this is because of the need to have key points in the photographs in the special places for different tests of different lenses)

Test results

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Additionally, one extra sample on F2.8 for better understanding the dynamic of coma aberrations changes:

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test#1:

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.45m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

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

Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.45m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test#2:

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Other resources with reviews:

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 MD I – final conclusion

Have you ever seen a bad fifty from Minolta? I haven’t. And this MDI 50/1.4 isn’t an exclusion.

The lens has enough resolution for portraits even wide-open, becomes great on F2.0, ready for landscapes from F4, and absolutely sharp over the whole frame on F5.6. It provides creme bokeh and light bubbles with contrast borders, this bokeh can be described as ‘classic’ – beauty and predictable without any pronounced features.

So, a photographer doesn’t need to spend any time researching the character of this lens – anyone can start to taken photos without any training – this Rokkor works as standard fifty with beautiful rendering and standard sharpness distribution over the frame. The lens isn’t rare for today and can be purchased for a reasonable price on auctions. Of course, it works fine with any digital mirrorless cameras, and with autofocus adapters too. Minolta has produced five 50mm F1.4 lenses for SR mount, and all of them got enough similar IQ, so, if you got this Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 then you don’t need to search for something another on this focal distance among other SLR-lenses.


4 Comments

Sebastián · 2021-02-07 at 22:46

Great work! I love this lens.. fungus included, but i like this “fifty”. On mft camera, it’s perfect for portrait s

    Tony · 2021-02-08 at 12:28

    Thanks! And I agree – this lens is worth every cent paid for ))

Osyotr · 2021-07-26 at 14:01

God, I love this bubbles at f1.4! Pity these lenses are relatively rare in CIS.
Spasibo for the review!

    Tony · 2021-07-26 at 20:00

    You are welcome )) BTW: all Minolta-s 50/1.4 can provide close the same pictures so there is no need to hunt for MD-I – all other (MC-X, MD-II, MD-III) are OK too

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