Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 – review

Published by Tony on

Yashica Lens ML 50mm 1:1.4 lens review, aka Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4. Made by Yashica.

Mount – Contax/Yashica (C/Y)

Another one fast and standard Japanese lens – which seems to be quite famous.

The lens for the test was provided by Egor Nikolaev (Егор Николаев) – many thanks and greetings.

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 specifications

Name engraved on the lensYashica Lens ML
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]1.4
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]7
Lens design [gr.]6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]52
Lens Shade
closefocus[m]0.5
Length [mm]53.5
Weight[g]298
StyleYashica ML
Notes 

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number8
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:A1013988

Historical note

I myself know very little about these lenses, so there are no historical and tech notes in the review (maybe later). Only specs, tests, and conclusions.

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 lens exterior

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 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

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 sharpness - close distance

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

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 sharpness - far distance

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test #1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on minimal distance on the scale (0.5m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1.0m

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance of 0.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1.0m

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.4 – final conclusion

This lens has everything you can find on a standard fast fifty – Fairly weak sharpness in the corners and sides – even if the aperture is F2.8. Severe vignetting at open aperture. There are also geometric distortions. There is also a noticeable coma, with a butterfly even at F2.0. And of course – a chromatic aberration.

Do not think that I am scolding this lens. Nothing like this. It’s just better to know about the shortcomings in advance. This helps when photographing.

So, it is not hard to find a super-fast (1:1.4) 50mm lens that will shoot better than this one – I think that some fifties that have been tested on this site may be better, but the difference can be called insignificant. I’m going to publish a few comparisons soon, check the search if you are interested in them.

The main: it looks great, it is made of steel and glass, it fits nicely in the hand. Just listen to how its name sounds: YAAAAA!-SHIIIII!!-CAAAAA!!!

Verdict: it is not a champion, but if you got it, then use it without a doubt.


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