Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9 – review

Published by Tony on

Yashica Lens ML 50mm 1:1.9 lens review, aka Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9. Made by Yashica.

Mount – Contax/Yashica (C/Y)

A standard lens with a twist from a famous company. Let’s see what it is capable of.

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

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9 specifications

Name engraved on the lensYashica Lens ML
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]1.9
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]6
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]52
Lens Shade
closefocus[m]0.5
Diameter x length [mm]61 x 32
Weight[g]157
Year
StyleYashica ML
Notes 

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:A4010038643

Historical note

Sorry, 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 1:1.9 lens exterior

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9 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 1:1.9 - sharpness on a portrait 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 1:1.9 - sharpness on infinity

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9 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 (X.Xm), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on X.Xm

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance X.Xm, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on X.Xm

Yashica ML 50mm 1:1.9 – final conclusion

This lens may not be the fastest or the sharpest, but that’s okay, because – this is a rare case of a lens capable of swirly bokeh with very good sharpness. To clarify, the sharpness of this lens is quite common, it is somewhere in the middle of the ratings among all possible fifties, but for the swirly bokeh developer, this is a very good result.

So, dear fans to shoot something that is not in the focus area – you should at least try this lens. Of course, it is not very iron, not huge and not from Soviet Union (joke), but suddenly you will like it.

What about other traits – nothing special. The lens has a hard vignetting on wide opened aperture, it needs to be closed up to F4-5.6 for the correct distribution of sharpness over the frame. And it has noticeable geometric distortion, it looks strange, since, for example, on Minolta MD 50mm F2 (MD III), such distortions are generally invisible. I even think this lens looks a little overrated. Not much, but the prices for them are still slightly higher than for others with similar characteristics.

According to the test results, this lens can hardly be called universal. It is best suited for playing with bokeh, and for more ‘in details’ photography, it is better to take something another.


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