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Minolta 50mm f/1.7 AF Lens Review

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Make sure to check out our impression the Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D camera for additional images from this lens.


A 50mm lens is a pretty standard, yet generally high quality optic for a camera system. This Minolta 50mm f/1.7 was made for the film era and we will look and see if it can still be a contender in the digital world!


We have high hopes as we have used other lenses from other manufacturers in similar situations and have found more diamonds than we expected!


All images were processed from RAW in Lightroom Classic




Not a pancake and then again, not a huge lens either. I feel like this is a standard sized fast 50mm prime lens size.


It is not very heavy, but the build feels good. Metal construction and a rubber pad on the bottom of the lens barrel to aid in getting a positive grip for mounting and unmounting.







Weather Sealed

My guess is not, but you never can tell how some of these legacy lenses were built. In my short time with this lens it has been out in temps ranging from 40F down to 26F with no issues. Light rain…no problems. A dunk or downpour…probably would not risk it.



Image Quality

So here is what most want to know. Yes, this is a sharp lens. Is it the sharpest? Probably not – but it is more than usable wide open at f/1.7 much to my surprise. I expected it to be a little soft, perhaps have some blooming to it. That was not the case. Even the bokeh is pleasant


Colors and contrast are there and I like it very much. If you like the less clinical sharpness and rendering, this is a good lens for you. It is good where it needs to be and gives you a nice film-leaning output.


If you want a quality 50mm optic in a-mount with good center sharpness – here you go. Even on the Maxxum 7D – 6mp CCD sensor – you’ve got good stuff going on here!





Focus is competent on this lens. Fast and confident when using the middle AF point. Failings in auto focus are going to be with the camera here more so than the lenses. The aperture is fast enough to give you the light it needs to focus. The early versions of digital SLR hold it back in some areas.


It is not something that should surprise you. Repeating vertical lines, low contrast or solid color areas will give the AF system some issues. Knowing this, you can easily work around it.


The focus motor makes noise, but not a lot and it is geared for quickness. I feel it does well.




This lens has no VR built into it. The a-mount cameras have an ani-shake (AS) system that handles this.



Bottom Line

What more is there to say other than that this is a quality, legacy film/early digital standard fast prime lens. It focus’ fast and is sharp wide open. If you have a camera that can focus it using the screw drive or an adapter that includes the screw drive -you have a winner here.


Bottom Line = Highly Recommend!










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I shoot Nikon, Olympus, and Fujifilm

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