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I started experimenting with manual lenses back in the winter of this year. My motivations then, were because I was cheap; I didn’t want to spend $2000 dollars per camera lens.
The first lens I purchased was a Minolta 50mm F1.4 (49mm filter size). I paid $35 dollars for it in excellent condition.
My first impression of this lens was that it took horrible pictures. After a time, I concluded that the lack of picture quality was from the Metabones adapter I was using. I swapped the Metabones for a Novoflex, and was pleased with the result.
I believe now, my Minolta 50mm F1.4, under bright light conditions, takes as good or better pictures than my $800 EF 35mm F1.2. The lens renders a different type of look to it, much like an old film camera, only much, much, sharper.
Now I own a Minolta 28mm, 50mm, 135mm, 200mm, and a 100mm~300mm zoom. My camera is a Sony A7r. My experience so far has been there is a commonality among these lenses, in that the first 2 apertures and the last 2 apertures won’t consistently produce quality pictures. You can get a very shallow depth of focus at low F numbers, sort of art type photograph, it you work at it hard enough at it, but nothing I would consider consistent. At F5.6 through F11 however, are the lens sweet spots. At F8, every Minolta lenses I own will produce wonderful “old school” looking photographs.
Minolta MD Rokkor 50 mm_DSC1045 by jgaster, on Flickr
Edited on Jul 13, 2014 at 03:14 PM · View previous versions