Minolta MD 50mm f/1.7 vs. f/1.4

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Tony-S, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Just picked up a free Minolta X-700 with a 35-70 zoom on it. It looks like it needs an MD series lens for priority auto exposure. Can anyone tell me the functional differences between the f/1.7 and f/1.4 lenses? I'm a Canon guy, so I know why their FD f/1.4 is much better than the f/1.8.
     
  2. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    In the Minolta lineup, they are both sharp lenses. Occasionally you will even see a f1.7 that edges out a f1.4 version for sharpness, they are that close. However, the bokeh is noticeably better on the f1.4 to my eyes. Take a look at Antony's lens tests at www.rokkorfiles.com and check out his 50mm shootout.
    Also, you don't "need" an MD lens, what you're referring to will usually work with all the lenses. My favorite series was the MD RokkorX though. The more advanced MD coatings, with the build quality of the all metal MC series - best of both worlds! ;-)
     
  3. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Thanks for that info. The manual seems to suggest that the MD lens gives both program and aperture priority, while the MC lens only gives aperture priority. Is this an incorrect assessment?
     
  4. jochen

    jochen Member

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    The MD-lenses had a modified aperture operating system with a linear and exact relation between the operating way and the f-stop and a faster closing of the aperture blades. This was necessary for the first multi-automat SLR, the XD-7 (XD-11) and the following generation of XD, X- and XG-cameras.
     
  5. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    The 1.4 will give slightly less DOF when focused close and will give you a vastly increased price tag. The only reason to buy a 1.4 is to have the ability to say that you have a 1.4.
     
  6. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The other tangible, is that the 1.7 is while almost as fast as the 1.4, it is not as heavy, so you are more tempted to keep it and the x700 with you every day in your day bag.

    I have shot an x-700 (actually a few different ones) since they were first introduced, and find that I use P mode very rarely. I find A suits my style much more readily. Manual metering in the x-700 kind of sucks. For a much more pleasant metering and selected speed though the viewfinder indicators, look to find a close relative, the X-570.

    As others have noted, unless P is the needed mode, older MC and Roccor-X lenses work fine. They are, being all metal, quite a bit heavier too.
     
  7. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Well, like I say, I don't know much about the Minolta's but with Canon's FD 50mm lenses, the f/1.4 has 6 elements vs. 5 in the f/1.8 and it has an 8-blade aperture vs. 5 blades in the f/1.8. The f/1.4 lens is substantially better in terms of its optical qualities.
     
  8. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    No, the MC supports aperture priority and the MD supports both aperture and shutter priority, as well a program.
     
  9. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    What's the difference between Rokkor and Rokkor X?
     
  10. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I think that assuming that in the event that every example of these lenses performed exactly the same when they were manufactured after twenty odd years use and abuse in some cases, who knows if each example will give the same results.
     
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  11. Aristophanes

    Aristophanes Member

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    IIRC it was Japan and not Japan for intended market respectively.
     
  12. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    Sorry Tony but this is incorrect, the Canon FD 50mm f1.8 lens has six elements in five groups the FD 50 mm f1.4 lens has seven elements in six groups.
     
  13. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Yes, that's right. My quick glance at MIR wasn't long enough!
     
  14. Katie

    Katie Subscriber

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    Rokkor = Japan
    Rokkor X = USA

    I have the 50 1.2 and must say it is quite a stellar little lens. I use it on my Minoltas as well as on my Canon 1V with an adapter. I HIGHLY recommend the Rokkor line of lenses - I have the 24 2.8, the 50 1.2, the 85 1.7, the 135 2.8, and some zooms that aren't that great, but work fine in the event I have to use them. I have heard that the 1.4 is as good as the 1.2 other than the DOF is not as dramatic. 1.2 is RAZOR thin and I only use it on non-living or TOTALLY still things.
     
  15. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member

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    Ok, a couple more. What are PF and Celtic?
     
  16. Jedidiah Smith

    Jedidiah Smith Member

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    PF was the older lenses; they are going to be heavy, all metal, not quite as good coatings as the modern MD lenses, but there are some good "cult classic" ones like the 58mm and such that of course some people swear by. :wink: Celtic was the "cheaper lineup" - I'd avoid those unless a real steal, because the used market what it is these days, you can get a regular "non Celtic" version for pennies on the dollar.
     
  17. thicktheo

    thicktheo Subscriber

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    ...you can get the Minolta MD 50mm/f1.4 quite cheap if you are a bit patient - I bought mine here on APUG for 30$ (plus postage). For such a price, it's a steal.