Thursday, June 11, 2015

Sony Diaries #777: Minolta: Still amazing after all these years!

I stumbled across this forum extolling the virtues of Minolta lenses as used on Sony mirrorless cameras.
MINOLTA MC/MD on Mirrorless
Interesting experience I had yesterday with my cheapie Minolta 50f1.7. Manufactured at least 25 years ago, this lens is a third the size and a quarter the weight of any 50f1.4 made in the last 4 years.
I was shooting an event after hours last night using this Minolta 50f1.7, @f2 all night. I bought this for $50 (check craigslist and they're available all the time for $60-90) and I knew it was a bit soft on the edges. No biggie for people shots. After looking at the photos after the event, I noticed that the soft spots moved all over different spots on several files and that on some images such as the one below, 
the focus point was missed, instead of the eyes, it was on the flowers. Again, no biggie and with some sharpening, mostly for the web, even I wouldn't  notice the difference.
Then I looked at the lens: all 4 screws on the lens mounting plate were loose!! 
So I tightened these (a dab of clear nail polish will seal it) and now the lens is sharp throughout, all the time. The focus is now consistently accurate.
 Check out the edge-to-edge sharpness on this lens @f2!!! $50!!!
If there is a moral to this story, it is that if reality doesn't match what you have in mind, you may have a screw(s) loose.

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