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January 5, 2013

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review Using the Sony Nex-6 and RainbowImaging Lens Adapter

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

In this relatively quick review of the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens, I use the Sony Nex-6 with a RaindbowImaging lens adapter, and put the lens through a serious real world photography workout!! The Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens is an old School, high quality, and fully manual lens from back in early 80’s that I purchased on Ebay for $34.00 + shipping = ~$45.00. Killer deal to say the least, and Ebay is loaded with these types of older fully manual lenses from back in the film days.

I’ve only been able to use the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens for about a week now because I just got the RainbowImaging MD to Nex Lens Adapter for Christmas. Since I got the adapter however, I have only taken the lens off once or twice and continue to be amazed that I only paid ~$45.00 US.

I’ve taken about 2-300 pics so far with the Nex-6 and Minolta 50mm lens combo, and shot exclusively Raw using Focus Peaking to help with the manual focusing. More detailed info on Focus peaking with the Nex-6 over Here>>

 

Minolta MD Build Quality

Minolta MD Old School lenses are in another league of build quality compared to what we see today. They are heavier, beefier, simpler, and engineering excellence in my opinion. The fact that this lens is so old and it still works flawlessly is a sure sign of a well made product. It also means it was well maintained and not left in a garage somewhere for years.

The MD 50mm f/2 lens has 6 aperture blades inside which makes for a hexagon shape when visible in the bokeh as you will see shortly.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens

The dampening on the focus ring is silky smooth and there is a locking switch for the aperture @ f/22.  The aperture ring also clicks at each stop letting you work blindly if you count. I got a really good well maintained lens here clearly!!

I plan on getting many more Minolta MD Lenses just to let you know. In fact, I just won an auction for the Minolta 58mm rokkor f/1.4 lens!! Guess how much??

 

RaindbowImaging Lens Adapter

Here is the RaindbowImaging lens adapter I used to attach the Minolta MD lens to my Sony Nex-6 E-Mount camera body. Michele purchased the very affordable lens adapter at Amazon >> for me.

RainbowImaging MD to Nex lens Adapter

RainbowImaging MD to Nex lens Adapter

 

Real World Sample Photos!!

As I said above in the into, the fully manual Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens is an absolute blast to use on the Sony Nex-6 thanks to the Focus Peaking feature!! It makes manual focusing cake, and I could not stop taking pictures of stuff in total newbie amazement ;)

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2

All these photos were taken in Raw Quality and process in adobe Lightroom 4. Most of the photos are right off the camera as you will see the slight noise in the 100% crops and the color may not be 100% accurate. Other photos I did process a bit further using sharpening, clarity, vignette, and some BW conversions. Video Tutorial on Developing Sony Raw Files in Lightroom 4 Here >>

Minutes after opening the RainbowImaging Lens Adapter during gift time, I took this photo of Layla using the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2, 1/60sec, ISO 2500, Nex-6, RAW, handheld.

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the full size 1200px version!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo – 100% Crop

Chubs keeping an eye on things ;)

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo

 

Layla got her first Camera from Santa and was checking it out with love in her eyes!!! She was in the middle of eating a cookies and cream snack though when she got distracted by the camera. Got Milk?? Now remember, I was manually focusing during this quick series of three photos, and using the focus peaking feature on the Sony Nex-6 for the assist.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Sample Photo

 

Some delicious Christmas Day dinner at my Parents house.

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the full size 1200px version!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Christmas Dinner – Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

Ham was killer!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens REview

Christmas Dinner – Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

Cocktails were spotted!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

Desert is always my favorite part of the meal :)

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens review

Christmas Desert – Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens review

Christmas Desert – Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens w/ Nex-6

 

Here’s a few photos taken outside starting with some trees that looked photogenic.

Minotlta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the full size 1200px version!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2 – 100% Crop

Seconds after the “up the tree’ photo above, I took this photo of my wife Michele who was patiently waiting in the car for me with Layla :) Just look how awesome that bokeh looks on the back car!! I had the camera just behind the car about 4 inch’s out from the side which produced this perspective.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

I took this photo of the shed from the back of the car as well. Dynamic range was really high!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2 – 100% Crop Top Left

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2 – 100% Crop

 

I also took a swing by my new favorite gas pump and snapped a few test shots. The optics and lens coatings really work well keep the fringing under control in the high contrast areas!

Be sure to Click on the Photos for the full size 1200px version!!

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

 

Here’s a street scene from a few days ago that I decided to convert to Sepia with two 100% crops so you can see the incredible detail this lens and camera combo produces.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

Same scene from a slightly different angle and @ f/2.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

 

This next scene I just took Thursday towards the end of the day. The Sun was looking brilliant and I figured why not see how the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens handles it?? That is a farm in the distance conveniently ;)

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4
Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/4

The Nex-6 sensor is incredibility as you can see by the detail retention in the Sun scene above, but the Minolta MD lens also hols up quite well!! Some rainbow glaring on the right side, but really not to bad and I expected worse.

 

Bokeh Test Photos

Here you will see the 6 aperture blades I mention earlier.  First showing off wide open f/2 which produces a perfect circle as the aperture blades are completely retracted.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2

Check out the 6 sides.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2.8

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/4

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/8

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/22at f/2

 

A few more test shots of three Hersey’s kisses on the table about 6 inches spaced apart front to back. A lamp is in the top right of the scene making that big blob of light.

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2.8

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 lens @ f/2

 

Vignette @ f/2 – Wide Open

Check out this out of focus shot of my work pants with the aperture set to the wide open position of f/2 where the vignette shadowing is most noticeable. The vignette is easily fixable if necessary in Lightroom 4.

Minotlta MD 50mm f/2 Lens Review

Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens – Vignette @ f/2

 

Closing Remarks

I highly recommend the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens for anybody in the market for a 50mm lens and a compatible camera. It’s very sharp corner to corner, really well engineered and built, and the value for dollar ratio is off the charts in my opinion!!  Especially if you have a Sony Nex camera with Focus Peaking!! Other mirrorless cameras will also be able to use this lens with the correct adapter.

Note: It’s important to remember that these types of lenses are old, and used, so you need to be cautious. Look carefully at the photos and read the item description line by line!! Is it some guy who found a box of dirty lenses at a garage sale and just put them up on Ebay?? You can tell by the photos if they are legit pics. Read the description carefully and ask the seller questions to make sure everything works ect.. Believe me, it’s easy to get excited and bid on a lens and then notice it says fungus or aperture is tight, focus gets stuck, things like that.

The RainbowImaging Lens adapter was extremely affordable at ~$20 when I received it, but it has since dropped even lower in price to ~$16 now on Amazon >>

Photography wise I love this lens. Full manual is great on the Nex-6 and I personally enjoy turning the dials and manual focusing. It adds another dimension/ challenge to the Photography which I thoroughly enjoy. It might sound nutz to be going backwards in technology with the old school fully manual lenses, but that is the beauty of the Sony Nex camera system. So versatile you can get all in one lenses, native E-Mount High Quality Primes with OSS, Mount a LA-EA2 lens Adapter and  use any A-Mount lens with PDAF, or get a passive adapter like I did and save yourself some cash and have a blast ;)

Tell me you don’t want to get a few of these lenses now for fun at the very least??

Be sure to check out the links below for a few of the hottest Old School Lens Auctions on Ebay including the Minolta MD 50mm f/2 Lens reviewed in this article!!

Also, be sure to check out the Ultimate Lens and Lens Adapter Combos Guide >>

Catch up with you later and please feel free to ask questions, comments, ect..

Jay

Recommended High Quality Old School Lenses on Ebay


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Thanks,
Jay

 

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About the Author

Jay
Hello, I'm the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;) Google+ | Twitter | RSS-feed | Email Updates!!




61 Comments


  1. Article very complete, i want to try a minolta lense on my SLT 77 now ! Great photos!


  2. Alf

    Looks great Jay.
    I especially like the bokeh on that lens.
    Also the lens seems nice and compact.


    • Jay

      Alf,

      Thanks for the comments and I totally agree about the bokeh!! It’s actually less desirable these days, because most lenses have more aperture blades to make the bokeh round. It is also really compact and relatively light weight, because it’s the MD model which has more plastic parts than the older MC model. The really old MC Minolta lenses were all metal and weighed a lot more.

      Thanks again,
      Jay


  3. Florian

    Hi Jay,

    I got an old photo equipment from my father last week. Something like this http://artaphot.ch/sr-system-slrs/316-minolta-sr-t , including an 58mm f1.4, an 35mm f1.8 and an 135mm f.3.5. I bought an adaptor at amazon for short money and tried these lenses on my NEX-6. I was not really pleased with the result, till I read your article here. I forgot to turn the menu to AdobeRGB. I turned this function 5 minutes ago and I shot some test photos and was surprised.
    Is this menu point such as important for using these lenses?

    Tomorrow on sunday I will go for a walk an shoot photos because it’s night here in Germany. I was just in bed reading your article and had to stand up for trying this out.

    Greets from Germany

    Florian


    • Jay

      Florian,

      Thanks for checking in and the questions!! Your English is amazing by the way ;) Better than mine probably!!

      In reference to your questions, No it really should not matter that much overall. It does change the range of color reproduction, but I think it only matters when your shooting Jpeg. I could be wrong about that though. Here is an article on ColorSpaces that explains why in detail AdobeRGB is better for color reproduction: RGB Working Spaces >>

      How the Nex-6 uses this color space should really only matter as it pertains to the jpeg image though I’m almost positive.

      Thanks again for checking in and be sure to let me know how you make out with the pics!! should be night time by you now?

      Best,
      Jay


  4. Simon

    Great Article

    After using a Minolta 50mm f1.4 I now want a wide angle, I find sometimes in tight situations I’m a little close with a 50 (75mm) and would like to have something a little wider. I read that the Minolta 24mm is amazing but these are expensive still and rare, so I guess a 28mm would be my next choice. Unless you can think of an alternative. I would like to try and stick with Minolta glass so I don’t have to keep buying adapters.

    Kind Regards
    Simon


    • Jay

      Hi Simon and Thanks!!

      We are both in the same boat my friend :) I was also looking at the 24mm f/2.8 Minolta’s in frustration at the high value they seem to retain. I’m honestly still looking around, but the 40mm looks nice as does the 28mm lenses.

      If your willing to get another adapter, the Canon FD 24mm f/2.8 lens is pretty reasonable on price!

      And don’t forget the 24mm Olympus OM lenses are really nice as well with some good deals on Ebay as well.

      I’m still not sure what I’m going to get, but probably one of the three discussed here for sure!! I would like to replace my f/2 with a f/1.4 version like yours also ;)

      I hope that helps and please let me know how you make out or if you find something cool I might have missed!! Plus, I’m always interested in looking at lenses.

      Best,
      Jay


      • Simon

        How funny I bought my 2yr old daughter the same camera you pictured with your daughter. Great minds think alike?

        I must admit when I found the funny face mode on the v-tech camera she couldn’t get it off me. lol


      • Jay

        That is awesome Simon ;) and yes, Great minds think a like!! That funny face mode is pretty cool, I just tried it!

        Thanks for sharing,
        Jay


    • Old SR mount Minolta lenses are wonderful and for the most part very cheap. I have the 28/2.8, 45/2, 50/1.4, 135/3.5 and 200/3.5 (I use them both on a film SRT body and NEX-5) and the most I paid for those was around 30€ for the 50/1.4. The others were cheaper than that! There are a few exceptions to this rule though, especially the 24/2.8 and 28/2 which consitently go for something in the neighbourhood of 150€. I think part of the reason for this is the internet hype around those few “special” lenses and part of it is their actual higher value. Becuase the cheap 28/2.8 really isn’t top class. It’s nice, but definately not above average nice. It’s a little soft, it lacks contrast and doesn’t do well against strong light. I can’t be sure as I haven’t ever had one, but I’m quite certain the 24/2.8 must be better. If it’s really worth 10x more, I don’t know…


      • Jay

        Hello Miram,

        Thanks for the comments and sharing your Old School lens line-up!! I have looked at the SR Mount Minolta’s and the only thing that turned me away was the age. The build quality is certainly on point though and I just found a 50mm f/1.4 SR mount for $75 US!! I think the demand is going up every day for these old lenses!! Especially with fools like myself writing articles about it ;)

        Thanks again for the info!!

        Jay


      • That’s certainly true. Just a couple of years ago you could get almost any lens in any of the abandoned mounts (with few exceptions) for literally less than $10. Now with m4/3 and NEX around the prices are climbing the ladder to the sky.

        But you have the power to change that. Just tell the world in your next reviews how impossibly bad these lenses are and that nobody in their right mind should ever think about trying to use them on their digital cameras! :D


      • Jay

        Yeah, I did think about not writing the article and then was like, screw that!! :)

        Jay


  5. Jason

    Hi Jay,

    I have been shooting with an older Oly OM-50/1.4 with my Rainbow Imaging adapter for the last few weeks and loving it. Maybe I will compare this lens with my Pentax FA50/1.4 with adapter and post some side by sides for you soon.


  6. Valter Kabas

    Hi!
    Is there any difference in picture quality between the minolta and sony lenses?
    I have an old minolta 50mm 1.7. Is the sony 50mm 1.8 better than this? Do you recommend minolta lenses instead of sony( the same version)?
    I use sony alpha a57.
    Thanks and sorry for my english(I’m from Brazil).


    • Jay

      That is a tough call Valter. I have only tested a few lenses total so I really can’t say with certainty which is better. The build quality of the older lenses is better in my opinion, but the autofocus technology and muti-coated glass elements might be different. The old lenses are also a lot heavier which you need to consider.

      For a DSLR I personally would rather go with the newer Sony lenses. The A57 is more for sports and stuff than the Nex camera system thanks to the translucent mirror and super fast PDAF autofocus abilities.

      I hope that helps, It really is a tuff call, but AF is always nice to have if you can afford it ;)

      Jay


  7. Shane

    Hi Jay,

    I stumbled onto your website and I love it. Thanks for putting such a great product out there for us to enjoy.

    I’m relatively new to photography and just got my first “real” camera in the fall, a NEX f3. Thanks to your review (and a couple others I found) I snagged myself one of these beauties from Ebay for $30 and am really excited to try it out. My dad is a former professional photographer (probably from the time that this lens was sold) and seems pretty excited to show me some manual focus techniques. Now, I just have to figure out how to use it effectively. I really want to be able to take shots of my kids with it so I hope I can pull it off.

    Lastly, I was just wondering what other old lens makes you would recommend for the NEX system. I’ll be looking at getting a couple more Minolta lenses once I get used to the 50mm f2, and might start with the 70-210 or something along those lines.

    Shane


    • Jay

      Hi Shane,

      Thanks for the comments and kind words about the website ;) I think your looking in the right place at the lenses. I just picked up the 58ff f/1.4 and it’s stuck wide-op at f/1.4 but it’s awesome otherwise!! The 70-210 “beer Can” is also a great value with the f/4 constant aperture. Manual focus is not easy with moving subjects though, even with the Focus Peaking feature. Kids are really hard is why I’m mentioning it. I managed to get a few pics of Layla when she was standing still, but it was still hard to nail the eyes.

      There are a lot of old school lenses worth looking at on Ebay and I have the links above towards the end of the article. Canon FD lenses are supposedly great, and they are cheap on Ebay!!

      I currently want to get a Minolta 24mm f/2.8, 28mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4, and a possible the 70-210mm f/4. I also want to get I also see a 200mm f/3.5 sometimes that would be fun as well as a few 100mm macro and 50mm macro lenses. What kind of photography are you most interested in??

      Best,
      Jay


      • Shane

        Thanks for the great suggestions Jay, I’ll take a look at the FD lenses as well. I guess the thing to be weary about is having too many adapters for too many different mounts… but maybe that doesn’t matter. My dad just picked up a 500mm f8 (Tokina, I think) from his local pawn shop. It’ll be 750mm on the Nex so I can’t wait to try it out. He actually found someone trying to sell the same one for $450 on Ebay.

        I think I’m most drawn to candid shots and nature-type (both landscape and macro) photography. I guess it’ll take a bit more playing around and testing different scenarios before I really figure out what I enjoy shooting most. I assume that that’ll ultimately determine which lenses I choose down the road.

        Shane


      • Jay

        Shane,

        I think that is a wise choice. Lenses are investments don’t forget ;)

        Best,
        Jay


  8. Ken

    I had this with my Minolta XGA. Only lens I used for almost 5 years when I was a kid. Loved it and worked great!


  9. Jay, Thank you for all these great articles. In december I bought the Nex 6 and was impressed by the camera. In my attic I still had a Minolta 7000 with three lenses I did not use anymore, the 50/F1.7, 35-70/F4 and 70-210/F4. So I bought the LA-EA2 adapter and now my lenses will fit and work very well with the nex. This adapter really enhances the nex with regards to autofocus and focus speed.
    Picture quality with the minolta lenses is great and I specifically love the colors.

    The good thing of this camera setup is that I now have a relatively small walk around camera with the Sony16-50 lens on it and a semi professional camera when the adapter and minolta lenses are in use.

    I can highly recommend the Minolta AF lenses from the 80’s. They are heavier, true, but it givess the camera a good and solid feel.

    Just like to find a 24 mm as of course the crop factor will change the lens numbers.

    Regards from the netherlands.

    Andre.


    • Jay

      Hi Andre,

      That is awesome and I want one of those 70-210mm beer cans ;) You right that with the large grip on the Nex-6, the weight is really not an issue at all.

      Thanks again for sharing your gear recommendations and experience!!

      Best,
      Jay


  10. Hi Jay, I have found your site to be an invaluable resource for over a year now and it played an instrumental role in my purchase of a Sony NEX 7. It has been a year since I purchased it and still find myself returning to your site to scoop up more info. Today I found the link here for a firmware update! Cool, glad I keep coming back.

    Yes, I have a question and although I have done some research before I bother you with something that may come off “noob-ish” I need to tap your expertise. I own an old Minolta MAXXUM 9xi with a zoom xi AF 28-105 lens. Would it be worth my while to get an adapter for this lens to my NEX7? You refer to the Minolta MD lenses but there is a dearth of info on the lens mentioned above. If it is worth it, could you recommend and adapter and what functions would I retain for the lens, e.g. auto-focus, image stabilization etc. Your help is greatly appreciated. I would be glad to reciprocate should you want some feedback.

    Thanks!


    • Hi Joe :) The Minolta MAXXUM lenses (also called Dynax & Alpha around the globe) are a stock standard Sony Alpha mount – they will fit on an Alpha camera (eg A57 or A77) without an adapter. As such, if you use the Sony LA-EA1 or Sony LA-EA2 adapter you will retain all the functionality of the MAXXUM lens on your NEX body. The latter even has the benefit of adding PDAF to your NEX7’s box of tricks.

      Jay has compiled a comprehensive guide to adapting lenses to suit the NEX-system over here.


    • Jay

      Hi Joe,

      Sorry for the delayed reply, and Al answered with exactly what I would have written as far as the lens adapters ect..

      The older Minotla lenses are a blast, but they are full manual only. If I were you, I would consider the La-ea1 for sure to retain AF and electronic aperture control ;)

      Thanks again for the kind words,
      Jay


  11. Jay, after a few months now, how has your adapter been holding up? I ask because last night I spent 20 minutes or so playing around with an ancient 75-205mm Miida telephoto. I’m pretty sure I was careful to keep support under the lens, but I noticed this morning while trying out a more compact telephoto for comparison, that there was play between the lens and the adapter.

    At first I thought it was just a bad fit with the legacy lens, but a closer look reveled that one of the 3 screws that holds the MD flange to the adapter barrel was gone, and the other 2 were loose. I suppose they could have been loose on delivery, and I only noticed it now – dunno. I’ll have to procure a very small phillips head to get it back tight, unless they’re stripped out .

    How’s yours holding up?


    • Jay

      Hi Doug,

      No problems as of yet, but let me go grab it and see if the screws are tight. You have the same RainbowImaging adapter I’m using??

      Yup, they are still all tight. Hmm, wonder if it was loose out of the factory??

      Jay


      • Yep, same one. I’m sure you’ve used yours much more than I have so far – prolly lapse in q/a on mine. But not a huge investment, luckily.

        Now, if that Miida had fallen off, that’s $5 at current market value down the tubes! :D


      • Jay

        Well, you can get some of the mild lock tight and tighten them up!! The screws are almost like an eyeglass type screw, so one of those really cheap eye-glass kits might do the trick for you. Otherwise a hobby store might have those tiny screws. I don’t think they go that small at home depot type places, but I could be totally wrong ;)

        Glad you didn’t loose that valuable lens!!!

        Later Doug,
        Jay


  12. Steve Scovel

    Good to see someone else having fun using legacy lenses on a NEX. Thanks for posting all this for the rest of us. I have adapters for several mounts. My sentimental favorite lens is the Rokkor 58mm 1.4, the same lens I used with my SRT-101 decades ago but the 50mm 1.7, 50mm 1.4 and 45mm 2.0 work equally well on the NEX.

    I’ve tried almost everything I own, including a crazy Toyo Optics 500mm f/8. Got some interesting pictures of the moon. So far favorites include a Konica 40mm f/1.8 and a Zuiko 50mm 1.8 on a Vivitar 2x Macro converter. The converter allows a 1:1.5 macro, or 1:1 on the NEX.

    For those tiny screws I dismantled a hideous old Vivitar zoom and stripped all the screws. There were several different types and sizes which have come in handy for repairing other lenses. I don’t know anywhere you can buy them.


    • Jay

      Hello Steve,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and share your legacy glass experiences with your Nex camera!! It’s always great to read what others are using and find the best for their particular photography purposes :) Good call on the spare screws situation btw!!

      Excellent info on the Macro Set-up as well :) How is the optical quality of the Vivitar 2x Macro converter??

      Thanks again for sharing and continuing this informative ever growing conversation!

      Jay


  13. Paul

    Can you tell me how the focal length changes on the lens when used on the NEX? Is the lens an equivalent to 75mm? Also, do you just set the camera to Aperture priority and the camera meters correctly?

    Thanks


  14. Jay

    Hi Paul,

    The focal length is and effective ~75mm when you mount it on the Nex Camera system. Yes, in aperture priorety mode the camera will meter correctly even when you change the aperture. You do need to enable the “release without lens” feature in order for the camera to fire with no electronic lens attached. When a full manual lens like this is mounted, the camera has no idea it’s there, hence the setting option in the menu.

    I hope that helps!

    Jay


    • Paul

      Thanks for the reply Jay. I am excited to give this a try.


      • Jay

        No problem Paul, anytime!! It’s a blast, trust me :) I actually have a 50mm f/1.4 Minolta I need to test, so I might be playing later today with that!!

        Have a great day,
        Jay


  15. Camilo

    Hello,

    I was wondering if my nex f3 would work with the same lens you have, i tell you this becasue whenever my camera recognize theres no lens mounted it just doesnt shoot. (Happens when changing lenses)
    And since this is a totally manual lens with an adaptor that lacks connection points, will the camera shoot? Am assuming yes, since you did. But can you explain to me how does it work?

    Other thing, if the aperture number is changed from the lens, how will the camera handle this? I mean. The digital working will just assume am using a manual lens and ignore the f value in the motor?

    Thanks so much


    • FlavioRoss

      You need first enable the “shooting without lens” option in the menu.

      And the camera metering works just fine. The camera can’t change the aperture for you, but can set the shutter speed and the ISO to get the correct exposure.
      For example, if you use the Aperture priority mode, you set the aperture in the lens and the camera get the correct shutter speed and ISO for you. If you use the SS priority mode, you set the shutter speed, and while the camera can’t set the aperture, can set the ISO for a correct exposure.

      I have the Minolta 50mm 1.7 and the 135 3.5, booth are good (and about $30 each). I don’t like to use manual focus with the E-mount lens, but with these old manual lens its really fun, and the focus peaking helps a lot.


  16. Camilo

    Hey. Its me again,

    Since am living in mexico, i cannot get that adaptor in such the price: i could order it from the us but it will end up being just as much as an La – ea1 adaptor that i have access to (around 120 usd) due to costums.

    So am deciding to get the la ea1, will i be able to attach that minolta lens in it and make it work beautifully???

    Thanks !!!


    • FlavioRoss

      The LA-EA1 is only for Sony and Minolta A-mount lens. These old MD and MC are SR-mount.
      There are great A-mount lens too, but they usually are not cheap as the old MD and MC ones.

      But I’m sure you can find a cheap MD to NEX adaptor in your country. They are all Chinese made, you don’t need to import from the US. They come with different brand names, but most of them are the same.


    • Jay

      Hello Camilo,

      No the LA-Ea1 lens adapter will not work on MD or MC mount lenses. It is different and you will need a specific adapter like the cheap (in usa) rainbow imagining I got.

      Jay


  17. Lou

    Jay

    how much is the bayonet of MD different to A mount. I find Mitakon turbo adapters for MD to NEX, but no A to Nex types. Does an MD lens fits on an LD-EA1 adpater, for example. If you work manual on the NEX, the electronic contacts are obsolete anyway. I have many Minolta AF lenses, but no MD types.

    Lou


  18. aniel

    Hi Jay.
    Could you suggest a good decent Minolta manual zoom lens which I would like to use with the Nex adapter. It is for the purpose of out door photography, landscape, flora & fauna. I am bit confused as there are many out on Ebay.
    Thanks


  19. raleigh

    Jay
    Great review
    What md adapter for my a57?
    Tx


  20. Hi, Jay! Thank you for all your good information! I just bought the 50mm Minolta… does this adapter from RainbowImaging also include aperture control? I assume it does since you shot at f4…I have not used manual lenses or adapters before so this is new to me.

    Thanks again!


    • Jay

      Hello TK,

      The adapter is just a spacer with a whole in pretty much. The aperture control is on the lens itself. Note the aperture ring grip and focus ring grip on the lens itself. It’s notched so it clicks every time you change the aperture.

      I hope that helps,

      Jay


  21. Thanks for your reviews and info about Sony cameras, I do use them myself together with a bunch of Minolta, Tamron and Sigma lenses.
    I’m currently debating with myself weather to get a NEX or go directly to a Sony A7…
    Just one point I’d like to correct you regarding the older manual Minolta lenses and mount; the mount is actually called the SR mount launched in 1958 and kept until replaced by the auto focus A-mount from 1985 onwards. In 1966 a coupling was added that signaled the aperture set on the lens to the camera, called the MC coupling. Later in 1977 the MD tab was added to inform the camera when the lens was set at minimum aperture to enable shutter priority automatic mode and program mode, but the mount has always been the SR mount. So a Minolta lens from 1966 to 1976 could be called a MC (meter coupled) lens or from 1977 to early 1990ies (last manual SR camera Minolta marketed was the X-9 in 1990) a MD lens, but I would still call it manual Minolta or SR mount lens if you are describing the manual lenses made by Minolta.
    Here is a brief line up of Minolta’s manual lenses on my own home page:
    http://minolta.rokkor.de/minoltalenses.htm


    • Jay

      Hi Henrik and thank you for the comments and killer information ;) Thank you for the correction and excellent explanation of the lens mounts and history of the evolution. Clearly I’m not that knowledgeable in this area! Nice work on the website and thanks for the link!

      Jay


  22. Woody

    Thank you for your site and reviews. I just bought the Fotasy adapter and started playing with the MD 50mm f/1.7 on my NEX-6. Looking forward to a lot of experimentation and fun!

    By the way, have you noticed how easy or difficult it is to manage blur due to the lack of any stabilization? Especially since these lenses are cropped to 70/80mm (equiv) focal lengths. Do you find yourself using a tripod/beanbag more often with these old lenses?



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