Old Minolta 50mm 1.4 lens or a New Sony 50mm 1.4?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Irishguinea, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Irishguinea macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    Hi all, first day here. Was reading earlier today and decided to join. Seems to be alot of good info and people around here.

    From the thread title can anyone recommend or tell me if there are there any picture quality differences between the two. Which one would you choose?

    I can get a Minolta 50 prime 1.4 for around 250.00 but for another 100.00 I can get the new Sony 50 1.4 w/image stablization, I know your probably laughing at that one :), but I'm new to digital photography so it helps...

    Thank you in advance for any replies and input.
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Hmm, me myself is new and since you are comparing, its pretty hard to say.
    Cause all Sony DSLRs body has build in stabilization correct?
    So how much will a IS Sony Lens make a effect if its body is already stabilized?

    Oh yeah, regarding the old Minolta, you know what year it was released?
  3. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    That does sound kind of odd. In-lens stabilization is supposed to be better than in-body stabilization; but for a 50mm lens it doesn't make much sense to have in-lens stabilization - the return at that focal length is minimal, especially given the size tradeoff that'd be necessary.

    Is the OP sure that the new Sony lens is stabilized?
  4. Irishguinea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    Your right, my fault, it says it takes advantage of the in-camera image stablization... here's the copy from sony's page...

    An ultra-bright standard lens for fast, accurate shooting by available light. For quick candid shots that capture the special moment, the SAL-50F14 lens provides superb clarity and visual accuracy, even when shooting at fully open aperture indoors, in low-light or twilight conditions. Mounted on your α (alpha) DSLR-A100 camera, this lens provides midrange telephoto 75mm focal length (35mm equivalent)-and takes advantage of the in-camera Super SteadyShot® image stabilization system to minimize blur from camera movement.

    Superb Sharpness in Available Light
    In conjunction with the Super SteadyShot® image stabilization system of the Sony ± (alpha) DSLR-A100 camera, this lens achieve pinpoint sharpness even working with hand-held camera by available light.

    Bright f1.4 Aperture
    The ability to capture more light in dark environments gives you a superb lens for hand-held shooting without flash, to preserve the mood or in locations where flash is not permitted.

    Circular Aperture
    Conventional lenses close their apertures with blades that can create multi-sided shapes -- but the aperture blades of this superb wide-angle lens form a near circle at the wide openings you’ll use for low-light shots, so spot-light sources have a pleasing circular defocused effect.

    Here's the specs given for the Minolta, no age though...

    These are becoming very rare to find. Minolta maxxum AF 50mm f1.4 prime lens- One of the fastest and best quality portrait lenses around. This is the original metal barrel AF lens, not the plastic version. Works like new and the optics are good, free of scratches, blades snap fine and are free of oil. Excellent for portraits and low light shots. Comes with both original front & rear lens caps, UV filter and its hard case. In good condition-light signs of wear-consistent with a lens of this age. Functionally perfect. Will work on all minolta maxxum cameras and sony alphas- A100, A200, A300, A350 and A700.

    Do you think this statement is true for the Minolta? "One of the fastest and best quality portrait lenses around"

    My intended use will be for quality portraits.

  5. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Well one thing for sure, never believe what the manufacturer says, they always show the best part of their product without telling its weakness, and some is very good with words that they managed to make the weakness of their products sound so small that it has been fixed by them and etc.

    In short, read Pros and User review of that product.

    The only reason why I ask for the age is because I want to know if the new Sony lens is actually a Minolta rebranded or a whole new lens. I don't know about Sony or Minolta lens so sorry if this question sound noob.

    Also how would a person know the effect of 2 stabilized picture (IS from body and lens) and a single stabilized picture (IS from lens)?
  6. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    This wouldn't work very well - one system would have to be set to turn off if the other was present. But I don't know of any camera makers that offer both - they're either offering in-lens stabilization (Canon, Nikon) or in-body stabilization (everyone else, including Sony).

    People can also correctly argue that while in-lens stabilization may be considered superior technology, in-body stabilization works with every lens a person has. Also, I suspect for the majority of uses there's no practical difference. Maybe if you're taking photos from a car driving along a bumpy dirt road, then it might matter. :D

    I will say that there are times when I'm using my 70-180 Micro-Nikkor, without a tripod, that I really wish I had some sort of stabilization available! :p
  7. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Aaah, okay, didn't know that you can only run 1 image stabilization at a time :rolleyes:
  8. nepfotos macrumors member


    Jul 9, 2008
    Hi Irishguinea,

    first of all, all Sony cameras have only in-body stabilization (and no in-lense stabilization) and that's the biggest advantage compared to the other systems it works with (nearly) all the old Minolta lenses.

    As the Minolta 50 1.4 was a very good lense you could easily save 100,- by getting the Minolta instead of the Sony (if it is in excelent condition).

    And even if a lot of people tell you something else, Minolta produced some outstanding lenses, some of them equal to or even better than the ones from Canon and Nikon :p.

  9. Irishguinea thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2008
    The Minolta lens is local so I'll check it out first, if it's pristine I'll go with it.

    Thanks for the info.
  10. Cowboy macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2002
    some things to consider:
    - you have a warranty for the new Sony 50mm
    - the lens coating is more advanced (especially when compared to a 1st generation Minolta 50mm)
    - the Sony 50mm supplies the camera with distant information (ADI), used for setting the flash right
    - the Sony 50mm has a bigger hood; 1st generation Minolta has a less effective built-in hood
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    I'll jump in and add... While both lenses are superb (based on specs only) at low light photos, they are not really the best portrait lenses if that is your intent. Most portrait lenses are in the 90m to 135mm focal length range. A 50mm lense, close up, can cause some minor distortion to the apparent size of the nose to the rest of the face (makes the nose look bigger). The longer lenses eliminate this. Also, they give you some working room that the subject doesn't feel "cramped" because you are working inches (or cm's) away from their face.

    On the other hand, you will be taking available light photos with either of those lenses that no one with a zoom lense can match.

    I'd say go for the Minolta, and save the $100 for a portrait lense.

  12. Over Achiever macrumors 68000

    Over Achiever

    Jul 22, 2002
    Toledo, OH, formerly Twin Cities, MN
    On a crop camera the 50 mm becomes a 75 mm, while not in the 90-135mm range, has a little less distortion to worry about than a pure 50 mm equivalent.
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    That is true if you are shooting with a 35mm film camera of full frame digital. The OP is using a "crop sensor"

    It also depends if these are environmental portraits or or the formal studio kind. With the later you can use a longer lens but also in the studio light is not an issue, you can have as much as you want. I think the 50mm is best as an environmental portrait lens but could worl in the studio too with a crop sensor camera
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Aahhh.... I had missed that. Thanks.

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