MD 50mm F/1.4 YM

MD 50mm F/1.4 YM

1981

Panasonic S1

Full Frame

Serial #8018364

Tech Specs: Read

Thoughts

The Little Devil. The version I am reviewing here is the 3rd generation Minolta 50mm F/1.4, 49mm Filter Thread on the Panasonic Lumix S1 24MP Full-Frame mirrorless body.

Minolta made several 50's back in the days ranging from F/1.2-F/2 at their widest aperture to F/16 with the exceptions of the MD 50mm F/1.7, and the 50mm F/2 up to F/22, both third generation. 3rd generation Minolta lenses can be distinguished by their lack of Rokkor marking in front of the lens as well as yellow markings on the focus ring.

Build quality on the MD 50mm F/1.4 is very nice, mostly metal in all black paint with a high-quality rubberized focus and aperture ring. The lens has a nice heft to it, weighing in only at 235g. It is a very compact lens, tiny for a 50mm F/1.4, in comparison to modern lenses with the same focal length. Mounted via an adapter on the Lumix S1, an already weighty camera by mirrorless standards, this is a huge bonus, making the combo light in comparison.

The image quality of the MD 50mm F/1.4 is nothing short of pure brilliance. This little devil has serious mojo. I initially used this lens on my Fuji X-Pro1 for many years with incredible results. On the Lumix S1, realizing its actual focal length on a full-frame sensor with no cropping, the image quality goes to another level. Wide-open at F/1.4 on the Lumix S1, if you nail focus due to its very shallow depth of field, you get organic sharpness while the falloff bokeh is just so creamy-smooth and buttery. Stop down to F/2 where I typically like to park the aperture in most cases, I get more in focus while holding that organic film-like look, giving the photo a unique look overall. At F/2.8 thru F/5.6, as expected, sharpness increases close to the digital clinical level but still distinct.

All photos were shot in JPG. LR minor tweaks to my taste.

F/1.4

F/2

F/5.6