I have used the Batis 2.8/18 for a while but something just didn’t feel right about it for me. Therefore, I have exchanged it in favor of the Loxia 2.8/21. It is still my all time favorite lens and I prefer it for it’s handling, the beautiful and contrasty rendering and it’s sun stars.
Many people today might not even know Nikon (and also Canon) produced rangefinder cameras and lenses in their early days. Thanks to a reader I got the chance to review not one but three of these rather exotic Nikkor rangefinder lenses from the 50’s. The first one is the Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 portrait tele.
The Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 is a small and affordable lens which delivers a surprisingly good performance on the Sony a7 series. Read my in-depth review to decide if it could be a good addition to your camera bag.
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor
Number of aperture blades
The Minolta MD 2.5/100 usually sells for around $150 used at ebay.com (affiliate link). In Germany you can buy it used for around 140€at ebay.de (affiliate link).
You can find all images shown in this image in full resolution in this album.
Builts quality is very good, only the name plate and aperture ring are made from plastic, the rest is made from metal.
All in all it is a rather small lens and it balances very well on the Sony a7. The original lens shade is made from plastics, has a decent size and isn’t too bulky. Because the front element is rather exposed I would recommend using it.
The focusing ring travels around 100° from 45cm to 1m and a further 60° to infinity. The focusing has just the right amount of resistance but it is a bit small (8mm) for my taste.
The aperture ring has half stops from f/2.0 to f/16 and no stop between f/1.4 and f/2.0.
These results are based on the use with a Sony Alpha 7.
Minolta MC 1.2/58: Quite a bit smoother bokeh and 8, not just 6 aperture blades make it a superior lens when bokeh is important. Sharpness is similar, the 1.4/50 might be a tad better. It also costs about 6 times as much and is nearly 150g heavier.
Minolta MC 1.7/55: Not as sharp at wider apertures but it has nicer bokeh and is a bit smaller.
Minolta MD 2/50: Worse bokeh but it is sharp across most of the frame from f/2, very small and only weights half of the MC 1.4/50. This is reflected in the build quality though. It is also free of lateral CA and distortion which the 1.4/50 is not.
Zeiss C/Y Planar 1.4/50: The Planar has more effective coatings which results in a much better flare resistance and higher contrast at wider apertures. The Minolta is a lot cheaper though.
Canon nFD 1.4/50:The Canon is quite a bit sharper at f/1.4 and f/2 but and it doesn’t feel nearly as solid. Price is similar.
Zeiss Loxia 2/50: A modern lens which is sharp across the frame from f/2 with high contrast and exif transmission. Bokeh is the only real weakness I found. Oh an the price of course.
Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA: The Sony is super sharp from f/1.8 and it has much smoother bokeh. Manual focus is a pain in the a** though and it is expensive.
A typical 1.4/50 lens: Rather soft wide open, good for portraits by f/2, excellent by f/2.8 but it needs to be stopped down to f/8 for landscapes.
Images Samples in high resolution
f/2.8 or maybe f/2.4
f/4 – very good sharpness with a notable drop in the far corners
P: Hi Ronny, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?
R: Hi, I live in Sweden in a village called Johannishus. I am 45 years old and work as a construction painter. I have a wife and two children, a daughter of 17 years and a son of 21 years. I began to photograph in 2010 when I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D80, followed by a D90 and D700. Photography is a hobby for me and I see myself as a beginner, always trying to improve my photography.
My interest in manual focus lenses started when I became interested in Zeiss lenses and their special look: 3D pop, micro contrast and beautiful colors. Later I also bought older manual Nikon lenses, where there are quite a few gems among them.
2014 I went over to Sony E-mount. I liked the size of the body and then all possibilities with different lenses and different adapters.
First I bought a Sony A7 and later Sony A7R II and a Sony Rx1R.
P: Can you give us a look into your camera bag and tell us a little about your gear?
Sony A7RII – My main camera that gets used for everything. Aspects I appreciate about it are:
Very good image quality
High detail reproduction
High Dynamic Range
Built-in stabilization which works regardless of lens or lens adapter
Significantly improved AF function (over A7 )
Many programmable buttons
Electronic shutter for reduced vibration
Very good electronic viewfinder
Very good folding screen
Overall it is a really good camera to me.
Hint: All images are linked to the higher resolution version on flickr, just click on them.