50mm: canon fd vs minolta

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Superstriker#8, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    I'm looking to get a small legacy 50mm as I can't justify the 45 1.8. Which is better, the canon fd 50 1.8 or the minolta 50 1.7?
     
  2. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    I think it basically comes down to a matter of taste. I've used several different brands, and find them all pretty equal, but there is a slightly different quality to the images that is hard to quantify.

    Right now I have an Olympus 50mm 1.4, mainly because I have a bunch of OM system lenses and wanted to keep them all the same mount. But I don't think it was noticeably different in quality from Canon, Nikon, Minolta, or Pentax lenses I've tried. I'd stay away from the Russian lenses though. They can be nice, but the quality isn't there.

    Probably my favorite lens besides the Oly was an old Canon FL (pre-FD) 50mm 1.8.
     
  3. dbuckle

    dbuckle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    The Konica Hexanon 50mm 1.7 :smile:
    But seriously as stated above it's a matter of taste. Everyone made good 50mm lenses and every photographer has his or her favorites. I have both the Canon and the Minolta and they are both excellent lenses. Look at samples of both and decide which you like and get one. They are cheap to buy so if you are like me get them both.
     
  4. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    David
    As stated they are all good. I recently got a cheap plasticky Rikenon 50mm f2.0 that is wonderful for basically free. I have tons of fifties and they all do the job. I don't get too hung up on the speed of the lens with the ability to push ISO so much further these days. 1.8 lenses are plenty fast for most usage.
     
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  5. profgregorio

    profgregorio Mu-43 Regular

    116
    May 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    We also need to keep in mind that these are adapted lenses. They were never designed for our M43 cameras and hence, their performance may differ from camera to camera. My Minolta 50 1.4 performs very poorly on my G3 but creates very smooth and pleasing bokeh on my G5 (the combination works so well as a portrait lens that I am using it to convince myself that I don't need the 42.5 Nocticron.) There is no substitute to trying an adapted lens on your own camera. Good luck with your choice.
     
  6. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    David
    Be aware once the adapted lens bug bites it's hard to stop acquiring more and more.
     
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  7. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    1. Why do you find the Oly 45 hard to justify? It's worth every penny.

    2. I hear most adapted 50mm perform similarly. I have a Minolta MD 50mm f1.4 and Olympus OM 50mm f1.4. They do have different looks but I prefer my Minolta, although the Olympus OMs are quite popular.

    3. I recommend buying an f1.4 lens. They cost more but are far more versatile. Virtually all adapted lenses are soft wide open. The advantage of an 1.4 lens is that you can stop it down to f2 and get sharp images with a still bright aperture. On an f1.7/1.8 lens, the next stop down is f2.8 so you will lose some light there.
     
  8. killjed1987

    killjed1987 Mu-43 Regular

    50
    Oct 27, 2013
    Bay City Laguna
    Jed
    This is very true. I have been looking for some cheap lens on e-bay and our local online reseller store, this has become a serious(but fun! :biggrin:) obstacle on my native lens choices on a limited budget.
     
  9. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    I would disagree that most 50mm f1.4 lenses are sharper at f2 than most 50mm f1.7-f2 lenses are. IMHO, they are generally NEVER quite as sharp as the slower lenses, although the differences can be vanishingly small and all of these lenses sharpen up considerably somewhere between f2.8 and f4. The f1.4s DO have that ability to be more creamy/dreamy soft at f1.4 than their slightly slower versions do.

    Keep in mind that just about all of the f1.7 to f2 lenses use a virtually identical 6-element double Gauss design that's been around for over 75 years, and slightly refined since then, and the quality differences might be greater across samples than from brand to brand, with things like decentering either at manufacture, or from years of hard use (or one bad drop) being the biggest impact on overall quality.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double-Gauss_lens
     
  10. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    I won't pretend to have shot with every lens but my conclusion is from personal experience. Maybe one of our extensive collectors on here can chime in?
     
  11. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    Well considering that I own 6 samples from 4 different brands of 50mm f1.4 (and have previously owned 3 other examples) and I also own 8 samples from 5 brands of 50mm f1.7 to f2 (and have owned numerous others)

    including presently owning legacy 50mm lenses from Nikon, Canon, Minolta, Konica, Olympus, Pentax, and Leica (M39), and have in the past owned several generations of Nikon, Leica (both M and R) and Zeiss, I think I qualify as one of those extensive collectors. Within aperture classes, the differences brand to brand are dominated by the differences sample to sample, with a few exceptions - My Leica Summicron R was the best 50 I owned optically - but just slightly so compared to the others. And I sold it because it was not a great ergonomic companion to my M43 cameras, having a long flange distance and being very heavy - it made the cameras I used it on very front-heavy, and the lens was worth several hundred dollars, while just being slightly better optically than the others which were worth 1/10th as much, and better ergonomic matches.
     
  12. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    LOL well there you have it.
     
  13. fluberman

    fluberman Mu-43 Top Veteran

    502
    Sep 19, 2012
    Indonesia
    Alex


    If you like the idea of having FL of 45mm, another alternative I can think of is Minolta MD 45mm f2. Some time ago spatulaboy showed some comparison between this lens and the Oly 45mm and the resulting pictures at some point are not easily distinguishable. Probably spatulaboy can elaborate more about this.


    Sent from my GT-N7000 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  14. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    This is a great little lens - the cheapest lens Minolta ever made, and one of the sharpest.
     
  15. madogvelkor

    madogvelkor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    937
    Feb 22, 2013
    Connecticut
    I just picked up an Olympus Pen F 38mm f/1.8. It seems very close in size to the Oly 45mm for MFT, I'll have to test it out to see what the image quality is like.
     
  16. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Agreed. The Minolta 45 is a great little hidden gem. Got mine as new old stock for $25, still in box.
     
  17. spatulaboy

    spatulaboy I'm not really here

    Jul 13, 2011
    North Carolina
    Vin
    Yeah here it is... https://www.mu-43.com/showthread.php?t=36569

    You can come to your own conclusions.
     
  18. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    I am getting the 60 macro soon and find 45 to close in focal length to justify a $400 purchase
     
  19. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I would also echo that you're likely to be happier grabbing an f/1.4 lens over the f/1.8; it's well-worth the extra $50-60. If I had only one of the cheap 50's to keep, the nFD 50mm f/1.4 (~100 for a great condition lens) would be the hands-down choice. Compared to the nFD f/1.8, the build quality is better, better low-light performance, more aperture blades, multi-coating as opposed to single-coating, higher resolution, and less long-term issues (I've owned quite a number of Canon's f/1.8's and stuck, oily blades are extremely common; I've only ever had this happen on one other non-f/1.8 Canon lens in 30 years).

    A Helios 44-2 or 44-3 would also be a nice grab if you're worried more about cost than lens speed. $40 will get you a very nice copy. They're simple to take apart and clean the glass back to perfect. Tons of character in the images.
     
  20. dadadude

    dadadude Mu-43 Regular

    156
    Jun 12, 2013
    San Carlos, CA
    David
    In my area, San Francisco, there are tons of opportunities to pick up 1.4 fifties for dirt cheap. I wouldn't pay more than $40 for one unless it was collectible.