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MC 50/1.7 vs MD 50/1.7 - any visible

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by Amamba, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Sorry for the cut off title.

    Is there any optical difference between MC and MD versions ?

    I used to have no less than three separate copies of Minolta MD 50/1.7. All were great performers and felt very well balanced on my Nex. I also had a MC Rokkor 50/1.4 PF that I found stupidly cheap. And the SEL50. And at various times two or three different Maxxum AF 50/1.7. So I was awash in 50s even thought it's not a very useful FL on a crop.

    So last year I decided to get rid of my 50 mm primes and just keep one. That one was the 50/1.4, just because it was relatively harder to find. I also got rid of the SEL50.

    This was a dumb decision. I should've kept MD50/1.7. I didn't see any improvement from using the faster lens, it was heavier, and didn't seem to possess the same warm Minolta colors. So it too had to go.

    So, I decided to get another 50/1.7. The only one I was able to find that was clean and at a decent price was the MC 50/1.7 version (55mm diameter, I assume).

    How different is it from MD, especially optically ?
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  2. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    I'd just avoid all MC 1.7/50's, in my experience the MD 1.7/50 versions simply yield punchier images. Almost all MC lenses have a rendering that I'd describe as somewhat bland, subdued. Using any 1.7/50 wide-open isn't such a good idea IMHO because contrast is low and there is a veiling flare, though center sharpness is mostly OK; they all need stopping down to f/2.8 for good image quality. The bokeh can be rather nervous wide-open as well. A very good alternative is a plain MD 2/50 (no Rokkor designation), it can be had for next to nothing and has very nice color and contrast when stopped down a bit and is even marginally useable wide-open. More expensive and very variable in quality is the late 1.4/50 design (Rokkor ∅49mm or plain MD), but quite good wide-open if you happen to find a good one.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
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  3. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    In agreement with Ad. My MDs outperform my MCs. And some models are optically identical.
    MD lenses seem to also have less coma and aberrations.

    Models:
    MC Rokkor-X PF 50-f1.7 vs. MD Rokkor-X 50-f1.7 (MD-I)
    MD is center sharper and cleaner wide open.

    MC Rokkor-PF 58-f1.4 vs. MC Rokkor-X PG 50-f1.4 vs. MD Rokkor-X 50-f1.4 (MD-I)
    The PF is soft and washed out compared to the newer models. Same formula for PG and MD, at f1.4 the newer MD is sharper and less glowy and more vibrant.

    MC Rokkor-X QD 135-f3.5 vs. MD Celtic 135-f3.5 (MD-I)
    Both identical 4 in 4 formula, Both are colorful and sharp, but the MD that little bit sharper and cleaner.

    MC Celtic 135-f2.8 vs. MD Celtic 135-f2.8 (MD-I)
    These are identical 4 in 4 formula, same as Rokkor, and the MD renders a more vibrant image. Same sharpness.

    You can find sample pics in my flickr.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016 at 8:46 PM
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  4. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    Without wanting to get into the Minolta experts territories (Ad) :D , the MD's had better coatings (since they were also newer versions) and sharpness but perhaps some MC's had a unique "character"/look.

    For example, I know the MC 58mm f1.4 has a very unique look, kinda dreamy with some softness - correct me if I'm wrong :)
     
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  5. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    Oh, I wasn't bashing MC Minoltas. They are still very good and satisfying. Otherwise I wouldn't be picking them up. ;)
    Just helping to point out the difference side by side.
    Amamba, skip the MC f1.7. The improvements with the MD justifies it. I thought my copy was notably better than the MC version. Sharp as my Konica Hexanon AR 50-f1.7, but with the warmer colors.

    Nick, quite correct on the MC 58mm, and I only recently got one for cheap in very nice condition. The backgrounds look like colored clouds.
    Yes, the MDs benefit from refinements and superior coatings.
     
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  6. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    Well, I'm afraid against all the advice, I ordered that lens.. it was only $19 delivered anyway. Will see how "flat" it is.
     
  7. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Looking forward to your experience with it. Let's hope you can prove us wrong :).
     
  8. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    At that good price, then it was justifiable to pick up to try it out.
     
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  9. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Regular

    131
    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    Will, I noticed that you have the Konica Hexagon AR 50 f1.7. I am looking at buying the Konica Hexagon AR 50 f1.4.
    Are you or anyone in the forum familiar with this lens?
    Any feedback would be appreciated.
     
  10. addieleman

    addieleman Passionate amateur

    Nov 13, 2012
    Netherlands
    Ad Dieleman
    Picked one up recently at a fair, but it didn't offer anything extra in the image quality department compared to my Minolta lenses. Konica and Minolta Rokkors of the same age are very similar in color and contrast rendering in my experience, with Konica maybe a little bit behind. Test shots here.
     
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  11. Nino Xerri

    Nino Xerri TalkEmount Regular

    131
    Jun 13, 2016
    Nino Xerri
    Thanks Ad. I appreciate your quick feedback.
     
  12. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    Will
    I have the Hexanon AR 50-f1.4 as well. It's very sharp. Usable at f1.4, and stopped down, it's as sharp or sharper than the f1.7. That's saying something!
    I've found these Hexanon ARs to have a more neutral color rendering than the equivalent Minolta MD Rokkors. Great if you prefer that from your lens. The Minolta color is more vibrant, and warmer. My copy of the MD Rokkor-X 50 f1.4 is as sharp.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  13. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    OK, so looking at the photos side by side, the copy of MC that I have seems actually a tad sharper than my new copy of MD. But the difference is so small, I am likely imagining things at this point. Will post a comparison series when I have enough photos with both. I do know I am going to hold on to both copies for a while.
     
  14. Nubster

    Nubster TalkEmount Veteran

    465
    Jan 5, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Chad
    Hmmm...I absolutely love the two MC Minoltas that I have. I don't have an MD to compare to...maybe I should do something to remedy that. But I've never looked at one of the pictures taken with either of the lens and thought they looked flat. Maybe I don't know what a flat looking image looks like and all this time I've just thought flat was how things are supposed to be.