The Minolta 50mm f/1.7 is an inexpensive but very good lens. On APS (5D,7D & A100-A700 etc cameras) the 75mm equivalent focal length makes it close to perfect for a “short” portrait photography lens. The f1.7 aperture makes it very good in low light / available light situations. This lens is sharp in the center wide open and sharp corner-to-corner by f5.6.

Minolta 50mm f/1.4

This lens is by far the most common of all the old Maxxum lenses. Originally the
“kit” included lens on many old Minolta film cameras this lens is generally well liked and makes for a decent short telephoto on a APS sized dSLR sensor camera. Minolta also had the AF 50mm f/1.4 which was considered to be superior but quite a bit more rare and it demands a high price. If the focal length is suitable this is a good bargain for the price and easy to find.

The Minolta 50mm is available in both the original and restyled “RS” versions both are about the same although I have read that the RS version has a different lens coating. As with all old lenses look for signs of oil on the aperture blades (symptom overexposure) and fungus (look like webs, blobs, spots or lines) on the internal elements.

This was the “kit” lens for many years stretching back to the original Minolta first auto-focus camera, the 7000. It was available for years afterward and went though 2 styling revisions. Both the original and the “RS” are very similar and there isn’t much functional reason to favor one over the other. The RS with its updated lens coatings reduces the possibility of sensor reflection but that is not an issue many people ever even notice in the original.

Many people do not realize that it has a build in lens hood because it is well hidden when retracted.

Ebay prices are typically $80-$130.

50mm F/1.4

Like the 50/1.7, the 50mm f/1.4 is a very nice prime lens. Good for a short portrait lens on APS cameras (5D,7D & A100-A700 etc) at 75mm equivalent focal length. The f1.4 is much like the f1.7 version but a little better in every category – a little better in lower light, a little sharper and more expensive.

Somewhat hard to find. Ebay prices are typically $200-$300.