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Testing

August 20, 2017

The Sony A9 and Old School Minolta MC 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Are you looking to have some photography fun? Well, one way is to get yourselves a 50mm f/1.4 manual focus lens and start playing around the house 🙂 In my case I wanted to continue testing out the Sony A9 while also playing with my buddy Jase on the deck. Jase is all about the bubbles, so I fired up the Gazillion Bubble Machine, topped off Jases’s bubble gun, and the fun began…

I was using my old school Minolta MC 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens which I purchased on Ebay, but are now available on Amazon. It cost me around $50 us or something like that a few years back, and it’s the best lens investment I ever made as far as cost to fun to killer shots ratio goes. I love this lens on the full frame camera bodies, and I usually leave it on my Sony A7r for the most part.

On a side note; I also have some 120fps Slow-Motion Video of this Gazillion Bubble Machine in my Sony A9 Review Here >>

Sony A9 Camera Settings

First I just wanted to go over the camera and lens quickly for those wondering…

Sony A9 Custom 1 Button (C1)

Sony A9 Custom 1 Button (C1)

I had the camera set to MF, but because this lens has no electronics whatsoever, the camera actually thinks it’s firing without a lens. It’s no big deal, because by default the camera will fire and auto exposure metering works. It will also prioritize exposure with the facial recognition technology as well! Therefore I set the lens wide open to f/1.4 and Auto ISO.

The Sony A9 did the rest of the work, and I utilized the focus magnify tool to assist me from time to time. I show you that feature in my Sony A9 Review here, and I programmed the focus magnify tool to the Sony A9 Custom 1 Button. To program your camera like I have it, go to page 8 under the camera tab #2, and select Custom Key (shoot). You will then see Custom 1 which you can then select and program with the focus magnify tool.

Custom 1 is actually C1 on the top right of the camera as you can see in the image just above and to the right.

Sony A9 and Focus Magnify

Sony A9 and Programing Focus Magnify to Custom 1 Button (C1)

Sony A9 and Focus Magnify

Sony A9 and Programing Focus Magnify to Custom 1 Button

Focus peaking can also be used to assist you in focusing manually, but I actually left it off in this case… Sometimes I prefer not having the overlay information there when using the magnify zoom feature. This is just personal preference and having lots of practice with this lens  would say.

Encase you have not seen my A9 Review, the focus magnify tool works like this: By pressing the button (in my case the C1 Button) it brings up a little rectangle box on the screen. You can move the rectangle around if you want, then pressing the button again zooms in to where the box was. This gives you a much better view of the details and allows you to check your focus extra close. You can hit the button again and zoom in more, and then it goes back to normal view in a cycle as you press it. You can also hit the shutter button and that will reset the zoom.

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

The lens adapter I am using to mount the lens to the Sony A9 is a very affordable totally passive MD to E-Mount lens adapter which I picked up on Amazon. They don’t make the particular model I have anymore, but it cost around $20 when I purchased it for reference…

 

Sony A9 and Minolta MC 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens Sample Photos

For the record, I was just trying to have some photography fun, so with that in mind, here is what I got playing with Jase and a few other photos from out on the deck…

This first sequence was Jase evolving in front of my eyes from a loving boy to a sinister bubble gun holding beast! The lighting was pretty harsh on his face, but I still like the shots… These were all shot wide open at f/1.4 in Jpeg mode by accident. I meant to shoot raw and did later on in the images…

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Now he opened up me and I left the camera wide open at f/1.4… Manually focusing is a challenge at first, but with some practice you can get quite good at it! I was aiming for the end of the gun…

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Now I was aiming for his eyes…

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Here are a few randoms…

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Some lens flare fun…

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

These next shots are not the sharpest, but they have that magical look which makes me love using this lens!

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

Sony A9 and Minolta 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens

 

Closing Remarks

So this photography fun took me about an hour or so and Jase and I were having a blast the entire time. No pressure manual focus photography with a 50mm lens on a full frame camera like the Sony A9 pumps out some very interesting results, and often surprising renderings occur like those colorful blobs near the end of the series.

So next time your looking for something different to photograph, consider something fun like this and you might be very surprised at the captures you end up with 🙂 I think I have a few keepers in this set!

That is about it for this old school lens and manual focusing with the Sony A9 article guys. I hope you enjoyed the photos and perhaps got some inspiration to try your hand with some manual focus old school lenses like the Minolta MC 50mm f/1.4 Rokkor-X Lens. They are so cheap when compared to modern fast glass, and the results are so awesome as far as photography goes, why not I say??

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below, so please don’t hesitate to chat it up like my girl Layla!!

If you are interested in modern day fast glass, then be sure to check out my Sony E-Mount Lens Guide and Sony A-Mount Lens Guide. Both those guides have the latest auto focus and manual focus glass for your given camera mounts…

Thanks again for checking in everybody and please have a wonderful day,

Jay


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Thanks,
Jay



About the Author

Jay

Hello, I’m the owner and operator of SonyAlphaLab.com. Please check out the About page for a full background on myself and the Lab ;)
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2 Comments


  1. w. hopf

    no mention of what adapter you used to fit the minolta 1.4 lens on the a9.



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