Review: Minolta 45mm f2

First a little back story.  I inherited the camera, a 58mm f1.4 and a 135mm f2.8 from my father.  It’s been to Vietnam and back and never needed repair.  They just don’t make shit like that anymore.  I borrowed a 45mm f2 for this review because I like the focal length and heard it was pretty good.  There’s an abandoned farm not far from my house and I figured it would be as good as spot as any so I loaded my camera with some expired Fuji Xtra 400 and took off.  The weather was ridiculously hot and the sun was high in the sky.  Whenever I’m faced with crappy light I point the camera directly into it and shoot away.  I’ve never been one for following the rules and don’t often have the luxury of waiting for the golden hour.

45mm f2 @ f2

This lens is pretty sharp at f2 but has a tendency to flare.  Not that it matters unless you shoot directly into the sun like some kind of idiot.  I decided to find some shade cuz the heat was a real bitch.  I found a nice spot under a tree facing a hollowed out barn filled with garbage and commenced shooting.  One thing I love about this old gear is how easy it is to focus manually.  I don’t understand why companies don’t offer a split field focusing screen for at least some of their cameras but hey what do I know?

45mm f2 @ f2

I love shooting wide open so it’s somewhat important to me that the corners are sharp at large apertures.  There’s a slight degree of softness here but nothing to worry about.  It could be a lot worse.  Ever shot a Canon 16-35L version one.  The corners turn to pudding.  This lens out preforms the L and it only costs about thirty bucks.  Next I ducked into some kind of stable I think.  Low and behold there’s some guy with a zoom lens shooting away at the other side of the building so I decided to make his picture.

45mm f2 @ f2

This is one thing that will never happen with digital.  I got an accidental double exposure.  Not sure how it happened but there it is.  The place was totally abandoned so I put this fuck out of his misery with the butt end of my camera.  So to answer my own question, some peoples heads may explode upon seeing me with this gear.  One less zoom toting asshole in the world, no big loss.  All in all I had a great time with this camera and the 45mm seemed competent.  It’s small, fast, sharp and best of all cheap.  You could acquire a three lens set up plus a camera body for under $100 bucks.  Don’t be afraid to get out there and try something new.  Whether it’s shooting film or putting down your zoom lenses.  You won’t be sorry.  It will only make you a better shooter.  Peace.


  1. February 8, 2011 at 2:35 am

    I love Minolta SLRs, my XE-7 is a beast and as you commented Minolta lenses can be found for a steal.

  2. trixter
    February 11, 2011 at 1:16 am

    Digital may be efficient but photography isn’t about that. Manual SLRs (Minolta x9 and Pentaxk1000) still does it for me, but I sure wish films are free in this age. haha The double exposure pic is magical, (and like life) That’s all there is to it. Share more pics and shoot away!

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