I did a small test using my Carl Zeiss as a sort of calibration value for color and sharpness.Build:
The Sony is made of plastic, and you feel it, It doesn't have a hood, but the front glass is buried deep inside the lens, so it acts as a sunhood. The Minolta feels better with a Metal bayonet, and has the sunhood built in, its not big, but it helps sometimes. both are 49mm filter which is small if you look at the 62mm from the zeiss.
They weigh about the same and make about the same noise, the SAM Smooth Autofocus Motor makes noise, a lot more than the SSM on the G lens. So its not that smooth to me, to use the MF, you have to select MF on the lens, otherwise you can't turn the front ring. The Sony looks nice on the camera, because it has a black mat finish and a nice metal ring on the front. It looks expensive, but it isn't.Color:
First impressions show that the Sony f1.8 has about the same colors as the CZ. The Minolta has a more
blueish color in the total picture.
The Sony has a problem with vignetting, from f1.8 - f4.5 it has real dark corners, f5.6 it is as good as gone
The Minolta has almost no problem with vignetting, maybe a small portion on f1.7 and f2, otherwise it was not noticeable.
Sony at f1.8
Minolta at f1.7Sharpness:
It seems that the copy of the Sony I have, is not a 100% good copy, allthough it is a brand new.
From f1.8 until f4 it has a backfocus problem, as you can see on the 100% crop, where the Minolta
(the copy I now have is the first one that is tacksharp) is correct even at f1.7. All 3 lenses:
Minolta, Sony and the CZ are at their best from f5.6 to f11, where f8 is the sharpest (see pictures above from color).
Bokeh looks good on all three lenses.
Sony at f1.8 100% crop
Minolta at f1.7 100% cropConclusion:
Personally, the Minolta that I now have is the number 1 choice for me, it is sharp, almost no vignetting and you can use it on a full frame body as well. The Sony is a good lens for color. Allthough I paid about the same price for both, the Minolta seems better build.
Minolta 90% Highly recommended
Carl Zeiss 90%
PS: This was a personal test and the first for me, so don't shoot me if you allready have the Sony, It is a good lens, but if you had a good Minolta, you will notice the difference.