It would be helpful to know what you like to photograph and plan to photograph, especially with the macro lens.
Originally Posted by Casey78
If you want a true macro lens, you want one that has a 1:1 ratio. As far as I know, you're only going to find that ratio in a prime macro lens. But some of the zooms have decent ratios between 1:2.3 to 1:3. If you do a lot of macro photography, then I would say get one with a 1:1 ratio. If you want more versatility, I would look at a lens like the Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.0 DC Macro Zoom Lens which has a 1:2.3 ratio and cost around $449 US at B&H.
Which should I get as a decent cheap 50mm prime? Minolta 50mm F1.7 or Sony SAL50F18?
Both are in the same price range, but the Minolta 1.4 is a jump up.
Sony 50mm f/1.4
I had a trio of 50mm for the Minolta/SONY mount:
Minolta 50mm f/1.7
Minolta 50mm f/1.4
SONY 50mm f/1.4
The Minolta 50mm f/1.7 was perhaps the most prolific lens Minolta ever made and while it is considered to be a good piece of glass, compared to the SONY 50mm f/1.8, it does not hold a candle in overall performance to that you will get out of a SONY 50mm f/1.4 (ø55mm) or the SIGMA 50mm f/1.4 DG EX (ø72mm). Also, bear in mind that the Minolta 50mm f/1.4 and Minolta 50mm f/.4 have not been produced for the past 15-20 years. Lens fungus grows... over time.