Minolta MD Lens test, 200mm Rokkor

A while back I purchased a 200mm f4. Rokkor lens off EBay for pretty cheap, like 40 bucks total. Since then, I haven’t really been taking any photos and thus haven’t been able to get a good feel for the lens. Tonight I decided to brave the cold and take some night shots with the camera, nothing special, just some far away downtown shots with lights incident to the lens.


Sony A300 with 200mm Rokkor lens attached
Sony A300 with 200mm Rokkor lens attached


As for the build of this lens, it’s all metal, including the built-in hood that slides nicely into place with a little satisfying click. The focus is smooth and the mechanics of it are pleasant. Even the grip is nice with its typical waffle pattern bezel. Very nice lens. However, reflections are a true pain on this lens, much like the other Rokkor lenses. I take night shots to test the lenses ever since I discovered the horrible properties of the Star-D 135mm f2.8 lens. This lens is not much different with internal reflection galore. Granted though, I haven’t really put this lens through its paces as yet and these two scant images are hardly a definitive test. Anyways, here are two of the shots I felt could grade the camera decently.

Night Shot with 200mm Rokkor, Level corrected
Night Shot with 200mm Rokkor, Level corrected

Tree shot with 200mm Rokkor Lens
Tree shot with 200mm Rokkor Lens

As you can see with the downtown image, it’s level corrected, the wind was so strong that long exposures tended to make the focus look poor, when in fact it was shaking. The tree image is also level corrected, just to give it more contrast, I did not, however, sharpen the image.

Anyways, these are obviously poor tests but can serve as a bit of a guideline as to what to expect from these lenses. Another issue is the MD adapter, I’m not entirely sure that either adapter that I have access to is appropriate for these lenses. I’ll do more tests later.

6 thoughts on “Minolta MD Lens test, 200mm Rokkor”

  1. Dear Steven,

    Can you explain your MD to MA conversion? What sort of adapter, factor, focusing problems, etc?

    I’ve been looking to purchasing some Rokkor MC/MD lenses for my 35mm Maxxum and I’m very interested tin know how well these lenses hold up with the adapter in place. Assuming you’ve used an adapter of some sort, the lenses seem to do very well!

  2. Sorry if this has been duplicated, but I can’t tell if my first message was published.

    My question: Can you discuss your MC to MA conversion? What kind of adapter, the crop factor, focusing, etc.?

  3. Well, to be honest, I find that my 50mm 1.4 lens works atrociously with a large aperture. The entire image becomes blurry when any kind of bright light is in view. With my 135mm and 200mm lenses, I’ve found they work OK but they don’t render colors very well, you need to edit them later and enhance the colors.

    As far as focusing, I find it ok, it’s something to get used to I guess and as far as exposure is concerned, my Sony A300 shows the exposure in the exposure meter when I press the focus button, this allows me to take pictures a little more easily. I have no idea how well the Maxxum will do with the adapter.

    The adapter I use is a cheap one from Ebay, though I have been using my father’s more expensive one from his minolta days. There is no real difference between the $80 one you can buy from some sites and the $35 dollar one I bought from ebay, they look exactly the same. Keep in mind as well that running an adapter is equivalent to having a maginfication adapter. The magnification is, I would guess, about 1.2-1.3
    Anyways, I hope that answered your questions. I might go out and take some daylight shots with the lenses and show exactly how they perform with the adapter. Also, these lenses perform very poorly at night with lights in visible range, the light tends to bounce around inside like crazy, though it may be the adapter, but I don’t think so.

  4. Thanks for the update. I guess I’ll have to give it a shot myself. There seems to be mixed reviews about using Rokkors with adaptors. Some find the setup ok for their needs, while other find the process utterly frustrating. There is also the prospect of adapting the Rokkor itself with a M42 plate, seems complicated though, but the results, as I understand, improve the usability tremendously.

    A particular ebay seller, who aslo happens to be a maker of the MD to MA adaptor, believes the factor to be 1.06 at most, but who knows for sure….

    It would be nice to see your daylight test shots with the lenses. I’ll check back later.

    Thanks again for your time.

  5. La imagen borrosa a plena abertura es culpa del cristal del adaptador, que tiene una gran Aberración Esférica.

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