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.
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.
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.
Well, after spending a bit of time collecting prime lenses, I’ve decide to give them a brief review of sorts. The only way that can be objectively done is with a photographic test. Not being one for planning things out, I oped to use an old magazine and a couple of gameboy games as the test, this at least will be less a test of my focusing abilities and more a test of the clarity of the optics at a specified distance. So with no further ado, let’s introduce the lenses.
All of these lenses were purchased off EBay. Some of them were cheap, the AF’s however were not so cheap. So, Let’s introduce each lens shall we?
Minolta 28mm F2.8 AF Lens:
This lens thus far has been a pretty good lens. It’s dead sharp and it’s nice and stout. It has a minimum F of 2.8 and maximum of 22.
And here are the shots taken from the lens. Keep in mind that these are directly from the camera and may look a tad dark. Click on the links to see the full size image, usually your browser will allow switching between sizes.
On this lens it’s pretty obvious that at F8 it becomes pretty clear but at F1.7 and F22 there is some blur at the edges of the text. Again, the color rendition is pretty good and the clarity is a bit better than the 28mm AF lens. Something to take note of I guess.
Minolta 28mm F2.8 MD Lens
Something to note on all of these MD lenses is the fact that I used an adapter to facilitate mounting them on the camera. Something else to note is that they’re manual focus lenses and the focus is limited by my own vision, which is good, but not perfect. I tried to focus them via trial and error, however, I may not have gotten everything in focus at the lowest F number.
Here is the 28mm Minolta MD lens,. It feels really nice to focus and is of entirely metal build. It feels solid. Looking at it, it is almost entirely the same as the later model AF lens, certainly the majority of the design was retained for the later lens.
Here are the test images, remember, the color/focus may be different due to the adapter.
Based on what I can see, there is little difference between the MD and the AF versions of the lenses. I suspect that my focus was folly in the F2.8 test, though I got it as close as I could over several exposures. There was slightly more chromatic aberration in the F22 test in the MD Lens as well. All in all, a comparitive lens if you like manual focus.
Minolta 50mm Rokkor F1.4 Lens
I have to say, I really like the look of this lens. The overall appearance of it looks as though it’s of high quality. Again, quality may be skewed due to the adapter. It’s also interesting to note that its maximum aperture is F16, lower than the other lenses.
I have to say, with this lens at F1.4, everything seems washed out to a large degree however at F8 it appears as though it is somewhat sharper than its AF cousin despite the fact that the exposure is a tad darker. Even at F22 Vs. F16, the Rokkor appears a tad bit clearer, again, it could be the lower exposure time.
Star-D 135mm F2.8 Lens
I bought this lens because I wanted to try a manual focus lens and because it was cheap. Frankly, it’s a piece of shit. Taking a picture in any sort of light washed out the colors and any sort of night photography (with lights) results in halos and U.F.O like apparitions all through the image, though it does have the benefit of being fast. Though it is a prime lens that I own and as such, I figured it’d be worth testing.
Clearly, this lens is inferior to the other lenses. While it is somewhat clear at F8, the contrast is lower than the other lenses. It’s not a bad lens of there is no other option but I’m going to try and find an AF verison.
Well, I can’t really draw too many conclusions from the images provided. I would need to take pictures in the real world and take images of more three dimensional objects in order to get a better idea of their true qualities. Truly, this is nothing more than a cursory test.
Please, if you have a comment to make, please do so
Also, here is the gallery of images used, for reference: