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Minolta MD and MC Lenses
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  • Thanks for the tips thepalias. I've tried everything expect removing the filter. Indeed I use a variable ND filter. Its a must in DSLR filmmaking. Mine is a Fadrer MK-II:

    I'll try tomorrow the lenses without it and will update you.

  • @asskar77 Just to re-emphasize what several other people said, those 3 flares could all be reduced by.

    • Using a hood.
    • Avoiding any filters that emphasize the flares (many inexpensive UV filters do, for instance).
    • Stopping down by 1 or 2 stops. Even 1 stop tends to help noticeably on the fast Rokkors.

    If you are using ND filters and need to reduce flare, you can often get better results with a static ND than a vari-ND because there are fewer reflections to cause problems.

    But generally speaking, there are a lot of modern lenses that can do much better with flaring than vintage ones. If that's a primary concern, I would choose different glass but the tips above may make it possible for you to keep using it.

  • I second (third?) the MC PG. It's more like a scanner than a lens, fantastic rez.

    Only my Zeiss Contax 50mm 1.7 is in the some league, the C/Y 1.4 is softer!

    The famed 58mm 1.2 (an impressive heap of metal and glass) is wonderful, but very different. Dreamy soft.

  • @tetakpatak @kavadni Wow thanks a lot guys for these infos! I'm asking because i have the Minolta MD 50mm 1.4 and i absolutely love it and is the lens i use 90% of the time mostly wide-open! I'm fine with its sharpness at 1.4 but if i could have just a little more it would be perfect.

  • @kavadni totally agree, but I doubt the difference is noticable in HD video, probably only in cropped stills to see.

    The FD 24mm f/2 meets Rokkor 24/2.8 but also unnoticable for video (except that it is faster)

    No difference between X and non-X samples.

  • @aashkar77 .... old but a good read

    FD vs MD 24mms

    and a test of teh Rokkor

    I would say the Rokkor-X 24mm is the sharpest lens I have.

  • I have found a Canon FD 24mm 2.8 SSC for 75$. Comparing the price to Ebay I think its an interesting deal. Any comments on that lens? I hear good things about Canon rendition of colors. How does it compare to the Minolta 24mm? Again, i will be using it mainly for video. Is it sharp enough wide open?


  • I am totally in agreement with @tetakpatak.
    The Rokkor MC-PG 50mm F1.4

  • @bumsklumpen if this info serves you: I own Rokkor 50mm f/1.4 MC PG and regarding it is the very best vintage lens in this focal length & speed I've ever tried.

    If used nearly or fully open, its optical performane beats very clearly the old Nikkors and Canon FDs (we talk only about the 50mm f/1.4 primes) in terms of:

    • contrast
    • sharpness
    • color rendition
    • flare
    • lower distortions of the field curvature
    • CA under better control
    • diffraction (when stopped down)

    But there is also the cult Rokkor lens that one still shouldn't miss: the 58mm f/1.2 IMHO, although it is really matter of the taste. It has so much distortions, especially when open, but they all look sooooo creamy and beautiful. And if you compare how little it costs compared to its another cult competitor NOCT Nikkor 58mm f/1.2 it is a-must-have lens.

    The Rokkor MC 50mm f/1.4 PG is optically clearer and sharper than the legendary Rokkor 58mm f/1.2, though.

    Edit: just added PG as that is the lens I mean (thx @kavadni)

  • panystac, i'm interested to know which minolta 50mm 1.4 is your favorite from what you got?

  • @Ivanlee, I repair cameras and lenses in my spare time. The MC Rokkor 58mm F1.4 & the Auto Rokkor 58mm F1.4 may (or may not) be the same optical formula (I could take both apart to check!!), but I did some optical tests a while back the MC was much better than the Auto.

    I have quite a few Minolta lenses: MC Rokkor 58mm F1.4 (probably 12 of these). These have very good resolution, contrast is not great but adequate, no CA, suffers from coma at larger apertures with bright lights. It's still one of my favorites

    Auto Rokkor 58mm F1.4

    50mm F1.4, MC Rokkor, MD Rokkor, MD. Similar in F1.7

    28mm 2.8, 35mm 2.8

    MD 85mm F2. superb

    MC Rokkor 100 F2.5

    MC & MD 135mm 2.8, MD 135mm 3.5

    MC Rokkor 200mm F3.5

    MD 24-50mm F4

    MD 35-70mm 3.5 macro

    MD 35-70mm 3.5

    MD 50mm 3.5 Macro

    MD 100mm F4 Macro

  • But nearly impossible to fix in post.

  • @aashkar77 Thanks for posting the screenshots, now we've solved what it is. You can get rid of big part of the flare with good lens hood and stopping down the apperture for ca 2 steps. And if you use filters, only the top class quality ones can serve you (in every critical situation try if it is better without the filter).

    The flare is also matter of taste- even in many great, classical cinema productions one can see it very often. Otherwise, as @nomad wrote you: good primes are often better choice than the zoom lenses, which have much more optical elements than the primes. The coating by most of the modern lenses is very much improved for reducing the flare, but one gets often more ghosting than with many vintage lenses.

    Here you can see an example of one ghosting, which could have been reduced if the apperture was stopped down (it is six-blades diaphragm that seems to be nearly fully open):

    And on this example you can see how one of the world's greatest FF wide zoom lenses (which is free of flare) ghosts heavily when direct sunlight is on the front element:

  • I love vintage lenses. I like the there defects and there unique look. I just regret that in certain situations, these light reflections can become strange and ruin the scene. I hope it can be fixed in post.

  • The first one is shooting into the sun. Normal!

    The second has a very bright reflection from the car. To be expected.

    The third has mirrored objects on a window pane, IMHO.

    If you don't like the first two, get Master Primes. Just kidding, but you are not the guy for vintage glass, I'm afraid.

  • If its flare then its very annoying because it limits the possibilites of shooting a great deal. I thought flare happens when the lens is directed to the sun. In the 2 last pictures it happened even when its not the case. Any solution to avoid it? I've tried different apertures doesn't really work. On the 35-70 playing with the zoom can help in some cases.

  • As everyone was guessing, that's flare, not CA.

  • Here are three screen shots of my videos. On the first picture there is this huge pink spot. On the second image, check out the green spot on the tree bellow. It appeared while panning, even though the camera wasn't directed to the sun. On the third image its hardly noticeable above the white car. It kept coming and going while panning.

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    Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 01.49.17.png
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  • @aashkar77 please post photo of an example what you mean when saying "CA"

  • @aashkar77, to get things right:

    "I'am talking indeed about CA especially in video, undesirable pink and green fringes appear when the lens is exposed to the sun."

    Are these connected with contrasty edges or are they a row of dots floating in the image? If the latter, they are internal reflections, just one more element of flare.

    What about posting a picture?

  • If I have it wrong somebody please correct me.


    CA is not dependent on the angle of the sun to the lens. I suspect also that you are seeing flare.
    Have you tried shading the lens?

  • What I see is indeed CA and I'm starting to wonder if the problem might be with the adapter? I bought a cheap one from ebay but built from metal and solid. I tried a Cosina MD 28 2.8, which should be an inferior lens, it did not have CA as the minoltas. If someone can do a short video test that would be great.

  • If you are used to the super sharp legacy 50mm from any of the major brands and of course the newer lenses like the Olly 45mm, the legacy 135s are only going to be "good" in comparison. However, the close focussing Viv. 135 is worth acquiring if you can get it at a good price, especially with the handy macro. If I have some time I will AB it with my Minolta 135 and also my $7 JC Penney 135mm. The Russian 135 I had was a tad sharper, but slower.

  • @ivanlee what you see is probably just a ghosting and reflections of the coating. It is not CA

  • I have the exact same opinions as @DrDave

    I have never used the Vivitar 135 close focusing....only the 200mm f/3 close focusing...I've used this lens for a job but I was not impressed with its sharpness and CA control, but the bokeh is nice

    @aashkar77, never used the 35-70 for video... but I will try soon