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Minolta MD and MC Lenses
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  • @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?

  • @aashkar77 please post photo of an example what you mean when saying "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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  • As everyone was guessing, that's flare, not CA.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • @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:

  • But nearly impossible to fix in post.

  • @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

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

  • @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)

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

  • 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?


  • @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.

  • @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.

  • @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.

  • 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.

  • @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.

  • 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.

  • @panystac, nice... never used the 85 f/2, only the 85 f/1.7 and I was not very impressed... but I've heard that the 85 MD is very sharp but the bokeh isn't so good... do you confirm that? what's your opinion?

    I have also the 100 f/2.5 and I like it... and I agree with everyone that the Rokkor 50 1.4 PG is the best fifty... too bad mine was stolen =/

  • For the 50mm I prefer the color of my MD Rokkor X to the MC, as well as the overall feel of the lens. For video, the color balance is way more important than the tiny differences in sharpness, which also varies over the frame. However with these lenses there are many different formulas as well as sample variations. For example, on the 135 you have to look for an orange triangle on the lens to get the best formula, and so, kind of arcane. BTW the 50/1.7 is even cheaper and quite sharp. Of course you are talking $20 vs $40.

    @kavadni I'm a big fan of the 24mm, but none that I have tried is as sharp as the Panny 20mm, I even prefer the 14mm in terms of sharpness. However, you may have an awesome sample! If you have the 14 or the 20, would be interested in some comparison photos .

    A couple of lenses not often mentioned are the CLE 40 and the Himatic 40, both Rokkors

    They make nice portrait lenses. The CLE is multicoated, as opposed to the CL. Of course, there is also the Olly 45..............I would get the Himatic if I saw a good deal on it. The CLE is a very sleek looking lens.

  • @ivanlee I had both the 85mm 1.7 and the 2.0 at a time and compared them carefully. I was never so impressed with their bokeh (even if the 1.7 is famed for it). It was always harsher than the 58mm 1.2.

    But since the 85mm 2.0 is tack sharp even WO and much smaller, I sold the softer 1.7. Funny I got a much better price for it than I paid for the 2.0 — the cult effect.

    The 24 is very good for a vintage lens, but I have no doubts that the Panny 20mm is sharper. Too sharp IMHO, because of in-camera sharpening.

  • Yes, all Pana lenses are boosted by the in-camera sharpening, and also by in-camera lens distortion correction. Both these processes result in more moiré than necessary. Sharpening and correction are impossible to disable.

    The Canon FD 85mm f/1.8 is an interesting alternative for the 85mm Rokkors. It is a wonderful and not so famous vintage lens so it costs often even less than the Rokkors 85mm. If used wide open it has beautiful, creamy bokeh and it is soft but not unsharp. Great for the portaiture wide open. Stopped down to f/4 it already gets impressively sharp, by f/5.6 it is razor sharp. I must admit that I've begun to collect Rokkors recently (nomad inspired me....) but I don't own any 85mm Rokkor so I can't compare them with the FD. But this FD lens in combination with my beloved Nikkor 85mm f/1.4 gives me all I can only wish and I need no other lenses in this focal length.

    The performance of the FD 85mm f/1.8 is in a way comparable to the Rokkor 58mm f/1.2 in terms of dreamy bokeh wide open and sharp stopped down. But saying this, please keep in mind that the Rokkor 58/1.2 is an unique lens and no other lens produces such looking image.

  • @nomad Nice, I think I'm going to seek for a 85 f/2 MD... all the Minolta f/2 lenses are VERY good, including the AF Maxxum lenses... I have a Minolta AF 35mm f/2 that is a unbelievable performer... VERY sharp WO with nice bokeh also, and there is the AF 100mm f/2 that I never used, but i've heard amazing things about it...

    Going back to the Rokkors, there is a Rokkor 135mm f/2 that is very rare, but should be nice...

    @tetakpatak I have some experience with the Canon 85mm f/1.8 EF version, any similarity between the EF and the FD? because the EF is very very sharp WO...