Minolta Rokkor-x 80mm enlarging lens

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Luseboy, Apr 23, 2011.

  1. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    I got one of these in a box of darkroom stuff. I didn't have an 80mm lens at the time, so i mounted it on a lens board and use it for 120 negs. I usually use el-nikkor's for 35mm and 4x5 printing, but this lens appears to be about the same qaulity. Am i just being optomistic, or is this a really nice enlarging lens that doesn't get quite the credit it deserves?
    -Austin
     
  2. Wade D

    Wade D Member

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    I can't say for sure about the Minolta enlarging lenses but if they are anything like the camera lenses they are very high quality. All of the Minolta glass I have is very sharp.
     
  3. R gould

    R gould Member

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    The minolta enlarging lens were second to none, even though they have not been made for several years now even by todays standards they are very superior lenses, equal to any available today, your are very lucky, I had one once, a 80mm, and it beat a Nikkor in terms of sharpness and contrast, sadly my darkroom has a concrete floor and one day I dropped it and fine glass and concrete do not go well together, so use the lens and enjoy it.
    Richard
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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  5. Luseboy

    Luseboy Member

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    wow good to hear. I was thinking i preferred the lens to my el-nikkors, but i didn't think it could be considered better than one. Well good to know that i have yet another nice enlarging lens that i got for free! haha
     
  6. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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    Anything branded Minolta, Pentax, Fuji or Olympus does not get the credit it deserves. For most people, there are only two names: Canon and Nikon. Those two brands have historically been the only ones which made a consistent investment in professional support in photographic venues. A professional photographer I know uses Canon only because he can find assistance near the foot-ball pitch. You have a problem with a lens or a body: Canon representatives are there, they can repair it on the spot or hire a substitute.

    I do believe is this kind of massive investment which made Canon and Nikon the choice of those kind of professional photographers. And once this choice is wide-spread, you will find that lens renters have a large assortment of Nikon and Canon lenses and a small choice of other mounts. Another reason, for the professional, to spouse Canon or Nikon. Minolta and Pentax tried to invade the professional market (XM and LX) but, as far as I know, were not prepared to follow the professionals on the pitch, to be there when they were needed.

    The layman sitting in front of the TV sees professional photographers at work only in the old same occasions: sport, star-system events, fashion. They see Canons and Nikons and they think it must be better quality.

    In the Eighties I was an affectionate reader of a magazine which published 2-4 MTF tests every month, typically direct comparisons. Nikon and Canon lenses were typically lower in MTF results than Minolta and Pentax. The plain and cheap Nikon ES 50mm given with cheaper Nikons was much better, optically, than the 50mm Nikkor of the time. The only lenses which were constantly a notch above any other optically were the German ones.

    The magazine explained the different performance between Nikon ES and Nikkor is a result to be expected. The SE series was a newer design. The Nikkor was basically the same design of the Sixties. The Nikkor was superior in ruggedness and serviceability, each lens (lens group) having its own bronze collar to make a realignment easy and fast. If you drop the 50mm Nikkor, a technician can open it and realign it without problems. Cheaper lenses do not allow that. Minolta and Pentax typically had better design and optical performance (until you dropped them on a hard floor, that is). Nikkors and lenses for Contax and Leica (not so much Canon) were much better built mechanically (Zeiss and Leica also optically).

    What the professionals look for and find in Canons and Nikons is not strict optical quality, but other advantages, such as service and serviceability, which is typically not so interesting for the normal user.

    Fabrizio

    PS Also, professional cameras such as the top of the line (F3, F1, XM, LX, etc.) typically are sold by the factory under cost, i.e. at a loss. Factories do that because in the long run they will recover the money by lenses profits. It's a long term strategy. A firm must be prepared to make a courageous long-term investment to enter the professional market. Minolta and Pentax, and especially Olympus, were not persevering in that effort.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 24, 2011
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F Member

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    Yep; other companies made good shit.