Need to choose best normal Minolta MD/MC lens

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by mweintraub, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I either bought or was gifted some Minolta gear and now I'm trying to let some gear go. I have the following bodies that I'll probably keep:

    SRT 202 (My Dad's)
    SRT Super (Converted to modern voltage - keeping unless someone give me a good offer)
    X-700

    I have a number of MD/MC/Rokkor lenses and want to limit my collection.

    I know I have:
    45mm f2
    50mm 1.4 Rokkor-PG (Dad's also, keeping no matter what)
    a 1.7s or two
    a f2 (I think I still have it)
    and a 58mm 1.4 Rokkor-X (I think it's an -X)

    So my question, what are the best (fast, f2-1.4) lenses either I listed or dont' have yet. (Yes, I would like a 1.2, but don't need to spend that much.)
     
  2. Christopher Walrath

    Christopher Walrath Member

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    Wirelessly posted (BBBold: BlackBerry9000/4.6.0.167 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/102 UP.Link/6.3.0.0.0)


    From a lifelong Minolta MD user, you're good.

    Keep the pancake and the 1.4's.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 21, 2009
  3. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I know in the Nikkor world, the 50mm 1.8 is renound for it's sharpness at f4-f8. More so than the f/1.4, maybe marginally... but it's still there. I was wondering if the 1.7 is the same.
     
  4. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    58mm 1.4 Rokkor-X by far is the best.

    Steve
     
  5. mgb74

    mgb74 Subscriber

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    But also consider that your x700 requires an MD lens to use all it's features.
     
  6. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    mgb74, I think I'm OK because I use Aperture Priority 95.67% of the time. The rest is manual mode.
     
  7. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Out of that group, If I were keeping 2 lenses, and given the bodies you'll be using them on, I'd keep the 50mm f1.4 MC, and the 45mm f2 MD, for compatibility with X-700 program mode, and the most ultra small and light.

    If I were keeping just one of these lenses, I'd be torn between the 50mm f1.4 PG and a 50mm F1.7 MD Rokkor-X
     
  8. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    Body-wise, If I were you, I'd keep the SRT-Super and I'd actually sell the X-700 and replace it with either an XD-11, XD-5, or X-570. X-570s are cheap (you can generally get them on ebay for under $30) and IMHO, superior to the X-700 because Minolta changed the capacitor that was a reliability issue on the X-700, and also they replace Program mode with a really well executed metered manual mode that the X-700 lacks.

    Ironically, because most folks are not aware of this, you could probably sell your working X-700 for $10-20 more than a clean X-570 costs to buy.
     
  9. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Hm, Interesting. I will have to look more into it.
     
  10. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    But doesn't the X-570 lack TTL flash?
     
  11. ath

    ath Member

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    Define "best" for you.
    I have 3 50mm and the 45mm; although in general not highly regarded the MD50 f/2 has the lowest distortion of all four.
     
  12. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    The X-570 has TTL auto Flash exposure control, just like the X-700.
     
  13. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    No, looks like it does have it.
     
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  15. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    I guess over all. Sharpness, Distortion, bokeh (not DOF, I know the difference), etc.
     
  16. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    58mm 1.4 is your better one.
     
  17. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Again, what he said.

    Steve
     
  18. fmajor

    fmajor Member

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    This is just an afterthought, but the 58mm lenses were no longer in production when Minolta began the Rokkor-X designation. The lens designers had moved on to 50mm as the "new normal" focal length and left the 58mm formula in the drawer. Bummer, bc it is a *great* focal length for portraiture.... For my consumption, the Rokkor 58mm f1.4 is my go-to b&w portrait lens - what's Leica got on it? Nuthin. ;-)

    Otherwise, the MC Rokkor(and -X variant) PG 50mm f1.4 is really sharp and my choice for "normal" focal length use for color photography. I have the MD Rokkor-X 50mm f1.4 and it is missing something - probably my perspective only. I've read other well-experienced Rokkor users extol the virtures of the MC Rokkor-X 50mm f1.7 being sharper than the f1.4, but i'd have to see some negs or really large prints under loupe for proof.
     
  19. Chazzy

    Chazzy Member

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    Thanks—that's very good to know.
     
  20. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone!
     
  21. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    I think my 50mm f1.4 is a MC Rokkor X and I can't fault it.


    Steve.
     
  22. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Member

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    I would agree that the 58mm f1.4 lens is better for portraiture than the later 50mm f1.4 lenses, but IMHO, the 50mm lenses are superior for everything else. However, I could see the argument that the 58mm lens makes a better compliment to the 45mm f2 than does the 50mm. But, if you actually plan on using the lens at f1.4, the 50mm lens is sharper and contrastier than the 58mm at f1.4 - however, those advantages might be disadvantages for portraiture.

    I actually got the best of both worlds. I found a 58mm f1.4 lens that has a busted diaphragm, so it is only useable wide open - or as a loupe. That lens cost me $2.
     
  23. mweintraub

    mweintraub Subscriber

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    Thanks everyone!
     
  24. andrewc

    andrewc Member

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    My two favorite Minolta lenses are the MC Rokkor-X 50/1.4 PG and the 58/1.4. I find the 50/1.4 to be amazingly sharp while the 58/1.4 lends its own unique look to pictures and it's quite sharp as well. I sold two 50/1.7 lenses in favor of keeping the 50/1.4; it performs better overall IMHO. As far as bodies, I personally keep an SR-T 102, XE-7, and XD11, with the XD11 getting the most use.

    Andy
     
  25. Pumal

    Pumal Member

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    My SRT 101 came with the MC Rokkor-PF 1:1.4 f=58mm. Best performer in the crowd. Many years ago
     
  26. psvensson

    psvensson Member

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    I'm going to go against the grain here and tell you to closely test the pancake lens before you use it for anything important. I had one, and it performed poorly at the edges of the image, even lagging behind at f5.6. It's far behind the best Minolta lenses.

    The MC Rokkor-PG 50/1.4 is probably sharp, but the bokeh is not very good. On the other hand, the 50/1.7s that I have tested are sharp and have excellent bokeh. I have an MD Rokkor-X that gives bokeh that's just as good as the vaunted 85/1.7, which I also have (and like).