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  1. #41

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Large Format
    The 5.8cm is reported to be a very nice lens, but I don't think the choice of that FL was because it gave a more normal perspective. It seems more to have have been a compromise based on building a good performing lens that cleared the mirror. Most manufacturers (Nikon anyway) seem to have worked to reducing the focal length as soon as they could do it without compromising quality.

    I'd love to try one sometime, though am tending toward shorter FL's lately myself. Oh, and it certainly seems to fit the thread topic of good pre-ai Nikkors; there is lots of love for this lens, and it doesn't get much more pre-ai than that (on an F).

  2. #42
    CGW is offline

    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Medium Format
    Quote Originally Posted by Ralph Javins View Post
    Good morning, CGW;

    Yes, sir. You are exactly right.

    When we look at the history of the "double frame" 35mm film format of 24mm by 36mm for still cameras derived from the original 18mm by 24mm frame format on the film used for motion pictures, the 50mm "normal" lens focal length has been around for a long time from prior to World War II. The only sort of a "problem" is that it is slightly "wide angle." When the major camera makers started coming out with their larger diameter low light lenses for the professional photographer, there had to be a reason why they chose the odd focal length of 58mm. It was not just Nikon and Minolta; Topcon, Canon, and others, including the Russians with the Helios-44 for the Zenit, all had 58mm lenses. Yes, that reason is that 58mm provides the same true perspective through the lens as we see with our eyes. I still suggest that if we are interested in having a true "normal" lens on our 35mm still picture cameras, then it should be the 58mm focal length, and not the more common 50mm. Again, this is for exactly the reason you state of true perspective.

    Also, I agree with you that the MINOLTA AUTO ROKKOR-PF 1:1.4 f=58mm and the later MC ROKKOR-PF 1:1.4 f=58mm lenses are very useful lenses on Minolta SR mount cameras. The MC ROKKOR-PG 1:1.2 f=58mm lenses are nice, yes, especially when focusing in very low light levels with older eyes, but the optical characteristics of the f/1.4 lenses and the f/1.7, f/1.8, and f/2 lenses overall tend to be better than the f/1.2, at least up until we stop down to about f/5.6 when things begin to even out among them. The main reason for using one of the later MC variants or even the MD is the developments in lens coatings that Minolta constantly improved. Also, Minolta did not wait until the end of a production year or a model change to adopt the improved lens surface coatings. If the engineers decided they had a better way to do it, they implemented that change in the coatings as quickly as they could get the equipment on the production line adapted to the new process. And, the use of a close fitting lens hood or lens shade will make even more of a difference in our photographs.

    Am I drifting off topic?
    No, you're not off-topic. Minolta made their own glass and arguably led the industry in R&D in coatings during the 60s and 70s. No complaints about the optical quality of old Rokkor and Rokkor-X lenses.

    I like these somewhat oddball FLs, like the Nikon 45/2.8 Ai-P--a bit wider than a 50mm but not quite 35mm.

  3. #43

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Winnipeg, Canada
    Multi Format
    Like this one, on a matching body.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0997-700.jpg  

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