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  1. #1
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Almost have a CLE, but what lens?

    I'm looking to purchase a Minolta CLE from a member over on RFF. I want to use the camera when the light gets low outside or even maybe some indoor stuff, and shoot mostly from f/2 - f/5.6 range. I've heard great things about the Rokkor's ansd that there are two models. The older Rokkor's are identical to the Leica 40/2 Summicron-C but are un-coated. And the newer CLE Rokkor's are Japanese made but are multi-coated. Can anyone recommend which lens is better wide open or if they are equal? I'm currently shooting a Nikon F100 with 50/1.8 and while the 50 is ridiculously sharp a few stops down, not so much wide open, and a RF is just nicer to focus in low light anyway.

    So basically what 40mm lens do you recommend I get when preferring to shoot at or near wide open and how will it compare to the nikkor 50/1.8 I already have?

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    The Rokkor lens is not an uncoated lens.I usually start a camera with its intended lens. I don't know why. Must be a Mr. Monk thing.

    If the optical design is identical, performance should be identical or close to it.

    Shoot with it, and see if you like it. That's probably what I would do. Gea ius fun, but ultimatelly it is about you as the photographer.

    And either lens should be able to perform adequately.

    I always am amused by people who dump lenses because at f/4.0 or whatever, there is a slight harshness in the left corner of the photo.

    I think we need to peep less at pixels and spend more time looking at the bigger picture.
    Last edited by elekm; 12-12-2013 at 06:55 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  3. #3
    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elekm View Post
    The Rokkor lens is not an uncoated lens.
    Even the older version?

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    I don't think Minolta made any M-mount lenses prior to building the CL/CLE, so I think it's safe to say that any M-mount Rokkor is coated.
    Some history here;
    http://www.cameraquest.com/cle.htm#M...20CLE%20Lenses

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    Uncoated post WWII Ja lens is web rumor. A CLE lens is unlikely to be the same glass as the glass catalogue changed, older glass was cancelled newer glass better IQ.

    If you are using 400 ISO film for available darkness then a Nikon and a CLE won't be detectably different.

    If you are buying without a lens the Cosina Voightlander 40mm f1.4 is available either SC or MC ie single or multi coated, in M mount. Later glass better IQ but not detectably different.

    Lotta people prefer the single coated CL or CV lens. There is signature difference even when there is no visible flare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Even the older version?
    Uncoated lenses pretty much went out with WWII. I had a Kodak 35RF which had a hard coated lens, it was made according to the serial in 1941. The Rokkor of which you speak was made in the 70s, everything was coated, many already multicoated by then.
    The single coated 40mm Rokkor is a fine lens, I used one and it is excellent.

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    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the responses. I'm my OP when I said uncoated i meant just single coated. I'd like to go with a rokkor but wondering if I should hold out for a later multi-coated CLE version. I'm gonna be shooting mostly in low light on overcast days. If I'm not gonna be shooting a lot with it in the sun maybe I can get away with the older rokkor?

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Thanks guys for the responses. I'm my OP when I said uncoated i meant just single coated. I'd like to go with a rokkor but wondering if I should hold out for a later multi-coated CLE version. I'm gonna be shooting mostly in low light on overcast days. If I'm not gonna be shooting a lot with it in the sun maybe I can get away with the older rokkor?
    You know, multicoated lenses are not magical. They need proper lens shades just like any other lens, multicoating does not make flare go away. The difference between an uncoated lens (of the design the Rokkor uses) and a coated one is huge; the uncoated lens will be almost unuseable under certain conditions - the difference between single coated and multicoated is comparatively minor. And I make this statement based on my experience in using uncoated, single coated, and multicoated lenses of various designs over about 30 years. I get stunning results from my 1960s Nikkors, none of which are multicoated. I also get stunning results from my 1900s > 1920s Dagors, none of which are coated.

    Low light on overcast days? You'll hardly see the difference - except for a slightly different "look" that will be most noticeable with color film.
    Last edited by E. von Hoegh; 12-13-2013 at 10:43 AM. Click to view previous post history.

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    brian steinberger's Avatar
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    Thanks for that info. I'll only be shooting black and white with this camera.

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    Quote Originally Posted by brian steinberger View Post
    Thanks for that info. I'll only be shooting black and white with this camera.
    Get an old, inexpensive, uncoated screwmount something-or-other, say an early Elmar, and an M to screwmount adapter. The uncoated lenses can be a lot of fun when used with an understanding of their limits. I have a ~1936 Rollei Standard with an uncoated Tessar, I use it a lot in the woods and it gives a lovely smooth look with excellent shadow detail, very little to no flare as long as I use a decent shade. The slight amount of veiling flare present in all uncoated lenses gets the film off the toe of it's response curve, bringing up the shadow detail - who'd a thunk uncoated lenses actually have some slight advantage in certain situations?

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