Saturday, March 3, 2012

Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6 -- Second Look

So I have been using the Minolta RF Rokkor-X 250mm f5.6 on the NEX-5N, and slowly getting the hang of it. It's still too long a lens for me, and I don't have very steady hands, hence low keeper rate.  Many of the pictures come out blurry.  But, once the focus is nailed, the lens rewards you with very sharp images (for a mirror lens).  I want to stress that this is a very small lens for a 250mm focal length.  On of the reason many people want it.  You can see the picture below where it's compared to the Minolta 58mm f1.2.  The 58mm f1.2 is much heavier:

Size Comparison
Size compared to the Minolta 58mm f1.2.

Although the X250 does not focus as close as the Tamron mirror lenses, it's still pretty good at minimum focus distance of 2.5 meters.  You can get pretty good close ups.  The original hood the came with the lens is way too short.  Mirror lenses tend to flare more easily than all glass lenses.  A longer hood would have helped to reduce the flare problem.

Bright Lights
Bright Lights -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF 250mm f5.6 on tripod.

In think in terms of image quality, it's probably as good as a consumer lens would get for mirror lenses.  The build quality is excellent with very smooth focus action.  It's a perfect lens for EVIL cameras.  The longer focal length allows some stealth pictures to be taken without people getting mad at you, or, simply, some like the compressed perspective of long lenses.

Talk
Talk -- NEX-5N & Minolta RF 250mm f5.6

10 comments:

  1. Thanks for posting a photo comparing it to the size of the Minola 58mm. I am shocked at how small it is! Image quality looks to be very good and the better high ISO of the NEX-5N makes for an excellent combo. Does the peaking work with such mirror lenses? Mahalo!

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    1. Thomas, the 5N's peaking level is almost required for focusing, because the small angle of view amplifies the shaking so much it's not easy to check focus without peaking level.

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  2. I can relate to the shaking comment as I have a hard time keeping my Panasonic G1 and Canon FD 135mm combo steady when I zoom in to focus. Without zooming, it's too hard to really get the focus on the right spot, although many times I will focus without zooming in and when I do, I find I am either very close or spot on. Just not confident enough to go without the zooming in and checking the critical focus! BTW, I have been inspired by your blog and will soon start my own blog showcasing images taken with a Panasonic G1 and a mix of Canon FD, Canon EF, Nikon lenses and maybe even a spotting scope! Mahalo!

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    1. Yep. Anything longer than 135mm on the M43/NEX is not easy to focus, especially using magnified view.

      Look forward to seeing your new blog!

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  3. I find a tripod helps a lot with long lenses but even then the magnified live view can still be very shaky! It looks like a great lens, I've always wanted one but the prices are getting crazy, I'm hoping the new 300mm Tokina lens for m43 will be more affordable! It's easy to tell that Tokina have been keeping their finger on the pulse and have observed the huge amount of interest in mirror lenses coming from Asia!

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you, Dave. The price is insane for this lens. I was lucky to get it for a very good price. I would never spend what seller on eBay are asking for this lens. But, you have to admit that there is a couple of desirable qualities to this lens. Small and optically good.

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  4. I hadn't realised just how small the 250/5.6 was! It would be interesting to know how it compares in performance with another little gem, the Zuiko 200/5.
    Thanks for your blog.

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    1. The small size is mostly why people want this lens. I think I have an OM 100-200mm f5 somewhere in one of the boxes. Need to dig it out one day and try it. It was part of the OM-1 camera I bought but never even thought about using it.

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    2. The 100/5 is smaller and better than the 100-200/5, hard to tell apart from the 100/4 in performance but dinky in size.

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    3. Whoops, of course I meant to write 200/5 and 200/4!

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