Saturday, June 11, 2011

Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 85mm f1.7 - First Impression

Rusty old Dodge Suspension -- NEX-5 & Minolta MC Rokkor-pf 85mm f1.7. Click for larger.

Bought this lens few weeks ago at the camera show, along with a Carsen-Polaris 85mm f1.7, which has a stuck aperture.  These two lenses share some similarities: same maximum aperture, same great build quality, about the same size, similar coating, similar minimum focusing distance.

Generally, 85mm lenses have a pretty long minimum focusing distance at around a meter (or 3 ft), so it's not really a good lens for close ups, but this focal length is not intended to be used for this purpose.  After all, it's a portrait lens.  The sad thing is that none of my kids wants me to take their pictures any more, so I haven't taken any pictures of people.  I will have to snick a picture or two later on when they don't notice.

Broken -- NEX-5 & Minolta MC 85mm f1.7 @ f1.7. Click for larger.

Image quality -- so far I am quite happy with it.  Usable wide open and as with most lenses, sharpness and contrast improve with the aperture stopping down a little.  I am no longer a pixel peeper; there is more to image quality than just sharpness.  It's the sum of all aspects that makes the lens unique, not just sharpness.  This lens has only six aperture blades, but the bokeh looks quite nice, even when shot at f2.8 or smaller.

Bokeh -- NEX-5 & Minolta MC 85mm f1.7. Click for larger.

Personally, I don't think there is too much difference between this lens, and the Takumar SMC 85mm f1.8, except the Takumar feels nicer both focusing and holding in hand, and more expensive than the Minolta.  Will do a comparison if time permits.

Wheel -- NEX-5 & Minolta MC 85mm f1.7.


  1. Great collection, some of these have an almost 3D effect.
    I'm still amazed how good the NEX works.
    Very nice shots!

  2. I would consider to purchase NEX-5. The lens should bring great bokeh at night photography.
    Nice angle and the color is absolutely great!! Nice Job.

  3. @The Sound Gallery: For me, the NEX has only one major issue - the lack of a view finder. The LCD is difficult to see and thus to focus the lens under very bright lights. Not too much of a problem for auto focus lenses.

    @DongKyu: The NEX-5 is one of a very balanced camera. Good sensor, small package, short lens flange, but usability is not as good as can be.

  4. very nice pictures, it would be interesting to see a comparison with the Tak

  5. looks great. Been thinking of getting the FD equivalent ... think I might just do that :-)

  6. @obakesan, the FD 85mm f1.8 is a very nice lens indeed. I sold mine stupidly (before m4/3 and NEX of course) very cheaply. In any case, the FD version is quite a bit cheaper then the Rokkor 85mm f1.7.

  7. @john, will do a comparo with the Tak when time permits.

  8. Beautiful work flow, I also own a Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 85mm f1.7 for my Minolta XE-7