Showcase Minolta 135mm f2.8 MC Tele Rokkor

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WithOpenedEyes

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Technically, this lens doesn't fit into the regular MC category, as there were changes in the line designated by the dropping of the 2 letter lens code after the word Rokkor. It's actually more like an early MD than a MC. This is a very nice chunk of glass on m4/3, but it really wants to be on something that has a grip. There's enough weight to warrant this, although there are heavier 135's. It does balance fairly well on the M10 though. It's sharp enough to start with, but the images seem to take nicely to additional sharpness in post. Color is just really nice. I had a hard time believing it when seeing the first batch on the screen. Processing notes here for these: just a quick touch up with curves and a generous dash of unsharp mask. That's it.
 

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SVQuant

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View attachment 124853 View attachment 124854 View attachment 124855 Technically, this lens doesn't fit into the regular MC category, as there were changes in the line designated by the dropping of the 2 letter lens code after the word Rokkor. It's actually more like an early MD than a MC. This is very nice chunk of glass on m4/3, but it really wants to be on something that has a grip. There's enough weight to warrant this, although there are heavier 135's. It does balance fairly well on the M10 though. It's sharp enough to start with, but the images seem to take nicely to additional sharpness in post. Color is just really nice. I had a hard time believing it when seeing the first batch on the screen. Processing notes here for these: just a quick touch up with curves and a generous dash of unsharp mask. That's it.
John, these are very nice. Were they shot wide open? I have been thinking about getting a legacy 135 recently and with some research had narrowed my choices to either a Minolta MC or a m42 SMC Takumar. These sample certainly suggest that I would not go wrong with the Minolta.

BTW, I really like the ECG-1 on the E-M10 and would recommend it if you do not already have it. It makes the handling of my O75-300II much better.
 

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I'm bad about dealing with recording f stops on manual focus lenses. These were probably between 2.8 and 5.6. 2.8 had noticeably less contrast, but still had some sharpness and didn't get really soft and glowy, like others wide open. Probably because of better coatings in the late 70's glass. From what I've read, most any company can make a half way decent 135mm..and they do..there's a bazillion of them. The good ones are harder to find, but worth it. I considered the SMC Tak's, Hexanon's, Canon's, and looked at 3rd party stuff too. It came down to the SMC Takumar and Minolta. A friend at work was the deciding factor. He said his wife had used Minolta gear in the late 70's and that he was always impressed with the image quality. I wanted a lens that wasn't going to be a real beast on these smaller cameras. Had a Canon 200mm f4.0 and it was just too much handheld. I'd also had a Canon FD 135 2.5 back in the day, and that was no lightweight either. So I was also paying attention to the lens dimensions. As far as weight goes, the Takumars are pretty light. But comparing vintages, the Tak's are early 70's vintage compared to the later Minolta used here. The 70's seemed to be a time when much was learned about coatings and lens design. Late 70's glass generally was way better than late 60's. So my reasoning led me to this one..and I'm not disappointed at all. So the answer really is that in the higher speed 135's (2.5, 2.8), most any of the good brands will be OK. You'll find guys arguing about the best ones. This one works very nicely for me. I've considered that grip and may get one when I get a second body.
Thanks. That's useful information and agrees with what I have figured out so far. Weight is something I am looking out for as well. I sold my Nikon legacy glass (other than the 50/1.8) a few years ago, but the old Nikon 135/2.8 was about a pound or so. Good point about the coatings as well. The Minoltas do seem to be lighter, especially the late MCs and the MDs. I am watching a couple on eBay and will pull the trigger on one over the weekend.
 

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Minolta MC 135mm @ f2.8

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