Lens Porn Monday!

(Mostly) every Monday I’ll talk about a lens I own or have used, and post some example shots I have taken with it. This week’s lens: The Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8!

Sony A7 with Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 lens.

Sony A7 with Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 lens.

When I got into more serious photography a year ago, my uncle had given me his A7 camera. Along with it he had given me the Sony 50mm f/1.8 lens start with. However, he didn’t want me to just be able to hit AF and get a perfect shot every time. He wanted to ensure that I would have to work for a good photo, so he also gave me his collection of vintage Minolta Rokkor lenses. Being manual focus, these lenses would require me to think differently, and I was eager for the challenge. I would be the MANUAL LENS KING! MOAR BOKEH!!!!

Yeah right, I was absolutely terrified to even touch the friggin’ things…

Right off the hop, I was afraid I would drop them — especially this beast (and it is a beast.) Being an f/2.8 it’s quite heavy. But in return for that heft you get a fast lens that, in my opinion, is very sharp and a joy to use despite its age. First of all, it features an all-metal construction with a built in lens hood that slides and clicks into place when you need it. If you’re going to adapt it to mirrorless, you will need an adapter which can be found on amazon. I use the Fotodiox MD to FE adapter, but there are plenty at cheaper and more expensive price points.

There’s a decent amount of CA and purple fringing, which isn’t shocking considering its age.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Notice the purple fringing on the upper left of the dome. (Click for full size.)

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Notice the purple fringing on the upper left of the dome. (Click for full size.)

 

I find the Bokeh produced by the lens to be quite lovely, especially depending on the background.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of raindrops on a weeping willow tree in the winter.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of raindrops on a weeping willow tree in the winter.

Bottom Line:
Despite the flaws, this lens remains one of my absolute favorites. It’s a little hard to find, and quite expensive. I’ve only seen it once on ebay, personally, but you can also pick up other Minolta manual Rokkor lenses at f/3.5 and f/4.0 at a much more reasonable price, though they will perform a little worse in low light. In any case if you need a good quality, manual tele that is built like a TANK, then one of the Minolta Rokkor 200mm lenses are well worth your time to check out.

Five Favorite Examples:

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of a Mocking Bird in the spring time.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of a Mocking Bird in the spring time.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Taken indoors, and the low-light performance of the lens really comes through.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Taken indoors, and the low-light performance, as well as the Bokeh of the lens really comes through.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of a gull gulping its meal. Taken at a shutter speed of 1/2000.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Image of a gull gulping its meal. Taken at a shutter speed of 1/2000.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Nightime long exposure of 20 sec. on the US Capitol from the Lincoln Memorial.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | Nightime long exposure of 20 sec. on the US Capitol from the Lincoln Memorial.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | This is a great lens that produces wonderful clear shots in any light. I highly recommend it.

ILCE-7 | Minolta Rokkor-x 200mm f/2.8 | This is a great lens that produces wonderful clear shots in any light. I highly recommend it.

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