Minolta MC 28mm F2.5 W Rokkor SI – 1st Generation
Note: This is not a scientific test or lens review and should not be taken in anyway shape or form as such, i simply write my experience with these lenses and an attempt to give those interested an idea of what to expect using this combination.
OK! we had one of the best days today in terms of the weather here in the Wash DC area, fall have truly arrived, rising up and stepping out the balcony while coffee is brewing, i got a pleasant surprise. Scanning the horizon, i noticed something was up, this morning seemed different, it was the birds madly chirping with beautiful sounds its seems they all finally came back all at once after being gone all summer, their calls were returned with calls as if to say hey its a beautiful day or at least it will be, funny how nature works if we just take the time to sense it, they tell us so much. The biggest surprise of all was our friends, 2 Finches we aptly named JoJo’s Dad and Mum – i thought we had lost them this summer when we had a really sudden bad storm that made big news, none that we had ever seen before in the area in years. A few days after the storm, i noticed JoJo’s mum had vanished, she no longer came by the nest they had built right outside our balcony, i had seen JoJo’s dad calling madly for JoJo’s mum a couple of days after the storm, you can hear the call – this time it was of complete desperation, unusual for these guys, i have seen them gone through having babies and losing them like new parents without a clue over the years, but nothing like this day, the chirping from JoJo’s dad was different this time, losing a partner was somehow different, i could see and hear it, for me everything sank watching this guy call and no return call, it broke my heart, if i could wave a magic wand and have JoJo’s mum appear i would in a heartbeat. Sad… We watched these guys for years as we have come to consider them as an extension of our own family, that’s when it dawned on me what could have happened, JoJo’s mum somehow got caught up in the storm and was either dead or something tragic had happened. Soon after that JoJo’s dad never returned to the nest, i thought that was the end of our extended family until today.
So to look out the balcony this morning hearing and seeing JoJo’s mum and dad together was simply magic! They were both back, what a day this would be, i carried the feeling of joy all day in my mind, thoughts of them just lingered on, hope, hope, hope! It never dies…
With a day like this, i had to get out, me and the family decided to take advantage of this gorgeous day, armed with my X-Pro 1 i decided to mount another Minolta MF lens on the camera, this time it was one I’ve been skeptical about its performance, somehow from previous tests many of the Minolta 28mm lenses have been in my opinion a mystery, on my Oly Pens it seemed like they had a mind of their own, sometimes they perform incredibly well and other times they leave me simply scratching my head, this happened on the X-Pro 1 as well initially not sure why this is, i thought perhaps it could be the adapter i am using especially the F2.5’s something was just never quite right shooting these lenses wide open. I just had a feeling that they should be performing better as they were highly praised and regarded i guess on film bodies. Anyway i was determined since i am writing my experiences on every Minolta lens i own, i would just go ahead and shoot it, boy was i surprised?
First of all in one word about the build of this lens, seriously solid! All metal build, Aperture and focus ring all metal, focus ring on this first generation is knurled, that’s serious – my copy focuses so smooth its like butter, if any manufacturer today had to make a lens of this build and caliber, it will be well out of my reach in terms of what it could cost period. Its got plenty of heft, a bit long on the XPro 1 but nothing of concern when hand holding, a good balance actually. I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves, notice there’s a tiny bit of distortion though by not much, easily fixed in PP, pleasantly contrasty, has a film like rendering, nice bokeh wide open, sharpens when stopped down. At F4-5.6 which many lenses excel, this lens is no different. It is exquisite! For around $50-$100 on he used market, this is a serious lens to consider.
I will be testing the second generation and posting shortly so check back soon!
Lens Data 1st Variation ( Knurled Metal Aperture Ring )
Name – MC W.Rokkor-SI, f [mm] – 28, max f-stop – 2.5, min f-stop – 16, half f-stops – 4 to 16, Elements – 9, Groups – 7, Filter ø [mm] – 55, Close focus [m] – 0.5, Diameter [mm] – 64, Length [mm] – 61, Weight [g] – 327, Year – 1969 , Type – MC II, Notes – Metal aperture ring, Serial numbers – 1563282, 1572787
All Images shot wide open at F2.5 -5.6 JPEG SOOC, minimal processing in LR4
Lens Data 2nd Variation ( Rubberized Aperture Ring )
Name – MC W.Rokkor-SI, f [mm] – 28, max f-stop – 2.5, min f-stop – 16, half f-stops – 4 to 16, Elements – 9, Groups – 7, Filter ø [mm] – 55, Close focus [m] – 0.5, Diameter [mm] – 64, Length [mm] – 61, Weight [g] – 327, Year – 1969 , Type – MC I, Notes – Rubberized aperture ring
All Images shot wide open at F2.5 JPEG SOOC, minimal processing in LR4