Another Minolta MC Rokkor PG 58mm 1:1.2 lens review

Important note: Minolta MC PG 58mm 1/1.2 is one of the famous ‘bokeh monsters’ in the world, may be it is Number One Monster by popularity, but this review contains only simple bokeh examples. Advanced tests of bokeh will be done later for some of available lenses in separate article. Next year may be…

After getting a new lens, I always take a few technical shots to understand its strengths and weaknesses – usually it helps me a lot to start using unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.

s/n 2571424 – it’s MC2 version, or #2 of totally 3 versions available, it means that it has old design but not radioactive. All three versions look optically identical, differences are in body design only.

I’m grateful to professional Minolta collectors for the information about more accurate range of serial numbers of non-radioactive samples, than the one that was known on internet so far. Instead of “something around 256x” I can say that the range from ‘2568164’ is at least exactly non-radioactive. But the risk is still can be with serials close to this number because some parts may be mixed during production. On the other hand: please do not overestimate the danger of radioactive lenses. Especially from Minolta – even first generation of this Rokkor-PG lenses have a fairly low level level of radiations. It’s unlikely this can harm you if you do not eat lens at dinner. Read more about radioactive lenses on the Internet if you are afraid. The greatest danger is that some country’s customs may expropriate foreign parcel with lens, but such cases are extremely rare.

And yellow coating easily corrected by sunlight or even some LED lamps.

 

MinoltaMC5812ext_94

Minolta MC 58mm f:1.2 Rokkor PG parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 130
Name engraved on lens MC ROKKOR-PG
f[mm] 58
A max [1/f] 1.2
A min[1/f] 16
Lens design [el.] 7
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade D55NC
closefocus[m/ft] 0.6/2
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 69×54
Weight[g] 455
Year 1970
Style MC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 633
Minolta_58mm_f12_MC-X_TF
MC ROKKOR-PG 58mm F1.2 optical design

Lens exterior:

(Please, forgive me the dust on the lens, I never have the patience to clean objects for close-up photo sessions)


Lens code name – Mika  ミカ

Mika (ミカ, Mika) is one of the supporting characters of Girls und Panzer der Film. She is the commander of the Jatkosota High School’s Sensha-dō team.

 


Resolution – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance is 1.8m – can be good for portraits. Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. All groups of shots were repeated 9 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-100, WB – same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot. After all needed shots have been taken for one target position – I moved  the target to the next place.

test_scene_view300x200

Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance.

Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but so many repeats of shots – 4 for corners, 2 for long side, 2 for short side are giving me insurance that test results are correct.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

MinoltaMC5812_scene_preview

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

730578

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions):

MinoltaMC5812_SHORT

Test results (full version – all 9 positions):

MinoltaMC5812_FULL


Resolution – long distance:

Test description: Camera Sony A7II (24mpx, full frame) was fixed on the tripod and managed remotely with computer display as a viewfinder. Targets (buildings) were fixed by gravity power on the distances in more than 200 meters. All shots have been taken with apertures from fully opened up to F16. ISO-100. Shutter Speed – depends on light (camera A-mode), WB – fixed and the same for all shots. SteadyShot – OFF. Focus was manually corrected for each shot to exclude focus-shift affect.

Finally, pictures were converted from ARW-files in Capture One with default settings (Some single files have a slight light correction, for better visual convenience in comparison), then were cropped for 300×200 px elements, combined into diagrams and exported into JPEG-files.

Scene preview:

MC5812_longdist_PREVIEW

Test results:

MC5812_LONGDIST


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MC5812_vignetting


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MinoltaMC5812geometry


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MC5812_coma_aberr


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MC5812_chrome_aberr


Close distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance + 10% of scale (0.7m), plants were fixed in 2m distance from camera in front of the window with bright light from outside.

(frame scaled 1200×800, bokeh covers the frame partially)

MC5812_bokeh_close

 


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on half distance on the scale (1.2m), houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC5812_bokeh_far


Light dots bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance + 10% of scale (about 0.7 m), diodes were  fixed in 2m distance at the dark background.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC5812_dots


Another resources with tests and reviews:


My overall conclusion about the Minolta MC Rokkor-PG 58mm 1:1.2F (Minolta MC 58mm F/1.2):

AvatarPlank_MC5812

Let me start from disadvantages: this lens is big, heavy and not comfortable in using. It has a noticeable all-types aberrations on F1.2 and even on F8 a little softness can be presented on corners. To be honestly it is better than most of another lenses from the same age, but it bad enough for so big market price – I can’t say that this lens is rare: a lot of items there are on auctions in anytime. All these issues is a payment for taking photos with one of the most attractive art-lens in the world. MC PG 58/1.2 has unique combination of some parameters – 58mm focal distance, huge front lens, 8 aperture blades and good enough IQ on F2-F8 – this sum makes the lens ideal for objects/portrait photography. Actually, I can’t say that this Minolta has the best bokeh – a lot of another lens can provide the ‘smooth and creme and bla-bla-bla’ abstract pictures on the background, but only this lens can mix really lovely bokeh with thin DOF and with 58mm perspective, it helps to create magic photos in absolutely trivial environments. On the other hand – this lens isn’t a good choice for common photography or in role of universal gear – because disadvantages above and because not all scenes need such approach – on closed apertures this monster stops to be outstanding and limitations come to the fore. Anyway: I think that this lens isn’t much overpriced – such possibilities is worth to market price. Really unique lens which can make photographers happy, especially those who like thin DOF and games with bokeh.


This lens took part in the battle:

Resolution test: Minolta MC 58mm f/1.2 vs. Minolta MD 50mm f/1.2

 

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