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Review: Minolta MC Tele Rokkor PE 200mm 1:4.5

Minolta MC Tele Rokkor PE 200mm f/4.5 lens review (Hills and Valleys, MC-II)

Classic or ‘vintage’ long lens with elegant shape and with the good enough IQ for any photographer task. Of course it has “steel and glass” construction as any lens from this line.

(Note: this is the starting article of the reviews cycle about Minolta MC Rokkor lenses in “Hills and Valleys” body design. Author hopes that every lens from this line will be tested on the site. Stay tuned, if you are interested.)

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 an unknown lens with much less of doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site was created.

MCC20045__exterior_690.jpg

Minolta MC Tele Rokkor PE 200mm 1:4.5 (MC-II) parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 217
Name engraved on lens MC TELE ROKKOR-PE
f 200
A max 4.5
A min 22
Elements 5
Groups 5
Filter thread 52
Lens Shade built-in
close 2.5/8
Dimension 63×130
Weight 500
Year 1970
Style MC II
Code No. 645-1xx

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 15-30
Reviewed Lens SN: 1518998

This lens has been designed in the period of permanent experiments and improvements in Japan optical industry. Different copies of this model can have different performance, but I believe that for such long focal distances (300mm – 135mm) difference in sharpness won’t be significant.



Lens exterior:

On Minolta SR-T 101 camera:

This combination of lens and camera is authentic – both are produced very close in time and belong for the same series.


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 3m. 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 3 times for every target position on all apertures from fully opened up to F16, ISO-200, 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. Main idea – to exclude the field curvature affect on so close distance. Of course, I can’t be absolutely accurate, but test results looks 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

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

Celty Sturluson 17 2print.png

Scene preview:

MCC20045__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MCC20045__c_res_close.jpg


Sharpness – 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:

MCC20045__e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MCC20045__e_res_far.jpg


Vignetting:

(Center point exposure, frames scaled – 300×200)

MCC20045__f_vignettingNEW.png


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MCC20045_geometry_85.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MCC20045__h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MCC20045__i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 2.5m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less, see the next Test#2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MCC20045__k_bokeh_far_min_2_5m_NEW.png

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 4m – ‘portrait distance’, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MCC20045__k_bokeh_far_mid_4_0m_NEW.png


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 2.5m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is demonstration of extreme conditions. In most cases of real life photography the blur level will be less – see the Test #2.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MCC20045__m_dots_far_min_2_5m_NEW.png

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 4m – ‘portrait distance’, houses still were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MCC20045__m_dots_far_mid_4_0m_NEW.png


Other resources with reviews:

Didn’t find any with this “Hills And Valley” modification. Vintagelensreviews has the nice article and tests for later MC-X version, but as it already has been said – for that period of production differences between even the same models can be noticeable.


My overall conclusion about the LENSNAME (LENSNAME WITH MM/FF):

AvatarReview_MCC20045.png

Starting from disadvantages:

Quite heavy. Not a surprise. This is about any “Hills and Valley” Minolta lens.

Chromatic aberrations are presented a lot of course , but I believe that it isn’t a big disadvantage for digital photography case. Lens not a good in fighting against sun-flares, but it has build-in lens shade (!) – 35mm from the edge of front lens. And with small diameter of the front lens – all this construction looks like a bunker.

To advantages:

Say thanks for modern digital cameras with IBIS (‘In Body Image Stabilizer’) – this lens can be used from hands even with insufficient of light. Lens is sharp wide open. Great distribution of sharpness over the frame – center and corners are the same. The F4.5 is enough to create a thin DOF on portraits distances. All of this isn’t a rare abilities for 200mm lens but it is good to have it in any way. Bokeh is smooth as it usually happens with long lenses. Additionally, this lens has quite simple construction, it is very easy in cleaning or fixing issues. Of course, it lies in hands like a rock – this sentence can be applied for any lens from this Minolta line. Anyway, be gentle – don’t use it in a hammer role.

This is one of the cheapest lenses on auctions for today. Independently of manufacturer and focal distance.

Overall:

Price of this lens displays the value quite correctly: not a popular focal distance, not fast, little bit heavyweight. On the other hand – very good sharpness even if wide opened and very easy in maintenance. Not a bad idea to get one. And don’t forget about built-in shade – this ability is unique for today.


AvatarLensWars_MCC20035_vs_MCC20045_vs_MD20028.png

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