Review: Minolta MC Tele Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5

Minolta MC Tele Rokkor QE 100mm F3.5 lens review (‘MC I’ style by collectors classification)

During the digging for a lens for next tests, I found a few offers with Minolta MC 100mm 1:3.5. This is the final reincarnation number four of Minolta SR-mount 100mm lenses with minimal F=3.5. Production started in 1959 (AR-I design by collectors indexing) and finished with this MC-I between 1969-1970. The offers were so cheap that I could not resist and bought a lens without even planning it in advance.

Since the first test results were obtained I don’t understand – why Minolta stopped to produce it? This lens is one of the biggest sensations since the site was started.

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 the unknown lens with much less of a doubt. One day I decided that my data might be interesting for someone else and this site has been made.
MC10035__exterior_637.jpg

Minolta MC Tele Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 parameters:

minolta.eazypix.de index 156
Name engraved on lens MC TELE ROKKOR-QE
f 100
A max 3.5
A min 22
Elements 5
Groups 4
Filter thread 52
Lens Shade D52NE
close 1.2/4
Dimension 63×54
Weight 240
Year 1966
Style MC I
Code No. 668 or 66L

Floating elements NO (full support by autofocused adapters)
Number of aperture blades 6
Average price 2019: USD40-60
Reviewed Lens SN: 1312840

 


Lens exterior:

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

 

On the camera Minolta SR-T101. The lens and the camera both from close the same age of design, lens exterior is a little bit older, but this couple is historically appropriate:

 


Lens code name – Francesca Lucchini:

Francesca Lucchini (フランチェスカ・ルッキーニ, Furanchesuka Rukkīni?) is a witch of the 501st Joint Fighter Wing, originating from Romagna and affiliated with the Romagna Air Force and her original unit: Romagna’s Sovrana Aeronautica Romagniana 4th Air Unit. She is often named by her surname (Lucchini), and referred by the alias of ‘Gattino’ (Kitty in Italian) and ‘Franca’. Also, her callsign takeoff is ‘Gattina Nera’ (Black Kitty in Italian).

 


Sharpness – close distance:

Test description: target is a 10×15 cm picture (printed, glossy photo paper), fixed on the wall by scotch. Distance – 1.7m. 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)

Francesca Lucchini 20 2print_.jpg

Scene preview:

MC10035__b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MC10035__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-50. 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:

MC10035__e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MC10035__e_res_far.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200) (small area in the central position of every frame has the same lightness)

MC10035__f_vignettingNEW


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC10035_geometry_80.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MC10035__h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MC10035__i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


Long distance bokeh:

Test#1:

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1.2m, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

Such scenes can’t be meet often, so this is a 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)

MC10035__k_bokeh_far_min_1_2m_NEW.png

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m – ‘portrait distance’, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC10035__k_bokeh_far_mid_2_5m_NEW.png


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test #1

Test conditions: lens was focused on to minimal distance 0.45m, lights were fixed in more than 200m.

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

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC10035__m_dots_far_min_1_2m_NEW.png

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m – ‘portrait distance’, houses were fixed in infinity distance on the ground.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MC10035__m_dots_far_mid_2_5m_NEW.png


Other resources with reviews:

no other reviews were found. Give me shout if you know a one


My overall conclusion about the MINOLTA MC TELE ROKKOR QE 100MM F:3.5:

MC10035__Avatar.png

Up to this moment, the central place in the category “Amazing and Forgotten” was held by Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5. But today this small princess Rokkor 100/3.5 took the place above. Let’s look at the lens without weaknesses  /of course in the borders of characteristics – F3.5 is max/. Just imagine –  the faster lenses on these focal distances have existed, but any another of them can be compared with this 100/3.5 on opened F3.5! Yes, this is not an exaggeration, proofing comparison tests will be added to the site soon. The lens is absolutely sharp even wide open at F3.5, and finding the difference to the next F5.6 requires a time.

It has no coma. Chromatic aberrations are micro and in corners only – and this is for the tele-lens. It has no noticeable geometric aberrations and shows quite typical vignetting – not heavy at least.

No doubts – bokeh is ‘creme’, with the interesting rendering of  ‘sharpness-to-bokeh’ transition zone, which gives popular 3D-pop effect, it may be not so noticeable as on faster lenses, but presented. On portrait distances, this 100mm and F3.5 provides thin DOF which is enough for any photographer task.

240 grams and 63 mm – it don’t need a many spaces in photographer bag. Or even in a pocket. Great solution for photographers who doubt about to take something long and heavy into the next trip or not.

Add here standard advantages of any old Minolta MC lenses: no any rubber, it’s steel and glass only, and construction is quite simple to fix most of the possible issues at home conditions with a screwdriver and hammer /joke/. Without of laboratory, I mean.

I’m glad: it looks like one another gem by Minolta has been found. This is the high-level lens, can be recommended with no doubts.


 

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