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Review: Chiyoko Tele Rokkor 110mm 1:5.6 Minolta

Lens review: Chiyoko Tele Rokkor 1:5.6 f=11cm. (LTM, Leica Thread Mount, or LSM, Leica Screw Mount, or M39)

This lens hasn’t a practical meaning in modern times, so, this article is something like “Tester’s pride” – to review a lens which is considered as rarest in the very first series of Minolta’s lenses for 35mm film.


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 has been made.

MSR11056_exterior__289 copy.jpg

Chiyoko Tele Rokkor f=11cm f/5.6 parameters:

Name engraved on lens Chiyoko TELE ROKKOR
f[mm] 110
A max [1/f] 5.6
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 4
Lens design [gr.] 2
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 34
Lens Shade
closefocus[m/ft] 2.13/7
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 47 x 71.5/77
Weight[g] 244gr
Year 1947 – ?
Style Heavy Metal :)
Notes

Floating elements NO
Aperture blades number 10
Average international price 2019: USD 1000
Reviewed Lens SN: 5257

This lens was released with the first Minolta-35 camera in 1947 (Model A). The whole list of that lens is:

(Not a lot, so an everyone will be reviewed on the site soon)

This f5.6 on 110mm focal distance seems too slow for that ancient period of film-photo. The lens was available in silver-black and entirely in silver. The silver version is considered extremely rare, unlike the black one. Also, “silver” costs several times more. And in general, it is considered a collectible lens. Although at auctions I always watched about the same number of those and those.

My sIlver version is marked with red “c”, some black/silver – with blue “c”. The “c” means – “coated”.

Here a couple of photos with a silver-black copy from eBay:


Lens exterior:

My copy is in good condition, has tight rings but it can’t affect the results of tests, so I won’t perform CLA, anyway, no one is going to use it in real photography. The optic is clean enough and it was the main goal.

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

Attached to the camera Minolta-35 (“Model-B”) – a very suitable set: both were in production and in sale in the one period of time. To be honest, when this site was started I didn’t admit that it’s possible to get so rare lens with so rare camera for the review, which interesting for less than a hundred readers at the world.. or less than a dozen? But it happened and I’m glad to show you this set.

What about accessories – case (“made in occupied Japan”) and mount-cap (I still haven’t a front cap):


The viewfinder:

This copy has a little replacement – thin wire isn’t original. I don’t care – the very minor change.


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)

hildegarde_10_2print.jpg

Scene preview:

MSR11056___b_res_close_previewNEW.jpg

Test results:

MSR11056___c_res_close_try01.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:

MSR11056___e_far_preview.jpg

Test results:

MSR11056___e_res_far.jpg


Vignetting:

(frames scaled – 300×200)

MSR11056___f_vignettingNEW.png


Geometric distortion:

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MSR11056_geometry_F__try1_147.jpg


Coma aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MSR11056___h_coma_aberr_.jpg


Chromatic aberrations:

(100% crops – 300×200)

MSR11056___i_chrome_aberrNEW_.png


Long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 2.13m, 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.

(frame scaled 1200×800)

MSR11056___k_bokeh_far_min_NEW.png


Light dots long distance bokeh:

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 2.13m, 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.

MSR11056___m_dots_far_min_NEW.png


Chiyoko Tele Rokkor 110mm 1:5.6 (Minolta):

AvatarReview_MSR11056.png

Let me avoid making recommendations or vise versa. Here are just observations:

  1. Small and lightweight. So small that I was surprised when it has arrived
  2. Of course, it gives a total “steel&glass” feeling
  3. Of course, it can’t give us a good or even average IQ, but it works enough to be used with modern digital cameras. In other words, it works much better than it can be expected. Just.., I haven’t idea about reasons for using this lens
  4. Vignetting and geometry – weak sides, but coma and chromatic are opposite – a very good behavior
  5. Bokeh is nice, as it usually happens for rangefinders lenses from that era. Has “swirly” notes, but not too much

In the sum of results, it is mostly like a very attractive collectible item, not a photographer’s tool, but the feeling of history comes from this lens, this makes it “special” regardless of the test results


 

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