Sony A7r and Minolta 58mm 1.2 Rokkor PG , Queen of Resolution and King of Bokeh

When Sony launched its A7 series the response was very mixed. First response was, “there are no lenses available”,  which is in fact somehow true. The first lens launched was the 28-70 3.5 Kit-lens together with the Sony A7. Later Sony launched the 35mm 2.8 which was a bit too slow for some and finally the FE 55 1.8. The 35mm and 55 mm are not cheap lenses, compared to what Nikon or other´s have in this range, but it turned to be, that these two Carl Zeiss lenses could cope very well even with the less forgiving 36mp of the Sony A7r. The Sony FE Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 55mm F1.8 ZA  got rated high on DXOmark, just the Carl Zeiss Distagon T* Otus 1.4/55 ZF.2 Nikon  beat it. So Sony did wise, not to launch cheap lenses and the price compared to value is fair for both.

Beside the use of these two native lenses and the lack of a large lens portfolio made the Sony A7-series very fast to the perfect camera for using legacy lenses. Actually most people thought here , that many Leica lenses can find a new mount. And the current backorder of the leader in lens-Adapter Novoflex (Novoflex told me that there is a backlog of 2-3 weeks) proves that many Leica lenses seems to be mounted on the Alpha 7 series. For a good reason as its the first time you can use  legacy lenses on a mirrorless FF camera with amazing MF capabilities due to peaking and magnification.

But beside the run on M-mount lenses,  other lenses popped up which were forgotten over the last decades. One of this gems is the Minolta MD Rokkor 58mm 1.2.

Minolta_58mm_f12_MC-II_pic
Minolta_58mm_f12_MC-II_pic

When I saw the first pictures with it in some user groups, I was infected to hunt for a one in a good condition and I was very lucky to get one for a reasonable price at ebay.de.

The first time this lens was launched in the end of the fifties and early sixties, calculated on one of the first Computer (I guess the one which filled a room).

 

The lens is heavy and solid, build like a tank. 

Size: (diameter x length): 70.8mm x 54mm
Filter Thread: 55mm
Weight: 478g
Close Focusing Distance: 0.6m
Number of aperture blades: 8

 

Using a lens , older than me on one of the most innovative cameras and challenging sensor of these days seemed to be a nice challenge. 

Once i organized a good working MD to NEX adapter (the first one did not work and I was in fear to destroy my MD mount) I started to try and using it.

At this moment I fall in love with this lens. At wide open if´t gives my a very nice bokeh and perfect softness for Portraits, Once you close it to f2.0 it becomes one of the sharpest lenses money can buy. I would wish there would be a stop between f1.2 and f2.0 (but its 40 years to late for complaints and the Company does not exist anymore)

So I took it with my 55mm CZ to my 3 week vacation on the Baltic See to try it in some occasions. Guess what happened, the CZ 55mm just rareely left the bag and the Rokkor did not left the Sony body and was RoKKing me through my vacation.

 

DSC00491

DSC00719

DSC00951

DSC01738

DSC01787

DSC02113

DSC02182

DSC02191

DSC02284

DSC02316

DSC02345

DSC02429

 

I just had an Ipad with me so when I came home i even was more surpriced to see the Rokkor files, full blown resolution on the Imac.

So I asked myself , how does it performs against one of the highest rated lenses the CZ 55mm 1.8

See my comparison below and judge yourself. (the CZ55 is visible in the metadata of the picture)

Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.11.47 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.12.25 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.13.07 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.13.15 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.16.41 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.59.02 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 19.59.28 Bildschirmfoto 2014-07-28 um 20.00.04 

I am honest, I will keep both lenses as one of the purpose of the  A7r was having an AF Alternative next to my primary cameras the Leica Rangefinder. But for some very special effects or portraits, the Minolta became one of my favorite lenses to use.

The lens is still available on ebay but be aware the prices are rising daily for a lens in good condition.

 

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Sony A7r and Minolta 58mm 1.2 Rokkor PG , Queen of Resolution and King of Bokeh

  1. Nice review and well worth the read. I really like the images this lens produces and for me it clearly wins the comparison to the cz55. Very remarkable lens.

    Like

  2. I have the 1.2 Roker lens I love it still have it your comparison was a great read I originally bought it with a 101 camera body so long ago I forget but the lens is truly amazing

    Like

  3. I’m a bit surprised by the 1:1 photos of your 55mm, they look a little bit soft. But it doesn’t change anything to the fact that the Rokkor is great. You can’t stop between 1.2 and 2, but even if there are no “hard stops”, can’t you just stay in between manually ? I’m often doing that with my Contax lenses. Hard to really know the actual aperture I’m using, but does it really matter after all ? 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s