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How to choose between minolta 135mm lenses_

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by alaios, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Dear all
    I just won an auction in ebay of
    MC Tele Rokkor 1:2.8 135mm + MC Tele Rokkor 1:3,5 135 mm.
    I got these two lenses for 40 euros. Which one do you think is better? Where I can find reviews for both lenses?

    I would like to thank you in advance for your reply

    Regards
    Alex
     
  2. NickCyprus

    NickCyprus Super Moderator

    Oct 11, 2012
    Cyprus
    Nick
    I thought you already had an 135mm 2.8, no ?
     
  3. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    Best thing to do is mount each one up a go shoot a lot of photos. Find out the strengths of each lens and figure out which is better for you. In all honesty they will probably be pretty similar.
     
  4. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Dave
    Well, just on pure specs the 2.8 has the advantage, but you really will have to try them out.
     
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  5. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    Can you write me precisely, given that I have a tripod what are the test s I have to do? Just doing random shots will not give me results to compare.

    R
    Alex
     
  6. f/otographer

    f/otographer TalkEmount Regular

    196
    Aug 20, 2013
    Errrr, yes it will.

    And by random I dont mean just go out and point your camera at any old thing and press the shutter button. I mean take each lens out on a separate trip and try to take interesting and compelling shots. Create some art. Try to make a photo worthy of a Pulitzer Prize. Here is an idea.....since they are both 135mm's go shoot some birds on telephone wires or sitting on top of telephone poles. Shoot them in silhouette and with a regular exposure. There is no faster way to get chromatic aberration to show up then shooting dark birds on dark poles against a bright sky. See which lens handles it better.

    Speaking of the lenses, you are really not only comparing apples to apples here but you are really trying to compare the same apple to itself. These lenses are incredibly similar and from the same foundry. And dont forget that sample variation comes into play. The 'better' lens (and I use that term loosely here) will probably be the one that came better adjusted from the factory and has had an uneventful life. Could be that back in 1982 little Billy took his dads Minolta (equipped with the 135/2.8) out on a trip to the woods with his friends to sneak off and drink some bear. Maybe Billy got a little drunk and dropped the lens on the ground or on the bed of an old pickup truck. Maybe this did some damage to the glass or decentered an element. Who knows? Maybe the 135/3.5 was owned by a grandmother that ran one roll of film thru it then it lingered on an old shelf until her grandson just sold it on ebay. Sample variation matters.

    The point Im trying to make is dont get hung up on 'testing' lenses against each other. Im serious, if you want to compare lenses just go shoot with them. But....if we must go here...

    There are basically three ways to test lenses.
    1. A scientific test
    2. An impromptu amateur test
    3. A field photographic test (which is what I described above)

    If you dont think #3 has any validity (you would be wrong) then you have options #1 and #2. The first option is outside the bounds of most peoples availability since it involves a laboratory with a controlled lighting environment, sensitive and highly calibrated measuring equipment to make sure all variables stay constant for both lenses, and strict use of the empirical method to record and analyze the data to produce a conclusive result.

    You and your tripod? That falls squarely into the #2 category.

    There are absolutely no rules for #2, except try to reproduce as much of #1 as you can. How you go about this depends on what you want to know about the lens. Are you testing corner and center sharpness at all apertures? Are you testing bokeh? Are you testing flare resistance?

    Here is the shortcut. Set up your tripod, point it at a brick wall and shoot about a 856 shots. Keep your lighting consistent (hard to do outside) and dont move your tripod at all (also hard to do). Im not even going to go into the fallibility of the human eye in actually making sure the lens is at its sharpest focal point in any given of these 'test' shots. There you go, impromptu amateur 'test'.

    Do you know how Henri Cartier Bresson (I hope you know of him) tested lenses? He photographed ducks. Thats right, ducks. He would go to a park and photograph small aquatic birds. If you think about it, that makes sense. Duck plumage is rich in tones which suited his B&W photography. Duck beaks and their beady little eyes can show how a lens will pick up details at a distance. Ducks on water is a good way to see how a lens will perform in quickly changing light with flare points (ever watch sunlight rippling on water?).

    If one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century tested his lenses with ducks....well there you go. I say go shoot ducks.

    Maybe it would help if you explained what you were trying to determine with these test. A lens tester and a photographer are two different things. Time spent running two old and very, very similar Minolta 135's thru the ringer could be better spent taking wonderful photos that will provide enjoyment for years to come.

    Tell you what....when you finish the test and determine the 'better' lens then send me the 'looser'. I will use it to go make some awesome photos. :)
     
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  7. José De Bardi

    José De Bardi Assistant in Virtue

    Aug 31, 2013
    Dorset, UK
    José
    Hahaha! Someone had to say it! Not sure I could have remained so restrained - bravo!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. SpaceManSpiff

    SpaceManSpiff TalkEmount Top Veteran

    547
    Dec 13, 2013
    Tucson, AZ
    Eric
    Hi Alex,
    that was an excellent response by f/otographer.
    I have LAS (Lens Acquisition Syndrome)...for a while there were very few lenses that I met at second-hand stores that didn't follow me home.

    I "test" mine briefly in the backyard to see if they have any serious flaws, but since I am so excited to have found a new lens, I can't be bothered to break out the tripod. I take pictures of a flowering bush (it is almost always in bloom), my dogs (they don't complain too loudly), and the ridge behind my house. These pics at various apertures and focal distances may give an indication of the character of the lens compared to others I have. But the real "test" for me is the time I head out for a photo adventure, I make sure to have that new lens mounted up so that I can see how I feel shooting with it. If it feels good, it can't be a bad lens.
     
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  9. PWe

    PWe New to TalkEmount

    2
    Jan 31, 2014
  10. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I liked the last sentence .. so how do you decide which lenses to keep in your drawer?

    Currently I have 3 lenses of 135mm focal length namely:

    (what is visible over the lens is)
    1. MC TELE ROKKOR 1:2,8 f=135mm 1134341 MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN
    2. MC TELE ROKKOR 1:3.5 f=135mm 1033230 MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN
    3. AUTO REVUENON MC 1:2.8 f=135mm 52(filter size circle symbol) JAPAN

    I can try this weekend just keep shooting but still I have to see how to set up a bit more "scientific" test.
     
  11. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    I just ordered a MD Celtic 135mm f3.5 (w/49mm threads) from KEH.com. Was looking for 28mm or 35mm MD Rokkors and then saw this one pop in at LN- condition rating for just $17, so I snapped it up. I know the Celtics are supposed to be the "budget" versions of the Rokkors, but for a nearly "like new" 135, I couldn't resist. And, hey, it ought to go well with my "budget version" A3000. ;)

    Oh, and I did get a MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm f2.8 (w/49mm threads) as well. Only EX condition and about twice the price, but I'm hoping it'll do the job as a "nearly normal" manual lens on my APS-C A3000.

    Bonus: A tip of the hat to Ad Dieleman for his excellent Minolta lens information and review site. Better than the famous Rokkorfiles, if you ask me. :)
     
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  12. Synomis192

    Synomis192 TalkEmount Regular

    141
    May 26, 2013
    The MD Celtic 135mm f/3.5 is actually a very good performing lens. I have one too. It's one of those lenses that I don't mind using wide open and it's sharp for what I need. It doesn't feel like a budget lens, and it's coating holds up very well. I usually don't use that 135mm focal length but I thought it'd be a good length to have so I bought one for $20 (KEH has really expensive shipping so I try to avoid using that site unless I really want a lens from them).

    You won't be disappointed!
     
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  13. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Thanks.. that is very encouraging to hear, and matches what my limited 30 minutes of research determined.

    I didn't think the shipping from KEH was all that bad, considering I was getting two lenses, 3 front caps (one is for an MD 50mm f2.0 I already have), a rear cap, and a body cap. But yeah, if it was the same $10.64 for just one $17 lens, well, that'd be... interesting. On the plus side, I understand KEH has a very good reputation.

    And, if my wife complains about my buying all these "old" lenses all of a sudden, I can always say, "Hey, this one was only $17... that's less than we pay for a Sunday brunch for two!" ;)


    Thanks, that's my hope... now for the interminable 5-7 day wait for it to arrive. ;)
     
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  14. hrstrat57

    hrstrat57 TalkEmount Regular

    60
    Mar 2, 2014
    RI
    I owned the 135 2.8 MD Rokkor with my XD11 film kit and it was brilliant. The Maxxum AF 135 2.8 pocket rocket was better.....no experience with the 3.5 MD.

    Selling the pocket rocket was one of my biggest photo kit mistakes ever.
     
  15. Snowy

    Snowy TalkEmount Veteran

    218
    Nov 18, 2013
    Melbourne, Australia
    Barry
    +1 on that from me.

    I have a Minolta MC 135mm 1:2.8 and it is one of my favorite Rokkors.
     
  16. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Düsseldorf
    Alex
    I am selling currently all my 135mm lenses :p

    Alex
     
  17. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Well, lo and behold, my order from KEH arrived a lot earlier than I had expected. The MD Celtic 135mm f3.5 and MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm f2.8 arrived today. Way to go FedEx ground!

    Anyhow, haven't had too much time to play with them (since I'm at work now), but I must say I am pleased. And when KEH rated the 135 as "Like New-", they weren't kidding. It really looks new. There's nary a sign of use on the metal at all. A little dust or something on the glass, but nothing that affects images so far. Even the Rokkor-X 28 at "EX" rating, two steps down from "Like New-", is in great shape including the glass.

    Here's my only test shot so far with the 135 on my a3000. I think this was at f5.6 or f8. And it's the prerequisite "across the street power transformer" shot I've seen someone else use for "testing" a telephoto lens. ;)

    ImageUploadedByTalkEmount1394317732.018904.
    (Note: The TalkEmount app on iPad only offered a 1024 pixel wide as its "best" quality upload option, so this is - again for me - rather compressed. I wonder if it adjusts the size depending upon whether I'm on cellular or WiFi.)
    (Just looked at it myself, and the compression is severe... again. I'll need to repost once I'm at home because this doesn't show how clear this lens worked... I could easily focus on the numerals on the transformer side.)
     
  18. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Okay, here's a better copy of the "Transformer" shot, full resolution, enhanced a bit (in iPhoto) and cropped:

    a3000 with Minolta MD Celtic 135mm f2.8 (49) at f5.6
    13024839453_4b5ec1a105_o.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/88274233@N03/13024839453/

    (sorry about the back and forth and trouble with getting the post right)
     
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  19. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    The sky was clear, and the night was warm (well... not cold), so I grabbed my tripod, mounted the a3000 sporting its new Minolta MD Celtic 135mm f3.5 set @f11, put the a3000 in shutter priority and 1/250, ISO to 100, focused out to infinity (as best as the MD-NEX adapter allows), and gave it a shot...

    13075602334_c7dfdfc91a_o.

    (the image is cropped down to actual pixels within 1024 x 768)

    Not nearly as sharp as I'd like. But not too bad for a quick shot for a relative newbie on a 135mm, IMHO. Probably should have gone for ISO 200 and a slightly faster shutter speed.
    This astrophotography stuff is hard. ;)
     

    Attached Files:

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  20. Hawkman

    Hawkman TalkEmount Top Veteran

    939
    Sep 10, 2013
    Virginia, USA
    Steve
    Here's my nascent Minolta lens collection:

    First and foremost, the MD Celtic 135mm f3.5 (49) on my a3000 - I have to say it is very well balanced on the relatively bulky a3000,
    then the other new (to me) one, the MD W.Rokkor-X 28mm f2.8 (49) alone in the middle,
    and my finally original MD 50mm f2 mounted on a Minolta X-700 for some added class...

    13126912003_35b52b4b2a_k.

    (sorry for the double post from the adapted lenses thread, but I thought it relevant here as well.)
     

    Attached Files:

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