Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor – review

Published by Tony on

Chiyoko Tele Rokkor 1:5.6 f=11cm C (Minolta) lens review , aka Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor

Mount – 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.

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 + Minolta 35

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor specifications:

Name engraved on lensChiyoko 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
Year1947 – ?
StyleHeavy Metal 🙂
Notes

More Data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number10
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesAverage
Reviewed Lens SN:5257

Historical notes

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

  • 45mm f/2.8 Chiyoko Super Rokkor
  • 8.5cm f/2.8 Chiyoko Super Rokkor
  • 11cm f/5.6 Chiyoko Tele Rokkor
  • 13.5cm f/4 Chiyoko Tele Rokkor

(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:

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor 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.

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.

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

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

Scene preview

Test results

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

(note for perfectionists: do not pay attention to the slope of the horizon, it was necessary to bind the image to certain points)

Test results

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 Tele Rokkor aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on minimal distance on the scale (2.13m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 2.13m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Chiyoko 110mm 1:5.6 – final conclusion

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


2 Comments

Gary A Hill · 2021-01-21 at 20:59

Very nice review of all your Chiyoko lenses. I have a collection myself, including the 3.5cm/F3.5.
Kindest Regards,
Gary

    Tony · 2021-01-22 at 12:32

    Thank you. You got a nice set, congratulations. The review and tests for Chiyoko 35mm F3.5 will be published this year close to the summer

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