Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 – review

Published by Tony on

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 Super Rokkor aka Chiyoko Super Rokkor 1:2 f=5cm C (Chiyoda Kogaku , Minolta) Japan LTM/LSM/m39

Let’s not argue anymore about rendering, just take this lens and make some photos.

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 specifications

Name engraved on the lensChiyoko Super Rokkor 1:2 f=5cm C
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]2
A min[1/f]22
Number of blades10
Lens design [el.]7
Lens design [gr.]6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]40.5 or 43
closefocus[m]1
Max. diameter[mm]
Lengh min/max [mm]
Weight[g]260

More data

Floating elementsNO
Serial1302648
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesHigh

Additional information:

  • This lens was introduced in 1954 with the new Minolta 35 Model II camera
  • Collectors know at least 5 editions of this lens with different combinations of filter threads (40.5 – 43mm), different minimal apertures (16 – 22), typed or not typed red “C” letter, serial numbers ranges (Many thanks to Andrea Apra’ for details)
  • The reviewed lens was released at the end of 1955 or, more chances, in early 1956 (serial is 1302648, filter thread 43mm, f/max 22, red ‘C’ is presented)
  • This lens arrived directly from Japan

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 exterior

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 sharpness

Сlose-distance resoluton test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance:10% longer than minimal focus distance marked on the lens
  • 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

Scene preview

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

Test results (selected version, easy to compare – 4 positions)

Test results (full version – all 9 positions)

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

Test results

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Short-distance bokeh

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1m, plants are in 3m distance from the camera

Long-distance bokeh

Test conditions: the lens was focused on half distance on the scale (2m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Light bubbles bokeh – short-distance

Test conditions: lens was focused on minimal distance 1m of scale, diodes were fixed in 3m distance

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

This is a rare case for real photography but demonstrates the maximum possible level of blur

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 – other resources with tests and reviews:

Chiyoko 50mm 1:2.0 (Chiyoda Kogaku Chiyoko Super Rokkor 1:2 f=5cm C) – overall conclusion

This lens can make a masterpiece from any photo independently of photographer skills. Just one thing: photographer should forget about sharpness and should remember about aberrations – technical IQ is really not so good as we expected for today. This is not an everyday lens, but it would be good to have it in the bag for occasional photos which are required unusual drawing of the scene.

But it can’t be recommended for everyone because it is too specific. Chiyoko 50/2 looks like a tool that can transform an owner into a famous photographer, just one condition – it works in rare and unpredictable cases, so better to don’t hope for fame.

Feel free to take photos at the wide-open aperture F2, because closing it for 1-2 stops won’t help to get the sharpness over the full-frame. Photographer needs to close it at least to F8 for landscapes, actually, the best option for landscapes – is to take another lens. Don’t forget to get a lens-hood.

Finally: the lens can be recommended to anyone who aspires to add expressive bokeh to their photos, in this case, Chiyoko seems a very good choice.


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