Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 W – MC II – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 W vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC W Rokkor-HH 1:1.8 f=35mm)

  • Official classification: MC
  • Collector’s classification: MC II, Hills &Valleys, Knurled

One another legend by Minolta – the wide-angle 35mm lens powered with F1.8. The lens is very popular among photographers and should stay in the one row with old-school gems like MC PG 58/1.2 or 85/1.7.

Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 + Minolta SRT-101

Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index64
Name engraved on lensMC W.ROKKOR-HH
f[mm]35
A max [1/f]1.8
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]8
Lens design [gr.]6
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.3/1
Dimension Ø x length [mm]66×68
Weight[g]420
Year1970
StyleMC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.605-018
Notes

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number8
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough High
Reviewed Lens SN:1513420

Historical note

Minolta has developed and produced 5 lenses with these characteristics – 35mm F1.8. The first one was in MC I design in 1968 (MC “flat-grip”), later was this currently reviewed MC II (“Hills&Valleys”), later rubberized MC X, MD II, and MD III (MD I design was skipped).

Traditionally, I have to say: MC age was a period of improvements and experiments, and the IQ of lenses may be different not only between generations but even inside one line of production.



Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 lens exterior

Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 lens shade

Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 mounted on Minolta SR-T 101 camera


Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 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

Test results


Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 aberrations

Vignetting


Geometric distortion


Coma aberrations


Chromatic aberrations


Long-distance bokeh

Test#1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.45m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m


Light bubbles bokeh – infinity

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.45m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m


Minolta MC Rokkor HH 35mm 1:1.8 final conclusion

This is one of the truly Minoltas princesses. It has great sharpness wide open and totally sharpen over the whole frame at F4 – almost unbelievable for wide-angle lenses from 60th. And it is despite presented aberrations. The rare case – aberrations are presented enough but I can’t recognize a typical affecting for the rendering of the pictures. And it gives the absolutely amazing bokeh in any hard conditions. The geometry is close to the ideal. Vignetting is a little too much for my tastes, but for modern digital cameras, it’s nothing to speak about. More serious cons – weight and size, the lens isn’t small and contains many metals. On the other hand, as any lens from MC II era, this one is a nice option for those who like true “steel&glass” feelings. Of course, it can be easy CLA’ed by any smart person even with tools made of dinosaur bones.

That’s the first time when I was impressed by a lens from MC II era. Let me explain this sentence: I don’t mean that it’s the first a nice one in that period, no. I mean, for example, that we all know that 58/1.2 or 85/1.7 is fantastic and we are expecting miracles from these famous lenses and yes, the very good IQ of these lenses is not a surprise – it’s expected. Of course, I heard about this 35/1.8 many good words but didn’t realize – how it’s cool in reality.

Of course, I recommend it with no doubts.



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