Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 – MC-X – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 lens review, aka Minolta MC Rokkor-X PF 1:1.7 f=50mm

  • Official classification: MC
  • Collector’s classification: MC-X

The first middle-price 50mm lens by Minolta (all previous was 55-58mm). A huge number of these lenses have been produced, so it is quite common. Hopefully, this review will be helpful for many owners of these lenses.

By the way, about the yellow inscription ‘Rokkor-X’ – for those who are not very familiar with the Minolta lens lines – this inscription does not affect anything and only means that the lens was exported to North America. If there is no such inscription on your lens, or it is white, then do not pay attention, no differences were found between lenses with such an inscription and without it. All test results will be the same (of course, within the deviations between copies of the lens)

The lens for the test was provided by Egor Nikolaev (Егор Николаев) – many thanks and greetings.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 specifications

Name engraved on lensChiyoko TELE ROKKOR
f[mm]50
A max [1/f]1.7
A min[1/f]16
Lens design [el.]6
Lens design [gr.]5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]55
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]0.5/1.75
Dimension Ø x length [mm]64.6×41
Weight[g]240
Year1973
StyleMC-X
Notes 

More data

Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:4210416

Historical note

As mentioned above – this is the first “middle-price” fifty from Minolta. Before it stands the F1.4 lens, and after it – F2.0. Also, an interesting feature of this lens is that it is the only 50/1.7 lens from the MC line. As you know, all Minolta manual lenses can be (very conditionally) divided into three main parts – Auto-Rokkors, MC, and MD. It so happened that all the following 50mm F1.7 lenses were already produced as MD.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 lens exterior

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 mounted on camera Minolta XD

Not a very authentic set – the camera and lens are from different periods but anyway – could have been purchased together at some time.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 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

Minolta MC 50mm 1.7 Rokkor - resolution, close distance

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 50mm 1.7 Rokkor - sharpness, far distance

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test #1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on minimal distance on the scale (0.5m), buildings are on “infinity”-distance.

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1.0m

Light bubbles bokeh – long distance

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1.0m

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 50mm 1:1.7 – final conclusion

I like the Minolta lenses with a little less aperture than the top 1.2-1.4. If only simply because they do not claim to be something powerful and exclusive, but simply do their job. But so far I only managed to deal with 50 / 1.7 MD3, which is why I was a little afraid that the predecessor might not be so good simply because of its age and outdated optical design. And to be honest, it’s very nice that the old one is able to perform almost on an equal footing.

This is a very good fifty. It is good even considering that it is inferior in aperture ratio to the older ones with f1.4. Yes, on a closed diaphragm it will have 1 stop less, i.e. instead of, for example, F2.0 as for the 1.2-1.4 ones, this will already have F2.8. But he is good even in such conditions. Moreover, it seems to me that there are a large number of lenses with f1.2-1.4, which, nevertheless, will lose to it by f2.8. Pay attention – I don’t even have to mention its price. It’s just that sometimes in reviews you have to say something like “well, considering the price, this is a very good lens.” So now the situation is different. We can say that when you consider the price, this lens is simply a must-have.

As much as I am happy that this lens performed better than expected, it also has its drawbacks. Although there is nothing specific, all these shortcomings are, as it were, common to most fifties.

Not good news: it has a softness, and noticeable vignetting, and butterfly coma if wide opened. Also the weak corners at F1.7-4.0.

Not bad news: all items from the previous string are almost fixed at F2.8 (except corners and partly the middle positions). Add here well-corrected geometry, little chromatic aberrations, and the fact that the lens 50 years old can be used today with no doubts.

So, the main idea of this conclusion – this 50/1.7 is from the top half of the list of all possible 50mm lenses. Of course, I cannot say words like the best or the unique, but if you come across it, then most likely you will find a use for it.


0 Comments

Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *