Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 – MC II – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC Tele Rokkor-QD 1:3.5 f=135mm)

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

Small but very proud lens. Like many other lenses of that era, it is already very good in terms of performance, but in the next versions, it has been improved even more. The regular representative of ‘Hills&Valleys’ hull design.

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 + Minolta SRT 101

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index188
Name engraved on lensMC TELE ROKKOR-QD
f[mm]135
A max [1/f]3.5
A min[1/f]22
Lens design [el.]4
Lens design [gr.]4
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm]52
Lens Shadescrew-in
closefocus[m/ft]1.5/5
Dimension Ø x length [mm]63×88
Weight[g]370
Year1969
StyleMC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No.567-1xx
Notes
Floating elementsNO
Aperture blades number6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copiesEnough high
Reviewed Lens SN:1592643

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 lens exterior

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 lens shade

Mounted on Minolta SR-T 101 camera, it’s a very suitable set – both are from the one era of design

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 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 QD 135mm 1:3.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test#1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.5m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2:

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Minolta MC Rokkor QD 135mm 1:3.5 final conclusion:

Pros:

Firstly, and independently of test results, I want to say that this lens is very cheap. This is a real sign. It is so cheap that I think you can meet the sales like “three for the price of one”. Just kidding, but probably this is the cheapest Minolta lens on auctions. Secondly, it has the steel&glass construction and easy in support: the owner can perform CLA at home with a hammer and pliers.

Neutral:

About IQ: it has good overall sharpness at the center and middle positions but not at corners. It’s better to close it for F5.6 and it will become a totally sharp over the frame on F8. So, it can work well on APS-C cameras, but for ‘full-frame’ it’s maybe better to get another 135mm lens. In other aspects, it shows results which are typical for tele-lenses of that years – quite big aberrations and ideal creamy bokeh.

So, it seems that I wasn’t impressed by this Rokkor. It’s true. But I tend to believe that it’s just because as a tester I’ve had an experience with a few better and faster 135mm lenses, and this small beauty is just staying in the shadow of that monsters. To be honest, I’m not sure that a photographer will see the lack of performance if to use the lens for portraits, you know, a smooth rendering based on big aberrations helps in portraiture much more than sharpness at corners.

Finally, the recommendation is the same as for some other Rokkors from that era – there is no need to hunt for this lens, but use it without doubts if you got it.


2 Comments

Mick Kemsley · 2022-02-08 at 20:29

I have just purchased the am lens, I have not tried it yet but it looks a little beauty, as I am at nearly 80 it is much lighter than my 2.8. Through ebay.
I have just found this source of information & I shall use it again.
Many thanks

    Tony · 2022-02-08 at 20:49

    You are welcome, Mick. I hope you’ll enjoy this lens

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