Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 W – MC II – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 W vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC W Rokkor-SG 1:3.5 f=28mm)

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

28mm/f3.5 – the only one available true wide lens for photographers who need wide-angle in Minolta’s “steel&glass” style for reasonable money and without radioactivity. There were no alternatives in that period.

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 + Minolta SRT-101

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 specifications

minolta.eazypix.de index 56
Name engraved on lens MC W.ROKKOR-SG
f[mm] 28
A max [1/f] 3.5
A min[1/f] 16
Lens design [el.] 7
Lens design [gr.] 7
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade D55ND
closefocus[m/ft] 0.6/2
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 63×45
Weight[g] 245
Year 1970
Style MC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 604-118
Notes

More data

Floating elements NO
Aperture blades number 6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies High
Reviewed Lens SN: 1577234

Historical note

By one of the popular collector’s classification by Dennis Lohmann, Minolta has produced a total of 25 different lenses with a 28mm focal distance. This achievement stays in second place by the number of models, right after 135mm lenses. And ten of these 28mm lenses have f=3.5. (note: in some advanced collectors materials this number of models with f=3.5 is about 15). The currently reviewed MC II 28/3.5 “Hills&Valleys/Knurled” is from somewhere in the middle of the row. It has three predecessors with the same formula 7×7 but that 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 SG 28mm 1:3.5 lens exterior

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 accessories

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 mounted on Minolta SR-T 101 camera

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 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 SG 28mm 1:3.5 aberrations

Vignetting

Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh

Test#1

Test conditions: the lens was focused on 0.6m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance

Test#2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1m

Light bubbles bokeh – infinity

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 0.6m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 1m

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 final conclusion

I already said above that this lens has no alternatives among other “metal & glass” designed lenses because it’s cheap and not radioactive. Let me explain what we have beyond: non-rectilinear fish-eye 16mm 1:2.8, expensive 21mm 1:2.8, radioactive 28mm 1:2.5, and not so wide 35mm lenses. As a result, if a photographer needs a wide-angle for a reasonable price and cares about rare-earth materials – this MC 28/3.5 is number first in the list… and only one on the list.

Nice news: we have no reason to be sad – this lens works fine. Yes, it isn’t a resolution champion and needs to be closed up to F8 for landscapes, but – for any other tasks, it can be used even wide-opened. Thus this not very fast F3.5 should be marked as useful. Add here very low aberrations, nicely fixed geometry distortion, small size, and lightweight.

Other good traits which are a standard for MC II generation:

  • Easy to CLA with something like a toothpick and hammer
  • It may survive in a small fire, as it does not have rubber and plastic
  • Due to the fact that the lens is old, there is a small chance that it was used to photograph celebrities in the 70s, and some old photons were stuck in the glass and it may help to create a few masterpieces

Of course, I recommend this lens – it isn’t a gem but a very good tool for a photographer with taste


2 Comments

Minolta MC Rokkor SG 28mm 1:3.5 MC I - Lens Works · 2020-07-20 at 22:28

[…] lens is very similar for also reviewed Minolta MC W Rokkor SG 28mm F/3.5 (“Hills&Valleys”/”Knurled” design or MC II). Texts in both articles are the same up to intro and conclusion, except for a few little changes. […]

Minolta SR 28mm lenses comparison - Lens Works · 2020-07-21 at 20:31

[…] […]

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