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Minolta MD Rokkor 85 mm 1.7

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Bought this lens , brand new, out of the shop, years ago, in Osnabrük Germany.

Initially it was on a minolta  XE 1, but that died in the  1980s

Apparently the Minolta  XE 1 was the worst ever, camera, to repair  ??   So I was told, Anyway the lens is still going strong & I recently had it refurbished for  £ 200.  

Anyone interested ?  Make me an offer !

Remember !  This is a  Rare Lens !   Only made for a year or so, but the replacement was never as  sharp or as good in low light !

Edited by Wally The Confused
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  • 1 year later...


You certainly are confused.  The Minolta 85mm f1.7 is, as you say, a great lens -- I have one -- but it is not rare, and was made for many years.  But it is pretty expensive.  There were actually three versions of the 85mm f1.7 lens, but the optics were always the same:


Minolta also made 85mm lenses with f2.0 and f2.8 apertures.  One was a soft-focus lens with adjustable spherical aberration.  All of them are winners, and selling prices range from $100 to $500 depending on the model and condition.

Good luck with your sale -- and feel free to use any information from my Minolta website.

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  • 2 years later...

Thanks for the reply , I've been away  a while , but the info I have slightly contradicts your comment, sorry .

Even after the new MD lenses were introduced, Minolta continued producing the MC model for some time. When it was finally updated to an MD design, it was only available for a short time before being withdrawn from sale in favour of the new and much smaller 85mm f/2. As a result, it is a rare lens and commands a premium price over the more common MC version. Photo: Robert Hoehne

Despite it's similar appearance to the MC lens, the MD lens actually has a slightly different optical formula to most of the 85mm MC lenses in existence. The change in optical construction occured in 1978, immediately prior to the commencement of the MD production which began in 1979. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to determine if a MC lens is of the earlier construction or the later, as both are identical in appearance. 

The MD version of this lens was in fact only manufactured for one year before being superceded by the new f/2 design. As a result, it is highly sought after. It will certainly be interesting to determine if the change in optical formula contributed to a noticeable improvement in performance.

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First, the length of time a lens is in production is not the important factor.  It's how many lenses were made during its production that make a differencce.  Given the common appearance of the MD 85mm f1.7 on EBAY shows that it's not a rare lens at all -- but people (especially sellers) love to throw around the term "rare" loosely -- making it pretty meaningless.  My favorites are "very rare" and "exceedingly rare".

On the change in optical formula of the MD version, I'd like to see your source.  Just because it's on the WEB does not make it true, and even if there was a change of some sort (which seems odd for a lens that was going to be discontinued) that does not mean that it makes any difference in its results.

It seems odd that neither Dennis Lohmann, nor Red Bailey (long-time Rokkor experts), nor I have ever run across any reference to this "mystery" or supposition.

But who knows?  Maybe it's true.  Minolta was always making minor tweeks to its lenses -- but you'd never be able to determine if one lens has the "change" or not.  So it makes no difference -- unless you are a seller trying to convince a buyer that they are getting a "Mona Lisa".

Edited by XKAES
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  • 2 weeks later...

I wouldn't believe everything you see on the ROKKORFILES.  Much of what is on there is stolen.  I should know, because he's taken much from my much older MINMAN website.  I'll just give you one example.  The Minolta SR-1 had a lot of changes during the many years it was produced,, but Minolta just referred to all of them as simply the SR-1 -- although the user manuals changed with the cameras.  To keep things understandable and help avoid confusion, I broke the major differences into five groups of significant changes and labeled them the Model A through Model E.  These are strictly my designations, not Minolta's -- but the ROKKORFILES uses the exact same designations.

Who knows where he "got" his info on the 85mm f1.7 -- not from me or Dennis Lohmann or Red Bailey.

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