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Minolta for Leica M-Rokkor 28mm f/2.8

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One of my all time favorite lenses. From tests I've seen online sharper than the 2nd version Leica Elmarit M.

 

It's sharp, but it will not be the sharpness per-se that will win you over.

 

There is something, at least to my eyes, in the way this lens treats the tonal values of an image and the out of focus areas (no, I'm not talking about bokeh, more about the areas that are not "exactly" in focus) that I find extremely captivating.

 

I have serious trouble leaving this one out of my bag. Luckily it is so small that I can tuck it in every small remaining space!

 

Many of them suffers from what, in large format circles in reference to another brand, is called "Schneideritis". Basically the glass will looks full of tiny bubbles (even though these should not be bubbles in the glass, but according to many just spot of antireflective paint coming off the "walls" of the lens).

 

This is my second one and it is clean; my first one, on the other hand, was affected pretty heavily by Schneideritis. Even so, the only thing I noticed with it was a certain propensity to flare more easily, but it was sharp as ever, in fact in my opinion probably ever so slightly sharper than the clean sample I have now.

 

 

Acquappesa marina in the winter, Italy

 

post-265-0-12791700-1424908852_thumb.jpg

 

 

Storm clouds out of my kitchen window

 

post-265-0-19967300-1424908853_thumb.jpg

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An update: I can confirm my previous findings even for the demanding sensor of the A7r. 

 

The Minolta M-Rokkor it is still my best 28 so far: even on the A7r no smearing and no color shift whatsoever. It is even sharper than the *fantastic* Contax Zeiss 28-85mm Vario-Sonnar @28mm.

 

The following image has been shot at f/2.8 or f/4 (camera on tripod, 2s release).

post-265-0-03783500-1449738448_thumb.jpg

 

And here you can see the extreme top left corner; looks good to me (remember, this is @ f/2.8 or f/4)!

post-265-0-35424900-1449738449_thumb.jpg

 

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Just out of interest what model / age is the lens youre using, I don't own Minolta gear so sorry to ask such a basic question

Also, Which adapter do you use for M mount lenses. Haven't dipped my toes in M mount yet. Looking long and hard at the Leica R 28 v2 or a Summicron R 35, which is why I'm asking. I currently have the CY 28 2.8 MMJ. To date I've been able to adapt all my gear via the Metabones 4 so my Leica R, CY and Canon lenses all share the same canon mount by adapters (mainly Leitax) so the Metabones hasnt come off the A7ii body. Yet...

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Trying to put my hand on this lens in good condition and at a fair price - seems like an impossible quest. I wonder if this is just a lost cause, *all* 28 m-rokkor are affected by the white spots and the tiny bubbles problem within the front elements group. From what I gathered online, cleaning this requires the front group separation and it seems that the glass is affected by these bubbles chemical residues (again, from what I gathered online). So I wonder how much optical qualities are lost on the one that are sold as "mint" which seems to be pretty clean from the pictures - because it is impossible to have a clean 28 without having it repaired this way. 

 

By coincidence, I saw on ebay a gold plated edition CLE kit with the 3 lenses and it happened that the seller was local, so I paid him a visit to see his kit, which was brand new, in box, never used. Guess what? everything was **perfect** BUT the 28 was completely covered by the front group tiny bubbles - I almost cried ;) ... I did not purchase the kit, the gold premium was way too high and I am not a "collector" :P

 

Colin

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Just out of interest what model / age is the lens youre using, I don't own Minolta gear so sorry to ask such a basic question

Also, Which adapter do you use for M mount lenses. Haven't dipped my toes in M mount yet. Looking long and hard at the Leica R 28 v2 or a Summicron R 35, which is why I'm asking. I currently have the CY 28 2.8 MMJ. To date I've been able to adapt all my gear via the Metabones 4 so my Leica R, CY and Canon lenses all share the same canon mount by adapters (mainly Leitax) so the Metabones hasnt come off the A7ii body. Yet...

 

 

Hi, no need to be sorry! Especially because the M-Rokkor are a bit of an "obscure" branch of the Minolta family. The M-Rokkor lenses were made in the 1972 for the Minolta CL-E. I put some more info here :

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minolta_CLE

 

As for an adapter, I've been really happy with the cheap Chinese "K&F" brand. I wrote about these here on the forum, if you're interested:

 

http://www.sonyalphaforum.com/topic/384-a-good-brand-of-cheap-chinese-adapters/

 

Just note that I'm not getting light leaks in normal usage, only when using an ND1000 filter (minus 10 stops) in summer daylight if the light shines directly on the adapter/lens junction.

 

The 28 M-Rokkor, for some tests I've seen around and from opinions gathered in forums and such, should be an hair sharper than the Leica M 28 Elmarit 2nd version. I've never used the 28 CY, but I do own the 28-85 CY, and for Zeiss MTFs there shouldn't be that much of a difference sharpness wise between the 28 CY and the zoom (if anything, the zoom should be an air sharper!).

 

Still, the M-Rokkor is sharper than the 28-85@28mm, especially at the borders. Add to this that the M-Rokkor is probably 1/10th of the size of the 28-85 and you already know what I pick when I want to travel light :)

 

That said, I got the entire set (28-40-90 and a Leica CL) for a steal. If I were to buy them today, I'd probably just go for the Sony 28/2: faster, probably more or less as sharp, and AF.

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Trying to put my hand on this lens in good condition and at a fair price - seems like an impossible quest. I wonder if this is just a lost cause, *all* 28 m-rokkor are affected by the white spots and the tiny bubbles problem within the front elements group. From what I gathered online, cleaning this requires the front group separation and it seems that the glass is affected by these bubbles chemical residues (again, from what I gathered online). So I wonder how much optical qualities are lost on the one that are sold as "mint" which seems to be pretty clean from the pictures - because it is impossible to have a clean 28 without having it repaired this way. 

 

By coincidence, I saw on ebay a gold plated edition CLE kit with the 3 lenses and it happened that the seller was local, so I paid him a visit to see his kit, which was brand new, in box, never used. Guess what? everything was **perfect** BUT the 28 was completely covered by the front group tiny bubbles - I almost cried ;) ... I did not purchase the kit, the gold premium was way too high and I am not a "collector" :P

 

Colin

 

My sample is clean, bought "as new" with the entire set (yes, it was like winning the lottery...) :)

 

I wouldn't worry too much about the "bubbles", though. Like I wrote above I had, in the past, another sample heavily affected, but if anything it was possibly even a tad sharper than the clean one I got now. The only area that seems to be affected is the resistance to flare, and even that not in a dramatic way. That said, try before you buy if you can, and use the "bubbles" to play the price down! ;)

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Thanks for the info, I've seen previous posts of yours praising the lens. Interesting that this M mount wide isn't affected by the sensor stack issue I've read about with the wider M glass. 28 mm might just be on the OK, but I thought there were issues eg with later wide Leica M glass, not that I can afford it anyway...

 

With more and more folk realising dipping their toes in good MF glass, the prices are on a steady increase and a good clean copy of your M28 doesn't come cheap, still, I'll keep my eye out for this one now, and thanks again for the info.

 

The_X_Vision adapters (black brass), are another cheap'ish Chinese adaptor and I have these on a couple of my CY mount lenses, no issues to date. An advantage is that these bayonet type adapters provides a wider diameter say over the Leitax adapter for the CY to EF mount at least. Reason being while e.g. changing lenses, the Leitax adapter, whilst the best and most integrated solution, has one disadvantage in that the Leitax adapter outer diameter is slightly smaller than that of my Metabones IV camera mount diameter, sometimes making it a bit awkward to hold & rotate the lens/mount on/off the camera, you invariably end up rotating the lens aperture while changing lenses at least with the smaller Zeiss CY glass such as the Sonnar 85, planar 50's, 28 and even the 135 2.8. Don't have this issue with the cheaper adapters as you grab the larger adapter ring as you twist.

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I too used to adapt all my glass to Canon EF (and then use an EF > Sony FE dumb adapter). Mostly because as a former Canon shooter all my legacy glass was already retrofitted with EF adapters.

 

Nowadays I've narrowed down my glass to just 3 brands (Minolta MC/MD if I want "pastel" colors or soft contrast is paramount, i.e. portraits; Leica M mount if I want to travel light; Contax for general use), so I carry for each kit the corresponding adapter.

 

The Leitax would be an interesting solution, but the Sony FE version is IMHO ugly as sin ;) and I frankly don't see the point in adding weight to every single lens instead of carrying a single adapter (the Sony FE version is basically an adapter tube mated to a new mount, not just a replacement mount like the Canon EF one).

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The CLE lenses will be somewhat less troubled

by filter pack thickness, compared to many other

M-mount WA lenses. CLE WA's [and a minority

of M-Leica WA's] were designed with clearance

for the "semaphore arm", a TTL metering cell in

front of the shutter, which must swing out of the

image path to allow for making an exposure.

 

The Leica M-5 also had a semaphore arm. IIRC,

users of collapsible Summicrons usually put a

strip of Dymo plastic labeling tape around the

barrel behind the front cell, to protect against

collapsing the lens all the way, thus protecting

the semaphore arm.

 

Also, IIRC, the M-5, being more sophisticated

than the CLE, allowed for locking away the arm,

so as to use certain lenses that must never be

used on a CLE ... cuz on a CLE the arm always

drops into place when you advance the film.

 

Yes, film, that stuff ... so if you acquire a CLE

kit just for the lenses, but are later tempted to

actually use the film body as well, beware of

using non-CLE WA's or collapsible lenses.

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The M-Rokkor 28/2.8 was made for the Minolta CLE which has no "semaphore arm" contrary to the CL. This lens is a bit soft at f/2.8 compared to current Leica's but it works fine on my A7s modified by Kolari Vision. I don't shoot brick walls though.

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Hi,

 

I discover this thread, and I agree about the quality of the M-rokkor 28 and its good fit to the Alpha 7. I am lucky to have a clean sample, and it seemed to compare favorably to three top-notch 28 lenses : the ASPH Elmarit, the Nikkor 28/2.8 AIS and the 28/2.8 Distagon (C/Y mount). That was on a regular first generation A7. I am ready to believe the Elmarit will be better on a Leica, but had no time to check.

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