Only some Rokkor 85mm and 100mm shots 
taken with my Sony Alpha 100...

 

Preface

This is only a personal comparison of some of my MINOLTA Rokkor 85 and 100mm lenses. I only wanted to check out which one is my sharpness champ in this focal range and what is the difference to the competition...

The lenses:

1. MC Rokkor 1:1.7 85mm (last built version)

2. MD Rokkor 85mm 1:2

3. MC Rokkor 1:2.5 100mm

4. MD Macro Rokkor 100mm 1:4

All of them I would rate technical in 100% condition witout scratches, fungus or other damage that might influence image quality.

 

Shooting conditions

All shots were taken with my Sony Alpha 100 (10,2 MPixel APS-C CCD) with a lensless SR adapter on a heavy Manfrotto tripod. 
Super Steady Shot was switched off and I used the mirror lock up mode (2s selftimer). To further reduce shake effects all the shots were taken with the A100 flash. 

I had to use manual focus for all the lenses, but did not make a big story for that point, the scenery simply has no need to do precise focus, because it is simply a inclined plain. For each shot you have to find the location of the best sharpness in the final picture.  

For me I found this method much more useful than hopeing for a good shot in focus.

 

Lets take a look at the whole APS-C picture taken with the 
MC Rokkor 1.7 85mm at f4 only sized down (zero usm sharpening!)
to web size.

To compare the pictures really only use the sharpest point you can find in each picture, nothing else makes any sense!

 

Here you can download the files developed from raw with ACR set to sharpness 0. That is clear not what we are used to do and the pictures may look soft to you, but already standard in camera jpegs deliver such excellent sharpness that all the lenses seem equal and sharpness is really indistinguishable. 

DSC08613_MC_Rokkor 1.7_85mm_f5.6.JPG 
DSC08614_MC_Rokkor 1.7_85mm_f4.JPG 
DSC08615_MC_Rokkor 1.7_85mm_f1.7.JPG 
DSC08612_MD_Rokkor 85mm 2_f5.6.JPG 
DSC08611_MD_Rokkor 85mm 2_f4.JPG 
DSC08609_MD_Rokkor 85mm 2_f2.JPG 
DSC08619_MC_Rokkor 2.5_100mm_f5.6.JPG 
DSC08618_MC_Rokkor 2.5_100mm_f4.JPG 
DSC08617_MC_Rokkor 2.5_100mm_f2.5.JPG 
DSC08621_MD Macro Rokkor 100mm_4 f5.6.JPG 
DSC08620_MD Macro Rokkor 100mm_4 f4.JPG
 

My conclusion

f5.6:
All these lenses show nothing but excellent sharpness at f5.6. If you really want to split hairs, you may see the MC Rokkor 2.5 100mm a very tiny little bit behind the other three lenses, but nothing that matters in any way in practical situations.

f4:
I see the MD Rokkor 2 85 in front concerning pure sharpness very, very closely followed by the MC Rokkor 1.7 85mm, both really excellent. The MC Rokkor 2.5 100mm holds the third place and the Macro Rokkor comes in last but also it is used wide open here.

Wide open (without the Macro lens):
Here the MC Rokkor 2.5 100mm is the leader, showing very good sharpness even wide open. Place two goes to the MD Rokkor 2 85mm and the last place to the MC Rokkor 1.7 85mm. I would rate the 2.5 100mm the only lens I can use wide open if critical sharpness is required. But with the two 85 lenses you can easily stop down to f2.8 and get even sharper images. And lets take a look at the MC 1.7 image wide open: A creamy look like no other in many cases perfect for potraits and a exceptionally sharp lens stopped down too. 

So my most used (and loved) lens in this range was and remains the MC Rokkor 1:1.7 85mm. 


The Macro too shows exccellent results for real macro work where I usally at least stop down to f5.6 or f8 
and is still my favorite lens here.

Hans-Joachim Weber

(c) Juiy 2008

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