I finished school in spring and had a long time for
jobing because my
study in munich begins in autumn. I got good jobs and so earned the money
for my first car a red VW Polo and there was enough left to buy a Minolta
XD5 body with a MD Zoom Rokkor 1:3.5 35-70mm.
Minolta XD5 here with a Minolta MD Macro 50mm 1:3.5.
Another top performing lens in the Minolta line,
especially for shots in near distances.
This lens is corrected to have zero distortion.
Zoom lens included in the XD5 Kit.
This lens set was also sold as Leitz Vario Elmar 1:3.5 35-70mm
This XD5 was my most used camera ever. I'm sure i did more than
15.000-20.000 expursures with it till now and it never showed any
malfunction. The zoom lens was a Testwinner of the legendary Praxis Test
from Walter E. Schön in the Color Foto Magazine these days, but the first
shots convinced me that I'd better stay by the primes. Not to say its a
bad lens, in sharpness and especially in contrast it beats all my 2.8 50mm
Tessar's but I had the dream to get one of the good old MC Rokkor 1.4
50mm. Until this comes true I used the MC Rokkor-PF 1:2 f=50mm an
outstanding lens too, wich also was
noticeably sharper than the zoom.
Some times later I read the next Praxis Test from Walter E. Schön. He
compared 100mm Makro lenses and the winner was the new Minolta MD Makro
Rokkor 1:4 100mm. This lens outperforms Canon, Nikon... and even the Leica
lens. I looked at the test pictures in 40x enlargements many times and it
was clear that this lens was a "must have" to me.
My loved Minolta MD Macro Rokkor 100mm
showing havy usage through the last 25 years,
but optical it delivers a picture quality like new,
a real jewel in the Minolta manual focus lens line!
Briefly after it I shot the first photos with this lens and it fulfills
all predictions. Razor sharp from edge to edge contrasty and a Macro too.
I immediately loved this lens! Many of my favorite shots I took with this
lens. Everyone who owns a Minolta manual focus body should have it! Here a
shot taken with this lens of my son Thomas and our dog Lissy to show the
sharpness of the lens the dog line is enlarged to 100% crop of a 4000dpi
Nikon Coolscan V ED scan.
Whole frame of: Thomas and Lissy at the
Donau bank 2000
Minolta XD5; MD Macro Rokkor 100mm 1:4; 1/500 f8; Fujicolor 100
100% crop of the 4000dpi scan
5680x3790 corresponding to more than 21 MPixel
of the above image showing the incredible sharpness of this
Wheras the dog line lies in front of the focal plane,
the T-Shirt structures at the left are fully resolved at 4000dpi.
Whatching the details at a 100x Microscope
what I always use to do for lens comparisons
shows even more details of the fiber structure the used
Nikon Coolscan V ED scanner is not able to resolve!
My study at Technical University Munich lead me to the photo interrest
group for students in olympic centre in munich.
They had a very good equiped color darkroom with a
Leitz Focomat enlarger and also a
photo studio with a studio flash system. I learned a lot regarding
photography and also my equipment grows further ;-)
A visit to America brougth me the chance to get my
dream "normal" lens. I found it second hand in a photo shop in Houston Texas.
A lens like new and yes it optically performs like my fathers old MC
Rokkor PG 1:1.4 50mm. I am sure till today one of the best 1.4 50mm lenses
in the world!
My loved normal lens: Minolta MC Rokkor-X
PG 1:1.4 f=50mm
I couldn't resist the autofocus hipe and so I added a Minolta 7000
AF body with a Minolta AF 50mm 1:1.7 and a Minolta AF zoom 70-210mm 1:4 to my
collection. The plastic feeling
of this generation displeased me from the beginning. So this camera could
never replace my old loved manual focus Minolta stuff.
My Minolta 7000 with the new generation Minolta AF
Also the picture quality of the Minolta AF 1.7 50mm doesn't reach the
old MC 1.4 or 2. Therefore in 2002 if I remember correctly I replaced the
original Minolta AF 1.7 50mm with the newest release that got very good
test results these days. This one showed slight improvements over the
first Minolta AF 1.7 50mm but also was no competitor for the 30 years old
The little decreased optical quality of the new Minolta lenses let me
doubt and so for comparisons sake I took the opportunity for a seldom used
Canon AE-1 SLR with a in the Canon lens line as top performer well known
Canon new FD 50mm 1:1.8 lens. In the Canon forums there are many
discussions whether the 1.4 or the 1.8 is the sharper lens and many
concluded that the 1.8 concerning sharpness has the advantage.
My Canon AE-1 with its "new" FD 50mm 1:1.8
My tests showed clear that this lens wide open stays clear
behind all Minolta lenses, closed down to 5.6 or 8 it reaches nearly the
quality of my MD Rokkor 1:1.4 50mm. But its in no way a competitor against
the best lenses in the Minolta line.
In my opinion the following "normal" lenses in the Minolta line are
the absolute top performers:
MC Rokkor PG 1:1.4 50mm (last MC Generation)
MD Rokkor 1:1.7 50mm 55mm Filter thread (first MD Generation)
MC Rokkor PF 1:2 50mm (last MC Generation)
Also the handling of the Canon camera is more badly
compared to a Minolta XD or XE. And so I decided to stay with my old
Minolta stuff for the next years. Why should I change the system if I had
to pay in concern of picture quality?
The next lens I missed most was the 24mm I often used
in my youth. A 35mm in no way is a replacement for a top 24mm lens. I knew
that the Minolta lens from my father was excellent optically and so I
acquired a optical identical MD W.Rokkor 24mm 1:2.8 which also gives me excellent