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06-18-2014, 06:38 AM   #1
Jonathan Mac's Avatar

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Minolta 135mm lenses?

Hi all,

I recently got hold of a Minolta SRT-101b with 35/2.8 and 50/1.7 lenses and I have to say it's at least as pleasurable to use as my Pentax film cameras. I also got a cheap 2x teleconverter but to be honest the IQ suffers a lot, at least to f/8 where I've tested it. So I am looking for a 135mm lens for this camera and was hoping for recommendations as I know there are other Minolta users here.

I have Vivitar and Tokina 135/2.8s for other mounts and they're very good, so I wouldn't mind one of them in a Minolta mount. What are the Minolta ones to look out for? I tend to prefer primes but I wouldn't rule out zooms as long as they're not too big and heavy.


06-18-2014, 07:14 AM   #2

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Minolta 135mm f/2 MD

In October 1981 Minolta released the magnificent 135mm f/2 MD lens. While the company had previously manufactured numerous different designs in the f/3.5 and f/2.8 apertures, this was the first f/2 version manufactured, and it was certainly a step apart from its predecessors. With a massive 72mm filter thread the lens looks like someone has taken a 200mm f/2.8 and squashed it down! At 725g it is actually even heavier than the 200mm f/2.8 (700g) and the 300mm f/4.5 (705g). That is a LOT of glass.

Looking through the viewfinder on this lens is an amazing experience. The compression achieved from the 135mm focal length is considerably greater than the 85mm, and the f/2 aperture results in incredible seperation from the background. This is without a doubt Minolta's premier choice for head and shoulder portraiture.

The lens has the added bonus of a close minimum focus distance of 1.3 metres, shortest of all the Minolta 135mm lenses, enabling use of the lens in close quarters. While it does not get to macro range, it makes it very workable in the studio. The focus throw on the lens is extremely long, almost like a macro lens, which can result in slow transition from close focus to infinity, however the f/2 aperture and the long throw result in incredible focus accuracy.

Given the 135mm f/2 MD was introduced only late in the Minolta manual focus era, and was an expensive lens, there are not many available today. The price in 1982 from B&H Photo (a major New York photography store and discounter) was US$276, almost three times the price of the f/2.8 version at US$102. With inflation, this price equates to approximately US$510 in today's money. I suppose that makes the 135mm f/2 a bargain at it's normal ebay sale price of between US$350-$400 for an example in good condition!
The Rokkor Files - Minolta 135mm f/2 Review


Last edited by jogiba; 06-18-2014 at 07:19 AM.
06-18-2014, 10:39 AM   #3
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I just bought a Minolta MD Tele Rokkor-X 135/3.5. I know it looses a stop of light from the 2.8, but it is razor sharp and the colors/contrast are excellent. I considered the 2.8 versions, but I wanted to be able to use it comfortably on my Pentax Q, and the one I bought is the lightest of all the Minolta 135s at only 265g. That is less than 1/2 the weight of some of the 2.8 versions. If you look in these forums at the last page or 2 of the "NEX Systems Pictures" thread, you'll see some of my photos. Also, here's a link to a very comprehensive listing of Minolta lenses. Look about 3/4 down the page for the 135s:

Minolta SR mount other lenses, Rokkor or plain MD
06-18-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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I have a JC Penney 135/2.8 in MD Mount. From what I recall, it is similar, IQ wise, to the Vivitar 135/2.8 I have in M42. It weighs 13.5 oz (382.7g) to compare with TonyTurley above.

I also have a new-old-stock, in the box, Rokinon 80-200/4.5 Macro in MD mount. It's fairly small - same diameter as the 135, maybe 2 inches longer. I've never used it, so you'll have to look up the reviews. Both are available.

Last edited by OregonJim; 06-18-2014 at 11:57 AM.
06-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #5
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there are sooo many 135mm lenses to choose from... nobody wants 'em, they can be had for pretty reasonable money.

some minolta lens reviews: Objektive

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