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Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions
  
 
Aaron D
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p.1 #1 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Was at Salvation Army looking for gold today. Came across an SRT-101 with two lenses. I was only interested in one and talked to the manager. I offered him $20 for a Rokkor MC 58/1.4 PF in 8+ condition, he accepted.

Well, I have now learned it's not the $150-$200 gem I was hoping it would be. But still, I see positive things being said about this lens.

I already have a 50/1.9, but it's an "Auto Chinon". The Rokkor is in great shape, no scratches, fungus, haze or yellowing, aperture is oil free and "snappy". My question is, is this lens worth keeping and modifying to use on my Canon? Or should I just pass it on and try to recoup my money?

Opinions always appreciated

Thanks
Aaron



Jun 07, 2013 at 02:20 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #2 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


I've got a Canon-converted Rokkor 58/1.4 PF stashed away somewhere. I haven't used it in a long while after getting a Rokkor 58/1.2 (and many other 50mm-ish options), but from what I recall it was a perfectly nice lens (I'll have to dig it out and give it a spin again). Under the right conditions, you could get some exciting "bubbly" bright-edged bokeh out of it wide open --- not always the effect you want for non-distracting backgrounds, but with potential for very interesting images if you used it right. Build quality and the solid/smooth feel of the focus ring on the old Rokkors is a joy to use. Overall, I'd recommend giving it a try (especially if you don't already have another 50/1.4-ish lens).


Jun 07, 2013 at 04:10 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #3 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Low contrast and not exemplary of Minolta colors were my big complaints about it. It made nice B&W's, though. My copy was softish wide open, but pleasingly so in the right light.


Jun 07, 2013 at 04:14 AM
Aaron D
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p.1 #4 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


mpmendenhall wrote:
I've got a Canon-converted Rokkor 58/1.4 PF stashed away somewhere. I haven't used it in a long while after getting a Rokkor 58/1.2 (and many other 50mm-ish options), but from what I recall it was a perfectly nice lens (I'll have to dig it out and give it a spin again). Under the right conditions, you could get some exciting "bubbly" bright-edged bokeh out of it wide open --- not always the effect you want for non-distracting backgrounds, but with potential for very interesting images if you used it right. Build quality and the solid/smooth feel of the focus ring
...Show more

How was it / who converted it? And how difficult was it to do? I may have access to a lathe, I'm waiting to hear back from a friend who works in a shop to tell me if I can use it. I have some experience working with lathes, I just don't have access to one. This is where I need to know if it's worth the time, and effort, converting this lens. I would like to, because I'm excited about having my first true "fast" lens. Or should I hand it off to someone else and just try and recoup my money. I only paid $20 for it, so it shouldn't be hard to recoup my cost. The glass itself is in beautiful shape and the aperture is like new. As for already having a "50'ish" lens, I do. It's an auto chinon 50/1.9. It takes decent pics, but it's newer (late 70's / early 80's my guess), so it doesn't have that nice, all metal, feel to it since it's mostly plastic. Know what I mean? I agree about the focus ring on these older lenses. They can be a real treat. I love the way my Auto-Yashinon 28/2.8 DX handles!

freaklikeme wrote:
Low contrast and not exemplary of Minolta colors were my big complaints about it. It made nice B&W's, though. My copy was softish wide open, but pleasingly so in the right light.


See, and this is another thing. IQ with this lens seems to be very inconsistent. Some say it takes beautiful shots, others say its subpar. You have the PF version Freak?



Jun 07, 2013 at 04:56 AM
PhotoMaximum
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p.1 #5 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


I would give it a go!

Contact Jim Buchanan directly for conversion info. I would also do a search on "58mm Rokkor" in Google and follow the f/1.2 links. Also add the word "conversion” and you will get deeper info I bet.

My wife bought me Minolta camera with the 58/1.4 Rokkor. Still have it but have never used it...

Good luck!



Jun 07, 2013 at 05:10 AM
Aaron D
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p.1 #6 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Excellent! Thanks for that info Photo! I'll be sure to check that out. Which camera? The SRT-101?


Jun 07, 2013 at 05:13 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #7 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Aaron D wrote:
See, and this is another thing. IQ with this lens seems to be very inconsistent. Some say it takes beautiful shots, others say its subpar. You have the PF version Freak?


I did, but I sold it. And I should tell you I only used it on an NEX, but I'm not sure using it on Canon would make much difference. The draw and colors reminded me more of a Pentax lens than a Minolta, so I can see where it would be desirable if that's what you're after.



Jun 07, 2013 at 08:06 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #8 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Aaron D wrote:
How was it / who converted it? And how difficult was it to do?

As I recall, mine was a Jim Buchanan conversion (which I bought already converted). Since I wasn't involved in the conversion process, I can't directly answer the difficulty question --- but converting Rokkors (often the 58/1.2) is something that many people did on their own, even without machine tools (just a lot of patience and sandpaper). I suspect that with helpful hints from Jim Buchanan and access to a lathe, the process should be relatively straightforward.



Jun 07, 2013 at 01:41 PM
Peire
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p.1 #9 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


MC Rokkor PG 50/1.4 is superior in every respect i.e. sharpness,contrast,colour rendition.58/1.4 was one of the lenses I resold because of the inferior overall performance.Don't get me wrong - one can get decent pics with it,but there are so many others that does the job better.


Jun 07, 2013 at 06:26 PM
 

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Aaron D
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p.1 #10 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


freaklikeme wrote:
I did, but I sold it. And I should tell you I only used it on an NEX, but I'm not sure using it on Canon would make much difference. The draw and colors reminded me more of a Pentax lens than a Minolta, so I can see where it would be desirable if that's what you're after.


Interesting. Thanks again for the input.


mpmendenhall wrote:
As I recall, mine was a Jim Buchanan conversion (which I bought already converted). Since I wasn't involved in the conversion process, I can't directly answer the difficulty question --- but converting Rokkors (often the 58/1.2) is something that many people did on their own, even without machine tools (just a lot of patience and sandpaper). I suspect that with helpful hints from Jim Buchanan and access to a lathe, the process should be relatively straightforward.


Thank you. I'll do some googling and see what I can find. Having access to a lathe is not a guarantee. And if permission is granted, unfortunately I won't be the one doing the work. Without you guys knowing my cousin, who would be doing it, I'll just say I have my concerns. although he has more experience on a lathe than I do, there are other things that factor into this equation that concern me.

Peire wrote:
MC Rokkor PG 50/1.4 is superior in every respect i.e. sharpness,contrast,colour rendition.58/1.4 was one of the lenses I resold because of the inferior overall performance.Don't get me wrong - one can get decent pics with it,but there are so many others that does the job better.


So far, that's what I've read about the PG. Being my budget is rather limited at the moment, and I'm trying to save up for a used 70-200/2.8L IS mk1 or 100-400L IS, I'm not really in the market to go lens hunting. This was an impulse purchase. I only had moments to decide if I wanted to buy it. Without knowing exactly how good a lens it was, and without remembering if a Minolta was easy to use on an EOS with a simple adapter, I took a chance knowing it was a f/1.4 Rokkor. I could make $20 by reselling it, but I really think I'm going to hang onto it and try and convert it. Converting it will give me the opportunity to take a lens apart without worrying about destroying an excellent lens. So best case scenario, I modify it to work on my body. Worst case scenario, I break a $20 lens. Better a $20 lens than a multi-hundred dollar lens. Besides, I've been thinking about possibly saving up for a long FD in the future (500mm or 600mm). Modifying this lens will give me some of the practice I'll require to modify the FD should I decide to save up for one.



Jun 08, 2013 at 08:58 AM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #11 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


I found my Rokkor 58/1.4, and took it out for a quick spin. All wide open, Canon 5D:




















































Notes: I'm actually quite happy with the results. For a fast lens, the Rokkor has a very "uniform" drawing style: very little vignetting or bokeh swirl; resolution is fairly constant across the image. At mid to close-ish distances, the lens is actually quite sharp, and picks up fine texture well. Larger-scale contrast is uniformly a bit low; light bleeds across high-contrast edges, and there is "glow" around highlights. Purple fringing, however, is very well controlled ("glow" is only slightly purplish), as are chromatic aberrations. As you stop down, the "glow" goes away and the lens gets crispy sharp. I'm less impressed by performance near infinity; some combination of field curvature and basic sharpness issues require a fair amount of stopping down (f5.6+) to get decent corner-to-corner quality, though once you do stop down, performance is quite good.



Jun 08, 2013 at 06:04 PM
sebboh
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p.1 #12 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


Aaron D wrote:
How was it / who converted it? And how difficult was it to do? I may have access to a lathe, I'm waiting to hear back from a friend who works in a shop to tell me if I can use it. I have some experience working with lathes, I just don't have access to one. This is where I need to know if it's worth the time, and effort, converting this lens. I would like to, because I'm excited about having my first true "fast" lens. Or should I hand it off to someone else and just try
...Show more

the conversion is relatively easy. you need to remove original mount and spacer as i demonstrate in this video on the rokkor 58/1.2 which has the same mount design as the 58/1.4 MC PF. you can then make a new spacer of appriopriate thickness out of aluminum on a lathe or sand down the existing spacer as paul (cogitech) describes here (this method is non reversible). for the eos mount you can simply use a m42 to eos adapter and drill 4 screw hole in it to match the spacer/lens holes.

Aaron D wrote:
See, and this is another thing. IQ with this lens seems to be very inconsistent. Some say it takes beautiful shots, others say its subpar. You have the PF version Freak?


i believe the different opinions are due to different peoples experience and expectations. i've use three copies of the lens (2 MC PF and 1 auto rokkor version) and they all performed just as brad (freaklikeme) describes and mpmendenhall demonstrates. the lens performs well enough for all types of shooting but is lower contrast and not as sharp as a number of later rokkor normals as well as some 50/1.4s from other brands. the lens has kinda funky bokeh wide open that reminds me a lot of sonnar 50mm lenses as well as images i've seen with the nikkor 58/1.4. i would characterize it as a character lens that is perfectly workable but not great for lots of other types of photography. i like it's rendering much better on film (and i imagine FF digital) than i did on aps-c, this is probably due to angle of view and the fact that optical flaws are more obvious on the crop sensor. i agree with the others that mentioned that the MC PG 50/1.4 is a much better lens, in fact that is probably my favorite 50/1.4 that i've used. it is also only a $50 lens. unfortunately, the MC PG 50/1.4 is MUCH harder to convert to eos. you pretty much have to send it to a professional like jim.



Jun 09, 2013 at 10:28 PM
Aaron D
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p.1 #13 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


mpmendenhall ,
Thank you for the examples. I like what I see, especially the shot with the stairs going down.

Sebboh,
Thank you for providing more info on the conversion process. The links you provided will prove useful, as these last two replies have convinced me to keep the lens. I look forward to comparing this lens to my other el-cheapo 50, the auto-chinon 50/1.9.

The helpfulness of this forum never ceases to amaze me. Thank you all for your input and help.



Jun 11, 2013 at 03:59 AM
freaklikeme
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p.1 #14 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


I take back the Pentax analogy. What it really reminds me of is the CZJ Biotar 58/2.


Jun 14, 2013 at 11:55 PM
mpmendenhall
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p.1 #15 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


freaklikeme wrote:
I take back the Pentax analogy. What it really reminds me of is the CZJ Biotar 58/2.


To me, the strongest "feature" of the Biotar 58/2 is the "swirly" bokeh; on this 58/1.4, I see almost the opposite effect: the "motion" in the bokeh seems to be more "streaming out" along radial lines (with bright hard lines on the inside edge, as if the bokeh is bursting open and spilling out towards the corners), instead of "swirling around" on tangential lines and pressing in towards the center.



Jun 15, 2013 at 12:12 AM
Joe Garner
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p.1 #16 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


I've owned three or four copies of PF 58/1.4 and did not enjoy any of them. They all had low contrast wide open and were fairly, I parted with them without regret. On the other hand Rokkor-PF 55/1.7 is a lovely lens. Of the 1.4's Rokkor-X 50/1.4 does not look as sexy but is a much better lens (although still not nearly as good as FD 50/1.4).


Jun 15, 2013 at 07:22 AM
Aaron D
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p.1 #17 · Another for the collection - Rokkor MC PF 58/1.4 questions


You've all provided me with great info and motivation to convert this lens. Even if it proves to not satisfy me, I'm sure it wont be hard to sell a "converted to ef mount" rokkor and make a small profit.

Should it prove to lack severly in contrast, sharpness, and IQ in general, I'm curious about using such a fast lens for photos of the night sky. Something I havent done much of.

Aaron



Jun 27, 2013 at 07:17 AM





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