Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm F2.5 Review and Sample Photos

This classic wide angle lens from Minolta was generously donated to me by my talented Flickr friend, Tigersight. It's a beautifully crafted lens - heavy, due to all-metal construction and oozing of precision manufacturing! Not that that was unique back then - it has lots of good company of course. But it's one that you pick up and hold, and mount on a Minolta body, and say to yourself "wow, they don't make 'em like this any more". It would appear that there are at least two versions of this lens, as most of the ones pictured online and the one pictured in my SR System Guide booklet show it as having an all-metal scalloped focusing ring, rather than the rubber grip focusing ring on my own example. One web site I found indicated the first one is from 1969 while this later one is from 1973, but without knowing where that site author got their info, I can't be sure of those dates.

Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm F2.5

Above: The Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm F2.5 wide angle lens (later version, 1973?)

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LIKES: Depth-of-field or stop-down lever on lens (and conveniently placed); All metal and glass, with only a smidge of plastic and rubber (based on images of the earlier lens, I assume it had no plastic or rubber at all); large smooth focus ring with rubber grip (again early version had scalloped metal focusing ring); f/2.5 maximum aperture lets a bit more light in than your typical f/2.8 wide angle lens; depth-of-field markings on lens barrel - something manufacturers seem to have forgotten about today

DISLIKES: Reportedly has radioactive components that cause yellowing of the elements. My example does appear more yellow when I look through the viewfinder than other lenses do, so I assume the later version was not free of this problem. Various sources also claim that UV light cures the yellowing and some people put their lens in the sun on a window sill to reduce or eliminate the yellowing. I have not tried this yet, so can't say. Also, some folks feel putting the entire lens in the sun isn't a good idea, and I read a couple blurbs in Flickr groups from people saying they removed the yellowed element(s) and put just those in the sun (but that assumes you have the knowledge and skill needed to remove those elements and more importantly put them back together properly).

Specifications:

Merrill Memorial Library, Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm F2.5, click to view sample image gallery...

Above: Merrill Memorial Library in Yarmouth, Maine; Photo taken with a Minolta X-370 and MC W.Rokkor-SI 28mm F2.5 lens using Kodak Portra 400VC color print film.

View a gallery of photos taken with this lens

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