Minolta Lenses from 1966 to 1972 -- the time period of the MC Rokkor lenses
Automatic lenses (lenses with automatic diaphragms), such as the Minolta Auto-Rokkor line, added new conveniences to photography in the late 1950's. Since these lenses stayed open to the maximum aperture, even when stopped down, the camera's viewfinder was always nice and bright. It was an incredible innovation and helped make SLR photography a reality. But these automatic lenses created a problem when behind-the-lens meters were added to camera designs in the mid 1960's. Since the automatic lenses remained at the maximum aperture, the meter in the camera had no way of knowing what the actual f-stop setting really was. There was no easy way for the camera to compute the correct shutter speed, since it had no idea what the aperture setting was.
Most companies "got around" this problem by using "stop-down" metering. In
this approach, you have to press a lever on the camera which stops-down the
lens. At that point the meter can be activated and take a reading to compute
the correct shutter speed -- since it now knows what the final aperture will
be. Not only is this process awkward, it defeats the whole purpose
of having an automatic lens system -- to keep the lens open and the viewfinder
bright until the instant of the exposure! Unlike all of the other major
manufacturers -- Nikon, Pentax, Canon, etc -- Minolta was able to avoid this
whole "stop-down" metering approach because they happened to design most
of their lenses -- from the beginning -- with the aperture ring next to the
camera body. Most other manufacturers had placed the f-stop ring in
the middle -- or at the very front -- of the lens. This made linking
the apertures and the camera meter a difficult procedure. All of their
lenses eventually had to be redesigned.
On the other hand, all Minolta had to do was make a minor modification to the f-stop ring on their lenses to tell the camera's meter what the f-stop was set at. This is just one of the reasons why Minolta was able to keep their lens mount the same over all these the years, while most other camera manufacturers have had to make significant changes in their lenses. So a new series of lenses was designed for the SRT101 (Minolta's first TTL metering SLR) which coupled to the built-in meter. The MC Rokkor line was born!
The "MC" in "MC Rokkor" refers to "meter-coupling" -- not "multi-coating", as some people think. These lenses were coated, but they were not multi-coated. Each lens has a small lug attached to the f-stop ring that engages a spring-loaded pin on the new TTL camera bodies. The lens conveys the selected f-stop to the camera meter as the aperture ring is turned. For every 4mm turn of the f-stop dial on the lens, the metering system recommends the next shutter speed setting. In this way, the meter is then able to determine the appropriate shutter speed -- for that scene and film speed -- while the lens diaphragm stays open at its maximum setting. Stop-down metering became a thing of the past -- at least if you had a Minolta SLR!
The MC Rokkor line saw other improvements, as well. One of the most important was that Minolta now opted for just two filter sizes with these lenses -- 55mm and 72mm. This wasn't possible with every one of the new MC Rokkor lenses, but it made life a lot easier. Instead of having to carry an entire chorus of filters, you could deal with just two -- at most. In addition, the MC Rokkors had new lens caps. The previous series saw mostly slip-on caps -- plastic rear caps and metal front caps. On the new MC Rokkor's, these were replaced by plastic bayonet rear caps and clip-on front caps. These were much more secure than the previous versions, and would be used on all future Minolta SLR lenses. Last, but not least, the f-stop rings on all of these lenses were moved closer to the camera body so that the aperture setting could be conveyed to the camera's metering system. However, these lenses were designed for cameras without aperture displays in the viewfinder. As a result, the f-stop rings on a few of these lenses are not always placed close enough to the camera body to display the f-stop in the viewfinder (assuming the camera has an f-stop display).
One setback to automatic lenses is that, since they remain at the maximum aperture regardless of the pre-set f-stop, there is no way to view the actual depth-of-field in the viewfinder -- as you could do easily with older lenses by just changing the f-stop ring or pressing the built-in DOF button. Minolta resolved this problem by adding a new DOF (depth-of-field) button to their new cameras. Pressing this button, stopped any automatic lens down to the pre-set aperture, so that you could view the actual depth-of-field in the viewfinder. But since many people were using thes new MC lenses on older cameras -- which lacked the DOF buttons of the new cameras -- the depth-of-field button on the side of the lens was retained on most of the new MC lenses.
You can identify these lenses by the front panel around the lens (see picture above). The abbreviation "MC" appears before the word "ROKKOR" and both are marked in white. These lenses were designed for cameras that have TTL meters. To use, the aperture and shutter speed dials are adjusted until the needles in the viewfinder match, and the exposure is taken. These lenses will work fine on earlier and later cameras.
The major changes on these lenses were (not all lenses had these):
Not all lenses in the MC ROKKOR series were MC, and some were not even automatic. (see below for details)
|16mm||2.8-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC UW ROKKOR - OK 1:2.8 f=16mm||180||11/8||built-in||auto||yes||no||1'||2.5"x2.9"||15.6oz.|
|21mm||2.8-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - NL 1:2.8 f=21mm||92||12/9||72||auto||yes||no||10"||2.6"x2.9"||15.6oz.|
|28mm||3.5-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - SG 1:3.5 f=28mm||75||7/7||67||auto||yes||no||2'||2.5"x1.8"||8.6oz.|
|28mm||3.5-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - SG 1:3.5 f=28mm||75||7/7||55||auto||yes||no||2'||2.5"x1.8"||8.6oz.|
|28mm||2.5-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - SI 1:2.5 f=28mm||75||9/7||55||auto||yes||no||1.75'||2.5"x2.4"||12.8oz.|
|35mm||2.8-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - HG 1:2.8 f=35mm||63||7/6||52||auto||yes||no||1.3'||2.5"x1.8"||7.6oz.|
|35mm||2.8-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - HG 1:2.8 f=35mm||63||7/6||55||auto||yes||no||1.3'||2.5"x1.8"||7.6oz.|
|35mm||1.8-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC W. ROKKOR - HH 1:1.8 f=35mm||63||8/6||55||auto||yes||no||1'||2.6"x2.6"||14.8oz.|
|50mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR-QF 1:3.5 f=50mm||47||6/4||55||auto||yes||no||9"||2.5"x2.2"||7.3oz.|
|55mm||1.9-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR - PF 1:1.9 f=55mm||43||6/5||52||auto||yes||no||1.5'||2.5"x1.5"||7.9oz.|
|55mm||1.7-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR - PF 1:1.7 f=55mm||43||6/5||52||auto||yes||no||1.75'||2.5"x1.5"||7.9oz.|
|58mm||1.4-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR - PF 1:1.4 f=58mm||41||6/5||55||auto||yes||no||2'||2.5"x1.6"||7.6oz.|
|58mm||1.2-16||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR - PG 1:1.2 f=58mm||41||7/5||55||auto||yes||no||1.5'||2.8"x2.1"||1lb.|
|85mm||1.7-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PF 1:1.7 f=85mm||29||6/5||55||auto||yes||no||3.3'||2.8"x2.5"||1lb. 2oz.|
|100mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC ROKKOR - QE 1:3.5 f=100mm||24||5/4||52||auto||yes||no||1.3'||3.5"x2.9"||1lb. 3.4oz.|
|100mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - QE 1:3.5 f=100mm||24||5/4||52||auto||yes||no||4'||2.5"x2.3"||8.4oz.|
|100mm||2.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PF 1:2.5 f=100mm||24||6/5||55||auto||yes||no||4'||2.5"x2.6"||14.4oz.|
|100mm||2-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PF 1:2 f=100mm||24||6/5||62||auto||yes||no||4'||2.6"x2.5"||15oz.|
|135mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - QD 1:3.5 f=135mm||18||4/4||52||auto||yes||no||4.9'||2.5"x3.5"||14oz.|
|135mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - QD 1:3.5 f=135mm||18||4/4||55||auto||yes||no||4.9'||2.5"x3.5"||14oz.|
|135mm||2.8-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PF 1:2.8 f=135mm||18||6/5||55||auto||yes||no||4.9'||2.6"x3.7"||15oz.|
|200mm||4.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PE 1:4.5 f=200mm||12.5||5/5||52||auto||yes||no||8'||2.5"x5.1"||1lb. 1.6oz.|
|200mm||3.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - QF 1:3.5 f=200mm||12.5||6/4||62||auto||yes||no||8'||2.8"x5.5"||1lb. 9.4oz.|
|300mm||5.6-32||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - PE 1:5.6 f=300mm||8||5/5||55||auto||yes||no||14.8'||3.1"x7.9"||1lb. 9.7oz.|
|300mm||4.5-22||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN MC TELE ROKKOR - HF 1:4.5 f=300mm||8||6/6||72||auto||yes||no||15'||3.1"x7.9"||2lb. 8.5oz.|
|800mm||8||MINOLTA LENS MADE IN JAPAN RF ROKKOR 1:8 f=800mm||3||8/7||special||fixed||no||no||26'||4.9"x5.8"||4lb. 5oz.|
RETURN TO THE MANUAL MINOLTA HOME PAGE
We didin't want to do this, but since other websites have been stealing our
stuff, we have no alternative but to state:
COPYRIGHT@1995,1996,1997,1998,1999,2000,2001,2002,2003,2004 by Joe McGloin.
All Rights Reserved. The material on this website is protected by US Federal copyright laws. It cannot be copied or used in any manner without specific approval from the owner.
The material on this website is protected by US Federal copyright laws. It cannot be copied or used in any manner without specific approval from the owner.