MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 on Sony Alpha 7

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Since I got my Alpha 7 I have re-discovered shooting with very old Minolta Rokkor manual focus lenses. This is really fun but still quite difficult for me. So some days ago I went on a short walk to test my "Minolta MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8" wide angle lens. I use a Novoflex MC-Nex adapter to mount the lens on my Sony Alpha 7 camera.

MD Rokkor 28mm 1:2.8
The MD Rokkor 28mm 1:2.8

The weather was not really good: It was a little foggy so the sky was a featureless grey. But it was not foggy enough to get nice fog shots. Anyway, I wanted to try this lens, so I took a couple of pictures.

First I made some deep focus pictures because this is really easy with a wide angle lens. Although everything in the next picutre is in focus, the picture is quite blurry and a lot of details are missing (click on the picture to go to flickr, where you can get to the full resolution image). I still include the picture here because all of the photos of this football field turned out to look like this.

Nobody is playing - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/22
Nobody is playing: Blurry, little detail
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/22

Maybe this was my fault. Maybe I shook the camera. Or maybe the JPEG lost some details (the JPEG conversion of the A7 received some harsh criticism on other sites). Or maybe it's because wide angle legacy lenses don't work well on digital sensors. Or maybe the lens does not perform well at f/22. This is not a comprehensive test, so I assume it was my fault. But I don't know. Anyway, next time I test a lens, I will shoot in RAW mode.

The lens produces very nice pictures wide open. The bokeh is a little bit nervous in high contrast areas, but still OK - at least in my opinion.

Closeup of Ivy - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/2.8
Closeup of Ivy: The out-of-focus twigs have double silhouettes.
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/2.8

Closeup of a wild rose - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/2.8
Closeup of a wild rose: Nervous Bokeh
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/2.8

When stepped down a bit, the bokeh is really nice. Also, the pictures are quite sharp. I think I shot this at f/5.6 but I am not 100% sure anymore.

Rusty Lock - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8
Rusty Lock: The Bokeh in the foreground and background is OK
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8

Here is a shot with lots of colors and contrast. It also has some out-of-focus twigs in front of the scene. I can't remember the exact aperture anymore, but it was neither wide open nor completely closed.

Mini Golf - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8
Mini Golf: More colors, more contrast.
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8

I bought this lens on ebay for 30 Euros. At this price point, it is a really nice lens. Even though some images where rather blurry and the bokeh is nervous in high-contrast areas. The build quality is solid: Metal, Glass, a little bit of rubber. Yet, it is quite small and light. Manual focussing is really easy with this lens (and focus peaking & magnification on the Alpha 7): The depth of field is relatively shallow, so it's easy to "hit" focus. And contrast is good enough for the peaking to work well - especially when you stop the lens down a bit.

It is a moderate wide-angle lens, very well suited for landscape and city photography. And for 30 Euros, I would buy it again - but I guess I would not pay much more than this.

Here are some more shots from the photo walk.

Graffiti on an old wall - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/8
Graffiti on an old wall: Colors and details are OK in this shot.
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8 at f/8

Flower Power - MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8
Flower Power: "Der Himmlische Garten"
MD Rokkor 28mm/2.8

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My name is David Tanzer and I have been working as an independent software consultant since 2006. I help my clients to develop software right and to develop the right software by providing training, coaching and consultanting for teams and individuals.

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