Minolta MC W.Rokkor – HH 35mm 1.8

Front view of an Minolta MC W.Rokkor - HH 35mm 1.8 lens
Front view of an Minolta MC W.Rokkor - HH 35mm 1.8 lens
Minolta MC W.Rokkor - HH 35mm 1.8

Focal Lenght: 35mm
Max Apeture: 1.8
Lens Mount: Minolta MD
Min. Focus: 0.3 mm
Filter Size: 55mm
Weight: 400 (give or take)
Factory: KMZ

LENS STORY

This was the lucky find of the year. A flea-market find for the price of a few days worth of food.

It had lens fungus and a bent filter thread ring, but I sent it to a pro, who had it back in top-notch shape.

I specifically picked up a Minolta XD-5 to go with it and shot for a few months with this lens, both on the Sony A7 and the film Minolta.

HANDLING

It’s a rather bulky lens, especially for a 35mm , but that’s what you pay for the 1.8 max aperture, usually saved for 50mm lenses. 

I dislike the 55mm filter thread, I don’t have any of that size, as I usually prefer the good ol’ 49mm.

The front element is massive and prone to flare, although less than expected.

OPTICAL PERFORMANCE

Let’s face it – if you get this lens, you are getting it because of the 1.8 max aperture. Keep in mind it comes from a time where fast lenses compensated for using a lower film speed, so wide open, things aren’t perfect.

Shooting wide open, you get a lot of spherical aberations and reduced contrast, veiling and washing over your images. Colors do appear faded and really pleasing to my eye. With heavy vignetting you get a rather unique look, perfect for enhancing and separating your subject. I loved using this focal length wide open for portraits. Chromatic aberrations, while present in extreme situations are well controlled. 

Stop down to f4 and things improve drastically, although there’s still something to be desired in the corners. 

By f8 you’re using a large, heavy lens for landscape work, instead of any old 35mm you can find.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I enjoyed this lens, it was fun to use and the way it renders wide open had me excited for more than one portrait or photo. 

If I had to pay full price for it, I’d rather get a slower Flektogon or any old 50mm, sacrificing the wider focal length.

If you find it really cheap – go for it.