Is it the best Rokkor

Stunning film image captured by classic 58 mm MC Rokkor-PF f1.4.

Even a seasoned photographer can still experience nice surprises when testing various manual focus legacy lenses. As many would already know, certain lenses had superb image quality already 50 plus years ago. Even if manufacturing technologies were less developed in 1960'ies, fantastic quality control and glass material more than compensated less precise manual manufacturing.

For some reason the famous 58 mm manual focus Rokkors had managed to escape Rokkorlab - until several samples in varying condition finally arrived earlier this year from Japan, United States and United Kingdom. Only one nearly working unit was quickly assembled from several copies that had either bent focus ring caused by dropping to floor or some other malfunction. The image quality of the MC Rokkor-PF 58 f1.4 was soon found to be monumental.

Stunning capture above was taken earlier this year with Fuji 400 color film. Negative scanning was made with Pakon F-135 scanner.

There is even more famous big brother to the f1.4 lens - 58 mm f1.2. However, if one wanted to experience the 58 mm Rokkor experience, the f1.4 kid brother is more common and better priced on the auction site.

Even if a few copies had to be bought to obtain one in good condition, it won't bankrupt any photographer.

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In low light with Portra 800 and classic 58 mm Rokkor

This past summer's theme was photography in low light with Kodak Portra 800 color negative film. Rather than using a fast lens aperture wide open, the best lens at f-stop 3.5 was used. This was Minolta's manual focus legacy lens MC Rokkor-PF 58 f1.4.

When testing suitable lens candidates it was noted that the classic 58 mm had terrific image when stopped down two and a half apertures from f1.4 to f3.5. Together with fast ISO 800 film hand held photography in the long summer twilight hours of the northern latitudes was perfectly possible producing impressive results.

Portra 800 is the best film Rokkorlab has used.

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Shutter and lens mount for Rokkorcam

Altissa Altix camera appears to be the perfect platform for prototyping new Rokkorcam film camera. In the image Tempor leaf shutter can be seen. Mechanical shutter needs no batteries and is positioned correctly in the light path so that Rokkor lenses can be rather easily adapted and tested.

Rather than adapting lens the Altix camera lens mount will be replaced with M42 thread mount. The result depends on the shutter diameter - if it allowed wider than SLR images go through to 45 mm wide film frame.

Can you already see a Rokkor on top of the camera like I do?

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Developing in October

Preparing to work on backlog of film. Product development will proceed after summer break.

Products and services in development (in order of priority)

Rokkorcam - a new film camera system taking 45 mm wide 16:9 aspect ratio images on standard 135 film
Optical film scanning workbench
Pentax-110 m4/3 adapter with fixed iris
M42 thread mount conversion for Minolta MC Rokkor-PF 58 f1.4
M42 thread mount and Konica AR mount conversion for several Minolta Rokkor lenses
Service and restoration for Minolta MD zoom lenses

Completed products

Minolta-Konica conversion for MD 35-70 f3.5 Macro zoom
Adapter for using Minolta MD 35-70 f3.5 Macro zoom lens with Canon EOS cameras
Restoration of Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28 f2.5 wide angle lens
Manual aperture modification for Vivitar 35ES (Revue 400 SE) pocket rangefinder enabling battery free operation
Fixing Tokina RMC 28 f2.8 stuck iris

Recent articles

 Segmented film scanning - what kind of quality to expect..

  Best from this season (summer 2018) - MD 35-70 f3.5 zoom on Portra 800 (film)..

 Making slides from color negative..

  Adapting 5D (digital)..

  Best from last season (summer 2017) - Red dawn with Hexanon AR 40 f1.8 (film)..

  Lens test - Pentax Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 28 f3.5 versus Minolta MC W.Rokkor-SI 28 f2.5 (film)..

  Best from this season (winter 2017-2018) - Minolta-Konica sample image (film)..

  Best from this season (winter 2017-2018) - Hibernating boat with MC Tele Rokkor-PF 100 f2.5 (film)..

Support Film color grading tutorial - adjust shadow saturation..

 Minolta MC Tele Rokkor-PF 100 f2.5 - Lens technical data and sample film image..

  What others shoot - Primotar (flickr)..

  Best from last season (summer 2017) - Bird in sunrise with Hexanon AR 40 f1.8 (film)..

  Best from last season (summer 2017) - Easy to adapt Tokina RMC 28 f2.8 wide angle lens (digital)..

  Best from last season (summer 2017) - Serviced Tokina RMC 28 f2.8 on Canon 5D full frame (digital)..

  Best from last season (summer 2017) - Bad sky day with Vivitar 35ES pocket rangefinder (film)..

  Best from previous seasons (summer 2016) - Spontaneous photography with Vivitar 35ES pocket rangefinder (film)..

  Best from previous seasons (summer 2016) - Action photography with a manual tele lens (film)..

What is Rokkorlab

Rokkorlab is a not-for-profit 3rd sector association for development of photographic and other fine mechanical products and services. A new product or service is first invented and proposed. If there was demand for the product, resources could be pooled to develop prototypes. Finished products could be manufactured on demand and made available to contributing developers. Suitable products could become available for buyers.

3rd sector means independent - the association is not tied to a commercial or other entity. Ideas flow freely. Several technology platforms are in development for prototyping and manufacturing

Are you a developer

Developers often struggle to find the necessary support to create entirely new or improved products. First there must exist an idea. But what then? How to begin to push the idea into a real useful item? This is where a developers' association could enter the picture.

If interested in products or product development, please use contact information