Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 – MC II – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC Tele Rokkor-QF 1:2.8 f=135mm)

  • Official classification: MC
  • Collector’s classification: MC II, Hills &Valleys, Knurled

This is the fast lens with classic focal distance – very suitable for portraits and landscapes. Tons of such lenses have been produced by a lot of competitors, many of them are beautiful, and it’s very hard for any lens to get a ‘recommended’ status in so huge and cool collective.

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 + Minolta SRT 101

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 specifications:

minolta.eazypix.de index 177
Name engraved on lens MC TELE ROKKOR-PF
f[mm] 135
A max [1/f] 2.8
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 6
Lens design [gr.] 5
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 55
Lens Shade built-in
closefocus[m/ft] 1.5/5
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 67×93
Weight[g] 490
Year 1970
Style MC II
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 667-008

More data

Floating elements NO
Aperture blades number 6
Average international price (sold items) 2019: USD 50-100
Reviewed Lens SN: 1603324

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 lens exterior

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 mounted on camera Minolta SR-T101

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 5m
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF.
  • The test was repeated for every F-stop on every focus position with manual focus adjustment for each shot. That is to avoid the effect of field curvature.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Original target image (printed in horizontal orientation on 10cm X 15cm glossy photo paper)

Scene preview

Test results

Long-distance resolution test

Testing methods description

  • Target: cityscape
  • Distance: > 200 meters to center focus point
  • Camera: Sony A7II (24mpx, full-frame, tripod, remote control). M-mode, ISO fixed, WB fixed, SteadyShot – OFF. The focus point is on the center only.
  • RAW processing: Capture One, default settings. All quality settings – 100%. Crops – 300×200 px

Scene preview

Test results

Minolta MC Rokkor QF 200mm 1:3.5 aberrations


Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh


Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.5m, buildings are on “infinity”-distance


Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Light bubbles bokeh

Test #1

The lens is on the minimal focusing distance 1.5m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2.5m

Other resources with reviews

Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8 – final conclusion:

Throughout history, Minolta has released 16 (!) different 135/2.8 manual lenses for SLR cameras (SR-mount). They were on 6/5, 7/5, 5/4, 4/4, 5/5 schemes. Can I say that this particular lens is better than those that were released later? Definitely not. It occupies a middle position among the other 135/2.8 Minolta lenses – looks not so sharp as more modern lenses, but – it is still sharp enough for any photographer tasks. Independently of full metal construction this lens is not heavier and has close the same weight as other models, even lighter than many another with rubberized elements. It was a little surprise, because when you see the full metal lens – you expect heaviness, but not this time. And as it was expected, the construction of this MC-II version is simple enough for an owner to fix the lens if it needed.

Rendering and aberrations of this Rokkor are not something special – a lot of other 135mm provide the same results. Bokeh is like a ‘Plain/Gauss’ type (not ‘Swirly’). To be honest, I didn’t meet a fast 135mm lens with bad bokeh – each of them at least very good, and this Rokkor isn’t exclusion – bokeh is fairly common, but without flaws.

It looks like this lens is not for sharpness maniacs. On the other hand, it keeps the balance, and can’t be called ‘soft lens’. I wouldn’t recommend it for the role of the champion of the resolution, but it will work fine for photographers, who don’t care about pixels.

Thus, we have a very good lens, but it does not stand out among a large number of other lenses with the same parameters. There is no need to hunt for it, but if you get it – then save.


Howie Dewing · 2021-06-03 at 03:38

Another lens I have an exact copy of, S/N 1525509. I would have completely overlooked this one, except for the fact it was attached to a Minolta XE I had purchased some time ago. My copy had some fungus issues, so I took it apart with a spanner wrench and got most of it out. The lens shade will not stay in place, but this thing is pushing fifty years old, so I’d say it’s held up pretty well overall. I wished it focused closed than five feet, but I’m remembering that these old manual focus telephoto lenses just weren’t designed to do that. It looked pretty good on the XE the day I received it, and looks like a million bucks on my Sony a7 II. It also renders great images, some of the sharpest of all the Rokkors I have. Yet another example of the excellence of Minolta, my all-time favorite camera company.

    Tony · 2021-06-04 at 16:52

    Hello. Yes, when you manage to restore an old lens after mold or damage, and it turns out to return it to its original state, then the attitude towards it is better. And no matter how much this lens cost – it becomes more expensive in the eyes of the owner))

Max · 2022-08-15 at 21:24

Thank you for your wonderful work!
I read through your reviews a lot and you have inspired a few purchases of mine. Thanks a lot!
I have read up a few opinions on the 135mm 2.8 and especially the 4/4 lens design is praised by many while others say all the designs are pretty good. In theory, it seems to me that the lower element count could help improve microcontrast but this will maybe go at the expense of other qualities.
Do you have an opinion on the 4/4 version? Would love to get some info from someone that does proper testing.

Thanks and best wishes from Europe!

    Tony · 2022-08-15 at 22:12

    Hello Max! Thanks for the kind words. I’m sorry, but I still haven’t tested the Minolta with the 4×4 formula. Hm… I would say that during that period of time, Minolta did not have cases when the new lens was worse than the old one by IQ. Usually better, or at least the same. Let me tell fortunes on coffee grounds, but I am sure enough that a 4×4 135/2.8 lens will either be the same or better than this reviewed MC-II, or the same or bit worst than the MD-II/III generation, that is, somewhere between these two here: https://lens.ws/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/mcc13528_vs_md13528_battle.jpg Anyway – it is just the theory, I should check it by real tests

Ray Muise · 2023-07-04 at 01:07

Great review… I still have my Minolta MC Rokkor PF 135mm 1:2.8. I acquired it in the late 80’s along with other lens, and used it with my X570 for quite a few journalist gigs. Everything from a children’s Christmas special with a young girl holding a candle for lighting. I covered the 1988 Summer World’s Juniors in North Bay ontario, and it was a workhorse. It laid in sorrowful dormance until I bought a Sony A7IV. now it sits in my bag and hready for its new master. I highly reccomend this lens.

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