Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 Tele – MC I – review

Published by Tony on

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 vintage manual lens review (Minolta MC Tele Rokkor-QE 1:3.5 f=100mm )

  • Official classification: MC
  • Collector’s classification: MC I

This is the final reincarnation number four of Minolta SR-mount 100mm lenses with faster F=3.5. Production started in 1959 (AR-I design by collectors indexing) and finished with this MC-I between 1969-1970.

Since the first test results were obtained I don’t understand – why Minolta stopped to produce it? This lens is one of the biggest sensations since the site was started.

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 + SRT 101

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 specifications:

# in minolta.eazypix.de index 156
Name engraved on the lens MC TELE ROKKOR-QE
f[mm] 100
A max [1/f] 3.5
A min[1/f] 22
Lens design [el.] 5
Lens design [gr.] 4
Filter thread Ø front(rear)[mm] 52
Lens Shade D52NE
closefocus[m/ft] 1.2/4
Dimension Ø x length [mm] 63×54
Weight[g] 240
Year 1966
Style MC I
Code No. (ROKKOR-X) or Order No. 668 or 66L

More Data

Floating elements NO
Number of aperture blades 6
Confidence in the test results of reviewed copies Enough high
Reviewed Lens SN: 1312840

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 exterior:

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 mounted on the camera Minolta SR-T101

The lens and the camera both from close the same age of design, lens exterior is a little bit older, but this couple is historically appropriate:

Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 lens shade:


Minolta MC Rokkor QE 100mm 1:3.5 sharpness

Сlose-distance resolution test, minimal distance

Testing methods description

  • Target: 10-15 cm picture, printed on glossy photo paper
  • Distance: 1.7m
  • 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 QE 200mm 1:3.5 aberrations


Geometric distortion

Coma aberrations

Chromatic aberrations

Long-distance bokeh


Test conditions: the lens was focused on 1.2m, 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 1.2m, lights are on infinity (cityscape)

Test #2

Test conditions: lens was focused on 2m

Minolta MC Rokkor PE 100mm 1:3.5 final conclusion

Earlier, the central place in the category “Amazing and Forgotten” has been held by Minolta MD 28mm 1:3.5. But today this small princess Rokkor 100/3.5 took the place above. The lens without weaknesses /of course in the borders of characteristics – F3.5 is max/. Just imagine – the faster lenses on these focal distances have existed, but any other of them can be compared with this 100/3.5 on opened F3.5. This is not an exaggeration, proofing comparison tests will be added to the site soon. The lens is absolutely sharp even wide open at F3.5, and finding the difference to the next F5.6 requires a time.

It has no coma. Chromatic aberrations are micro and in corners only – and this is impossible for the tele-lens. It has no noticeable geometric aberrations and shows quite typical vignetting – not heavy at least.

No doubts – bokeh is ‘creme’, with the interesting rendering of ‘sharpness-to-bokeh’ transition zone, which gives a popular 3D-pop effect, it may be not so noticeable as on faster lenses but presented. On portrait distances, this 100mm and F3.5 provide thin DOF which is enough for any photographer task.

240 grams and 63 mm – it doesn’t need a big space in a photographer bag. Or even in a pocket. A great solution for photographers who doubt about to take something long and heavy into the next trip or not.

Add here standard advantages of any old Minolta MC lenses: no rubber, it’s steel and glass only, and construction is quite simple to fix most of the possible issues at home conditions with a screwdriver and hammer /joke/. Without of laboratory, I mean.

I’m glad: it looks like one another gem by Minolta has been found. This is the high-level lens, can be recommended with no doubts.


hanhasgotqi · 2021-12-01 at 07:22

Hi Tony, thanks for the review. Looks like a great find. Do you know if this MC 100mm f3.5 lens is radioactive? Cheers.

    Tony · 2021-12-01 at 12:22

    Hi hanhasgotqi, don’t worry – this lens is absolutely clean. Minolta produced very few radioactive lenses, literally only 2 of those that we have a chance to encounter – MC 28mm f2.5 and MC 58mm f1.2, and the latter was radioactive only at the very beginning of production. Reviews of both lenses with details on this subject are available on this site

      hanhasgotqi · 2021-12-03 at 09:26

      Hi Tony, thanks for the reply. Will check out your reviews.

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