The ultimate 40mm lens for street photography?

I wondered enough to finally get one, hoping to find the ultimate 40mm lens for street photography: the Minolta M-Rokkor 40mm 1:2 is a very light lens with a relatively long focus travel and a tab to further support easy focussing. And because it is in Leica M-mount it means that the register distance is short, so the total length of adapter + lens on the Sony A7R2 is also really small.

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American stuff

These lenses came from people who had a home in Curaçao besides their Dutch home; the equipment probably was bought in Curaçao, but the seller couldn’t confirm that. Anyway, the total set was imported in America, as both lenses and the accompanying SR-T 200 camera bore American type designations; I don’t think Celtic lenses were sold in Europe, except maybe in the UK.

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The slowest Minolta 200mm lens

This is a somewhat rare find: a Minolta Tele Rokkor-QE 200mm 1:5. The lens doesn’t have an automatic diaphragm and wide-open it’s only f/5, thus keeping the price lower. It was introduced in 1964 and so it wasn’t Minolta’s first 200mm: in 1960 Minolta brought the more expensive Auto Tele Rokkor-QF 200mm 1:3.5. In the price list shown at Dennis Lohmann’s site the 200/5 is listed for $119.50 vs. $199.50 for the Auto 200/3.5.

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Carl Zeiss Tessar 45mm 1:2.8

I bought this one to enhance my options in the 40-50mm range. My ideal standard lens is a bit shorter than 50mm and shows excellent sharpness across the frame at f/8 for landscape pictures. There’s only one other 45mm lens in my line-up, the Minolta MD Rokkor 45mm 1:2 and to be honest, I really don’t like it. Optically it is useable though not stellar, but especially the mechanics put me off: focussing feels plasticky and not at all smooth, even on the rather nice-looking copy I have now. Yuck.

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