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.
Unfortunately my sample has suffered from non-expert repair attempts. Most screws are damaged and the little ball providing for the aperture click-stops is missing. Even though it’s a budget lens the mechanics feel quite solid and the optical formula is more elaborate, 5 elements in 4 groups, than that of its shorter 100mm and 135mm sister models which only contain 3 elements in 3 groups. It’s relatively light at 430g due its limited max. aperture and the minimum focussing distance is a reasonable 2.5m.
It’s not really a lens most people will go after for actual picture-taking, but of course having it I can show something of its performance on the Sony A7. And to be honest, it’s better than I expected from a budget lens introduced in 1964.
Sharpness wide-open is already good in the center. Contrast is only moderate even on stopping down.
The next scene is eminently suitable for showing corner performance, there’s hardly anything more demanding of a lens than tree branches and twigs against the sky.
Vignetting at f/5 and also f/5.6 is apparent and is reduced significantly at f/8. Sharpness is already very good wide-open and improves only slightly by f/8, contrast remains moderate. Purple fringing and CA is quite low for such a lens. All-in-all a surprisingly good performance.
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