Review: Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF


nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII + Voigtlander VM-E close focus adapter + Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF

Many people today might not even know Nikon (and also Canon) produced rangefinder cameras and lenses in their early days. Thanks to a reader I got the chance to review not one but three of these rather exotic Nikkor rangefinder lenses from the 50’s. The first one is the Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 portrait tele.

Sample Images

nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/4.0
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/2.0
nikon s nikkor rangefinder nikkor-p 85mm 2.0 rf sony a7 a7rii bokeh comparison jupiter-9 jupiter 9 85mm 2.0
Sony A7rII | Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 | f/2.0

Continue reading Review: Nikon Nikkor-P 85mm 2.0 RF

Review: Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5

The Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5 is a small and affordable lens which delivers a surprisingly good performance on the Sony a7 series. Read my in-depth review to decide if it could be a good addition to your camera bag.


Diameter 64 mm
Length 65.5 mm
Filter Thread 49 mm
Weight 310 g
Max. Magnification 0.12
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor 1 m
Number of aperture blades 6
Elements/ Groups 5/5
The Minolta MD 2.5/100 usually sells for around $150 used at (affiliate link). 
In Germany you can buy it used for around 140 at (affiliate link). 

Image Samples

You can find all images shown in this image in full resolution in this album.

Continue reading Review: Minolta MD 100mm 1:2.5

Minolta MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4

I never got to really finish this review.

SpecificationsMinolta MD 1.4/50

Filter Thread55mm
Max. Magnification1:6.6
Close Focusing Distance from the sensor45cm
Close Focusing Distance from the front of the lens36
Number of aperture blades6
Elements/ Groups7

Price:  (July  2016): about 50€ in good condition at or $ at (affiliate links).


Minolta made three optically different 1.4/50 lenses.

  1. The MC Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 PG is the oldest one with the nicest built quality and very good image quality
  2. The MD Rokkor 50mm 1:1.4 with 55mm filter thread. It is 60gramms lighter than the MC and the close focusing distance decreased from 50cm to 45cm.  This page is about this lens.
  3. The MD (Rokkor) 50mm 1:1.4 with 49mm filter thread.

For more technical details visit the Minolta SR lens index.

Build quality and handling

Builts quality is very good, only the name plate and aperture ring are made from plastic, the rest is made from metal.

All in all it is a rather small lens and it balances very well on the Sony a7. The original lens shade is made from plastics, has a decent size and isn’t too bulky. Because the front element is rather exposed I would recommend using it.

The focusing ring travels around 100° from 45cm to 1m and a further 60° to infinity. The focusing has just the right amount of resistance but it is a bit small (8mm) for my taste.

The aperture ring has half stops from f/2.0 to f/16 and no stop between f/1.4 and f/2.0.


 Image Samples in low resolution



winter detail

return of the light

the mill
You can find many more samples in this flickr set.

Optical performance

These results are based on the use with a Sony Alpha 7.


Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/1.4
f/1.4: rather defined outlines
Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/2
f/2: still defined outline but noticeably less
Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/2.8
f/2.8: much less defined outlines but visible hexagons

Chromatic Aberrations

Minolta_MD_50mmf14 infinty test


Minolta MC 1.2/58: Quite a bit smoother bokeh and 8, not just 6 aperture blades make it a superior lens when bokeh is important. Sharpness is similar, the 1.4/50 might be a tad better. It also costs about 6 times as much and is nearly 150g heavier.

Minolta MC 1.7/55Not as sharp at wider apertures but it has nicer bokeh and is a bit smaller.

Minolta MD 2/50Worse bokeh but it is sharp across most of the frame from f/2, very small and only weights half of the MC 1.4/50. This is reflected in the build quality though. It is also free of lateral CA and distortion which the 1.4/50 is not.

Zeiss C/Y Planar 1.4/50: The Planar has more effective coatings which results in a much better flare resistance and higher contrast at wider apertures. The Minolta is a lot cheaper though.

Canon nFD 1.4/50: The Canon is quite a bit sharper at f/1.4 and f/2 but  and it doesn’t feel nearly as solid. Price is similar.

Zeiss Loxia 2/50: A modern lens which is sharp across the frame from f/2 with high contrast and exif transmission. Bokeh is the only real weakness I found. Oh an the price of course.

Sony FE 1.8/55 ZA: The Sony is super sharp from f/1.8 and it has much smoother bokeh. Manual focus is a pain in the a** though and it is expensive.


A typical 1.4/50 lens: Rather soft wide open, good for portraits by f/2, excellent by f/2.8 but it needs to be stopped down to f/8 for landscapes.

Images Samples in high resolution

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/2

Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/2.8

f/2.8 or maybe f/2.4

Minolta MD Rokkor 1.4/50 @f/4

f/4 – very good sharpness with a notable drop in the far corners


Minolta MD 50mm 1:1.4 @f/5.6


Minolta MD Rokkor 1.4/50 @f/8

Further Reading

For more Minolta lenses check out my Minolta list.

To learn about manual lenses in general this beginners guide might be helpful.

This site contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase using any of the links marked as affiliate links, I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. This helps support the creation of future content.

The Manual Photographers Series Part 5: Ronny Olsson

Nikkor 16mm f3.5 AI fisheye


P: Hi Ronny, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came to use manual lenses?

R: Hi, I live in Sweden in a village called Johannishus. I am 45 years old and work as a construction painter. I have a wife and two children, a daughter of 17 years and a son of 21 years. I began to photograph in 2010 when I bought my first DSLR, a Nikon D80, followed by a D90 and D700. Photography is a hobby for me  and I see myself as a beginner, always trying to improve my photography.

My interest in manual focus lenses started when I became interested in Zeiss lenses and their special look: 3D pop, micro contrast and beautiful colors. Later I also bought older manual Nikon lenses, where there are quite a few gems among them.
2014 I went over to Sony E-mount. I liked the size of the body and then all possibilities with different lenses and different adapters.
First I bought a Sony A7 and later Sony A7R II and a Sony Rx1R.

P: Can you give us a look into your camera bag and tell us a little about your gear?

Sony A7RII – My main camera that gets used for everything. Aspects I appreciate about it are:

  • Very good image quality
  • High detail reproduction
  • High Dynamic Range
  • Built-in stabilization which works regardless of lens or lens adapter
  • Significantly improved AF function (over A7 )
  • Many programmable buttons
  • Electronic shutter for reduced vibration
  • Silent shooting
  • Very good electronic viewfinder
  • Very good folding screen
  • Solidly built
  • Weather sealed

Overall it is a really good camera to me.

Hint: All images are linked to the higher resolution version on flickr, just click on them.

Sony A7R II + Zeiss Loxia 21mm f/2.8

Continue reading The Manual Photographers Series Part 5: Ronny Olsson

Madeira through the Eyes of a Photographer: Travel-Report

As I am writing this blog post I am on my way back from the island of Madeira where I spent a week with my friend Matt. I enjoyed the trip a lot so I would like to share my experience and my favorite pictures and photo spots with our readers.

On top of Pico Ruvio shortly before sunset overlooking the south of Madeira
Pico do Arieiro shortly after sunrise
A tree fern
Sunrise near Canico

Continue reading Madeira through the Eyes of a Photographer: Travel-Report