Over the weekend, a very nice lady gave me an old Minolta Rokkor-TC 135mm f4 lens. This lens is over five decades old. It was a sunny day yesterday, so it was a good opportunity to test the lens on a classic subject. It was off to Meadowlark Gardens for a quick lunchtime photo session. The lens was attached to a modern Sony APS-C mirrorless camera. Some pictures.
The lens is lacking in contrast compared to modern lenses; this is most noticeable when there is strong backlighting in the image. Focus peaking works quite well and the ability to magnify the area that I am focusing on is very helpful; unfortunately, I was concerned that the butterfly would fly away before I achieved optimum focus on the subject, so I some of the images are not as sharp as they could have been.
The images were sharpened, contrast added, vibrancy and saturation tweaked, and in the case of the featured image, I deleted “unnecessary” objects from the picture to isolate the flowers and butterflies. I also had to extensively blur the backgrounds on the featured image and on the last image in the set. Still, the lens is quite nice. I am looking forward to using this lens for portraiture – it will probably great for that.
The old lenses are certainly worth trying out. And as the 135mm f4 Rokkor-TC shows, they will be useful tools for decades to come.