Minolta SR Photo System lenses







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Minolta refered themselves to the SR photo system at the time when the Minolta SLR system was introduced in 1958.
Minolta started with a handful of lenses, a 35mm wide angle, 55mm standard lens, a 100mm tele lens and a 135mm lens. The early illustrations show preset lenses, but only the 135mm is confirmed reaching the end users as a preset lens. All the other variants that was marketed was the Auto Rokkor lenses with automatic aperture.

The first Auto Rokkor-QE 100mm/3.5 variant sold. With lock for aperture ring.  

The first variants sold all had a lock mechanism for the aperture ring and was slim and elegant appearance. Later in the run of the Auto Rokkor lens series the lock for the aperture ring was dropped and instead a Depth of Focus preview lever with a large serrated knob placed almost on the opposite side of the lens.
At the same time the lenses got wider and grew in weight. At first the yellow LV scale was kept, but it soon disappeared. 

Auto W.Rokkor-HG 35mm 1:2.8 of the first and second generation. 

The cosmetic appeareance of the second generation was not implemented on the Auto Tele Rokkor-PG and the later Auto Tele Rokkor-PF, except for the addition of a DOF preview lever.

Two Auto Tele Rokkor-PG 135mm 1:2.8 with the Auto Rokkor-PF 135mm 1:2.8 to the right. Note the lack of DOF preview on the first Auto Rokkor-PG. 

In 1960 the preset Rokkor with "popular prices" joined the more exclusive Auto Rokkor lenses. The earlier preset lenses like the Tele Rokkor-PG f=135mm 1:2.8 was not an economy lenses, nor was specialized lenses
like long tele lenses at the time or the Rokkor lenses
that where to follow.
Almost all of these reach the stores in the same form, except for minor detail like placement of engravings.
The only exception was the Rokkor-TC 100mm 1:4.0 which was modified during
its production.

In 1965 Minolta presented a compact lens variant of the Auto Rokkor lenses. These lenses was more slender, more like the first variants of Rokkor lenses and most had 52mm filter threads.
These ran in parallell at first with the second generation of Auto Rokkor lenses.

Auto Rokkor-PF 55mm 1:1.8 of the second and third generation.  

The weight of the lenses was dramatically reduced in the third generation of Auto Rokkor lenses and the cosmetic appearance was quite elegant. The Auto Tele Rokkor-PF 135mm 1:2.8 below makes an interesting comparison. The weight went down from 515 gram to 410 gram and diameter shrunk from 63 millimeter to 59 millimeter.

Auto Tele Rokkor-PF 135mm 1:2.8 of the second and third generation. 

The third generation of Minolta Rokkor lenses was the final version before the transition to the meter coupled lenses.
Minolta's cameras and lenses at the period was an fine example of the lens and camera makers craft. Technological forerunners and elegant and ergonomical at the same time.

Time for the next generation of lenses, the Meter Coupled generation; the MC Rokkor.








Copyright © 2005, Henrik W. Robeck, 4 April 2005