Minolta MD / Leica ???

Discussion in 'Minolta' started by Steve, Nov 16, 2004.

  1. Steve

    Steve Guest

    I Understand that Minolta worked for or with Leica on the develkopment
    and mfg of some of their MD zoom lenses. Can anyone tell me which ones
    and if they are any good?

    Steve, Nov 16, 2004
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  2. I Understand that Minolta worked for or with Leica on the develkopment
    I have a couple of the splendid Minolta MD 35-70 macro zooms that fit that
    description. They are the constant 3.5 lens, not the 3.5-4.8 or somesuch
    Minolta. Nor are they the constant f 3.5 35-70 MD non-zoom which, by the
    way, I also own and enjoy. Not a bad lens, but not in the same class as the
    macro 35-70 lenses co-developed with Leica. The constant f 3.5 lenses have
    55mm filter threads. The macro versions are very sharp and reasonably
    contrasty, but not too much. The non-macro is still a good lens, however.
    Ken Rosenbaum, Nov 16, 2004
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  3. Steve

    Steve Guest

    So i gues i would be looking at the MD 35-70 constant 3.5 w/ macro. is
    that correct?

    also I think there was another longer zoom, any idea?

    Steve, Nov 16, 2004
  4. Leica used 3 lenses that were co-developed with Minolta for Leica
    cameras. None was made for the Minolta.
    Uranium Committee, Nov 16, 2004
  5. Steve

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    Not 'for' but 'with', and not 'Leica' but 'Leitz' back then.
    The co-operation started in 1972 and ended some ten
    years later, in the early '80s.

    The reason for the co-operation was Leitz's inability
    to develop new R lenses for their then-new Leicaflex
    SL2 at reasonable, competitive cost. So they looked
    for a partner who was able to produce highest-quality
    lenses (including the raw glass for them) at low cost.
    They chose Minolta because they had just introduced
    a few new lenses that impressed the Leitz people.
    These were the MC W.Rokkor-SI 24 mm 1:2.8, the
    MC Fish-eye Rokkor-OK 16 mm 1:2.8, and the
    MC Zoom Rokkor 80-200 mm 1:4.5.

    Leitz wanted Minolta to produce these lenses also
    for Leicaflex and Leica R cameras, and Minolta did.
    Minolta produced the lenses and re-badged them
    with the Leitz name. The first Minolta-made Leitz
    lenses (the three mentioned above) were released
    at Photokina 1974. It is often claimed that the lenses
    meant for Leitz were produced under more stringent
    quality control than those meant to bear the Rokkor
    name --- but that's not true. The quality control was
    just the same for all. Of course, Leitz applied their
    own quality control after delivery but the drop-out
    rate was not significantly higher than with Rokkor

    At the same time, Minolta and Leitz also started a
    co-operation in developing new SLR cameras. Out
    came the Minolta XE-1/Leica R3 and a few years
    later the Minolta XD-7/Leica R4. More Minolta
    lenses were re-badged with the Leitz name, including
    the MD Zoom Rokkor 75-200 mm 1:4.5, the
    MD Zoom Rokkor 35-70 mm 1:3.5 (non-macro),
    the RF Rokkors 500 mm 1:8 and 800 mm 1:8
    .... and still later, the MD Zoom 70-210 mm 1:4
    and MD Zoom 35-70 1:3.5 (macro).

    In turn, Leitz provided the Minolta SR system with
    a few of their lenses, including the Photar 12.5 mm
    1:1.9, the Photar 25 mm 1:2.5, and the huge Telyt-S
    800 mm 1:6.3. These lenses, however, were not
    re-badged 'Minolta' but proudly kept their Leitz

    After the Leitz-Minolta co-operation has ended,
    Leitz kept producing a few of the Minolta designs;
    in particular the 9-element Rokkor 24 mm 1:2.8
    was dragged along for several more years ---
    they were even forced to apply a slight change
    to the design after Minolta stopped to produce
    one of the special kinds of glass needed for one
    of the original design's elements.

    A similar co-operation existed between Carl
    Zeiss Oberkochen and Asahi Pentax for some

    Olaf Ulrich, Nov 20, 2004
  6. Steve

    Olaf Ulrich Guest

    Actually, the original non-macro MD Zoom Rokkor
    is at least as good as the later plain MD versions of
    which some have the additional 'macro' close-focus
    feature and some have not. The first version, with
    the Rokkor name and without close-focus feature,
    is the one originally provided to Leitz as the Vario-
    Elmar-R 35-70 mm 1:3.5. So were the later con-
    stant-speed versions but not the still-later variable-
    speed version.

    The Minolta telephoto zooms shared with Leitz
    as Vario-Elmar-R lenses were the MC Zoom
    Rokkor 80-200 mm 1:4.5, then the MD Zoom
    Rokkor 75-200 mm 1:4.5, and finally the
    MD Zoom 70-210 mm 1:4.

    Olaf Ulrich, Nov 20, 2004
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