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Rare Minolta Lens?

W Howe , Feb 26, 2012; 04:09 p.m.

I have recently come across what I believe to be an unbelievably rare find. I have in my possession a Minolta Tele Rokkor-QF 25cm f/4 lens, yes f/4 not 5.6. (It is marked 25cm, not 250mm) From what little I have found it seems to be a VERY rare, limited production lens and likely made prior to 1960, however I can find nothing else but that. I had my camera guy look it over and he rated the external condition an A- with the glass being perfect. However, he couldn't give me a value, he just told me to be careful in selling it and not to take the first offer.
Does anyone here have any information on this lens? Maybe even a possible value? Anything would be hugely appreciated! Thanks in advance!

Responses

JDM von Weinberg , Feb 26, 2012; 04:30 p.m.

Kadlubeks Objektiv-Katalog shows an SR Rokkor QF 250mm f/4 lens (MNT0480) from 1958-62 "with EV indicator". Earlier rangefinder lenses were marked in cm, but nothing so long as 25cm is listed.
The price of the one above that Kadlubek does list is quite high (year 2000, ca. $300), but it isn't likely to be yours. A picture would be really helpful, especially one or more that show the lens markings.

W Howe , Feb 26, 2012; 04:48 p.m.

Here is a photo of the markings.
Also, this is taken from a Minolta Lens Chronology site
15 May, 1959
- Tele Rokkor-QF 250/4 [6/4] (ø77mm) 3m f/22 82x230mm 1.400g
A very rare low-production lens, it falls in between 200 and 300 mm, so it was quickly replaced by those lenses. This is a very large and heavy lens, with a pre-set diaphragm. All lenses over 200mm, until the rubber grip series of late 1972, have the focal length inscribed in centimetres. Thus this lens is 25cm, the 300/4,5 is 30cm, the 1.000/6,3 mirror is 100cm, and so on.

Large photo attachment:
(Markings -- 1024 x 768 photo)

Jeff Adler , Feb 26, 2012; 05:32 p.m.

All long lenses from this time period were produced in relatively small numbers. Minolta took some RF lenses which were used on mirror box set-ups with RF cameras and put SR mounts on them. I have a 135/4 Rokkor-TD which looks like one of these. Your lens may also be one. Typically only lenses upo to 135mm were rangefinder coupled. When the Auto Rokkor lenses came out, they were not meter coupled. Meter coupling was not needed until 1966 for the SRT-101. Some people have modified the older Auto Rokkors by installing metering tabs. It can be fun using these older lenses even if they aren't quite as good as newer ones.

Lynn Jones , Feb 27, 2012; 02:24 p.m.

During WWII I was from 10 to 15 years of age and I didn't sell my first photograph to a national magazine until I was 16. However Minolta corporate officers told me in the 1960's that Leitz set up Minolta during WWII upon the invitation and assistance of the Japanese government during the early days of WWII. As a result of that relationship Leitz and Minolta exchanged patents, lenses, and cameras, especially the Leica/Minolta (which only said Leica in the US) and some long lenses (which Leica was not well known for until the 1970's). While this may not one of the subject lenses such things while not advertized, certainly happened.

Lynn

W Howe , Feb 27, 2012; 07:19 p.m.

Lynn, this is an interesting hypothesis and might explain why I currently have a $2400.00 offer on the lens from a person in Japan. If the lens is actually of a Leica origin it could also explain the rarity. I will say the glass seems to be superb! I might just wait and see if anyone else is willing to offer more.

Tim Broadley , Mar 07, 2012; 07:21 p.m.

I recommend you go to the following group
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MinoltaMFCollectorsSociety/?yguid=87268939

These guys are are a bunch of avid Minolta collectors and extremely knowledgeable. So they may be able to help you (surprise me if they didn't) and (b) may be interested

Tim

W Howe , Mar 11, 2012; 03:12 p.m.

Tim, thanks for info. I was surprised when I clicked the link that they were actually discussing this thread! lol. My Japan buyer fell through due to a unforeseen illness of one of his family members which required some expensive travel. However, he did mention that his initial offering might have been a little over what the item was worth. In hindsight, I think he made a large offer to hold the lens, then opted out. Either way, I have listed the item on eBay for a BIN of 1000.00 USD and an entry bid of 800. I have very little in this item beyond having it completely gone over by my camera guy, so sitting on it shouldn't be a huge issue. If anyone would like to look, just search ebay for the lens name as I just don't like to post links that are self-serving.

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