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Minolta Rokkor-X 250mm mirror - why so valuable?

Matthew Muskovac , Jan 29, 2011; 08:03 a.m.

I bought this lens NEW in the 80s for $139, sold it 5 years ago for $250. Recent online sales have been $900+! Most other Minolta equipment from this era is dirt cheap.

I know this is all about supply and demand. They didn't sell very many so it is somewhat "rare" (low supply). But where is the demand? I don't know anyone personally that still uses Minolta manual focus cameras. There are some here on photo.net, but you guys seem to be mostly nostalgic collectors looking for good deals.

Is there some unusual use for this lens that I am unaware of? Are there collectors who will pay any price to have a complete collection of Minolta MC/MD/RF lenses? Are some people in love with the donut Bokeh?

Responses


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Fred Latchaw , Jan 29, 2011; 10:59 a.m.

About two years ago I started to acquire Minolta MD gear; a few XD11s, various SRT models, an XE7, plus lenses. At first it was just the basics: a 50, 28, 135, a long zoom, you get the idea. Then I start picking off the more esoteric, in-demand, or otherwise hard-to-find lenses and accessories, such as the 24mm VFC. I have never been interested in mirror lenses, otherwise I might have this on my list as well.

If it was made, I've probably gotta have it. But I'm not a collector so much as I am an idiot.

JDM von Weinberg , Jan 29, 2011; 12:09 p.m.

But I'm not a collector so much as I am an idiot.

As they (you know who) say, recognizing that you have the problem is the first step.

I frankly don't understand the higher prices actually paid (as opposed to asking prices, a key distinction) for many 250-300mm short mirror lenses. The Minolta longer mirror lenses tend to go for about $200 in their infrequent eBay sales, but people really are paying $800 or so for the 250mm.

Perhaps it's just the rarity and collector interest, but I suppose they can be used on 4/3 cameras. They're not easily adaptable to most other camera lines like the EOS, I think.

Fred Latchaw , Jan 29, 2011; 01:40 p.m.

...recognizing that you have the problem is the first step.

Sorry to admit, this hasn't been true for me so far...

Mike Gammill , Jan 29, 2011; 07:40 p.m.

Also, it was in production for fewer years than the 500 and 800mm Rokkors. Having owned one for many years and having tried other short mirror lenses it was a good performing lens without the excessive center hot spot that plagued most 300mm and under mirror optics. I also used to use mine with a 1.5X TC for an effective 375mm tele with good results. Ironically, when Minolta discontinued this lens it was heavily discounted to Minolta dealers (such as my family's store). I picked mine up for around 75 USD. We even got the special 3 or more dealer net for only ordering one.
With limited production and many enthusiast no doubt hanging on to these lenses, I can see why the price has gone up so much.

Steve Levine , Jan 30, 2011; 06:23 a.m.

Look at the Olympus and Rokkor 40MM lenses. These sell for sky high prices compared to their 35MM and 50MM brothers. It is all in the mind of the collectors. These lenses are somewhat rare, but really haven't any individual qualities to make them so expensive.

dan Mar , Jan 30, 2011; 05:22 p.m.

Yea, I just seen and auction for another Rokkor 250 mirror lens close at over a thousand dollars. I have been told that it's the fact that the lens is super compact and can be used with regular four thirds and micro four thirds, Samsung NX mount and Sony NEX mount cameras that make it desirable. Also I been told it can be converted to Canon quit easily. I am starting to Doubt the collector theory because i am also noticing other mirror lenses in this focal length (mostly 300mm ones) going for quite a high price too. And yes the four lenses that I have seen over the past year all sold over 800 dollars. They were third party lenses and i think they were all t mount, though i only specifically remember 2 of them being in T-mount. Also i defiantly remember two of them being a 300mm focal length lens. I am guessing that they are just nice and light compact telephoto lenses to use with Digital cameras. Because the 500mm and up mirror lens alternative are considerably cheaper, and i am assuming bulkier?

Isaac Lau , Feb 02, 2011; 12:46 p.m.

Well, i think one reason for the 250mm mirror lens to be so expensive now is that it can be used on mirrorless camera such as m4/3 or NEX.
Imagine on m4/3 it's just like 500mm with f/5.6, but the size is relatively small and thus portable!

Fred C , Feb 03, 2011; 06:37 p.m.

Look at the Olympus and Rokkor 40MM lenses. These sell for sky high prices compared to their 35MM and 50MM brothers

The Rokkor 40mm (Leica M-mount) had no 35 or 50mm brother.

Matthew Muskovac , Feb 06, 2011; 01:49 p.m.

Thanks everyone. The m4/3 is an interesting possibility. Maybe someday I will be sorry I sold almost all my manual focus stuff.


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