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Are Celitic lenses really that bad?

jon sak , Jun 28, 2005; 11:58 p.m.

I recenlty aquired a 28mm f2.8 celtic lens and I can't see any differnce between its performance when compared to the older MC lenses and the later MD lenses. I do however see that the rokkor-x 28mm is a tad sharper. Outside of flare I don't think the celtic 28mm are all that bad. As for the zooms I don't know for sure, but I can say the 28mm is pretty good.


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Frank Mueller , Jun 29, 2005; 01:53 a.m.

Their main drawback is that the resale value is significantly less than for a Rokkor lens, but as long as you get them for a good price, I see no reason to avoid them. Eshewing Celtics is a snob thing ;-)

Kelly Flanigan , Jun 29, 2005; 02:12 a.m.

Celitics have more edge illumination falloff at the fastest fstops; than Rokkors. With slide film; this is more noticeable.

Chad Marek , Jun 29, 2005; 09:03 a.m.

Some of the Celtic lenses are of the same optical design as the rokkors (I do not know which ones). The main differences lie in the lens coatings and the materials used.


Kelly Flanigan , Jun 29, 2005; 09:51 a.m.

My understanding is that ALL celtics were new designs; a value line of lens. Most of the lese reports for them were in the late 1970's; and decent. Several reviewers mentioned the light falloff being worse at the edges; than Rokkors; and the faster 2 f stops. The mounts were a lighter duty too. Remember these were brought out when there was a major downsizeing in camera design for size and weight; and computer lens design was alot cheaper to do of tolerancing. The Celtics were a new lens line; designed sometimes many years after some of the older existing rokkors. Thus in some cases a Celtic can be a more trick design than an older rokkor. In Nikon; there was the E series of Economy lenses; with the same design goals.

Tom S. , Jun 29, 2005; 10:50 a.m.

I used to use a Minolta Celtic 135mm f/3.5 MC frequently. The results were perfectly fine, though I often wished for something faster. But who doesn't?

Frank Mueller , Jun 29, 2005; 12:42 p.m.

My understanding is that ALL celtics were new designs

That is true in that all Celtic lenses differ in some features from their Rokkor counterpart, but it is not true that they always have a different optical construction. In some Celtic lenses only the coatings and the label seem to differ from their Rokkor counterpart - of course the marketing department would not hesitate to call this a "new design ;-)

The only lens I have ever owned in Celtic and Rokkor version at the same time is the 100-200mm f5.6 - admittedly not a stellar performer in either version. However, from all I could tell it was the same lens, and I was not able to distinguish from the pictures between the difference in coatings. At any rate, both have a 8 elements in 5 groups optical construction.

The 28mm f2.8, which this thread is about, has a 7 elements in 7 groups optical construction, in both the Rokkor and Celtic version. Only the late style MD version without the Rokkor designation differs, and has 5 elements in 5 groups.

jason hopper , Jun 29, 2005; 01:11 p.m.

The MC Celtic 28/2.8 and first MD Celtic 28/2.8 have the same optical design as the late MC W. Rokkor-X 28/2.8 and 1st generation MD Rokkor-X 28/2.8 lenses: the 7 elements in each lens have the same profiles and arrangements. For the 28/2.8's, these four lenses share the same bodies. The MC Celtic 28/2.8 was a concurrent (not "new") design alongside the then-new MC W. Rokkor-X 28/2.8 from around 1973. I believe the only differences lie in the coatings.

Jeff Adler , Jun 29, 2005; 08:18 p.m.

I have 50mm f/3.5 MC Celtic macro lens. From what I have been able to tell it has the same optical design as the Rokkor but the cosmetics of the barrel look different. Nikon, Konica, Pentax and Yashica sold less expensive lens lines but a fixed focal length macro lens was never included. Only Minolta did this. For the record, the Celtic macro lens performs very well.

Kelly Flanigan , Jun 29, 2005; 08:33 p.m.

Unless you worked for the lens design group; one would never know if they were a different design or not. The classical Tessar loooks the same after 100 years; but there have been thousand of variants; by dozens of makers; with the same appearing optical diagram. The library of lens glasses has increased each decade. A lens can be improved with higher index; high cost glass; and the design can have the same optical diagram for the marketing chaps; same lens groupings; just different glass. The optical barrels can be better in the premium lens line; bores better toleranced; for less tilt and less shifts in centration. Several of the lens test reports in the 1970's mentioned more vignetting with the Celtics than Rokkors. Vignetting is often a lens design tradeoff to squash pesky edge rays some; to get the imagery up; with some loss of illumination.

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