Minolta Shift CA ROKKOR 35mm F/2.8

Shift lens • Film era • Discontinued



SHIFT Perspective Control lens.
CA The lens features Variable Field Curvature control.

Model history (2)

Minolta Shift CA ROKKOR 35mm F/2.8A9 - 70.3m⌀55 1976 
Minolta Shift CA 35mm F/2.8A9 - 70.3m⌀55 1977 

Features highlight

Shift -11..0..+11 / -8..0..+8mm


Production details
Production status: Discontinued
Original name:MINOLTA SHIFT CA ROKKOR 35mm 1:2.8
System:Minolta SR (1958)
Optical design
Focal length:35mm
Maximum format:35mm full frame
Mount and Flange focal distance:Minolta SR [43.5mm]
Diagonal angle of view:63.4°
Lens construction:9 elements in 7 groups
Floating element system
Diaphragm mechanism
Diaphragm type:Automatic
Aperture control:Aperture ring (Manual settings only)
Number of blades:6 (six)
Closest focusing distance:0.3m
Maximum magnification:<No data>
Focusing modes:Manual focus only
Manual focus control:Focusing ring
Tilt and Shift mechanism
Shift range:-11..0..+11mm
Tilt range:Not available
Lens rotation:-
Tilt/Shift rotation:-
Physical characteristics
Maximum diameter x Length:⌀83.5×71.5mm
Filters:Screw-type 55mm
Lens hood:Screw-type round
Teleconverters:<No data>
Sources of data
1. minolta.eazypix.de website.
2. Minolta Corporation Photographic Division 1981/1982 Catalog (March 1981).
3. A guide to the Minolta SLR system of creative photography (MC lenses).
4. Minolta SRT cameras and systems.

Manufacturer description

Your 35mm f/2.8 Shift CA Rokkor (Rokkor-X) Lens utilizes Minolta's exclusive double-shifting method which makes it very easy to shift the lens in any direction over a full circle without rotating the barrel. Since this lens is designed to stop automatically at coverage and image-quality limits, shift adjustment can conveniently be made visually through the finder. The Shift CA Rokkor (Rokkor-X) also incorporates Minolta's exclusive variable-field-curvature control, which enables you to curve its field of sharp focus continuously from convex through flat to concave by simply turning the VFC ring on the barrel. Shift and VFC functions can further be used together in a wide variety of combinations for unique effects that cannot be obtained with any other lens. For the first time with a lens of this type, your Minolta 35mm f/2.8 Shift CA Rokkor (Rokkor-X) features automatic diaphragm operation, which enables viewing and focusing at full-aperture brightness with the diaphragm closing down to the preset f-number only at the moment of exposure.

With vertical and lateral shift elements secured at their central indexes and the VFC-ring index locked at the central white diamond of the VFC scale, your Minolta 35mm f/2.8 Shift CA can be used as a conventional auto-diaphragm medium-wideangle lens. Operation, indications, and results in this case are the same as with the 35mm f/2.8 MD except that measuring must be done by the stop-down method since the Shift CA is not meter-coupled.

By moving one or both of your Minolta Shift CA lens' vertically and horizontally sliding elements, its axis can be shifted without rotating the lens itself.

Since the lens cannot be shifted outside the area of adequate coverage and image quality, shift adjustment can be made visually through the finder without watching scales to avoid exceeding shift limits.

Vertical shift

This can be used to take in more or all of a subject (e.g., a building) above or below camera level without pointing the camera up or down, thus avoiding converging subject lines (e.g., that make building look as if they are falling over backward). It is also useful for making upper and lower overlapping exposures to be joined later to obtain a larger subject-field area. To shift vertically:

  1. Loosen the vertical shift clamp by turning it counterclockwise.
  2. Look through the camera viewfinder and shift the lens up or down to obtain the desired effect.
  3. Secure the lens in position by tightening the clamp.

Horizontal shift

This can be used to avoid intruding foreground elements (e.g., bushes or utility poles) without moving the camera, to eliminate undesirable reflections (as on paintings or in mirrors), and to obtain the necessary uniformity or perspective (avoiding non-matching horizons, roofs, etc.) in panoramic exposures to be joined later. It is of course also useful for rising or falling shots with the camera held or mounted vertically. To shift horizontally:

  1. Loosen the horizontal shift clamp by turning it counterclockwise.
  2. Look through the camera viewfinder and shift the lens left or right to obtain the desired effect.
  3. Secure the lens in position by tightening the clamp.

Diagonal shift

By combining the two movements as indicated above, the lens can be moved in any oblique direction for combination effects as applicable to the examples already given or other situations.


  • The direction and amount in millimeters of vertical and/or horizontal shift can be noted from the respective scales opposite the clamps if desired; this facilitates duplicating the same effect again.
  • Unless curved field is also desired, make sure that the index VFC control ring is locked at the central diamond for flat field when shifting.

Variable-field control

Turning the VFC control ring to the left* of the central diamond changes the focus field from flat to concave (bowl-shaped). Turning it to the right of the diamond on the other hand, produces a convex (dome-shaped) field. These curvatures can be used to obtain sharp rendition of three-dimensional subjects (e.g., the surface of a ball, people sitting around a table, etc.) even when depth of flat field is insufficient to do so. Curving field in this way may be particularly effective at relatively close focusing distances and large apertures.

* (from the photographer's viewpoint behind the lens)

Curvature extends from the focused distance at the center of the frame to a point at the corners that is either nearer or farther from the film plane than the focused distance, depending upon whether the VFC control-ring index is set respectively left or right of the flat-field setting. The curvature grows continuously deeper as the ring is turned away from the central diamond. There are three colored reference marks on left and right for convenient reference, but the index dot can be set at any point within the left and right limits.

The effect of curvature may be observed visually through the camera viewfinder or approximated from the marks behind* the depth-of-field scale. For example, with the lens focused at 0.7m and in the VFC control-ring dot set to the left red mark, the corresponding left yellow mark on the curvature-extent scale is opposite a point of the distance scale slightly to the right of "0.5". This indicates that the field of sharp focus would curve from 70cm at the center to about 52cm at the corners of the frame. This would enable rendering a subject of this approximate curvature (e.g., an alcove wall painting) all sharp even at maximum aperture. (Depth of flat field, as indicated by the depth-of-field scale, would not cover this depth unless the lens were stopped down to f/16 with distance setting adjusted appropriately, and image quality throughout the curve would not equal that using curved field.)

As a further example, turning the ring to the right red mark at the same 0.7m focus setting on the other hand, would produce a field, as indicated by the right red scale mark on the curvature-extent scale, that curves from 70cm at the center away* to 2 meters at the corners. This would allow sharply rendering both a close, centered subject and background objects at the edges a considerable distance from the camera even at full aperture.

* (from the photographer's viewpoint behind the lens)

Similar results are possible with groups, building surfaces, and other subjects that are nearer or farther away in various curves. Field of sharpness deepens along the curve as the lens is stopped down.

Combined Shift plus VFC

You can use shift movements and VFC control in any combination desired to control the field or sharpness in accordance with the subject and effect desired. The combined movements can be useful for sharp rendering of surfaces or objects at any angle to the film plane (e.g., a table top, a row of columns, the front of an appliance, a wall or fence, etc.) or other effects similar to those with a tilting lens, though incorporating a curve in one direction or the other. On the other hand, curve-tilt function can be used to blur certain parts of the scene for complex controlled selective-focus effects.

Shifting the axis of the lens with its field other than flat brings a different, more extreme part of the field curve into the frame. Considering the individual movements possible, the available range of effects is very great. As with usual VFC, field deepens along the curve as the lens is stopped down.

To use the combined functions of your Minolta Shift CA lens, look through the finder with the lens at full aperture, and move the shift and VFC controls to obtain the effect desired. Leave the VFC ring in the same position and secure the shift elements for exposure. The stop-down button may be used to approximate the final result at an f-number other than maximum aperture.

Typical application


Fast full-frame shift lensProfessional model (Top class)

shift lens

Shift lenses are high-quality lenses, usually wide-angle, that provide a parallel shift facility like the sliding lens panel of professional large-format cameras for correcting converging vertical lines and manipulating the perspective especially for use in architectural and product photography.

Whereas normal lenses designed for 35mm full-frame cameras have an image circle diameter of 43.27mm so that all four corners of the image are inside the image circle, shift lenses provide much larger image circle (60mm or even more). Decentration of the lens is possible within this area.

Vertical shift is the most popular: upward when photographing high buildings, and downward for product shots, so that the camera does not have to be tilted. When the camera is tilted either upward or downward, perpendicular lines are not imaged as perpendicular, but rather converge upward or downward, which is very pronounced in wide-angle shots and can be very irritating.

Professional model (Top class)

  • Specialized tool

Genres or subjects of photography (7):

Landscapes • Cityscapes • Buildings • Interiors • Full to mid-body portraits • Street • Travel photography

Adaptation to digital SLR cameras:

Not adaptableMore information

Not adaptable

In order to adapt the lens, the flange focal distance (FFD) of the lens mount must be equal to or greater than the FFD of the camera mount. This lens has the Minolta SR mount with a FFD of 43.5mm. This is even shorter than the FFD of Canon EOS digital SLR cameras, which have the shortest FFD of 44mm of any modern digital SLR cameras. Therefore, this lens cannot be adapted to any digital SLR camera.

Recommended slowest shutter speed when shooting static subjects handheld:

1/40th of a second

Alternative in the Minolta SR system

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35mm full frame

43.27 24 36
  • Dimensions: 36 × 24mm
  • Aspect ratio: 3:2
  • Diagonal: 43.27mm
  • Area: 864mm2


Sorry, no additional information is available.

Lens rotation

By using rotation, the direction of the entire lens can be switched.

Tilt/Shift rotation

By using Tilt/Shift rotation, the relationship of the tilt and shift operation directions can be switched from right angle to parallel.

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Cannot compare the lens to itself.

Image stabilizer

A technology used for reducing or even eliminating the effects of camera shake. Gyro sensors inside the lens detect camera shake and pass the data to a microcomputer. Then an image stabilization group of elements controlled by the microcomputer moves inside the lens and compensates camera shake in order to keep the image static on the imaging sensor or film.

The technology allows to increase the shutter speed by several stops and shoot handheld in such lighting conditions and at such focal lengths where without image stabilizer you have to use tripod, decrease the shutter speed and/or increase the ISO setting which can lead to blurry and noisy images.

Original name

Lens name as indicated on the lens barrel (usually on the front ring). With lenses from film era, may vary slightly from batch to batch.


Format refers to the shape and size of film or image sensor.

35mm is the common name of the 36x24mm film format or image sensor format. It has an aspect ratio of 3:2, and a diagonal measurement of approximately 43mm. The name originates with the total width of the 135 film which was the primary medium of the format prior to the invention of the full frame digital SLR. Historically the 35mm format was sometimes called small format to distinguish it from the medium and large formats.

APS-C is an image sensor format approximately equivalent in size to the film negatives of 25.1x16.7mm with an aspect ratio of 3:2.

Medium format is a film format or image sensor format larger than 36x24mm (35mm) but smaller than 4x5in (large format).

Angle of view

Angle of view describes the angular extent of a given scene that is imaged by a camera. It is used interchangeably with the more general term field of view.

As the focal length changes, the angle of view also changes. The shorter the focal length (eg 18mm), the wider the angle of view. Conversely, the longer the focal length (eg 55mm), the smaller the angle of view.

A camera's angle of view depends not only on the lens, but also on the sensor. Imaging sensors are sometimes smaller than 35mm film frame, and this causes the lens to have a narrower angle of view than with 35mm film, by a certain factor for each sensor (called the crop factor).

This website does not use the angles of view provided by lens manufacturers, but calculates them automatically by the following formula: 114.6 * arctan (21.622 / CF * FL),


CF – crop-factor of a sensor,
FL – focal length of a lens.


A lens mount is an interface — mechanical and often also electrical — between a camera body and a lens.

A lens mount may be a screw-threaded type, a bayonet-type, or a breech-lock type. Modern camera lens mounts are of the bayonet type, because the bayonet mechanism precisely aligns mechanical and electrical features between lens and body, unlike screw-threaded mounts.

Lens mounts of competing manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Sony etc.) are always incompatible. In addition to the mechanical and electrical interface variations, the flange focal distance can also be different.

The flange focal distance (FFD) is the distance from the mechanical rear end surface of the lens mount to the focal plane.

Lens construction

Lens construction – a specific arrangement of elements and groups that make up the optical design, including type and size of elements, type of used materials etc.

Element - an individual piece of glass which makes up one component of a photographic lens. Photographic lenses are nearly always built up of multiple such elements.

Group – a cemented together pieces of glass which form a single unit or an individual piece of glass. The advantage is that there is no glass-air surfaces between cemented together pieces of glass, which reduces reflections.

Focal length

The focal length is the factor that determines the size of the image reproduced on the focal plane, picture angle which covers the area of the subject to be photographed, depth of field, etc.


The largest opening or stop at which a lens can be used is referred to as the speed of the lens. The larger the maximum aperture is, the faster the lens is considered to be. Lenses that offer a large maximum aperture are commonly referred to as fast lenses, and lenses with smaller maximum aperture are regarded as slow.

In low-light situations, having a wider maximum aperture means that you can shoot at a faster shutter speed or work at a lower ISO, or both.

Floating element system

Provides correction of aberrations and ensures constantly high image quality at the entire range of focusing distances from infinity down to the closest focusing distance. It is particularly effective for the correction of field curvature that tends to occur with large-aperture, wide-angle lenses when shooting at close ranges.

The basic mechanism of the floating element system is also incorporated into the internal and rear focusing methods.

Closest focusing distance

The minimum distance from the focal plane (film or sensor) to the subject where the lens is still able to focus.

Closest working distance

The distance from the front edge of the lens to the subject at the maximum magnification.

Magnification ratio

Determines how large the subject will appear in the final image. For example, a magnification ratio of 1:1 means that the image of the subject formed on the film or sensor will be the same size as the subject in real life. For this reason, a 1:1 ratio is often called "life-size".

Manual diaphragm

The diaphragm must be stopped down manually by rotating the detent aperture ring.

Preset diaphragm

The lens has two rings, one is for pre-setting, while the other is for normal diaphragm adjustment. The first ring must be set at the desired aperture, the second ring then should be fully opened for focusing, and turned back for stop down to the pre-set value.

Semi-automatic diaphragm

The lens features spring mechanism in the diaphragm, triggered by the shutter release, which stops down the diaphragm to the pre-set value. The spring needs to be reset manually after each exposure to re-open diaphragm to its maximum value.

Automatic diaphragm

The camera automatically closes the diaphragm down during the shutter operation. On completion of the exposure, the diaphragm re-opens to its maximum value.

Fixed diaphragm

The aperture setting is fixed at F/2.8 on this lens, and cannot be adjusted.

Number of blades

As a general rule, the more blades that are used to create the aperture opening in the lens, the rounder the out-of-focus highlights will be.

Some lenses are designed with curved diaphragm blades, so the roundness of the aperture comes not from the number of blades, but from their shape. However, the fewer blades the diaphragm has, the more difficult it is to form a circle, regardless of rounded edges.

At maximum aperture, the opening will be circular regardless of the number of blades.


Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

Maximum diameter x Length

Excluding case or pouch, caps and other detachable accessories (lens hood, close-up adapter, tripod adapter etc.).

For lenses with collapsible design, the length is indicated for the working (retracted) state.

Weather sealing

A rubber material which is inserted in between each externally exposed part (manual focus and zoom rings, buttons, switch panels etc.) to ensure it is properly sealed against dust and moisture.

Lenses that accept front mounted filters typically do not have gaskets behind the filter mount. It is recommended to use a filter for complete weather resistance when desired.

Fluorine coating

Helps keep lenses clean by reducing the possibility of dust and dirt adhering to the lens and by facilitating cleaning should the need arise. Applied to the outer surface of the front and/or rear lens elements over multi-coatings.


Lens filters are accessories that can protect lenses from dirt and damage, enhance colors, minimize glare and reflections, and add creative effects to images.

Lens hood

A lens hood or lens shade is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare. Flare occurs when stray light strikes the front element of a lens and then bounces around within the lens. This stray light often comes from very bright light sources, such as the sun, bright studio lights, or a bright white background.

The geometry of the lens hood can vary from a plain cylindrical or conical section to a more complex shape, sometimes called a petal, tulip, or flower hood. This allows the lens hood to block stray light with the higher portions of the lens hood, while allowing more light into the corners of the image through the lowered portions of the hood.

Lens hoods are more prominent in long focus lenses because they have a smaller viewing angle than that of wide-angle lenses. For wide angle lenses, the length of the hood cannot be as long as those for telephoto lenses, as a longer hood would enter the wider field of view of the lens.

Lens hoods are often designed to fit onto the matching lens facing either forward, for normal use, or backwards, so that the hood may be stored with the lens without occupying much additional space. In addition, lens hoods can offer some degree of physical protection for the lens due to the hood extending farther than the lens itself.


Teleconverters increase the effective focal length of lenses. They also usually maintain the closest focusing distance of lenses, thus increasing the magnification significantly. A lens combined with a teleconverter is normally smaller, lighter and cheaper than a "direct" telephoto lens of the same focal length and speed.

Teleconverters are a convenient way of enhancing telephoto capability, but it comes at a cost − reduced maximum aperture. Also, since teleconverters magnify every detail in the image, they logically also magnify residual aberrations of the lens.

Lens caps

Scratched lens surfaces can spoil the definition and contrast of even the finest lenses. Lens covers are the best and most inexpensive protection available against dust, moisture and abrasion. Safeguard lens elements - both front and rear - whenever the lens is not in use.