Saturday, December 2, 2017

Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-5.6 Lens - A Surprise

I picked-up this Quantaray 28-90mm F3.5-5.6 Lens at a record store in Phoenix, Arizona that also sells used music equipment and some electronics.  The QUANTARAY name was unfamiliar to me and normally I collect lenses from the 1970's and 80's, yet this one looked like it was from the 90's of early 2000's with a hard plastic material; so I was hesitant to buy at first.  

But I was curious and I liked the sweet-spot focal length range of 28-90mm (42-135mm equivalent on the Samsung NX1). The price at $25 wasn't bad, the lens was made in Japan, easily adaptable Pentax mount and overall the lens was in really good shape.  So I picked-it-up.  

An Internet search reveals very little about this lens.  But it appears that the lens is manufactured by SIGMA and distributed exclusively by Ritz Camera (.com) at that time.   I went to and it look like they still sell (new) Quantaray lenses.

Above: Quantaray 28-90mm f3.5-5.6 lens mounted with readily-available Pentax (PK) to Samsun (NX) mount.   

The photos posted below were 'as-taken': No post editing or effects.  Note that after taking these photographs I went back into the in-camera settings and notice I had the 'VIVID' picture effect turned 'on'.  This had the effect of increasing saturation and contrast.  Sorry I didn't write the f-stop setting for these photographs.  Camera was in manual shooting mode and with the lens adapter, the f-stop setting is not recorded to the NX1's meta-data file.

The above picture was taken with house lights only at an ISO of 6400 - Impressive

I took this photograph for an artist who wanted a quick-photo inventory of her stained-glass work.  I used it as an opportunity to play with the Quantaray.  In order to avoid a street scene and buildings in the background, I got on the floor and shot-up at the glass pieces attached to the store's window.  The plywood in the background is looking-up at the porch overhang.

Nice shot of translucent calcite cylinders illuminated by indirect light.  Notice the smooth background bokeh.  Sorry,I did not record the f-stop.

Other notes: Despite the lack of information on this lens online, I did come across a forum discussing this lens.  I think this lens is fantastic and thus was surprised to see postings that it was a good lens at $30 but would be disappointed at a higher price: Or, that people considered it a beginner's lens.  

Also,  This Quantaray's focus ring at at the front of the lens.  I noticed during my test shots that the len's optimum focus point was tight (in other words you are either spot-on or you fall-off.  Thus, thank goodness for 'focus peaking' on the NX1 to nail it.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

PANAGOR 28mm Auto-Wide-Angle F2.5 (Twilight Test Photographs)

I came home to find this vintage PANAGOR 28mm F2.5 lens sitting on my desk.  My wife had picked it up at a thrift store for $5.  That's right - $5.   The lens is in very good condition.  There are no mechanical or optical issues.  

The mount is a Konica so I had to purchase a "KR-to-NX" mount adapter by Fotasy for less than $15 on Amazon.  The 35-mm camera equivalent of this lens mounted to the NX1 is 42-mm.  A nice sweet spot: Not too wide; not too tight.

The following specs for the Panagor were sources from AllPhotolenses

The date of manufacture of this lens is still being researched, but since it was probably made by Kino Precision, it's older than 1989 when Kino went out of business.

The following test shots were taken close-to or just after sunset.  The photographs are unaltered.  I neglected to write down the camera settings for these photographs. 

Wide-open (f2.5,) the photographs seem somewhat soft (above). But at f5.6, the photographs at crisper (see last photo in this post).


First Impressions:  I really like this lens.  Easy to focus.  A nice sweet spot at the 42-mm with the 1.5 crop factor on the NX1: You can get nice compositions - Not too wide; not too tight.

Source: Panagor_Kenya_Gazette.png
Ausriss from Kenya Gazette, 06.08.1971, page 779 (via Google Books)

The following is sourced from: Precision
...and from other links at bottom of this post

Kino Precision Industries, Limited was founded in 1959 by Tatsuo Kataoka.  The company started out making lenses for 8mm movie cameras. In 1965 the company began making lenses for 35mm still cameras. In the 1970s Kino began manufacturing lenses for Ponder & Best (later Vivitar) including some of the highest quality Vivitar Series 1 lenses. Kino also manufactured lenses for Soligor, Jaca Corporation (Panagor, Elicar), and Tapak International (Elicar).

Jaca Corporation was a Japanese distributor of rebranded photographic gear with a business model similar to the US company, Vivitar. Their products were designed and made by other companies under contract, then sold under Jaca brand names. They are most famous for their Elicar and Panagor brand lenses, made by a variety of Japanese lens manufacturers which included Komine and Kino Precision. 

According to various trademark filings (see below), the Elicar and Panagor brands were used for a wide range of products including cameras, interchangeable camera lenses, automatic zoom lenses, telephoto lenses, wide-angle lenses, macro lenses, close-up lenses, video lenses, electronic flash units, camera adapters, microscope adapters, camera rails, filters, reverse adapters, bellows, extension tubes, exposure meters, slide duplicators and copiers, micro-focus adjusters, and tripods. However, according to their listing in the 1985 Camerart Photo Trade Directory, their product line included only "35mm interchangeable lenses and various accessories for macro photography

While Jaca's Elicar brand was distributed in the United States, the Panagor name was used elsewhere. Often the same lenses were sold under both names, the only difference being the geographical region where the lens was to be sold. Some of the lenses made by Kino Precision, such as the 90mm f/2.8 Macro were also sold through other marketing companies such as Vivitar and vary only in the badging and the color scheme of the lens graphics.

A Canadian trademark registration for the Panagor mark was filed on 16 June, 1971. The filing was renewed in 1973, 1988, and 2003. It has now expired. The Panagor trademark was registered in Australia on 12 May, 1971.  Panagor equipment was imported and sold in Kenya, Africa starting in 1971. Panagor products were also imported and sold in the United Kingdom by AICO but no related trademark filing has yet been documented. Panagor products were not imported into the United States.

The 1985 edition of the Camerart Photo Trade Directory lists the company " Jaca Corporation " as follows:
President: Hiroto Sugita
Address: No. 17-25, 4-chome Mita, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108 Japan


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Tokina RMCII 28-70mm f4

Picked-up this Tokina RMCII 28-70mm f4 in a thrift store for $10.  This lens was a Canon mount so I purchased a Fotodiox FD-to-NX adapter for about $23.  No problems mounting to the NX1.

The lens is in great shape.  No scratches damage or fungus.  There's an aperture ring f4-f22 closest to the mount: A 28-70mm zoom ring forward of the aperture adjustment. And the focus ring furthest front. 

Pictures forthcoming...

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Quick Test Photographs with Canon FD 400mm 1:4.5 S.S.C.

I used a FotoDiox FD-to-NX adapter to fit this monster Canon FD 400mm 1:4.5 S.S.C. lens on my NX1.  I was combing through vintage lenses at a pawn shop in Tucson, Arizona and was just about to walk-out after not finding anything of interest.  The guy behind the counter said: "Hey, did you see this one".  He reached behind a pile of old cameras and pulled-out this lens.  It looked in excellent shape for a 1975 lens, so then I looked at the price -$30!!  Are you kidding me?!  

I now call this my M.O.A.L. (Mother of All Lenses) 

 This wider angle photo shows the points of interest for the two photographs below

 Photo of high-rise at 400mm

Crop showing decent-sharp detail

Church tower at 400mm 

Here's a few links to read further about this lens and photographer's comments:

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Yashica 50mm ML f1:1.4

Another thrift shop find, this Yashica 50mm 1.4 lens optically and mechanically in good condition, but has several cosmetic 'dings' and 'scuffs' at the front of the lens.  However, I had no problem screwing-on a 52mm UV filter in front of the lens despite the damage (see photo below).

Basic specifications for most lenses can be found at ALLPHOTOLENSES
Info for this lens in particular at:

The photos captured below were taken 'as-is" with the subject lens on a Samsung NX1, no filters were employed and there was no post-editing or effects added to the images.



In the photo above, the focus was on the center blue/yellow basket.



In the photo above, notice the Bokeh is more of a generalized Gaussian Blur effect than the typical 'geometric-shaped' Bokeh.







Note: in the photo above how shallow the depth-of-field is at f1.4.  

Friday, June 16, 2017

Hit or miss - Test photographs with an Albinar 28-80mm

The Albinar ADG MC 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Auto Zoom was distributed by BEST Products Co.(an American chain of retail stores from 1957-1996), with Albinar being a trademarked brand, the lenses of which were made by several Asian manufacturers. 

The lens is well-built, has a practical focal-range (28-80mm)and pretty cool looking on the NX1.  However, shooting with this lens manually takes skill to get the focus right.  The NX1 has 'focus-peaking' which helped get the focus close as possible, yet working the three (3) adjustment rings on the lens for near focus, focal length and overall focus complicate the process. 

The resulting photos shown below reveal a 'soft' lens at best.

Albinar 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 lens adapted to Samsung NX1

The photograph below was taken just after sunset with the aperture wide-open (f3.5).  The photo is soft, but the camera resolved the image nicely.

f3.5    ISO200    +0.3EV   1/60sec

The additional photos below are shown as-taken. about 1/2-hour before sunset.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Konica Hexanon AR 50mm f1.7 Test Photographs

Not sure where I picked-up this lens, but it is the only Konica lens in my collection of vintage SLR lenses.  This model lens can still be pick-up cheap on eBay for about $20.

A general search came across this comment from Wikipedia:

"Konica SLR interchangeable lenses were named Hexanon. The optical quality of most Hexanon lenses is regarded as truly superb, particularly the older fixed-focal length (prime) lenses. Konica managed to achieve near excellent quality over a broad range of focal lengths in lens tests conducted by several photographic publications over the years. Hexanon lenses were used by the Japanese government as the standard against which all other lenses were measured."

For use on the NX1, I used an inexpensive 'Fotosay KR-NX' adapter.  For the test photos here the camera was set to 'manual'.  No filters were used.  Hand-held.  No post editing or color grading. Note: Overcast day.

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm   ISO100  f8  1/800s  EV -0.3 

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm   ISO100  f8  1/800s  EV -0.3

 Konica  HEX-AR  50mm   ISO100  f8  1/800s  EV -.03

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm  ISO100  f4  1/250s  0EV

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm  ISO100_f4  1/250s  0EV 
Note: Slightly overexposed. I should have stopped this down.

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm  ISO100  f11  1/320s  EV -0.3
Note: Focus looks slightly off on this photograph

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm  ISO100  f8  1/320s  EV -0.3

Konica  HEX-AR  50mm  ISO100  f11  1/320s  EV -0.3

Additional information from the Internet:

The Konica Hexanon AR 50 mm f/1.7 is a normal fast lens for SLR cameras with the Konica AR bayonet mount. It came in two variants of the lens with the same optical scheme.  The characteristics of the second version (after 1976 ) are equivalent to the lens in this post.

With the introduction of the internal linkAutoreflex TC, the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 was revised from the earlier version.  While the optical formula and optical quality remained unchanged, the lens barrel was made slimmer, shorter, and a good deal lighter. The price for this was a longer closest focusing distance of 0.55 m (1 ft 92/3") instead of the 0.45 m (1 ft 53/4") of the earlier version. In addition, the click stops of half aperture values were dropped.

Finally, in sharpness the image quality is first class. Contrast and evenness of illumination are just as convincing as the neutral colour rendition – all in all, the Hexanon AR 50 mm / F1.7 is absolutely a premium, first class lens.