Monday, December 25, 2017

Promaster 200mm f3.3 - Test Photographs

I found this Promaster 200mm f3.3 prime lens at a pawn shop for $10  (300mm equivalent on the NX1). I was curious about a fast f3.3 lens at 200mm.  Usually that focal length in vintage lenses you see f4 or greater. 

This ProMaster has a built-in lens hood that slides forward, and a large focus ring surface at mid-barrel.  F-stops go from f3.3 to f16.  This particular lens had a Konica mount, adapted to the NX1.

The following photographs were taken downtown  Phoenix, Arizona hand-held, manual-mode and manual focus.  All photographs are 'as-taken' except where indicated.  Light: late afternoon just before sunset.

               f16  / 1/60-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV -0.3

               f16  / 1/60-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV -0.3 
                (reduced brightness & added contrast)
Note appearance of some lens fungus at top-quarter of photograph. Not noticeable in other images.

f11  / 1/60-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV -0.3
                   (reduced brightness in post) 

                f3.3 / 1/60-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV 0   

(with lens wide open it was difficult to get the subjects in focus.
Focus-peaking on the NX1 didn't show any 'in-focus' points - so subjects are soft. Notice bokeh which provides a 'painterly-effect' in the background.)

                f5.6 / 1/125-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV 0

                 f5.6  / 1/40-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV 0
              (manipulated brightness & contrast in post)

                 f5.6  / 1/40-sec  /  ISO-100  /  EV 0  
(street cat appeared - tried to get focus right, but difficult
 with moving subject; so I applied heavy contrast in post in 
 attempt to salvage the photograph by accentuating both subject
 and background)

                f5.6  / 1/40-sec  /  ISO-400  /  EV +0.3
               (manipulated brightness & contrast in post)

f11  / 1/40-sec  /  ISO-200  /  EV +0.3

First Impressions:  I need a few more outings with the Promaster 200mm f3.3 lens to get a better sense of whether it will be a keeper or not. I seemed to need extra time focusing at times even with the NX1's 'focus-peaking' capability.  The one image I took at f3.3 came out soft.   However some of the images at f5.6 or above look nice and sharp.

Lens Manufacturing Info:  This lens is strikingly similar to a Hanimex label, this 200mm f/3.3 lens.  The manufacturer, date and other 'branding' information is sparse.  There is a discussion on the Internet at here:

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. 

Here are some initial photographs with the Tokina 28-70mm.  Sorry, I did not write-down the aperture settings for these photos.   This is a beautiful lens - love the color depth and sharpness.

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.