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Rokina vs. Rokinon - Past vs. Present
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 3:27 pm    Post subject: Rokina vs. Rokinon - Past vs. Present Reply with quote

This has been for me for a while a puzzlement.

We have the Rokina and Rokinon MF lenses of lore, and of course we have today the well-regarded Rokinon/Samyang MF lenses made in Korea. Nothing here is definitive or certain. This is only just my best guess as to what happened.

My first question was the relationship between the Rokina and the Rokinon names for MF lenses from thirty years ago. I own one such lens, a Rokinon 135mm made in Japan. What I have found is that there apparently is (or was) a connection. Here is what I found:

http://www.trademarkia.com/rokinon-73271234.html

Let me say first that Irvington is a city in the USA in the State of NJ. I assume that is the "Irvington" being referenced.

It appears that circa 1980/81 a company called "Rokina International" trademarked (in the USA) the name "Rokinon". This trademark endured for twenty-one years, until cancelled in 2002. It is my thinking that both Rokina MF lenses and Rokinon MF lenses of that era were made by the same company. And furthermore:

I suspect the company in question was Japanese, to wit a company there called Rokina Optical Company. I know such a company existed back then from this record of a 1984 lawsuit:

http://www.leagle.com/xmlResult.aspx?xmldoc=198479163NY2d728_3675.xml&docbase=CSLWAR1-1950-1985

wherein appears the company name. I think it's a Japanese company because the Rokina and Rokinon lenses of that era, at least the ones I've seen, were make in Japan.

It is further my speculation, the "Rokinon" trademark having been abandoned in 2002, that it was subsequently bought out or just picked up by Samyang for their Korean lenses which post date the earlier series by many years.

Obviously it's a lot of guesswork here and I'd be most grateful for any light able to be shed by others.

Bottom line I'm saying Rokina and Rokinon lenses of the 1980's were from the same manufacturer, were Japanese, and are unrelated to current-day Rokinon/Samyang lenses. Of course, I might be wrong! Very Happy


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting post many thanks! I thought Rokinon just a fantasy name used by Samyang to sell new manual lenses.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Interesting post many thanks! I thought Rokinon just a fantasy name used by Samyang to sell new manual lenses.


Thank you, Attila. Very Happy

Following up on the earlier company, I have found this (unfortunately undated) advertisement:

http://ebid.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_big/5/2/7/1318973610-19078-0.jpg

The reference there to (supposedly) good reviews in Modern Photography is something I find of interest. I dearly wish I could read those reviews to find out just how positive they were . . . . . or is the ad merely unwashed hype!!

Also

Based on that ad, Rokina Optical Company was the American branch of the company, likely merely a marketing arm. The real company, it would seem, was Rokina Japan.

However, the ad does appear to link the Rokina and Rokinon names very, very closely. For now at least, I am unable to distinguish between those two names. That is to say an (earlier) Rokinon MF lens is a Rokina lens, and a Rokina MF lens is Rokinon, or so it would appear.

The more recent, modern, Rokinon MF lenses, of course, remain unrelated and are by Samyang of Korea.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have one 35mm f2 lens in same finish, good as or even better than Olympus OM 35mm f2.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
Interesting post many thanks! I thought Rokinon just a fantasy name used by Samyang to sell new manual lenses.


So Attila:

Are you saying Rokina Japan did not market their lenses (either Rokina or Rokinon) in Europe in the 1980's and 1990's?

The older (Japanese) Rokina and Rokinon MF lenses are not today found in Europe? Question

I am in the USA. I have no way to know without asking.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't interested much about 'noname' Japanese lens due most of them lemon, so may may answer is irrelevant, I don't remember for any pieces.

This is my result with 35mm f2 lens which is looks like what I seen on your posted flyer.
http://forum.mflenses.com/admiral-gmc-35mm-f2-t47704,highlight,%2B35mm+%2Bf2.html


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
I wasn't interested much about 'noname' Japanese lens due most of them lemon, so may may answer is irrelevant, I don't remember for any pieces.

This is my result with 35mm f2 lens which is looks like what I seen on your posted flyer.
http://forum.mflenses.com/admiral-gmc-35mm-f2-t47704,highlight,%2B35mm+%2Bf2.html



Dunno, Attila.

But I don't think Rokina lenses were made by Kiron. Rokina appears to me, good or bad, to have been an independent Japanese lens manufacturing company.

Your photos do look very good. Just am not sure it's a Rokina lens.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://exakta.addr.com/Rokinon-28-80.html


Here's someone's pics taking a Rokinon 28mm apart - maybe someone can id a manufacturer from these? Of course, Rokinon may have used many manufacturers over time...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alohadave/tags/rokinonmcwideauto28mmf28/

Rokinon 28mm f-2.8 by alohadave, on Flickr

Rokinon 28mm f-2.8 by alohadave, on Flickr


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

guardian wrote:
Attila wrote:
I wasn't interested much about 'noname' Japanese lens due most of them lemon, so may may answer is irrelevant, I don't remember for any pieces.

This is my result with 35mm f2 lens which is looks like what I seen on your posted flyer.
http://forum.mflenses.com/admiral-gmc-35mm-f2-t47704,highlight,%2B35mm+%2Bf2.html



Dunno, Attila.

But I don't think Rokina lenses were made by Kiron. Rokina appears to me, good or bad, to have been an independent Japanese lens manufacturing company.

Your photos do look very good. Just am not sure it's a Rokina lens.


My tip was also made by Kiron, sadly I didn't make any picture from lens itself yet ( I still have it so not hopeless) and I didn't find any picture in Google image finder.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 6:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This 2/35 is made by Kiron:





It's a good lens, soft wide open but very good stopped down.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
http://exakta.addr.com/Rokinon-28-80.html


Here's someone's pics taking a Rokinon 28mm apart - maybe someone can id a manufacturer from these? Of course, Rokinon may have used many manufacturers over time...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/alohadave/tags/rokinonmcwideauto28mmf28/

Rokinon 28mm f-2.8 by alohadave, on Flickr

Rokinon 28mm f-2.8 by alohadave, on Flickr


Exactly same styling appears with many names, it's almost impossible to identify a lot of these bottom-tier Japanese lenses.


Last edited by iangreenhalgh1 on Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:06 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ian did post exact picture from my lens.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My guess would be that the old Rokina/Rokinon names were labels for a New Jersey (New York City suburb) based distributor who had goods manufactured by various companies with an office in Japan. Current Rokinon brand may be the same distributor or a new one reviving a brand with expired copyright.

Just a guess. Your opinion may vary.


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suspect this lens was made by Cimko as I have a Cimko MT labelled lens that looks identical:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Rokinon-80-200-fast-zoom-lens-f1-4-5-LOMOGRAPHY-/170991742108?pt=UK_Photography_VintagePhotography_VintagePhotoAccessories&hash=item27cfe6ec9c


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

casualcollector wrote:
My guess would be that the old Rokina/Rokinon names were labels for a New Jersey (New York City suburb) based distributor who had goods manufactured by various companies with an office in Japan. Current Rokinon brand may be the same distributor or a new one reviving a brand with expired copyright.

Just a guess. Your opinion may vary.


Thanks. I think your guess is as good, or better, than any theory I posted.

And your approach, your thinking, leaves an opening for a variety of (actual) manufacturers. Which would mean, if you're correct, that Rokina Japan might never have existed as an independent manufacturer!!

Another, somewhat related theory:

Perhaps lenses with the Rokina insignia actually were made by Rokina Japan while, at the same time, lenses labelled Rokinon were made by a variety of Japanese manufacturers.

It's too bad stuff like this cannot be nailed down. There might be some purchase opportunities if only it were possible to know precisely what was going on "back in the day".


PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2013 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

iangreenhalgh1 wrote:
I suspect this lens was made by Cimko as I have a Cimko MT labelled lens that looks identical:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Rokinon-80-200-fast-zoom-lens-f1-4-5-LOMOGRAPHY-/170991742108?pt=UK_Photography_VintagePhotography_VintagePhotoAccessories&hash=item27cfe6ec9c



Here's a similar lens except labelled "Rokina" and not "Rokinon".

Click here to see on Ebay


PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 12:22 pm    Post subject: Rokinon 135 f2.8 Reply with quote

Here is a series of pictures of my Rokinon 135mm f2.8.
It has a similar serial number to the earlier lens shown.
It is quite a reasonable performer and I will include an image taken with it as well.











PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw you're puzzled regarding above Rokinon lens. Firstly i don't think it's too old to be Samyang. I think it's Samyang. Regarding SUN / Samyang connection (possible transition) that could be well seen on exactly this lens i don't dare saying much until further research. SUN disappeared as Japan company soon after 1983. SUN Korea was formed 1987: http://www.sunopt.com/english/info.html


PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pancolart wrote:
I saw you're puzzled regarding above Rokinon lens. Firstly i don't think it's too old to be Samyang. I think it's Samyang. Regarding SUN / Samyang connection (possible transition) that could be well seen on exactly this lens i don't dare saying much until further research. SUN disappeared as Japan company soon after 1983. SUN Korea was formed 1987: http://www.sunopt.com/english/info.html


Thank you for the feedback. I always thought it too old to be a Samyang - you could be correct on it being just that.
I would be pleased to see the results of any further research.
Much appreciated
OH


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 135/2.8 is clearly labeled made in Japan. I think that eliminates Samyang. Perhaps Cosina?


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casualcollector wrote:
The 135/2.8 is clearly labeled made in Japan. I think that eliminates Samyang. Perhaps Cosina?


Good point.
Is it possibly a Sun Japan lens?
OH


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casualcollector wrote:
The 135/2.8 is clearly labeled made in Japan. I think that eliminates Samyang. Perhaps Cosina?


Despite having Japan label, i a would dispute it. It resembles SUN lenses significantly but quality and final touch is different showing similarities with Samyang. I was thinking lens is made in Korea by SUN's specs. Distribution in Japan or some part of assembly still done by SUN. The same lens or at list with minor differences a bit later no longer has made in Japan printed but made in Korea. See PK Revuenon lenses for instance of this series!

Forget Cosina in this case no similarities. Slight similarities with Ozone Optical nevertheless Ozunon (also Ozeck) 135mm lenses are heavier.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is possible event development. But i'll be happy to get opposing opinion:

Initial SUN model 1:


Later SUN model 1:


PORST / SUN / Japan type 1



PORST / SUN / Japan type 2




PORST / SUN / first Samyang?

http://photoschool.narod.ru/porst_tele_mc_2_8_135_m42.html

Revuenon / Samyang ? type 1




Revuenon / Samyang ? type 2


Ozone (heavy, better made lens IMHO)


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pancolart wrote:
SUN disappeared as Japan company soon after 1983. SUN Korea was formed 1987: http://www.sunopt.com/english/info.html


Very interesting! I didn't know there is Sun Korea. But I already have written several times that I am very confused by several Korean lenses being very similar to Sun (original Sun or Sun Japan should I say now Smile)

Regarding the OH's lens - I think it is still an original Sun version but who knows? The thicker "crown" around the rear element is quite a distinct depart from the old Sun versions.


PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it looks very much like the Porst/Sun lens, but without the auto/manual aperture lever.
Thanks for those images.
OH