|Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2017 9:16 pm Post subject: Vemar (Itoh or Itohkogaku) 100-200/5.6 preset
|One of those Itoh lenses I have been looking at lately -
PJCT2454 by luisalegria, on Flickr
Vemar (Itoh or Itohkogaku) 100-200/5.6 preset
This is, oddly enough, probably the most common of the Itoh lenses. These things seem to have been sold through a larger variety of importers and rebranders than the rest of Itoh's products. This lens has been seen in various cosmetic variants, depending mainly I think on the preference of the importer.
Vemar was a trademark of a prolific US importer of the period, Bittco, AKA L.S. Bitterman, Inc., of Seattle WA. They sold lenses from a wide range of manufacturers, notably Tokina and Nissin (Sankor).
For a short description of Itoh, I have a bit here -
This is just one of the many early consumer-oriented Japanese lenses of the 1960's. Tamron was the first in this field, but was soon follwed by Kiron and Tokina and Sun, and others. Itoh is one of the others.
This one has many features of the early zoom lenses. Its a "trombone" style two-touch preset lens - most of the early third party zooms were presets. In many cases for the same design one can find an early preset version and a later auto version, and in this case I think there is a later auto version. Interestingly this one is a fixed mount M42, not a t-mount like some of the others.
Otherwise it is quite conventional. It is a constant-aperture zoom, and does retain focus while zooming, also like many of the early zooms. One notable feature is a very long minimum focus for a zoom lens, 2+ meters - 7+ feet. It is pleasant enough to use without any mechanical faults, and as far as I can see it is in excellent operational condition. However...
Wide open (and this is f/5.6, by no means a large aperture), the aberrations, "glow", or CA, or more likely an array of optical defects overwhelms the image, which isn't helped by having very poor contrast overall. Getting past all these problems, it is actually fairly sharp, but, well, its a bit hard to see the sharpness. At f/8 it is very much better, but still in no way competitive with even consumer zooms of the period. The effect is even worse close-up, for which tests I put it on extension rings.
If, however you are after a "soft focus" lens, or something that can pass as such, have I got a lens for you!
IMGP2485 by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2416 by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2392 by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2171bw by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2187bw by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2144x by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2162x by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2167x by luisalegria, on Flickr
IMGP2126bw by luisalegria, on Flickr
I like Pentax DSLR's, Exaktas, M42 bodies of all kinds, strange and cheap Japanese lenses, and am dabbling in medium format/Speed Graphic work.