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Topcor RE GN 50mm 1.8
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:43 pm    Post subject: Topcor RE GN 50mm 1.8 Reply with quote

Nothing exciting as yet, but after a few attempts at basic cleaning I almost have it in usable condition having picked it up a while ago focus frozen solid with the aperture heavily oiled and slow to react. I`ll add more as I go, weather dependant as it`s been pretty awful here for ages.Colours are interesting compared to my other Topcors,seems pretty sharp (breezy in the first photo) and little distortion evident.I`ll try for more bokeh when I get the chance.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2018 8:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I want to see bokeh and background in large size.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2018 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had exactly the same with mine, had to pull it completely apart, re-grease & clean the oil of the aperture.
Very pleased with the resulting pics, once I got it back in one bit.
I have also found the colours to be different than the both seem my other Topcors' with the exception of the 20mm 1/4. They both seem to have slightly more intense colours & a bit more contrast. The worst of the bunch is the 28mm 1/2.8, it looks slightly washed out in comparison.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Factory grease combined with the brass cam ring ensures eventual "glue-up" of these lenses. Bought my RE GN 50/1.4 brand new, and it slowly gummed up. Glass also turned brown, since the 50/1.4 has thorium glass. (No the case with the 50/1.8.)


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 1:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw the 50mm 1.4 thread and took it out for a while today.Problem is the blaeds get oily after 3 months or so in storage.i`ve cleaned them 3 times now and every time I take it out it`s back.So it won`t stop down beyond f2.8-4 ish.

Some bokeh shots in this round.

1.DSC00715.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

2.DSC00719.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

3.DSC00720.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

4.DSC00733.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

5.DSC00739.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

6.DSC00743.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

7.DSC00746.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

8.DSC00747.jpg by Macca h, on Flickr

Next to no pp other than standard sharpening, 2,3,4, and 8 are wide open. The rest I think around f4


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 5:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What are you using for lube? And how much?
My advice would be to use Helimax-XP, and only as little as you absolutely need.
1oz: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HELIMAX-XP-Camera-Telescope-Optical-Instrument-Focusing-Helicoid-Grease-w-PTFE/271194713421
2oz: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HELIMAX-XP-Camera-Telescope-Optical-Instrument-Focusing-Helicoid-Grease-w-PTFE/271211561097


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


Too crisp ?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


Too crisp ?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


Too crisp ?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Memetph, do you find these shots too crisp?


PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2019 8:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

alex ph wrote:
Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


I'm surprised that the last 8 shot to be wideopen,very sharp indeed . The many things I read about topcor re , mention very sharp lens and the 58 1.4 most beautiful for bokeh. I'm awaiting for the adapter to compare it to my beloved planar , these lenses have a brilliant quality ,very big (in case of the 58 1.4 62mm filter) ,so my expectations are big too .


PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
What are you using for lube? And how much?
My advice would be to use Helimax-XP, and only as little as you absolutely need.
1oz: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HELIMAX-XP-Camera-Telescope-Optical-Instrument-Focusing-Helicoid-Grease-w-PTFE/271194713421
2oz: https://www.ebay.com/itm/HELIMAX-XP-Camera-Telescope-Optical-Instrument-Focusing-Helicoid-Grease-w-PTFE/271211561097


Thanks for the tip,I used a little lithium grease after I freed it up.Problem is I don`t have the confidence in my own skills to strip and clean entirely so I think the old lube is still causing problems. Cleans off easy enough but PITA dissembling front and back lens blocks to do it every time.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
alex ph wrote:
Very pleasant and crisp pictures, thank you for sharing!

What experience says of this lens compared to its closest relative Re.Topcor 1.8/58? Are they optically identical or the 58mm is sharper? I haven't found any clear statement on that.


I'm surprised that the last 8 shot to be wideopen,very sharp indeed . The many things I read about topcor re , mention very sharp lens and the 58 1.4 most beautiful for bokeh. I'm awaiting for the adapter to compare it to my beloved planar , these lenses have a brilliant quality ,very big (in case of the 58 1.4 62mm filter) ,so my expectations are big too .


I`ve had the other 58mms including the macro and still have the 58mm 1.4 which is my favourite in terms off rendering,it has a little magic in its imperfections (though I have acquired the 50mm S f2 in ltm which is quickly rivallling it).
This one is probably near sharp as the macro or not far from it, the Topcon club reckons it was the sharpest of their normal lenses. It`s pretty low on distortion to my eye, the 1.4 has some obvious barrel type. There`s some light fall off at the edges wide open as you can see in the last 2.It was a pretty dull day which usually tests the lenses a little.

As for the bokeh, well everyone has their own tastes, it`s not ugly or too oily, more than decent and could probably be harsh or painterly in the right/wrong circumstances.


PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I`ve had the other 58mms including the macro and still have the 58mm 1.4 which is my favourite in terms off rendering,it has a little magic in its imperfections (though I have acquired the 50mm S f2 in ltm which is quickly rivallling it).
This one is probably near sharp as the macro or not far from it, the Topcon club reckons it was the sharpest of their normal lenses. It`s pretty low on distortion to my eye, the 1.4 has some obvious barrel type. There`s some light fall off at the edges wide open as you can see in the last 2.It was a pretty dull day which usually tests the lenses a little.

As for the bokeh, well everyone has their own tastes, it`s not ugly or too oily, more than decent and could probably be harsh or painterly in the right/wrong circumstances.[/quote]

To be honest, I would really brake the buying laws if I would find a cheap VG condition 50mm LTM topcor ,as well some of your lenses you've got in your signature,..... Wink - I feel very comfortable with the 50mm ,so I couldn't resist not buying a special lens in this FL


PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:

To be honest, I would really brake the buying laws if I would find a cheap VG condition 50mm LTM topcor ,as well some of your lenses you've got in your signature,..... Wink - I feel very comfortable with the 50mm ,so I couldn't resist not buying a special lens in this FL

3 Topcor 50/2 LTM up for sale that look ok to me.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Optical-Mint-Tokyo-Kogaku-Topcor-S-5cm-50mm-f2-Leica-L39-Mount-w-Filter-2031/132949488336
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Tokyo-Kougaku-Topcor-S-5cm-50mm-f-2-Leica-L39-Lens-LTM-from-Japan-Excellent/292968316484
https://www.ebay.com/itm/EXC-Tokyo-Kogaku-Topcor-S-5cm-50mm-f2-Leica-L39-Mount-Lens-from-JAPAN-889NB/173769547838


PostPosted: Mon Feb 18, 2019 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pardon me, i couldn't resist to buy one of these for a "very good" price , unfortunately (maybe luckily) these items are going for much more that I'm comfortable/needed to pay for ,but I'll keep an eye open anyway ..... The good thing is I'm really suited with this FL and buying some other 50's would be just to fulfill my curiosity,so it definitely need to be a good buy ($$)


PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
I'm surprised that the last 8 shot to be wideopen,very sharp indeed . The many things I read about topcor re , mention very sharp lens and the 58 1.4 most beautiful for bokeh. I'm awaiting for the adapter to compare it to my beloved planar , these lenses have a brilliant quality ,very big (in case of the 58 1.4 62mm filter) ,so my expectations are big too .
The 58mm lenses are from 1963. So compared to a Planar they are completely different lenses. Definitely not super sharp and modern as Planar.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 2:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
I'm surprised that the last 8 shot to be wideopen,very sharp indeed . The many things I read about topcor re , mention very sharp lens and the 58 1.4 most beautiful for bokeh. I'm awaiting for the adapter to compare it to my beloved planar , these lenses have a brilliant quality ,very big (in case of the 58 1.4 62mm filter) ,so my expectations are big too .

y wrote:
The 58mm lenses are from 1963. So compared to a Planar they are completely different lenses. Definitely not super sharp and modern as Planar.


Well, depends on the version of the Planar which was invented 1897. Wink

Modern "Planars" like the Rollei Planar or the C/Y Planar are actually Ultron designs whereas the Topcor 58mm/F1.4 is a real Planar design (7-element Biotar/Xenon).
Generally the Ultrons appear to have the better edge to edge sharpness.


PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2019 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
Well, depends on the version of the Planar which was invented 1897. Wink

Modern "Planars" like the Rollei Planar or the C/Y Planar are actually Ultron designs whereas the Topcor 58mm/F1.4 is a real Planar design (7-element Biotar/Xenon).
Generally the Ultrons appear to have the better edge to edge sharpness.
From a strictly technical point of view, you are right. However, when you label some lens as Planar it almost every time means a lens with "Planar" written on the name ring.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
Pardon me, i couldn't resist to buy one of these for a "very good" price , unfortunately (maybe luckily) these items are going for much more that I'm comfortable/needed to pay for ,but I'll keep an eye open anyway ..... The good thing is I'm really suited with this FL and buying some other 50's would be just to fulfill my curiosity,so it definitely need to be a good buy ($$)

I have seen them go for half these prices, so as long as you keep an eye on what's on there, you can get them, I paid $210 for mine 6 years ago IIRC, it's a great lens, very sharp and very well made.
I think $250 is a great price for what you get, you'd have to look at Leica and Zeiss to find as good or better performance, and you'll easily be paying double or more for them.
There are not many good RF lenses under $200, a few Russian lenses that approach this IQ, but their build quality is not as good.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In 1.4 and 50mm , I've only got the c/y planar , which I like very much. I expect that the RE 58 1.4 could be a good lens to put face to face to this planar (exception coatings,as I see), so we'll see. Indeed, there were around 7-8 years between the manufacturing's date of these 2, even though the T coatings appeared way before ,so ,I wonder why topcor won the battle to be the army's shooting machine in the 60's. Should i compare it to Nikon F or Bessamatic (in weight, the german bessamatic surely would win), as Contax RTS II it's newer and more ....stylish type,not a choice to take out in the mud (you know what I mean). Anyway, I wonder who were the competitors of topcor to win that battle,as I didn't find anything in the net


PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kiddo wrote:
Anyway, I wonder who were the competitors of topcor to win that battle,as I didn't find anything in the net


The Topcon Super RE was favoured by the US Navy over the Nikon F and the Leicaflex for whatever reason. I don't know. Most probably Beseler Co. (US distributer of Topcon) played also role in this game.


PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
kiddo wrote:
Pardon me, i couldn't resist to buy one of these for a "very good" price , unfortunately (maybe luckily) these items are going for much more that I'm comfortable/needed to pay for ,but I'll keep an eye open anyway ..... The good thing is I'm really suited with this FL and buying some other 50's would be just to fulfill my curiosity,so it definitely need to be a good buy ($$)

I have seen them go for half these prices, so as long as you keep an eye on what's on there, you can get them, I paid $210 for mine 6 years ago IIRC, it's a great lens, very sharp and very well made.
I think $250 is a great price for what you get, you'd have to look at Leica and Zeiss to find as good or better performance, and you'll easily be paying double or more for them.
There are not many good RF lenses under $200, a few Russian lenses that approach this IQ, but their build quality is not as good.


£80-90 for mine from a dealer, it had a ding on the filter ring and some paint wear, mechanically and optically fine and I can still squeeze a hood on, though it has a nice line in fantail flare if you leave it off!


PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 1:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tb_a wrote:
kiddo wrote:
Anyway, I wonder who were the competitors of topcor to win that battle,as I didn't find anything in the net


The Topcon Super RE was favoured by the US Navy over the Nikon F and the Leicaflex for whatever reason. I don't know. Most probably Beseler Co. (US distributer of Topcon) played also role in this game.


According to Antonetto the Marines and US Air force used them also and they were all modified for military use, primarily reconnaissance.

They had a very strong military output for Japan during WW2 eg targetting cameras on the Mitsubishi Zero fighter planes
and prior to that for the war versus China. They were also one of the few Japanese companies allowed to poroduce a military lens between 1945 and the 60/70`s in the luminous Simlar 5cm f0.7 developed during the war and was still being produced for US Airforce on special order, again same source.