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Maker of "Sears" 135mm f/2.8 ?
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

casualcollector wrote:

. . .
The early Samyang made lenses also had chunky, all metal construction, but as the Makina made lenses, not so good on close inspection. They do differ in appearance from the Makina made lenses.


Thank you again. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

D1N0 wrote:

. . .
A bit shady at best. Apparently Samyang was using this mechanism but it appears on made in Japan lenses. Mine still has a JCII sticker, issued in 1983. Korean lenses don't have a JCII certification I think.


How can you tell the issue date of the sticker? Does it say "83" or is it more complicated than that?

Also, I have a made in Korea lens which has the Korean version of a "Passed" sticker:


#1




And here's the Korean sticker compared to a Japanese:


#2


PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

55 wrote:
D1N0 wrote:

. . .
A bit shady at best. Apparently Samyang was using this mechanism but it appears on made in Japan lenses. Mine still has a JCII sticker, issued in 1983. Korean lenses don't have a JCII certification I think.


How can you tell the issue date of the sticker? Does it say "83" or is it more complicated than that?

Also, I have a made in Korea lens which has the Korean version of a "Passed" sticker:


#1




And here's the Korean sticker compared to a Japanese:


#2


On Japanese stickers the first number is the month it was issued, the second the year. Lenses are usually not more than a few months younger dan the month/year on the sticker. Ofcourse you have to guess whether the year was in the sixties seventies or eighties.


PostPosted: Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D1N0 wrote:

On Japanese stickers the first number is the month it was issued, the second the year. Lenses are usually not more than a few months younger dan the month/year on the sticker. Ofcourse you have to guess whether the year was in the sixties seventies or eighties.


Thank you, D1N0.


PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

casualcollector wrote:
Makina made lenses had a chunky, rugged look. The rubber focus grips were coarse and grippy, construction was all metal but on closer look not quite as confidence inspiring as they seemed at first glance. The focus scales had a slight taper from the grip back to the edge. I have at least two Makina 28s. One with the Makina name, the other OEM labeled as a Rikenon. I don't think I have a 135 to show as am example..


I have a Korean-made Auto Chinon 135 that must certainly be a Makina based on the information in this thread. I'll post a picture when I get a chance.

I also have a Korean-made Auto Chinon 35 2.8 that looks like the same manufacturer (and it came in the same box of old camera stuff I bought). The 135 is pretty good, but the 35 is actually surprisingly excellent. Stopped down it's razor-sharp and wide open it makes very nice soap-bubble highlights.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:40 am    Post subject: Re: Maker of "Sears" 135mm f/2.8 ? Reply with quote

55 wrote:
Greetings, lens experts. I need your help. Can anyone tell me who made this 135mm for Sears?


#1


#2



This lens is different from the common, Tokina made "Auto Sears" 135s. My guess is that it's a re-badged Chinon.
What do you think?


I hope you do not mind, I certainly do not wish to hijack you thread but I have a similar question and this seems a good place to ask it.

When I saw the images of these Sears branded 135mm f2.8 images I was struck by some similarities they have with an M42 Auto Promura C.P. Hi-Lux MC I bought cheaply ($20) last year in a camera shop bargain bin. The front optical element screws out as a block as is common with lenses of that era in these focal lengths, and it apparent that there is also a rear element behind the aperture. Overall it looks like a Sonnar or Sonnar derivative to my eye. There are some obvious similarities in the look and construction (e.g. Aperture auto / manual switch) with the lenses posted above but also some differences (color of distance and aperture markings) and I am keen to see what others who know more about Tokina and other such makers think about potential makers. Of course the similarities may be nothing more that they were all built at a similar time when this "look" was in fashion. BTW at infinity the lens if physically pretty short - 70mm and the lens takes 55mm filters and the body has maximum diameter of approx 60mm. The lens is multi-coated, has 6 aperture blades and the closest focus is to 1.8 metres.

I also tried researching Promura but the internet is very skimpy on information about this company and its lenses which I presume were made by other makers as was common back then. The most frequent info seems to be about a 135mm f1.8 big heavy fast lens marketed by Promura as Promura Gekko.

I have not used it much (yet) but I have found that it is only moderately sharp wide open at close distances but sharpens up quickly as you stop down. Its best attribute is that it has a quite interesting bokeh - of the sort referred to by the folks on the Classic Lens Podcast as "wet on wet" bokeh (referring to a water-color painting technique where still damp paint is over painted so the different paint layers flow together. I suppose you could say that this is a kind of non photographic analogue bokeh. Smile In any event this is quite a pleasant look for photographic bokeh and can be quite different from other bokeh. I posted a thread on this specific look and how my lens seems to have it over at RFF and I have provided a few samples of my and other photographers examples of it. But t I also provide one example from this lens (the last one by me in that thread) and in doing so realized from other images from other lenses that it has some similarities to the Nikkor 180mm f2.8 ED. https://www.rangefinderforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=168875

Some images of the lens from different angles. Any thoughts appreciated.







PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your lens looks to be a Mitakon/Mitake lens from the late 70s, early 80s. I don't have one, but there is one for sale on ebay here ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-CONTAX-YASHICA-FIT-MITAKON-135MM-F2-8-MANUAL-FAST-PORTRAIT-PRIME-LENS/254194518974?hash=item3b2f2c8bbe:g:Rr0AAOSwuwdcrHaN ) for you to compare against. Around this period Mitake lenses were decent but not outstanding, middle of the pack as far as third party lenses were concerned. The earlier lenses were (imo) poor, and the ones from this era were a general improvement, and I found them to have decent coatings, at least for night photography.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alun Thomas wrote:
Your lens looks to be a Mitakon/Mitake lens from the late 70s, early 80s. I don't have one, but there is one for sale on ebay here ( https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-CONTAX-YASHICA-FIT-MITAKON-135MM-F2-8-MANUAL-FAST-PORTRAIT-PRIME-LENS/254194518974?hash=item3b2f2c8bbe:g:Rr0AAOSwuwdcrHaN ) for you to compare against. Around this period Mitake lenses were decent but not outstanding, middle of the pack as far as third party lenses were concerned. The earlier lenses were (imo) poor, and the ones from this era were a general improvement, and I found them to have decent coatings, at least for night photography.


I agree it does look rather like the one in the link you sent. (I was not even aware that Mitakon was around that far back as I only have ever heard of them in the context of their recent lenses so I never considered that firm).

And I think you are right that mine at least is "decent" but not perhaps a world beater. At least in terms of sharpness wide open. It is however very nice in the bokeh department. The lens is quite compact and I think may have been quite hard to design back then as it is comparatively short. It is much smaller and lighter than, say, the original Nikkor 135mm f2.8 though perhaps a little larger than the later version of that lens.

Never the less its build quality gives a feeling of a solid well built piece of equipment - quite weighty for its size and very smoothly operating. I was attracted to it for this reason.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the modern Mitakon company is possibly a different entity, as they are (I believe) Chinese, and call themselves Zhong Yi Mitakon. Perhaps they bought the Mitakon name and Intellectual Property from some holding company that wasn't using it. I believe the original Mitake company started making lenses in perhaps the early 70s, but at that point were not selling under their own name. I have tried both versions of this early 28mm Mitake lens:

One of them was quite poor, the other was improved but still not fantastic. Early Mitake lenses are detectable by the curved line showing the maximum aperture depth of focus on the depth of focus scale. I have also tried a 35/2.8 and a 24/2.5 of these early lenses, they were both also disappointing.
I think not long after this Mitake started selling under their own name, with their next range of lenses, of which I think yours is a part.

Mitakon 28/2.8

I have tried the 28/2.8 as well as the 24/2.8. They were improved, and as before decent, but not outstanding in any way. I also have tried the 70-180/4.5 (also sold as a Yashica DSB lens), the 80-200/4.5, the 75-240/4.5, and the 85-300/5.6

Of these only the 70-180 was reasonable, all the others were average at best, even compared only to other third party lenses.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me the Promura looks very different. Glossy finish, different metal a/m switch aperture ring and focussing both reversed compared to the Sears. Different focus mark. Multi coated. The orange and white distance markings were very common. I'd say this Promura is at least a decade younger than the sears. Late seventies or early eighties.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Auto Chinon 135 2.8. On the other side it says "KOREA" on the body near the mount:




Notable features include the cheap plastic A/M switch, a built-in lens hood (pretty nice actually), a 55mm filter thread, and the odd ridge at the edge of the focus grip on the mount side. Not a bad 135, frankly. It's nice and light. Some parts feel cheap and plasticy, but others feel solid, like the lens hood.


PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2019 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

KEO wrote:
My Auto Chinon 135 2.8. On the other side it says "KOREA" on the body near the mount:


Notable features include the cheap plastic A/M switch, a built-in lens hood (pretty nice actually), a 55mm filter thread, and the odd ridge at the edge of the focus grip on the mount side. Not a bad 135, frankly. It's nice and light. Some parts feel cheap and plasticy, but others feel solid, like the lens hood.


I think some Japanese manufacturers may have been outsourcing lens production in the late seventies and early eighties already. Like Pentax did with the Takumar bayonets which were made in Taiwan (not all of them, there were also made in Japan Takumar bayonets)


PostPosted: Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:32 am    Post subject: Re: Maker of "Sears" 135mm f/2.8 ? Reply with quote

yoyomaoz wrote:
I hope you do not mind, I certainly do not wish to hijack you thread but I have a similar question and this seems a good place to ask it.
. . .

Not at all. The more the merrier.
I'm grateful for any chance to learn more about lenses of my favorite focal length.


KEO wrote:
My Auto Chinon 135 2.8. On the other side it says "KOREA" on the body near the mount:
. . .

Thanks for the information.