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Old Tamron 200/6.3 - a mini-Wundertute
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2008 1:57 am    Post subject: Old Tamron 200/6.3 - a mini-Wundertute Reply with quote

This is a curious creature - Its a very early Tamron T-mount lens, it appears to be a model F0-63 introduced in 1963. It seems to be a fairly uncommon lens in this early Tamron product line, perhaps even rarer to have been sold under the Tamron brand.


It is an extremely simple lens, with just a focusing mount and a diaphragm (manual only, not even preset), 3 elements in two groups according to the Tamron site. In other words, its a Wundertute ! Just a small one. It must have been very cheap back then.

Its extremely light and it fits very nicely in a jacket pocket in its neat soft leather case. If you want to carry a long lens while going light, its a good alternative to an extender. And if one is going to stop down anyway, well, this one comes stopped down already !

Its performance isn't bad I think, though not particularly good either - all at f/6.3

The bird -

crop -

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just acquired one of these. As Luis describes this lens is real old school: slow and simple. I just had a sortie around the garden and took this with an extension tube on, Samsung NX20, f8, exported from LR (I mainly needed to reduce noise, the NX20 gets noisy quickly when the ASA is upped, this was at 800ASA). A result to prompt me to see what else it can do...

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Corking, marcus Like 1 small .

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great result Marcus, some old lenses really can surprise you! Like 1 small

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Luis, your shots are awesome! I imagine, you applied some corrections? Incredible how a triplet may produce such pop-effect. Marcus, the same is yours!

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Alex

Nothing but a little exposure or contrast.
I don't recall exactly what anymore because this is from quite a few years ago.
I shot these on the 6mp Pentax K100D.

I didn't think this was a particularly sharp lens, though that may just be my copy.
I think I did everything at f/6.3, I had no reason to do otherwise. From what Marcus posted it seems to improve considerably at f/8! And it seems also does well on extension rings - was that what you did Marcus?

This is not exactly a triplet, other than having three elements, its not a Cooke-type.
Its got a cemented pair in front and a single element in back, a simplified telephoto. All the cheap Japanese 200-500mm telephotos are like that, though usually the rear group is another cemented pair - 4 elements in 2 groups. This one has such a small max aperture I guess they thought to get away with just one piece of glass.

A proper Cooke triplet, at reasonably small apertures, can be very sharp indeed in the center, the big limitation is towards the edges of the field. You can see this best in something like a folding camera with a 105mm triplet covering a 6x9 negative, to stress its coverage. Compared to a Tessar at even f/8 the triplets corners will be much worse.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


This is the sort of formula this uses, except that in this case the rear group is just a single element, not a pair. A very simple telephoto.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you, Luis, for an exhaustive and appealing explanation! Having NEX I am not much attracted by over-135mm lenses. But longer I meet memebers' telephoto shots better idea it gives of the power and resolution of such way of making photography.

PostPosted: Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes Luis, that was with a ~30mm extension tube. Bean bag on a picnic table. Focus distance was around four feet.
My impression of this lens is that it is already sharp at f6.3. As and when we get a little sunshine around here I'll see if I can take my usual test pics of the castle turret and post them on my test page.
I got two good lenses in the ~$15 bundle this came in: the photax-paragon 35mm f3.5 is impressing me too!

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've now done some test pics. My conclusions so far are:

- this lens is a tad softer at f6.3, nothing between f8 and f11.
- sharpness is good. Actually when I browse through my test pics of the castle turret with various lenses the similarity between the best of them prompts me to suspect that the limiting factor may be the camera (+ distance, atmospherics etc...). In any case this 200mm makes the grade IMO as one of those "best" lenses.
- this lens is remarkably good in terms of fringing, in spite of its simple design. The pic of the white boat has numerous aspects to prompt fringing, haloes, coma etc - nada. Click on it to see full sized, look especially at the relections off railings etc. that are normally guaranteed to show up PF.

Seagull pics specially for you Luis. Corroborates this lens likes (certainly doesn't dislike) closer focus.

f6.3, f8, f11 crops, 1:1 pixel peep.

Resized, f8.

Different gull, same distance, 1:1 pixel peep crop (update: on my PC this isn't showing correctly - should be 1334 pix wide [try right clicking and select view image] )

PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 small Like 1 small Like 1 small