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What is a "Photax 200mm 4.5"?
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:48 am    Post subject: What is a "Photax 200mm 4.5"? Reply with quote

Sometimes when scanning eBay you come across something where you think "What on earth is THAT?". Or at least I do Smile

Well, I just came across an auction for a lens that is identical to this one:

Really cheap. I am almost tempted to pick it up for the sake of curiosity.

Difference is that the one for sale has 13 aperture blades. There is a good picture where you can clearly count 13 blades. Perhaps the 12 in m42lenses.com is a mistake, because otherwise it is identical.

What I understand from the web (mostly this forum) is that Photax was a UK reseller of cheap to average lenses and not worth bothering with. Actual manufacturer unclear.

Can anyone offer any thoughts or insight?

Regards, C.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Many incarnations of that lens. Preset 200mm F4.5 T-mount. Likely a Tokina. Good sharpness, contrast wide open low. CFD a bit long (3m) They didn't make really bad lenses in the sixties.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Cambron 135/2.8 from the same series. It's decent in IQ, and has 10 very straight aperture blades, making for very defined sunstars.

PostPosted: Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Photax was a big retailer, with a good reputation, in the UK. In the early days they sold lenses under the Photax name, and later under the Paragon brand. Obviously rebadged lenses from various manufacturers. Under the Super Paragon label they sold some very good lenses made by Cimko. Their reputation was good, I think they chose mid range lenses rather than bottom of the barrel stuff that most retailers used for their rebranded lenses. And they appear to be consistent in using just one lens for as long as they could, unlike the Dixons chain of shops that chose the cheapest junk available that week and had it rebranded ( Prinzflex Rolling Eyes ) so every time you went in the shop the 135 / 3.5 you looked at last week was completely different.
I've had a Photax 200 / 3.5 and 135 / 3.5 and they were OK, not great but they weren't stinkers. I sold them on with a clear conscience...unlike every Prinzflex I've had which I gave away as lens caps on old Zenits, and told the new owners just how awful they were! Laughing