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12-09-2010, 11:09 PM   #1
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Mystery lens - "Image" 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5

Hi all. I've stumped folks on APUG so I thought I'd try here

A while back I was given a K-mount "Image"-brand 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 manual focus zoom lens in really good condition. It has a "close-focus" quasi-macro pull-out function as well. It has an all-metal barrel (that I can tell, anyway), and takes a 62mm filter.

I know the Image brand was the house brand of Black's Photography here in Canada and possibly elsewhere, and it says "made in Japan" on the barrel. Given who I got it from I suspect it was purchased/made in the mid-80's to the early 90's (he doesn't remember).

Black's, I believe, has changed hands a few times, and have significantly reduced their retail presence. I doubt there is any remaining institutional memory at Black's related to the sources of these lenses.

I realize the proof is in the pudding, and I haven't actually shot anything with it yet, but I'm curious as to who actually made this and therefore what other zoom lenses it might be comparable to. I can't really find anything via searching about it, including the lens database here (the aperture ranges and/or filter sizes don't match with anything I can find). That, and I love a good mystery

Attached are a couple of pics of the lens; excuse the hand and the compression artifacts. I haven't cleaned the lens up yet, so there is some dust and sticker residue present.

Any thoughts appreciated

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12-09-2010, 11:21 PM   #2
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It looks a lot like a cpc phase 2 28-80mm f3.5-4.5, so I'm betting it's another generic lens that Pentax made and sold under another name.

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12-09-2010, 11:52 PM   #3
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Very interesting. I found a small pic of the CPC version here . Other than the engraving it looks the same, and has the correct aperture and filter size.

I think it's a mystery solved

I was unaware of the CPC brand/Pentax situation - good to know as well.

Thanks!
12-10-2010, 05:22 AM   #4
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"Image" was the house brand of Astral Photo, which operated in Canada through the 70s and into the late 80s before being taken over and dismantled by Black's. I wasn't aware that Black's had kept the name.
Anyway, you seem to have your manufacturer, but I don't think they would have had anything to do with Pentax, they would have been an indy lens manufacturer making lenses for numerous companies.
Your lens is a pre A series, so it was likely made prior to or soon after the introduction of the A series of lenses.

12-10-2010, 07:52 AM   #5
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I have an Image A 28mm f/2.8, (with a Ricoh pin that I removed). I was able to determine that my lens was made by Cosina. I hadn't heard about the Astral house brand name, or Astral's connection to Black's. Thanks for that.
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