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02-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #1
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Chinon 55mm experience

I m looking for experience of the Chinon lenses (M42), comparison with Pentax M50/A50 in f1.4 and f1.7 and M/A55 f1.8. How much would these lenses worth? What's the unique properties of the chinons?

Thanks.

05-09-2011, 05:51 AM   #2
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Pretty much the same sharpness (the Chinon might even be a tiny-tiny bit better than the Tak in the extreme corners--but it's a very subjective impression), a bit less contrast, better light transmission (about 1/2 stop). The M and A 50mm's have the strongest contrast, although sometimes I find it a bit too much. Contrastwise, I like the Tak SMC 55mm best. (Also, the A gives a kind of brown-reddish cast which I don't like.) The Chinon has colder colors than the Pentax lenses. If you shoot in raw, you can equalize the outputs with minimal effort (except you won't get rid of A's reddish cast very easily). I like the smooth focus of the Chinon and the nicer movement of the aperture ring--similar to that of the Taks, and nicer than that of the M lenses.
My Chinon lens is my 'night fifty'. My Tak is a 'day + portrait fifty'--and I also have a Helios 44 for portrait.
The differences among 50-55mm lenses is largely overestimated, IMO.

Last edited by causey; 05-09-2011 at 08:08 AM.
05-09-2011, 06:49 AM - 1 Like   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
I m looking for experience of the Chinon lenses (M42), comparison with Pentax M50/A50 in f1.4 and f1.7 and M/A55 f1.8. How much would these lenses worth? What's the unique properties of the chinons?

Thanks.
I do like it. Definitely heavier and sturdier than the A50/1.4

Apparently it used the Tomioka design.

I've posted some pictures here

You can get it for around $50-$70 but if it has the Tomioka mentioned on the front name plate then it could go up to $150-$200
05-09-2011, 06:54 AM - 1 Like   #4
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My Chinon 55/1.7 cost me US$3 shipped. My Super-Tak 55/1.8 cost me US$8. But that was a couple years ago, and I was lucky! Anyway, Chinon's can be found CHEAP on Argus, Ansco and other SLR bodies made by Chinon, such as the CR series. As Stefan said, differences are slight but noticeable. My Argus-Chinon 55/1.7, and SuperTak and Petri CC and Rikenon and Mamiya 55/1.8's, are all slight variations on a theme, with the Mamiya and my Helios-44 58/2 having stranger bokeh.

As for faster lenses: My Sears-Tomioka (also badged as Chinon?) M42 55/1.4 (cost: US$2.25 shipped!) is a heavy beast, second in mass and effect only to my K50/1.2 (cost: US$250). It's my only 55/1.4, but compares favorably to my FA, ST, and planar Yashica ML 50/1.4's. I read somewhere that virtually all M42 55/1.4's were made (or at least designed) by Tomioka. So any such should be pretty damn good.

[Confession: My first Sears 55/1.4 cost US$25. My second cost US$2.25, but I sold it for US$55. Good deal, eh? Look for Sears film SLR bodies. Hidden treasures may be mounted there.]

What is boils down to is, you'll have a hard time finding a BAD fast 55-58mm PK or M42 lens.


Last edited by RioRico; 05-09-2011 at 07:05 AM.
05-09-2011, 07:18 AM   #5
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The Chinon 55mm 1.4 is one of the nicest lenses I've had. I sold my copy because--I don't know why--the focus wasn't spot on with my K-x (but all my other lenses "love" my K-x very much). Otherwise, the sharpness, the bokeh, the colors--just superb. Liked it more than the Taks 50mm 1.4 I've tried.

Last edited by causey; 05-09-2011 at 08:32 PM.
05-09-2011, 07:53 AM - 1 Like   #6
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I like the Chinon 55mm f1.7 a lot. It has a special way of rendering. (links 1, 2)
05-09-2011, 02:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
I do like it. Definitely heavier and sturdier than the A50/1.4
Thanks for the sample photos. I like the bokeh and color rending. At least I now familiar of the value and it's rending.

Someone tried selling a whole collection of chinons. I'll get it/those next time... Too bad I let they slip away...

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
What is boils down to is, you'll have a hard time finding a BAD fast 55-58mm PK or M42 lens.
I will keep this in mind.
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