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06-22-2011, 11:52 AM   #1
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Does anyone know the history of the Sears 75-260mm f/4.5 close focus lens?

'Cause I just grabbed one for disgustingly cheap and was blown out of the water by it. The lens was made in Japan, and has the same metal hood design as the Sears 135mm f/2.8 that I own.

One of the first things I noticed is that I can get a soft focus effect if I crank the aperture wide open and use the lens at its wider end. This clears fairly quickly once I start stopping down, but I kind of like it.

I don't actually have any decent shots up yet from shots at 260mm, but thats mostly because I had so much fun taking the close focus stuff I kind of forgot about the fact I actually bought the lens for the zoom aspect of it.






Otherwise, it shoots nice and crisp. It also renders pretty smooth bokeh all the way through its range, which surprised me (in a good way).








This is a good example of the smooth bokeh at the smaller apertures - I think I shot this at either f/22 (the smallest the lens goes) or f/16.







Last edited by Sagitta; 06-22-2011 at 12:02 PM.
06-22-2011, 12:36 PM   #2
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And heres a shot of the lens itself... I've looked online but can't find anything similar enough to peg what it could be a sibling of. Actually, 75-260 lenses in general don't seem very common at all if the lack of decent Google hits means anything.


06-22-2011, 02:16 PM   #3
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I cannot comment specifically towards your lens but it looks a bit like this old Lenmar RX-7 85-210mm I have. The two have similar design but different image qualities.




I don't mean to distract anyone from the discussion.
06-22-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
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A quick search came up with a couple hits:

Vivitar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vivitar marketed a 75-260mm, looks like it was made by Tokina.

RMC Tokina 75-260mm Macro f. Olympus OM extremely good! | eBay
Looks pretty close to the same lens, different mount.

06-22-2011, 02:48 PM   #5
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Luis Alegria on here is an encyclopedia of who made which lens during the rebranding era Hopefully he'll see this...or is he active in the "Sears Lens Club" a couple subforums down in the Lens section?

Tokina is always one of the first guesses in these discussions Generally decent performers, and if this is (don't see how it's not), it's a user.

As a side note, "macro" was really a hot word back when. I don't think I've come across a 70~250 f/4-ish zoom from the late 70s and 80s that didn't have some kind of setting, if for nothing else but to plaster it two or three places on the lens
06-22-2011, 03:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ryan s Quote
As a side note, "macro" was really a hot word back when. I don't think I've come across a 70~250 f/4-ish zoom from the late 70s and 80s that didn't have some kind of setting, if for nothing else but to plaster it two or three places on the lens
Thats the odd thing, this lens is simply called 'Close Focus' and its not stamped anywhere on the front of teh lens itself. Thats just the standard "Auto Sears MC Zoom". Heck, I didn't even realize it was internal focus/close focus until I opened the package in the mail. I know enough from prowling for lenses that 'close focus' or 'macro' is usually an excuse for the seller to tack $20 onto the price and for people to bid the price up regardless of the actual quality.

In my case I went "eh, I have 2 Sears already, like them both, I'll see if I can get it for under $10" and actually did.
06-22-2011, 03:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by icywindow Quote
A quick search came up with a couple hits:

Vivitar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vivitar marketed a 75-260mm, looks like it was made by Tokina.

RMC Tokina 75-260mm Macro f. Olympus OM extremely good! | eBay
Looks pretty close to the same lens, different mount.
That Tokina is exactly the same, actually. The CLOSE * FOCUS stamped on it is identical except for the color - and I'll blame the photo quality on that.

EDIT: $142...?
06-22-2011, 09:48 PM   #8
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"Close focus" doesn't have the cachet of "macro" even though most of these lenses have a weak 1:4 magnification ratio at best You can usually tell which are older since they have the "close focus" moniker the makers seemed to give up entirely.

I wouldn't mind seeing the Sears/JCP lenses stay undervalued. There's some really good ones available...and what's more important is there's people who will use them to great results without anyone being the wiser!

...as long as you have a good PF removal tool, that is

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