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08-25-2011, 12:10 PM   #1
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Please help us out - "Expert" lenses

Hi all from all over the world!
In the small "Swedish Pentaxians" discussion group we're having a conversation about "Expert" branded lenses. "Expert" is a Scandinavian consumer electronics chain with quite a few years in the market (I think they were around already in the sixties).
Every now and then "Expert" branded lenses pop up on the second hand market. Our discussion started with a question about who actually manufactured these lenses, taking for granted that they were merely rebranded whatwhats just like "Sears" or "Jessops".
But "Expert" is a pretty international word used in many languages. Maybe these lenses aren't connected with the Scandinavian chain at all?
So the question is: has anyone of you in the UK, US or elsewhere ever come across an "Expert" branded lens? Do you know anything about them? If everyone confirms that they have never been heard of in the Big World, our research will start over with the assumption that they only move about in the Scandinavian market and actually are what we thought at the start.

Kjell

08-25-2011, 01:03 PM   #2
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I have never heard of them but I'm too young to have been around when they were out and I'm far from an expert. Unless someone has specifically owned one and knows who made it, your best bet would be to post a picture if you have one. People may be able to recognize what brand it looks like. Here is one on ebay but there is just one pic.
Expert 75-150mm zoom for M42 - extremely good condition | eBay
Odds are if its like a lot of other rebadgers, they had specific lenses made by specific companies so each model might have been made by a different company.
08-26-2011, 03:55 PM   #3
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It's a brand I've never heard of here in the UK, but that doesn't mean the actual lenses haven't been on sale here under another name.

Post some pictures with good detail of the lenses and you might get some help. On a lot of branded lenses just the style of the engraving is enough to match it to a particular manufacturer. But that gets confusing when you get companies like Vivitar and Soligor having different manufacturers making 'one version' of a particular lens.
03-16-2019, 09:44 AM   #4
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This is and old thread but I thought I'd revive it as I just got my hands on one of these "Expert" lenses.
And thought why not adding some pictures if anyone can see the connection to a manufacturer.
I do remember buying one of the same brand back from the "Expert" chain of stores in Sweden in the 1980's, although that was an 28mm and I can't remember it was conical in shape like this one.
I bought the 28mm Expert to cover the wider scenery, then later a 135mm f/2.8 Cosina, but I quite quickly decided to buy the real deal; a Asahi SMC Pentax 135mm f/2.5 and later a SMC Pentax 35mm f/2.8, not -M, plus a SMC Pentax 15mm f/3.5 to boot. Something I regret I sold.

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03-18-2019, 02:28 AM - 2 Likes   #5
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I'm back with some new information that is really interesting.
As I explained I got this lens and was quite chuffed with the quality of the lens and it surprised me as the Expert chain of home electronics stores, although not bad in any ways, didn't have the reputation of being up market.
I thought what I could do to find out more and I thought I go and get myself another lens and almost immediately found another lens, this time a 28mm f/2.8, and also the seller made the claim that this lens was in fact manufactured by Kino Precisions Industries Limited.
I ask the seller what sources he was using as I couldn't find any information online, it turned out he had first hand knowledge of the situation as he had been in contact with persons working for Kino Precision when he was on business in Japan.
I translate his response below:

"Hello. When I worked in Japan in the beginning of the 1990's I got in contact with some Japanese men who worked for Kino Precision Industries. One of these people had been responsible for the sales to the European market. When he heard I was from Sweden and had a great interest in photography (I had brought with me a Hasselblad SWC) he asked med if I knew about the brand "Expert". I knew about the chain but not that they had their own brand of lenses. Then the man proceeded in telling me about the lenses and that they were good Japanese lenses that was made by his company, Kino Precision Industries, and he had concluded the deal with Expert in the 1980's (that is when I was looking at the lenses but decided to switch to a "safe" brand). He also told me that Kino Precision Industries made lenses that was sold under brands like Vivitar, Soligor and Panagor. If that means that all lenses sold by Expert was made by Kino Precision is better unsaid as I can't guarantee that, but I know the two lenses I sold (Expert 35mm f/2.8 and 28mm f/2.8) was definitely made by Kino Precision Industries because there are identical lenses sold under the brands Soligor and some other brands."

Personally as I owned a Ricoh Rikenon 105mm f/2.8 that was also made by Kino Precision Industries I can tell that the mechanical design and quality is definitely up to the same standards.
I will do some test shots later with the lens to verify as soon as I get an adapter that also fits my Sony A7RII, for some reason the adapter I used perfectly good on my Sony NEX-7 doesn't fit the A7, it gets stuck before I turn it even a fraction of a degree.
I still need to await the just won 28mm f/2.8 for a more detailed comparison.

I might go bargain hunting for more Kino Precision Industry lenses too.
02-16-2021, 01:43 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Hello all again.
Here are all the current lenses of the Expert brand I own at the moment.
Expert brand lenses | Third party lenses branded for a chain? | Henrik Robeck | Flickr
02-16-2021, 03:26 PM   #7
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There were many store brands in the 70’s and 80’s

Makinin was Blacks
Focal was K-Mart
Vernon camera stores in NY had their own brand
......

02-16-2021, 03:34 PM   #8
GUB
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrKodak Quote
Hello all again.
Here are all the current lenses of the Expert brand I own at the moment.
Expert brand lenses | Third party lenses branded for a chain? | Henrik Robeck | Flickr
Interesting.
So my Rikenon 105 2.8 is described in the reviews as Kiron made but that is an alias for Kino?
I have sitting in front of me these Vivitar macros:
55mm 2.8
90mm 2.8
135mm 2.8 (close focusing)
Series 1 90mm 2.5
They are all described as Komine made.
They are loosely similar in appearance to your lineup.
Komine appears to be a bit of a mystery company .
Is it by any chance a branch of Kino Precision Industries?
03-20-2021, 01:14 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Interesting.
So my Rikenon 105 2.8 is described in the reviews as Kiron made but that is an alias for Kino?
I have sitting in front of me these Vivitar macros:
55mm 2.8
90mm 2.8
135mm 2.8 (close focusing)
Series 1 90mm 2.5
They are all described as Komine made.
They are loosely similar in appearance to your lineup.
Komine appears to be a bit of a mystery company .
Is it by any chance a branch of Kino Precision Industries?
Kiron is the marketing name for the products made by Kino Precision Industries for their own product line, but as many other optical companies did they filled gaps in their production capacity with selling lenses to various different large outlets/stores and branded third party manufacturers like Panagor or Vivitar who all bought in their products.

I believe Komine is a separate entity, but I know too little. Wouldn't it be great with a book of all different optical manufacturers, who made optical glass only and sold to others, which company made their own lenses and sold to others and so on.
03-21-2021, 11:38 PM   #10
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During the film days, Cosina Ltd used to manufacture cameras and lenses for other brands too. The cameras made were Nikon FE10, Canon T60, Voigtlander VSL43, etc, before they decided to manufacture the Voigtlander Bessas and others.
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