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08-31-2011, 08:34 AM   #1
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Lens manufacturer identification help - Kitstar 28mm f2.8

Hi folks, thanks for stopping in to take a look! This is my first attempt at posting with pictures, etc, so let me know if what i'm trying doesn't work, is against written (or unwritten) forum rules and needs to be changed, etc. - I don't know how to get images inline... so far only the attachments (or inline from already attached).

I'm a stubborn and obstinate fellow, and not knowing the manufacturer of this Kitstar 28mm f2.8 lens is driving me crazy. After some loose comparisons via pictures, I think it's a Makinon or Hanimex, but I can't tell for sure. I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but it is an 8 bladed aperture. I've seen one other post of a lens similar to this, in the off brand club, but that (I think) was an m42 mount, this is a K - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/lens-clubs/31353-off-brand-club-3.html#post285820. I didn't get it in the photo, but it is stamped "Lens Made in Japan" between the aperture ring and the focus ring.

I need to post some pics I've taken with it because I've got some questions about the IQ and sharpness, etc, but that's either for another thread or later in this thread as I'm still fumbling my way through this attachment process.

Bender

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08-31-2011, 09:45 AM   #2
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Kitstar was just another marketing name. If the first two digits in the serial # are 75 then yours may be by Hoya. But it looks rather more like a Cosina, than like a Hoya I had. Gargling around, I see mention that it might be Chinon, and some of my Chinons don't look too dissimilar. So ?quien sabe? Who knows?
08-31-2011, 10:04 AM   #3
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It does indeed start with 753 - 753430. I know in the end it really doesn't matter, but It still does drive me nuts not knowing Here's the (awesome review...) Makinon 28mm f2.8 Auto Lens Reviews - Miscellaneous Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database picture that i'm comparing it to - note the red lines, the aperture ring, the focus ring, etc. the only thing that doesn't match is the 3 rows of nubs vs 4 rows on the focus ring. All comparisons to chinons, hoyas, cosinas I can find aren't 55mm diameter.

I guess i'll just have to always guess - I was really hoping someone would be "Oh yes, that's totally a <xxxxxxxxx> manufactured lens."

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Rico!

Bender
08-31-2011, 01:49 PM - 1 Like   #4
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I took a closer look at my accumulation. I have Chinon, Kiron, Komine, Tamron, Tokina, and Tomioka 28s that are clearly not like yours; and other Chinon and Cosina glass that on closer inspection are also different. I no longer have a Hoya 28 but I recall that it was different too.

I hadn't considered Makinon. I have two Makinon 28's, one branded Focal, both with 55mm threads, that look quite similar to yours; one's focus ring has 3 nub rows, the other has 4. Their distance scales are also the same numerically as yours; all my other 28s use different scaling.

The serial numbers on all these are no help. BUT... Having eyeballed and fondled 10 of my 15 total 28s, those that I can identify 3rd-party makers, I'd say that yours is *probably* Makinon. Oh goody, another learning experience!

08-31-2011, 01:55 PM   #5
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Thanks RioRico!! I really appreciate the time you took to go through your lenses and confirm (as best is possible, hehe!) my suspicions. Though, having just bought my k200d a little over a month ago, i still enjoy just picking up my lenses and playing with them. Hopefully one of two things happens with the purcahse of this particular lens... A) it cures my LBA due to the disappointment of acquiring a lens i'm less than happy with, or B) I keep using this lens and learn to shoot better with a lens that I will forward call "unique."

Cheers!
08-31-2011, 02:47 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by pezmaker Quote
Hopefully one of two things happens with the purcahse of this particular lens... A) it cures my LBA due to the disappointment of acquiring a lens i'm less than happy with, or B) I keep using this lens and learn to shoot better with a lens that I will forward call "unique."
I forgot to mention that the Makinon 28 is highly regarded for its sharpness and bokeh, so (A) probably won't kick in. Now you can start looking for more 28's for comparison! (In case you're interested: my Makinon 28/2.8 (with original caps+case) was US$8 and my Focal-Makinon 28/2.8 was US$6, shipped.)

A few months ago I got lucky one week and won 3 fast 28s cheap in straight-up eBay auctions: a Vivitar-Kiron 28/2.5 for US$20; a great Tamron BBAR 28/2.5 for US$4; and then a Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA (close-focus wide-angle) for US$18, shipped. Was that my best week ever? Search, and you'll get lucky too!

NOTE: Makinon was (is?) a lensmaker. Hanimex was a marketer who bought lenses from all over. I have two Hanimex 28/2.8's (M42: US$3; PKM: US$5, shipped) and I have zero idea of who made them. Such is life...
08-31-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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A month ago I got the M42 Kitstar 28 2.8. It came in a package with some Mamiya Sekor M42 lenses.

I have found the lens to be quite good IQ and well built, as such, it will stay in my collection. Hopefuly you will find your lens to be the same.
08-31-2011, 02:58 PM   #8
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So far I've found it to be really bad, but i'm a complete amateur too. I'll try and figure out how to get some images up here with proper size and exif later. Maybe I'll just put them up on the web as .DNG and let people peek. It seems to be very soft with a nearly constant "haze," even though the lens is as clean and clear as the kit lens that came with the camera. It's not an auto lens, but my opinion so far would be in line with the A review in the link I posted at 12:04.

08-31-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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I would try a static object with a fast shutter speed - to isolate any focus issues. If your focus is off it may account for some softness.

You should have some nice dof if you stop down to f4 or 5.6.

Grab a shot of Camp Randall at sunset.
08-31-2011, 11:29 PM   #10
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I took some shots with this lens this evening when I got home from work. I've got a lot of other shots with it, but they're dinking around in the office, etc. with it. I decided to take it out this evening when I took the dog out for some nicer shots than what I had. I've got a comparison shot of almost hte same angle (no tripod, etc.) for f2.8, f8, and f16. These don't seem to be showing the washed out/haziness I was describing earlier. I feel like they look pretty good - though nowhere near my pentax 50mm f1.7 (Taiwan edition)

----edit----
I've no idea what that black spot is in the first image - perhaps I inadvertantly "painted" it while resizing the jpg in Gimp - it's not on the DNG.
----/edit----

All are f2.8 except the sidewalk shot, which is f8.







Last edited by pezmaker; 08-31-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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