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12-03-2011, 05:52 PM   #1
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Interesting Lens Hack - Steinheil Munchen Tele-Quinar 200mm f/4

So I bought a bulk lot of old camera gear today, and one of the boxes included a Ricoh Singlex with an attached Steinheil Munchen Tele-Quinar 200mm f/4. Interestingly, the first Singlex cameras used the Nikon F mount. This was due to the fact that they were produced by Mamiya, who had previously been manufacturing cameras for Nikon before contracting with Ricoh. Rather than come out with an all-new design, they chose instead to simply use their existing mounting hardware for the first generation of Singlex cameras. Later generations would use the more familiar m42 screw mount.

Recalling several threads here that stated f mount lenses would mount on Pentax k, albeit upside down, I tried it myself and found that it would mount partially, but there was a small stop-screw under one of the bayonets which kept it from mounting fully. I removed the stop screw and the lens fully mounted. Thinking about it a bit more, I realized that since this lens was not an auto-aperture design, the bayonet likely was merely held on by 4 screws and could be easily flipped to mount correctly on Pentax. 10 minutes later, and I was the proud owner of some nice German glass for Pentax.

A few notes:
  • I first thought about cutting a notch into the mount in order to use the Pentax locking mechanism, but quickly realized that the diameter of the bayonet collar actually sits inside of the lock pin, so the lens is held on by friction only. It's a nice tight fit, though, and I am not worried at all about it falling off the camera.
  • I had to mark my own alignment dot on the lens, since the re was no original one, and even if there was, it would have been way off.
  • This lens has 14(!) aperture blades. I didn't get a chance to play with it in the daylight, but I will be very interested to see what the bokeh looks like.
  • Due to differences in the registration distance on the F and K mounts, the lens focuses past infinity. If I feel really ambitious, I might take the lens apart tomorrow and try to re-collimate it for correct infinity focus. Of course, this has the potential of throwing off the distance scale somewhat.
If everyone is interested, I will post some test shots tomorrow to see how it handles in real world conditions.


Last edited by dcshooter; 07-02-2013 at 11:44 AM.
12-03-2011, 06:06 PM   #2
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Nice catch! Was it cheap?
12-03-2011, 07:30 PM   #3
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I got 3 boxes of gear for $75. All kinds of cool stuff, includig some early AGFA bellows cams, Canon and Olympus SLR stuff, and more. Alas, no Pentax, though.
12-03-2011, 10:15 PM   #4
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I'd love to see shots. I find the old preset lenses often are terrific.

12-04-2011, 12:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
I got 3 boxes of gear for $75. All kinds of cool stuff, includig some early AGFA bellows cams, Canon and Olympus SLR stuff, and more. Alas, no Pentax, though.
Such a deal! Of course, Olympus OM lenses are easily modified to fit PK mount. Canon FD lenses are now desirable again, by m4/3 and NEX shooters. You just might have a treasure trove there.
12-04-2011, 06:32 AM   #6
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That looks a lot like a T2 mount with an F adapter. If it is you could get correct focus just by putting a T2->PK adapter there instead.
12-04-2011, 07:10 AM   #7
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@rio:
The Canon stuff is in good shape, but unfortunately it looks like the majority of the Olympus stuff (boxed separately) is fungus-infected. I might pull them apart and do some cleaning to see if I can salvage them. Hopefully the infections aren't so established as to have etched the optics.

@drougge:
The f mount on the lens simply slides on and is held in place by 4 set screws, with no threading on the barrel, so I am guessing it is not a true T2 mount. However, I am thinking now that I should measure the barrel diameter anyway. If it matches that of a T2 mount, I might be able to either glue on an adapter or bring the lens to a machine shop and have threads cut so I can have a fully-adaptable lens.

Last edited by dcshooter; 12-04-2011 at 02:55 PM.
12-04-2011, 09:53 AM   #8
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Some test shots

Here are a few test shots I took this morning with the lens on my K5. (You will have to forgive my cat her choice of brand!)

Overall impressions:
  • Sharpness and color rendition are pretty good (a bit hard to see in these shots due to the lossy jpeg conversion)
  • Bokeh, even when stepped down, is a smooth fuzz, with very little distracting swirls or other detail. No surprise with 14 blades!
  • Contrast is not as good as on a modern lens. Again no surprise, given advances in coating technology.
  • The lens is HEAVY and SOLID. Combined with the K5's alloy body, this lens is good for both shooting pictures and self-defense! Also, I imagine it helps keep the lens more stable when shooting handheld.
  • The 2 ring preset system takes a bit of getting used to.
  • Chromatic aberration and purple fringing are surprisingly light given the lens's age.
  • The lens has something of the "3-D" look that Zeiss lenses are known for. The Germans must be on to something!



Last edited by dcshooter; 07-02-2013 at 11:45 AM.
12-04-2011, 01:42 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
The lens has something of the "3-D" look that Zeiss lenses are known for. The Germans must be on to something!
Steinheil invented some of the basic lens technologies and were a first-rate lensmaker. I treasure my few Steinheils.

As I noted in a nearby thread on multi-blade-iris lenses [ https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/167483-15-aper...s-listing.html ] these old presets generally have many iris blades (more than 7 anyway) with the aperture located towards the center of the lens body. Automatic aperture lenses usually have the aperture placed towards the rear (for shorter linkages) and fewer iris blades (for fast stop-down).

Presets also tend to have simpler optics than new highly-corrected lenses, with more subject-field curvature and thus more 'pop'. Lenses with flattened fields and optical corrections may produce bright crisp images but IMHO they lack the tasty dimensionality of presets.
12-04-2011, 02:52 PM   #10
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@RioRico

Thanks for the insights! Very informative and interesting.

Last edited by dcshooter; 12-04-2011 at 03:04 PM.
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