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03-14-2012, 08:51 PM - 1 Like   #1
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question on Promaster 60-300 MF zoom

I received this in PM and think it deserves an open answer (sorry for the delay):

QuoteOriginally posted by ripit:
I was searching for information on this lens and ran across a thread where you used to have one. There seems to be several versions of this lens, and it would seem that there are multiple manufactures, not just multiple brands (some are Korean and some are Japanese at least). I was wondering what your impression of the promaster version is? Do you recall if it was reasonable sharp wide open through out the zoom range? It seems that some versions lost some sharpness on the long end and some didn't.

The reason I ask is that I got a canon fd kalamar version and was quite impressed with it. I have some average 300mm lenses (fixed and zoom MF and a couple of AF zooms, some pretty good for budget lenses but nothing to brag about). I could convert the kalamar easy enough but liked it enough I was thinking of getting a k mount version. There is a promaster one for 22$ shipped (only paid 6$ shipped for the kalamar fd in exe condition). The promaster looks identical to the kalamar but for all I know its just the same design, not the same manufacture. The thing that sucks is that there is one bid on it (it already went through completion with no bids once but it wasn't on my radar at the time). I was asking because you had the promaster version and that is the specific version I was considering.

If nothing else would you say that its better than the average budget AF lens or some of the decent MF lenses? Would you pay 20-30$ for one when you already have several average 300mm lenses? Is it good enough to merit buying a k mount one over a converted one (that will have m42 type operation)? If I wound up using it a lot a working aperture lever would be nice.

Thanks for any opinions you could give.
My Promaster (Tamron?) Spectrum 7 MC 60-300/4-5.6 in KAR mount (A-type lens) built in 1990 cost me all of US$8 shipped a couple years ago. It's a Japanese-made push-pull / one-touch zoom that I admittedly haven't used much. That's not because it's not optically good -- it passed my weeding-out PF and sharpness tests -- just that for SR reasons I only use a couple MF zooms regularly. But I see no reason to get rid of it. To me it's a sort of just-in-case lens; to keep around just in case I want to use that range without risking a more expensive lens; and because I tend to keep A-type lenses. (I don't have many of those.)

Now to your questions. Yes, I think it's better than many average MF or AF zooms -- I'd call it high-average. I don't know if I'd pay US$20-30 for it now, because my one 300mm M42 prime (Alpa-Cosina 300/5.6) is damn good, as are my two AF zooms that reach 300mm (FA100-300 [silver] and Lil'Bigma 170-500) but I suppose I'd rationalize it as being no great loss if damaged. I think it's probably better to look for a KA version than an M42 or converted copy, just because A-types are a bit more convenient -- if it were another version, I might not bother keeping it.

So I got mine because it was cheap, and I keep it because I don't dislike it and I haven't run out of storage space. Maybe when I return to my main base in a month or three I may stage a shootout between all my longer zooms. I can't really comment on any other version of this 60-300, other than to say that my Korean Samyang-made f/4s (70-210 and 80-200) aren't bad, so a Samsung-made Promaster might be OK too.

That's my story and I'm sticking with it. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 03-15-2012 at 02:17 PM.
03-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #2
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Sorry for taking so long to get back to you. My work schedule has been brutal very recently including a long overnight shift last night. I appreciate the information very much. I took the mount off the kalamar fd mount and it looks like with an easy conversion I would only get wide open operation (I could convert it to m42 type operation but with a more difficult or at least involved conversion). The promaster is an A lens so I went ahead and bid on it for the additional function. I know I paid a bit much for it (24.22$ shipped) but looking at completed listings, these actually sell for reasonably more than I paid (the adaptall version sells for several times what I paid). I have some pretty good lenses up to 210mm but only average above that so perhaps it will turn out to be better. If its as good as the kalimar I think it will be. If not, and they are the same design, maybe the k mount off the promaster would fit and function on the kalimar (I know, thats a long shot but maybe these lenses were build off the same blueprint or maybe even the same manufacture).

You mentioned some Korean lenses? Was your promaster 60-300mm Korean built? Most of the sears 60-300mm seem to be Korean but the kalimar I got as well as the promaster I just won are Japanese? I suspect that there are at least 2 different Japanese manufactures and at least 1 Korean.

If nothing else, it was an ebay win for what will hopefully at least be a usable lens (my 1 win). I kind of got slapped, knocked down and kicked, ran over, drawn and quartered and set on fire on ebay in the last couple of days (as well as my first attempted but failed purchase off the market place). At least I got one on the way out of all the loses.
03-15-2012, 02:15 PM   #3
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by ripit Quote
You mentioned some Korean lenses? Was your promaster 60-300mm Korean built?
As I said, my 60-300 was made in Japan. My Koreans are Sears f/4s: 70-210 and 80-200. I've had the exact same lenses badged as Albinar and rated as f/3.9. I've had these in M42, PK-M, PK-A, and Nikon mounts. (And they all cost me around US$6-9 each.) These Samyang-made lenses all seem to have good optics. But they don't reach to 300mm, so I can't comment on IQ of such stuff.

Good luck with life and eBay and all that crap, eh?
03-15-2012, 03:36 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
It's a Japanese-made push-pull / one-touch zoom that I admittedly haven't used much.
Sorry. 2 hours sleep doesn't cut it lol. Thanks again.


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