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06-08-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
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Help with a lens history

Hey all!

So, after a long and financially intimidating search for a 35mm focal length, I finally found one. A visit to the local thrift store for a sewing machine (no luck) turned into a treasure find: a beat up old Chinon with a "Spiratone Plura-Coat (By Mitake) 1:1.8 f=35mm No. 352237". I'm pleased as punch to find this gem for... wait for it... $12.99, and after grafting the lens to the K-5 it is quite a performer!

Only thing is, I can't find a breath of information about it online, and I always like to have some history of my lenses, as it's neat to see where and when they came from. Anyone ever heard of this particular lens (or this mysterious Mitake)? I'd love to have some insight!

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06-08-2013, 03:08 PM   #2
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Fred Spira, Spiratone, designed and imported a vast array of photographic gear back in the day. It was made by whoever won the bid that year so very difficult to say who actually made that lens. I've had a number of items with Spiratone on them and in general the quality has been good, maybe not top notch but good. Spiratone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plura-Coat sounds like a play on Super Multi Coating, coating, the number of coats and the process were all competitive advantages back then with different companies touting their coating over the others.

Mitake is a mountain near Tokyo, so it might just be a 'marketing brand'' or a short lived company. Mount Mitake (Tokyo) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
06-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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I did find a reference to Mitake Optical Co. Ltd. in this file:
06-08-2013, 03:34 PM   #4

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I think Mitake made a lot of different lenses over a longer period.

I still own a "28mm F2.0 Formula V By Mitake" which I got for very small money, because the seller thought it was once disassembled and then wrongly re-assembled. It is in very good condition, does not show any signs that it was ever disassembled, but everything is completely blurry (as if it was ment for another register distance, but it seems to be a true M42). I was not able to get any information about this lens. If calibrating/adjusting is done by the use of shims like with many of the sovjet lenses, and this was done wrongly, there is little chance even for a specialist with an optical bench to get it working again. If there is anyone who has a drawing of the internal lens design this may prove helpful.

By the way, 2 years ago I already searched for information about Mitake lenses, specially bearing "Formula V" in its name, and found several threads in this forum mentioning "Mitake" and also "Formula V", but none of them about my specific model. It probably was very rare, at least outside Japan.


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