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06-30-2013, 09:08 AM   #46
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a few lenses I really disliked owning are:

Pentax M 200
Vivitar(Kiron) 28/2
Vivitar 200/3.5

that;s all I can think of for now. I would not say "avoid them", just that they have been among my least favorite.


Last edited by mikeSF; 06-30-2013 at 10:29 AM.
06-30-2013, 09:37 AM   #47
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As always, I am amazed and surprised by the replies here on this forum! The insight and perspective everyone provides is absolutely priceless!!

It looks like it is hard to paint broad strokes to denote "stay away!" and "keeper!". Even the "stay away!" lenses seem to have some redeeming quality depending on what the photographer is trying to achieve. Maybe it's also a matter of taste and methodology too. Some people may want full auto, some are ok with partial auto, and some are OK with totally manual lenses.

I was thinking some here would say that Russian lenses should be avoid because the glass has trapped air bubbles, stay away from Vivitar lenses because they lack a certain coating, stay away from sliding barrel zooms, etc. Those examples are made up. I have no idea if Russian lenses have trapped air bubbles in them or if Vivitar lenses lack a certain coating.

I have been on a small rampage picking up SMC Takumars. The 28mm I picked up recently here on the forum is an absolute pleasure to use and produces wonderful shots with vivid colors and excellent details. When I search for similar focal lengths I see that there are lots of other makes/models with similar specs (i.e. 28mm f/3.5, etc). Sometimes they are cheaper and sometimes they are more expensive. Reviews are always mixed so I don't know if someone just got lucky or if they had different expectations.

Fungus, mold, fingerprints, scratches, and sliding zooms are on my forbidden list. I also stay away from lenses that were not made in Japan. It's not that I have something against Korean or Taiwanese lenses but I thought that Japan had more sophisticated technology and deeper domain knowledge back from the 60s to the 90s. Nowadays the gap between various country's industrial know-how is minimal if anything. Modern day Pentax lenses seem to made in Vietnam and I can't complain about their image quality! I think Samyang is Korean and from what I read about them their lenses are top-notch.
06-30-2013, 09:56 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
I also stay away from lenses that were not made in Japan.
Well, to understate the situation, some German lenses were also quite good.
06-30-2013, 10:02 AM   #49
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
a few lenses I really disliked owning are:

Pentax M 200 . . .
Mike, what did you not like about the M200?

For me, that lens is sort of like the DA 40s,
not as good as the Voigtlaender competitor,
but very compact, and doing a reasonable job.

06-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
As always, I am amazed and surprised by the replies here on this forum! ...

I was thinking some here would say that Russian lenses should be avoid because the glass has trapped air bubbles, ... , stay away from sliding barrel zooms, etc. Those examples are made up. I have no idea if Russian lenses have trapped air bubbles in them ... ...
Russian glass can be great and at a low cost where I am at ... and I have a small collection Tamron SP Adaptall-2 sliding barrel zooms (19AH, 23A, ...) which are great, too ... J

Here's some gratuitous Russian p0rn ...


06-30-2013, 11:07 AM   #51
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
Well, to understate the situation, some German lenses were also quite good.
The German lenses I have seen are so wickedly expensive that I stay away from it to maintain my financial solvency! Maybe in another life I may find myself with more digits to the left of the decimal point in my income.
06-30-2013, 11:08 AM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
Modern day Pentax lenses seem to made in Vietnam and I can't complain about their image quality! I think Samyang is Korean and from what I read about them their lenses are top-notch.
Assembled in Vietnam. As far as we know the optics still come from Japan, maybe the electronics too. The plastic components probably come from China...
06-30-2013, 11:12 AM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Assembled in Vietnam. As far as we know the optics still come from Japan, maybe the electronics too. The plastic components probably come from China...
Good point. We live in such an interconnected global economy it is difficult to know what comes from where. From a quality perspective I really don't care where modern goods come from. There is so much automation and quality control today compared to the past. Sure, there will always be a stinker that slips through. We're still only human.

I think it's important to to look for certain performance and design features when buying modern goods. Cheaper goods may still be of high quality and work as design but lack something you didn't pay for.

06-30-2013, 11:20 AM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by 6BQ5 Quote
The German lenses I have seen are so wickedly expensive that I stay away from it to maintain my financial solvency!

"Bokeh monster," current bid three dollars:


Meyer Optik Gorlitz Orestor 2 8 135 M42 Fine Condition | eBay


Edit: Winning bid was $102.50.

Last edited by lytrytyr; 07-05-2013 at 10:27 AM.
06-30-2013, 11:27 AM   #55
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Russian Helios M44 have a large sample variation. If you get a good one, it can be optically very good. Cheap does not always mean bad.
Even German old glass can show some air bubble.
Vietnamese Pentax assembly factories had some QC issue at the start (especially with FA 31). But that seems to be solved. You just need to avoid SDM lenses.

Toyota illustrated the last years that made in Japan is not that good.

There are so many sample variation in old lenses exacerbated by the way they aged that you can not make a general statement on most of them.
06-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by Naruto Quote
Even German old glass can show some air bubble.

"The overall effect of these factors was that for a very long time small bubbles in the glass of a lens were an indicator of the highest quality.
It is still such an indicator today for lenses which were made prior to around 1975."

From

The Zeiss Ikon Contax Camera Repair Website - Overhauling A Contax IIA/IIIA - Lenses
06-30-2013, 11:48 AM   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
"The overall effect of these factors was that for a very long time small bubbles in the glass of a lens were an indicator of the highest quality.
It is still such an indicator today for lenses which were made prior to around 1975."

From

The Zeiss Ikon Contax Camera Repair Website - Overhauling A Contax IIA/IIIA - Lenses
Thanks for this valuable information. I have two German lenses made around WWII with bubbles lol!
06-30-2013, 11:54 AM   #58
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One Sunday on my way to B&H Photo I passed by their service entrance.
A group of likely B&H customers crowded around a small dumpster there.

Inside the dumpster I saw what must have been at least fifty lenses,
mostly beat up older manual focus 50mm SLR lenses in various mounts.

After shopping at B&H the crowd was gone.
I again peeked inside the dumpster.
Not a single "garbage" lens was left.

Chris

Last edited by ChrisPlatt; 06-30-2013 at 01:04 PM.
06-30-2013, 12:08 PM   #59
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
One Sunday on my way to B&H Photo I passed by their service entrance.
...
Not a single "garbage" lens was left.

Chris
Great story ... I can see it, J
06-30-2013, 12:17 PM   #60
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
One Sunday on my way to B&H Photo I passed by their service entrance.
A crowd of likely B&H customers were crowded around a small dumpster there.

Chris
They were homeless art photographers .

How did Ansel Adams, Cartier-Bresson or Helmut Newton manage to take pictures with such bad manual lenses with low technology construction? May be art does not care about automatic aperture and electronics; these help making more pictures and not better ones.

Last edited by Naruto; 06-30-2013 at 12:46 PM.
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