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05-10-2008, 04:52 PM   #1
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Sears, Ricoh, Chinon, Miranda....???

Being new to the Pentax system I've been doing a bunch of research on the company, lenses etc. I see that the K-mount over the years has been used by several camera body manufacturers. My question really lies in the lenses for these other manufacturers. Did they make their own lenses? Or did they rebrand pentax lenses as their own? If they made their own how do they compare to Pentax glass? I've searched around and found references to specific lenses (Sears 135mm for example) but nothing really generic on all of the lenses in terms of build quality or IQ etc. Any websites or info on the subject would be appreciated!

Thanks!

05-10-2008, 05:30 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Being new to the Pentax system I've been doing a bunch of research on the company, lenses etc. I see that the K-mount over the years has been used by several camera body manufacturers. My question really lies in the lenses for these other manufacturers. Did they make their own lenses? Or did they rebrand pentax lenses as their own? If they made their own how do they compare to Pentax glass? I've searched around and found references to specific lenses (Sears 135mm for example) but nothing really generic on all of the lenses in terms of build quality or IQ etc. Any websites or info on the subject would be appreciated!

Thanks!
None of the others sold rebadged Pentax glass. A few made their own (Ricoh, Chinon) but most of the others were made under contract from one of the various optical mfgrs in Japan. Depending on specifications and price points, the lenses ranged from great (better Vivitar Series 1) to abysmal (later Chinon kit lenses). Most were built to a mid-quality spec and fairly low price so they are generally OK but not great.

As for a web site listing comparisons of the IQ of all of the various lenses, I've never seen one. And I doubt you ever will there are too many different lenses from too many makers going back 30 years.
05-10-2008, 07:21 PM   #3
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Your reference to the Sears 135....
I have one in K mount. It's the macro version, is quite popular, and a very well made lens. It has very good IQ as well. I also have an older Sears 300mm in M42, and it was a favorite for my old SP's and Spotmatics. Although I had a wonderful Super Tak 300mm, the Sears was much smaller and had similar IQ.

I've had a Chinon or two, an Albinar or two, a Beston wide angle, and several Hanimex's. The Hanimex's were OK, as well as the Beston. The Chinon and Albinar lenses were barely adequate. Other "off" brands such as Makinon made some real winners, and some dogs as well. I still use a Makinon 24-50 two touch macro zoom with my digital body, and get spectacular results. Some Vivitar, Nikura and other lenses can be found in the same arrangement with other brand names.

The key is first figure out what type of shooting you like, and then buy a few to experiment. Just don't pay too much! With the resurgence of Pentax, any K mount lens will still have value after you're finished with it.
05-10-2008, 07:43 PM   #4
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You mentioned Miranda's and they did not have the same mount as Pentax. The Sensorex 2 was my first SLR around 1970 or 71 and it had a bayonet mount all its own. The lenses were pretty good. I had a toddler at the time and my wife was pregnant with our second and we had no insurance so I had to sell my gear. The reason I bought a Pentax for my next camera was that there were so many lenses to fit it. There wasn't much for the Miranda except Soligor's which were the owned by the same company.

05-10-2008, 08:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for all the replies. I'm still trying to figure out what I like to shoot and how. Thus I've been looking for cheap primes on the web to help the process. I looked up Pentax K Mount on wikipedia and got a list of cameras to start with and went from there. I have the kit lens, picked up a Quantary 70-300 (Sigma version) and will be looking for a cheap 28mm, 50mm and maybe a 135mm. I figure if anything I can resell the ones I do not want/use later. Ideally I would have the 18-250 as my general lens and have a couple primes for special situations. But until I get one (must resist...) I will play with what I have


Also, wikipedia listed these two Miranda cameras w/ K-Mount:
* MS-2 Super
* MS-3


Thanks again for all the replies!
05-10-2008, 08:20 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by WJW Quote
A few made their own (Ricoh, Chinon) but most of the others were made under contract from one of the various optical mfgrs in Japan. Depending on specifications and price points, the lenses ranged from great (better Vivitar Series 1) to abysmal (later Chinon kit lenses). Most were built to a mid-quality spec and fairly low price so they are generally OK but not great.
Aside from the legendary Asahi Takumar and Vivitar lenses what other manufacturers should one keep an eye out for?
05-10-2008, 11:54 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by MrApollinax Quote
Aside from the legendary Asahi Takumar and Vivitar lenses what other manufacturers should one keep an eye out for?
Tamron SP lenses are good lenses (Adaptall-2).

And if you want to use an M42 adapter there are Pentacon, Carl Zeiss Jena, Meyer Görlitz, Helios (some of them) and some of the Chinons are very good.

I suggest though that you stick to Tamron SP and Takumars. Those are all good to excellent and quite easy to find.

For more information on M42 lenses and what to get, go to Manual Focus Forum | Lens, Very, Zeiss, Version, Like | Manual Focus Lenses-Manual Focus Lenses
05-11-2008, 04:43 AM   #8
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Thanks. I think I will pick up a Pentax-A 50mm 1:2.8 just to play with the focal length to begin with. From the reviews here it seems to be a good lens... just not as good as the 1.4 or 1.2. For a beginner it seems to be a good cheap compromise. Anyone have any shots taken with this lens? I think i may be able to pick one up locally for 15-30USD.

05-11-2008, 05:18 AM   #9
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A 50mm f/2.8? According to the lens database on-site, that is a macro, which sells for a LOT more than $30. Buy it asap, no matter what, if that is the case.

(Even if it is a 50mm f/2.0, $30 is a good price, and the lens itself is great. I have the M version of the abovementioned, and have much fun using it.)
05-11-2008, 06:42 AM   #10
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Ricoh made and sold some excellent Pentax K-mount lenses, XR Rikenon and later
Rikenon-P. They also manufactured all but the last Sears K-mount 50mm lenses.

Chris
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