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06-23-2015, 02:27 PM   #1
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Chinon 50mm lenses

Somehow I've ended up with four 50mm lenses - Pentax's FA 50mm f/1.4, plus three Chinons - two 1.9's and a 1.7.

I've done a (slightly rough-and-ready) lens test; mainly to decide which couple of them are destined for eBay - but I also blogged the test. Hopefully someone else may find it interesting and/or useful!
Pentax / Chinon 50mm Lens Test - Neil Gratton Photography

06-23-2015, 03:41 PM   #2
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I have the Auto Chinon 1.7 as an Auto Sears 1.7. I consider it one of my best purchases, maybe because I only paid $10.50 shipped...
06-23-2015, 04:05 PM   #3
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I have the 55 1.7 and the 50 1.9 and a 135mm 2.8 lens. All of them are just excellent in terms of quality. I prefer the 55 and the 135 for looks. Both of those are the much heavier M42 mounts with the leather but I cannot deny that the 1.9 is equally good in terms of actual use. I totally covet the M42 28mm with leather actually but the ones I've seen, they're pretty darned expensive, alas. People selling them seem to think they are all Tomioka, which I don't believe is so. Tomioka having a bit of a cult following these days they have marked them up accordingly. I'm watching the auctions hoping to spot one on a Sears camera one day but I am thinking it might take quite a while for me to acquire one I can afford...
06-23-2015, 04:32 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
I have the 55 1.7 and the 50 1.9 and a 135mm 2.8 lens. All of them are just excellent in terms of quality. I prefer the 55 and the 135 for looks. Both of those are the much heavier M42 mounts with the leather but I cannot deny that the 1.9 is equally good in terms of actual use. I totally covet the M42 28mm with leather actually but the ones I've seen, they're pretty darned expensive, alas. People selling them seem to think they are all Tomioka, which I don't believe is so. Tomioka having a bit of a cult following these days they have marked them up accordingly. I'm watching the auctions hoping to spot one on a Sears camera one day but I am thinking it might take quite a while for me to acquire one I can afford...
The Sears m42 camers, like most of the K mount cameras, came from Ricoh. The lenses come from Ricoh as well, at least the 55/1.4 did, and those seem to have been made by Tomoika.

The Sears KSX-P on the other hand was a Chinon CP-5. And the 50/1.7 was the kit lens on that camera.

06-24-2015, 03:51 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
There is some sample variation, but if you get a good sample of the Auto Chinon Multi Coated 50mm f/1.7, it's as good or better than any other equivalent in PK mount.
I picked up on the sample variation in particular between my two copies of the Chinon 50mm f/1.9. However in the particular copy I have, the f/1.7 is a shade softer than either of the f/1.9's, and shows more fringing and worse bokeh (though neither are a big problem).

All three came out sharper than my Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4
07-01-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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I just found something I've never seen before. Earlier tonight I found a Chinon CM-4 (K mount body) with what I think it is the M42 version of the Chinon 135mm mounted on it. The 135 has distinctive lettering and paint coloring that totally matches the M42 version I have, which is the M42 GAF version with the leather, but it has the normal plastic ring. It does not look much like the other Chinon K mount 135's that I can find.

I thought at first it might be some kind of Chinar because I found a very similar Chinar but nope, that's not it either, wrong number color paint. I'm kind of wondering if someone slapped an M42 to K mount adapter in there because if I look closely at the pic I see some chrome that could be an adapter at the end but I've never seen that on an old film camera before and definitely not on anything that wasn't an official Pentax body.

I went for it. I figured if nothing else it was worth it to get the K mount 50mm 1.19 that came with. The last CM-4 kit I got I had to toss because it was all riddled with fungus. I do have the Chinon M42 mount with the leather, but that's very heavy and I wouldn't mind a lighter version. I didn't pay much it being a Chinon kit, shrug. I got the whole kit for like $17. I have $30 left on a gift card so I used that. Figured I might as well use it up and spare my credit cards this time...

I've pretty much spent the last hour or so trying to track this version of the lens down though to no avail. I can find M42 lenses that look just like it, Chinar K mount and M42 lenses that look like it right down to the arrow but that have the wrong number colors, but it's nothing like the 135mm Chinon's in K mount I'm seeing online which is what I would have expected to come with this camera. I'm pretty sure the 50mm is K mount so either they've got an adapter on there or it's some strange hybrid of the M42 and the K mount 135's. Guess I will see when it gets here or the store figures it out and tells me what I just won. I did email them. It's kind of fun though, a wee bit of a mystery...

:P

Last edited by magkelly; 07-01-2015 at 09:50 PM.
07-02-2015, 03:20 PM   #7
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Update: Store got back to me, says it's a Chinar 135mm. That's interesting because all the Chinar K mount 135's I could find have very similar print but the colored print is green lettering. The colored print on this one is definitely red. Not orange, red. In any case it was not a bad buy because the reviews on the Chinar 135 K mount I can find aren't too bad...

Ah, finally here's the same beastie! From what I can tell the Chinar 135mm came at various times with all white paint, green paint and red paint. This is the version I just got...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/T323-Chinar-135mm-f-2-8-Pentax-K-mount-manual-focus-...item51d32d0356

Last edited by magkelly; 07-02-2015 at 03:36 PM.
07-07-2015, 08:20 PM   #8
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I've playing a bit the past few days with the M42 versions of the Chinon 50mm 1:19, 55 1:1.7, and 135mm 1:2.8 lenses. The got all 3 of these off GAF cameras, but only the 50 and the 135 are marked as such. I must say the more I play with them the more impressed I am. Using these is a joy. I don't know who made these, whether Tomioka really had anything to do with them or not, but I really like them. MF is so easy with these and in almost every situation they're very comparable with my Taks in terms of sharpness etc. Honestly I'm not too sure I don't like the Chinons better in some cases when it comes to color. The Chinon reds and purples actually look better to me than the same colors do using my comparable Taks. The one color I've always felt that most old Pentax lenses never quite gets right is red. Sometimes purples and blues too but it's always been more the reds that I end up correcting. The reds with these Chinons they look very natural by comparison and the blues and purples are nicer too. My Viv's tend to photograph a lot colder than my Taks. My Taks they often photograph a bit too warm. The Chinon lenses it's like they are pretty much right in the middle. I hardly have to correct color with these at all.

The M42 mount Chinon 50 was a bit of an adventure actually. It came on a GAF that had obviously been dropped face down at some point. The filter was bent and jammed onto the lens, and I do mean JAMMED, as in it was nearly impossible to remove. I tried all the usual methods, using a rubber band, using a rubber jar opener, just about every method I could find on You Tube, pretty much, laugh, and nothing. In the end I had to gently break the filter, take out all the glass and remove it with a pair of jewelry pliers by banding back the metal ring until it finally came loose. The whole process took me like an hour and needless to say I won't be using that filter again. No loss there. It was a cheap no name filter, just a skylight. I was finally able to get it all off though. The lens ring is chipped a bit, is a little rough in a couple of places, but I can still put filters on and take them off if I want to, so the way I see it it's mission accomplished. I may just sand down those rough edges a bit to make them smoother, so it looks better cosmetically. We'll see. Right now all I care about is the lens is usable and like most of those leather banded GAF Chinon lenses it looks great on my K5II, grin.

At this point I've decided I really want the leather banded M42 28 and 200mm Chinon lenses. I'd like a complete set of these, at least my idea of one. (28, 50, 55, 135 and 200.) The 28mm will be a challenge because I keep seeing them listed as Tomioka at some hefty prices, but the 200mm should be easy enough to bag from the looks of it. I'm not too sure the 28mm is Tomioka or if people selling them have just decided to label them that way so they can sucker people into paying more, but there's no way I'm spending what they are asking for one. I'll just keep my eye out and see what I can find...

I don't mind the later MC versions. In fact I have a later 50, but for some reason these M2 version really appeal to me. There's just something about the look of them on the K5II that I like and I definitely like the solid metal construction of them. The plastic lens is lighter but these look better and somehow feel better to me when I am using them. I find them a bit easier to focus than the later version I have. Next week I have a shoot scheduled. If I am totally better by then I'm going to bring the 50 and 55 along I think. I want to see how these do as portrait lenses...

07-08-2015, 01:18 AM   #9
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shouldn't a 24mm be a part of the set?
07-08-2015, 01:21 AM   #10
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Not for me. 28mm is about as wide as I ever go. My usual range is 28-300 or thereabouts.
07-08-2015, 01:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Not for me. 28mm is about as wide as I ever go. My usual range is 28-300 or thereabouts.

gotcha - this set is to actually use, not for bragging rights or anything like that ("I've got a complete set of SMC 'M' lenses!")...


cool!















(BTW - I do not have a complete set of anything - that was just for demonstrative purposes only)
07-08-2015, 06:42 PM   #12
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LOL. I bought all my lenses for actual use and I do use them all the time, even my beloved Taks. My sets aren't complete by standards around here but I do try to get sets of the ones I like in 28-300 range. I have a full set of Vivitar's to 400 actually...Taks, I'm still missing an 85 and a 300mm. I finally just got a 35mm so I now have most everything Tak from 28mm-200 at least, except for that 85 and that's just me dreaming really... :P
07-08-2015, 07:04 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by magkelly Quote
Not for me. 28mm is about as wide as I ever go. My usual range is 28-300 or thereabouts.
IMHO, I would prefer 24mm focal length for street photography... yes, there is a Chinon MC 24f2.5 m42 version (I have one).
07-08-2015, 09:53 PM   #14
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When it comes to street if I use a prime I use a 35-55 usually. I'm actually a big 50-55 fan. 28 is plenty wide for me. I don't use it for portraits or street shooting, only for landscapes, large groups. I do not like anything wide for regular portraits. I know some people do, but to me that's iffy. Using a wide angle can often be very unflattering. Best portrait length for me is 35-55 or sometimes around 100. The 105 M42 Tak that's my favorite portrait lens actually though I often will use the 18-135 WR these days as I have been getting some nice results with that too. I'm getting very fond of that lens actually. I'm very glad I snagged one finally. It's turning out to be a really fine addition to my work lenses kit...
07-08-2015, 10:05 PM   #15
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Thanks for that. I was very close to getting the f/1.7 a short time ago but managed to get an "M" series instead for the same price, so I decided to stay with what I know.
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