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12-25-2015, 08:19 PM   #1
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Help Identifying a lens...

I searched all through the database and I could not find anything at all similar to this lens. I am stumped. Please help me identify it.

A family friend came over to the house today and he dropped off a bag of 'lenses' (several are teleconverters)... one was a 50mm f1.7 that was broken beyond repair. I tried to perform surgery to no avail. I tossed it. The blades were oily and the aperture ring was busted....

But this one has me stumped.

Tell me all you know. It is in remarkably good shape from my initial inspection.







12-25-2015, 09:00 PM   #2
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???????? Tora 28 mm f/ 2.8 MC Auto ??????????????, MTF, ??????, ??????, ????? :: Lens-Club.ru

---------- Post added 12-25-15 at 11:02 PM ----------

Looks like a Russian lens of some sort. I
12-25-2015, 09:04 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by VoiceOfReason Quote
???????? Tora 28 mm f/ 2.8 MC Auto ??????????????, MTF, ??????, ??????, ????? :: Lens-Club.ru

---------- Post added 12-25-15 at 11:02 PM ----------

Looks like a Russian lens of some sort. I
No comprende Russian

I don't think it's Russian... because it has 'MADE IN JAPAN' etched in the side of it...and it had one of those gold "Passed" stickers on it... (but it fell off).
12-25-2015, 09:08 PM   #4
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I did a bit of Googling and e-Baying and have turned up a couple more lenses similar to this. For instance TORA MC Auto FE 28m objectif photo reflex dslr monture pentax k. Any reference I've found is European (France, Italy, Spain and Netherlands), so my best guess is Tora was/is a house or private brand sourced from Japan. I've also found a reference to a Tora zoom, and a Tora filter on e-bay UK: Tora Japanese 55mm Skylight 1A filter for camera lens SLR DSLR Also a close up supplemental lens: Tora Close Up Lens NO2 for 52mm Threads in Original Box | eBay.

12-25-2015, 10:31 PM   #5
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as long as I can understand that Russian site this lens is identical to Gemini 28mm MC Auto lens. GOOGLE!
12-26-2015, 01:24 AM   #6
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"Tora" means "Tiger" in Japanese, BTW ;-)
December 7th was just a couple of weeks ago :-(
12-26-2015, 05:55 AM   #7
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Just another rebadged 28mm, the thickness of the mount suggests tokina..

http://www.heritagecameras.co.uk/ekmps/shops/heritagecameras/images/tokina-r...%5D-1459-p.jpg

try it it might be quite good.
12-26-2015, 09:19 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by erichope Quote
I did a bit of Googling and e-Baying and have turned up a couple more lenses similar to this. For instance TORA MC Auto FE 28m objectif photo reflex dslr monture pentax k. Any reference I've found is European (France, Italy, Spain and Netherlands), so my best guess is Tora was/is a house or private brand sourced from Japan. I've also found a reference to a Tora zoom, and a Tora filter on e-bay UK: Tora Japanese 55mm Skylight 1A filter for camera lens SLR DSLR Also a close up supplemental lens: Tora Close Up Lens NO2 for 52mm Threads in Original Box | eBay.
Very good detective work!

---------- Post added 12-26-15 at 10:20 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
try it it might be quite good.
Oh don't worry I am testing it...

I will put up some test shots here once I get some time and decent weather.

12-26-2015, 10:12 AM   #9
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Don't bother in testing. It looks like a cheap re-branded manufactured japanese lens. There are plenty of them going around. The biggest giveway is the green MC and the AUTO. All of them look the same, only the name changes.
12-26-2015, 01:26 PM   #10
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the cheap ff 28mm clone lenses look their best on crop cameras... i tested a 28mm albinar adg on the a7r, it would have been fine for crop use, while a 28mm focal lens was a major fail.

you have to check every single lens regardless of who made it, including pentax, because even if the lens design is exceptional, like 28mm pentax lenses are, there is still copy variation to deal with.
12-27-2015, 12:41 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
That's a horribly prejudiced thing to say. Many of the cheap rebadged japanese (japanese) lenses are quite good indeed.

Many of the Sears lenses, for instance, bear the green and orange MC and Auto and are competitive with their Pentax counterparts.

As mentioned above, it is likely from Tokina, who made many high quality rebadges, as did Kiron, Komine, Tomioka, Chinon, Ricoh, and Cosina.
Sorry if you don't agree with me. I am giving my opinion based on experience. I own several re-branded 28mm. In my collection i have a pentacon, cosina and helios (wich is a fake russian helios) since trading laws at the time this lenses were made differ from the law now. Companies where allowed to produced lenses and use non registered brands in markets outside the original brand markets. For the companies that produced this copies the price had to be more competitive than the one's already in the market that where proposed by the main brands at the time, the only way to remain competitive was to produce sub-par counter parts and sell them in camera kits. Some of them even have plastic optic elements! ( this markets included the UK, US and Australia).Softness, CA, PF, LCA and flaring its all you going to get.
12-27-2015, 01:32 PM   #12
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dcs,
right in the plums!

Zig
12-27-2015, 01:56 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
If you want to argue based on experience, then I can honestly tell you that I have owned several hundred, possibly over 1000 off-brand 28mm lenses over the past few years, and the majority of them have been good, if not excellent.

I can also tell you a few other things:

1) There is no such thing as a fake Helios. There are a some lenses where the wrong ID ring has been switched around between lens models (usually a 44mm-7 ring on a 44m-2) to drive up prices, but they are all Helioses. The Pentacons are mostly rebranded Meyers. Both have been widely exported to the West in their original forms with cameras bearing the Zenit, Praktica, and Hanimex labels for many decades, so your "export law" assertion is completely wrong. Heck, there are those that believe that the export Helios lenses are of much higher quality than those sold in the USSR.

2) No SLR lenses from the period of the lens shown here (70's-early 80's) had plastic/polycarbonate lens elements, which weren't introduced even in generics until the late 80's-Early nineties.

3) In the US, as in Western Europe, many optically and mechanically identical "no-name" Japanese and Korean lenses were sold both under their original marks AND as store brands or other generic names. Sears lenses. for example, were usually Chinons. Rikenons, and Samyangs. "Focal," the common generic brand used by the discount store K-Mart, often was found on Cosinas and Chinons, or Tokinas. The same thing can be seen in Europe with the Porst(Tomioka, Cosina) and Panagor(Kino) generic brands.

The reason for the different branding had NOTHING to do with legal restrictions on the brand markets. It had to do with licensing agreements between companies and third party licensees who wanted to sell products under their own label but did not have the manufacturing capacity on their own. In most cases the manufacturers were more than happy to sell their items under different labels, since they didn't have the brand recognition in the west as in their home markets. Tokina (Tokyo Kohki, 1950), Ricoh (1936), Cosina (1959), for example were old and well-respected in Japan, but not in the West. Even Canon started out in the U.S. usually marketed under the Bell and Howell name, Nikons as Tower/Sears, Pentax co-branded as Heiland/Honeywell, and even Rollei at first as Ponder and Best (aka Vivitar!) and later Honeywell.

Odd situations like the Pentax trademark, which Asahi did not own in South Africa and thus marketed as Asahiflex, were the exception, rather than the rule.

In sum, you clearly have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, and your brand snobbishness is completely misplaced.
Dear sir/madam,
Your proposals are insulting. Calling me a brand snob to categorize me is not very nice. I do not know you or your photographic history, as you do not know mine. First of all , there are no such thing as 28 mm Helios manufactured by Russian factories ( next thing you’re going to tell me that 135mm helios are real). These are, as i explained 28 mm produced by different companies taking advantage of a non registered brand with non-legal repercussions in the selling countries (aka trade marketing)((Russian embargo)).
For n2 i never said they where pre 80's.
For n3 indeed it is true, nevertheless it doesn’t mean that all the lenses produced by those companies at the time where good performers, even pentax as you well know has made bad lenses. You know which ones are the good and the which ones are the bad. It is well documented by several photography aficionados. The good ones everybody knows them, the bad ones not so much.
In the last three paragraph's you contradict yourself and then confirm the "trademark" law implementation.
It seems that the use of 1000's of lenses didn't teach you anything. Maybe you should get a 1000 more.
12-27-2015, 02:39 PM   #14
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You can't be serious... REALLY? the japanese 135mm helios is a good lens? They are crap! CA and purple fringing everywhere! The Helios "russian" made lens associate an optical system and mechanic craftsmanship that are a sign of great quality implemented by this factory's. Are you trying to say that a cheaply optical/mechanic design like the 135 helios japanese rebrand is a good example of a non existing 135 russian made helios? You sir cannot accept the truth. There is a market for bad lenses, badly constructed and optically bad, but very cheap that sell. Opposed to the more established manufacturers that had the best optical schemes, which where expensive.

All the examples you gave are agreed associations/partnerships, and not rip-off schemes.

Last edited by stargazer; 12-27-2015 at 02:46 PM.
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