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01-15-2017, 05:46 PM - 1 Like   #46
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Dang, Sagitta, I went and did it! I bought one of those fleaBay close-focus versions, to compare to my non-close-focusing one. Remember, originally I was thinking of getting rid of the one I have, but did want to test it out first and compare notes with others who had it or had used it, all of which got me browsing the web and wondering why no PF review if it had been as common of a lens as some said. BUT NOW I'm going to have two of them!

The one I'm getting is labeled Asanuma, and looks like the picture you posted.
If its like mine, the actual telephoto "I'm gonna shoot it at 260mm" part is decidedly meh. Infinity is not its strong suit.

That said, close focus (I find trap focus is the best due to its weight) is amazing.

If its like mine, you should enjoy it.






01-15-2017, 06:01 PM   #47
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I will be able to compare it to the f4.5 75-260, as well, but related to the 90-230 range it will be interesting to see, handling each up close, whether a close-focusing one seems related to the non-close-focusing one at all, beyond having the same range and manufacturer.
01-21-2017, 05:15 PM   #48
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Lentar Tele-Zoom 90-230 f4.5

QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
. . . Those of you with copies of the lens, let me know of variations.
Interesting thread, goatsNdonkey. Thanks for your efforts.

Here's another version to add to your shopping list.
My copy is labelled Lentar. It has a preset aperture and a T mount.











What's it like to use? I'd say image quality is okay - but handling isn't.

Aberrations are minimal, and I like the 15 blade aperture for round highlights. But, pictures are soft until f/8.
An accessory hood is needed because this lens is eager to flare and the built in hood extends just 1.5cm. The 2.5m / 8 foot minimum focus distance is too long for my liking. And the tripod foot is too small - the lens won't sit securely on my tripod head.

Some sample pics @230mm... These are (resized) "bright" JPEGs straight from my K10D.
This robin was stunned after colliding with a fence, so I had time to set up my tripod and get good focus. There's a big jump in sharpness and contrast from f/5.6 to f/8. (She took off before I could stop down further.)
Click on the first two pictures for full size JPEGs.








And now crops of the same two pictures:








Statistics:

Lentar Tele-Zoom with T mount and preset aperture.
Marked aperture stops from f/4.5 to f/22 and the iris has 15 blades.
Focus throw is about 200 and minimum focus distance is 2.5m / 8 feet.
With mount, my lens is about 20.5cm / 8.25" long and weighs 870g / 31 oz.
It has a (too short) built in hood and a (too small) tripod mount.
I don't know the optical formula or when the lens was made.
And . . . if that's not enough, the original price tag on the lens box reads $89.95.
01-22-2017, 11:20 AM   #49
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A.T. -- Great posting. I think your Lentar is very like my Sears version, except for some mostly cosmetic differences. If you recall, my tests of it on that variably bright overcast day, were all at f8, and like you I got good sharpness, though more at the 230 end than at the 90 end.

After I receive my close-focusing version and can make some more comparisons, I will probably begin setting up the lens review, but it is looking like it will have to take into account 3 different versions of the lens:
-- the many-labeled non-close-focusing version (available in T-4 and some fixed mounts)
-- a smaller, and closER non-close-focusing Vivitar TX version
-- the few-labeled Close-Focusing version (available in TX and possibly fixed mounts)

I hope participants in this thread that have any of the versions will add their own reviews, but be careful to specify which version of the 90-230mm they are talking about, since it otherwise it could get very confusing for readers of the review. If there are substantial performance differences between versions, I don't know how that will affect numerical ratings averages! It could also be that there is some variation in quality between various labels of the first version, as if some are sharper at 90mm, while others are sharper at 230mm -- specifics in subsequent user reviews could help ferret those sorts of details out.
--

01-22-2017, 04:50 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
A.T. -- Great posting. I think your Lentar is very like my Sears version, except for some mostly cosmetic differences. If you recall, my tests of it on that variably bright overcast day, were all at f8, and like you I got good sharpness, though more at the 230 end than at the 90 end...

Thanks, goatsNdonkey. The Lentar isn't my favorite lens, but because of this thread I've been getting to know it better.
I tried a (pseudo) brick wall test at 90mm, 160mm and 230mm. My lens was sharpest at 160 and softest at 230. That said, it'd be difficult to see the difference in real world photos.

I'll be interested to hear what you think of the close focusing version - and how it compares to your Sears 75-260.
And good luck trying to compile all the different versions of this lens! It seems to span the entire decade of 1970's zoom lens developments.

Oh, and one more thing. I need to make a vitally important correction.
In my previous post I was wrong about the original price of my Lentar. It was actually $85.95 rather than $89.95.

Notice the price tag in the picture... Are there still "Skaggs" stores around?
(click the picture for a larger size)




01-26-2017, 10:52 AM   #51
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My $12.00 copy of the close-focusing version of the 90-230mm arrived a couple of days ago...in pristine condition! It's Vivitar lens caps made be do a double-take, but under the front cap the lens itself was in fact labeled Asanuma like the ad I bought it from said. From what I have read Asanuma was a manufacturer of cameras in the early 1900s, but most of the webpages saying anything about them say very little about them after 1960. In one place they were described as a photography equipment marketing firm...sort of like Vivitar. Somewhere else, I read that Tokina itself marketed some of their lenses under the Asanuma brand before they started selling "Tokina" lenses directly -- doubtful, unless they had purchased the old Asanuma name.

I'll do some comparison pictures later, but, for now, here are two pictures just taken at the closest focusing mode's largest magnification. The subjects are Ukrainian postage stamps on the box that brought my MIR 1-B 2.8/37 lens to me this week as well. The central stamp is very near the size of a 35mm film frame. This is taken with my K10D at ISO400, so the ASP-C sensor size makes the magnification look greater than it would have originally been on film.

PLEASE NOTE;
(A) The color is off because I let the K10D do its AWB best to accommodate the light from a small household LED light bulb and the result is a bit off. The box is browner, the horse redder, in actuality.
(B) Fuzziness in the image is more likely due to operator error than lens characteristics, as I am hand-holding this big lens at 1/30th second for both shots.


At F/4.5:




At F/5.6:


Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 01-26-2017 at 10:59 AM.
02-03-2017, 01:56 PM   #52
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Another sunny day yesterday! So I set up my K10D to emulate my K110D -- 6 megapixels, Natural rendering and nothing boosted -- and mounted the Asunuma Close-focusing version on the K110D and the Sears non-close-focusing version on the K10D. (Good thing I had two M42-K-mount adapters.) Then I drove to the little Riverfront Park along the Illinois River, where I thought the sun would be behind me,I'd be sheltgered from the wind, and I would have a nice view of the bridge, barges, waterbirds, park equipment, and visitors. Except the wind was coming right down the river, the sun was behind the bridge, no barges passed, and the only birds, the herring gulls, were getting spooked to a distant corner of the parking lot by cars and dog walkers. I huddled on a park bench and did the best I could...until my hands started freezing.

Except where noted, these are all shot wide open (f/4.5), not a great aperture for creating depth of field in landscape shots, but good for finding a lens's weaknesses. Most of the shots are at either 90mm (a weak spot for the my copy of the Sears, we know already, even at f/8) or at 230mm. I shot a few with one camera, and tried to do the same shots with the other, going back and forth. These are the best executed pairs, failures were the fault of the photographer.




A -- 90mm, gull flock across parking lot, but I may have been focusing on the brown railing just behind them:

Sears non-CF


Asanuma CF



B -- 230mm same scene, but closer:

Sears non-CF



Asanuma CF



C -- 90mm, an interesting utility truck was temporarily parked in my view. Focus is on the yellow water jug.

Sears non-CF



Asanuma CF



D -- 230mm, treetops across the river, very near but not quite at the infinity focus point for each lens version


Sears non-CF



Asanuma CF



E -- 230mm, crack in sidewalk, at closest non-CF-mode focus point. Clouds may have briefly moved in enough to cool the color temp of the first of these.

Sears non-CF


Asunuma CF



F -- 230mm, floating doc assembly currently out of water, focus point was on the near center area. I meant to shoot this pair at both at f/5.6, but I now believe I shot the Sears wide open again....fingers were smarting from cold about then.


Sears non-CF



Asanuma CF



End of pairs, I'll add just a few more that I captured only with the Asanuma CF in the next post.


A few observations:

* At 90mm, the Asanuma looks sharper to me, but at 90 the Sears had looked less sharp than it is at 230 in an earlier test.
* Either I was accidentally nudging the Sears to less than the intended focal length, or the Asanuma has more reach at the same markings than the Sears, see pairings A and B.
* Both cameras have the same kind of sensor, but the K10D is especially regarded for its color; however, despite that advantage, the Sears seems to have been beaten in color warmth. I am guessing that the Asanuma has coatings or more advanced coatings. Also, the lens design changes may have corrected issues across the board, not just enabled the close-focus mode.
* On a 4x6 print, it might be hard to tell a difference between sharpness in the pairs for the treetops or for the floating dock, but the Asanuma seems to have a slight edge. In more that one of the tests it seems to have more depth of field at the same aperture, but that could partly be unsharpness in the Sears non-closer-focus version. Also, that is more visible in the 90mm shots, not this Sears's strong suit.

.
.

---------- Post added 02-03-17 at 03:30 PM ----------

Here are three more that I only got with the Asanuma: the truck at 230mm, the sidewalk crack in close focus mode and from above rather than at an acute angle, and a gull on the wing (any unsharpness in this one is my fault). NOTE: The flying gull is at 135mm!











I couldn't get the truck with the Sears at 230mm before it drove off. Dang! I expected that comparison to be especially helpful.

Last edited by goatsNdonkey; 02-03-2017 at 02:34 PM.
02-03-2017, 09:41 PM - 1 Like   #53
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I may have to bust out the 75-260mm ad do some comparison shots. I haven't used that lens in a looong time (mostly due to lack of ambition on my part).

06-17-2019, 04:29 PM   #54
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I was around in the 70s and buying gear, the first amazeballs zoom I remember seeing was the Vivitar 28/200 which I owned at one time. I found it too big, too heavy and too compromised so almost never used it and preferred primes in 28, 35, 50, 85, 135, 200, yes they were heavy but I seldom took all of them out at once.

Later on there were dozens of ‘me too’ zooms from every glass maker on the planet but I paid no attention at all, recently I have come across quite a few of these as stuff has been thrown in with cameras I have bought. My latest acquisition was a Tamron 35/105 which, according to various web sources, was a marvel in its day but I have to confess I cant ever recall seeing back then. Recently I had a Sigma 39/80 which again according to web sources was the first ever affordable zoom (well sort of...sort of affordable and sort of a zoom) again I dont ever recall seeing one in the day and I used to be camped in various camera shops back then.

I think there was probably so much of this stuff that your Soligor just got lost in the mix. Lots of stuff that today is considered ‘iconic’ is a kind of hindsight thing. Some Minoltas reach iconic status today but back then they were just another camera on the shelf. Its only time that elevates stuff up (or indeed takes it down). Something else is a lot of hardware is market specific - sometimes down to the vagaries of manufacturer preferences, distributer choice and what the retailer wants as stock. So something like a lens may simply have never made it onto retail shelf for anyone to consider - Magazines don't tend to review product the reader can't buy- so no reviews.

Last edited by Astro-Baby; 06-18-2019 at 12:34 AM.
07-02-2019, 10:10 PM   #55
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QuoteOriginally posted by .a.t. Quote
Lentar Tele-Zoom 90-230 f4.5
I just got a copy of this lens... Will try it out in hope it compares to my Tamron 103A.
07-03-2019, 07:56 AM   #56
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Interesting to see this old thread I started getting revived. Unfortunately, I see that all of the sample photos I posted have disappeared, because the photo hosting service I used then went under some time ago. Hopefully the text of my postings are still a bit useful for others interested in this lens.
07-07-2019, 07:08 AM - 1 Like   #57
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QuoteOriginally posted by goatsNdonkey Quote
Interesting to see this old thread I started getting revived. Unfortunately, I see that all of the sample photos I posted have disappeared, because the photo hosting service I used then went under some time ago. Hopefully the text of my postings are still a bit useful for others interested in this lens.
I've been reading the thread - got great info... my sample shots will take some months to happen - the Lentar, along with 90% of my gear just went into storage for the summer due to a planned moved hopefully happening soon.
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