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08-31-2017, 05:50 AM   #1
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Chinon/Revuenon Autofocus 50mm 1.7 - AF for any K-mount?

Most people know the Pentax ME-F. A camera that gave you autofocus with one special lens only (before autofocus was a thing) or to put it the other way around, a lens that gave you autofocus with one special body. While I always appreciated the historical value of the ME-F and its lens, it never really made me want to try it, because it was so limited. Now I stumbled across this: A 50mm f1.7 Chinon/Revuenon autofocus prime lens that if I understand correctly will give you autofocus on any K-mount body you attach it to.



Has anyone ever tried it? I wonder if it was just a gimmick, why there's so little info to find about it and if there are other focal lenghts or even other companies who tried the autofocus waters like this.

The picture is from a german craiglist variant by ebay, by the way. It's not my offer and I'm not promoting the sale. It's no direct link, I'm just too lazy to reupload the picture and I couldn't find any others quickly. If you look it up, though, you'll find that the owner doesn't ask that much money for it.

08-31-2017, 06:08 AM   #2
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considering the additional weight of the batteries (AA's?), I wonder what that would weigh.....
08-31-2017, 06:25 AM - 2 Likes   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pepperberry farm Quote
considering the additional weight of the batteries (AA's?), I wonder what that would weigh.....
Looking at this picture, quite a lot, it seems



Didn't think it would be this huge.
08-31-2017, 12:55 PM   #4
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I've got one! It's fun, but purely for the novelty - the AF is reasonably accurate but not at all fast, and it will only mount on the K-01 as far as modern Pentax cameras go. Being optically the same as the Chinon MC 50mm f1.7, it's a very good performer, but if you actually want a usable lens, the manual focus one is the way to go.

As an addendum to this post, Chinon did make a huge number of interesting accessories for their K-mount cameras including a radio transmitter for remote shutter release, a databack that would print 30 alphanumeric characters of your choice and a 35-70mm AF zoom lens that worked the same way as the 50mm.

08-31-2017, 02:23 PM   #5
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When the German Agfa company started to offer SRLs (with K mount), they did neither develop nor produce these themself. Here it is said they all are Chinons (bodies and lenses), and that they are quite good.

Presently you can find about one such lens per week on German eBay ("Agfa-Color").
These are 2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.4/50, and 2.8/135 (or 3.5/135?). A while ago, I got a 2.8/35 for near to nothing. I haven't really tested it yet (I got several other F35mm lenses). But one of the owners probably used it for video, as the aperture setting is stepless, and I don't like this very much. Despite I should be used to it from old soviet rangefinder lenses.
08-31-2017, 04:01 PM   #6
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Have fun trying to mount that lens with the flash/prism overhang on most of the DSLR bodies.
09-01-2017, 02:27 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcshooter Quote
The AF on these units is slow and not very accurate, but it's a neat little gimmick to be sure. Presuming it's the same lens as the Chinon Multicoated 50mm, it's actually a very good performer, image-wise.

Be forewarned that it won't fit on any of the Pentax digital cameras (except perhaps the K-01?) due to the projecting mirror housing.

There are some longer Vivitar Series 1 zooms and primes that had built in AF and were available in various mounts
Thanks for shedding some light on the topic! These things sure look like they came from outer space.

QuoteOriginally posted by edmundrt Quote
I've got one! It's fun, but purely for the novelty - the AF is reasonably accurate but not at all fast, and it will only mount on the K-01 as far as modern Pentax cameras go. Being optically the same as the Chinon MC 50mm f1.7, it's a very good performer, but if you actually want a usable lens, the manual focus one is the way to go.

As an addendum to this post, Chinon did make a huge number of interesting accessories for their K-mount cameras including a radio transmitter for remote shutter release, a databack that would print 30 alphanumeric characters of your choice and a 35-70mm AF zoom lens that worked the same way as the 50mm.
That's cool to hear from someone who actually used it. Quite what I imagined. That mechanism looks like an improvised workaround, for sure. Fascinating none the less.

QuoteOriginally posted by RKKS08 Quote
When the German Agfa company started to offer SRLs (with K mount), they did neither develop nor produce these themself. Here it is said they all are Chinons (bodies and lenses), and that they are quite good.

Presently you can find about one such lens per week on German eBay ("Agfa-Color").
These are 2.8/28, 2.8/35, 1.4/50, and 2.8/135 (or 3.5/135?). A while ago, I got a 2.8/35 for near to nothing. I haven't really tested it yet (I got several other F35mm lenses). But one of the owners probably used it for video, as the aperture setting is stepless, and I don't like this very much. Despite I should be used to it from old soviet rangefinder lenses.
I see some Agfa-Color lenses popping up from time to time. Mostly the 50mm 1.7. They sure look nice, I read that they were good performers, too. The question is if I really need another fifty, but I guess one day I'll pick one up. Got to like the fact that there are so many interesting vintage K-mount options floating around, many of them underdogs.

QuoteOriginally posted by Not a Number Quote
Have fun trying to mount that lens with the flash/prism overhang on most of the DSLR bodies.
Not that I'm going to buy one of these, but if I did, chances would be closer to 4:1 that it would end up on one of my manual focus film cameras. If I wanted an autofocus fifty on my digital body, I'd take the F50 I have. If the Chinon Autofocus makes any kind of sense anywhere, it would be on an old film body.
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