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12-30-2017, 11:23 PM   #1
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Cosina 70-210 f2.8-4 MC Macro lens information?

Hi all;

I can't find much of anything about this lens; almost everything redirects to the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 version 4, occasionally the version 6. The lens I'm wondering about is actually badged as a Cosina, rather than a Vivitar. It has A contacts, has 62mm filter diameter and appears to be manual focus rather than AF. Would it be the same as one of the Cosina made Vivitars, or is it something different? The lens doesn't say "Apochromatic" on the front ring; can I then assume it is not?

The lens has shown up on a (non-Ebay) auction site, misidentified as the product of another manufacturer (probably because of the box and papers bundled with it, which is not actually that of the lens in question). If bidding doesn't take it to ridiculous prices I might pick it up, but I'm curious as to whether anyone knows anything about it before I plunk money down on it.

EDIT: Apart from the aperture range (f4.5-5.6), filter diameter (52mm) and Super Carenar brand name, the font and colours of the focal length, aperture and focusing distance scale inscriptions of the Cosina are identical to this Super Carenar lens rather than any of the above noted Vivitars. Zoom ring rubber grip pattern is the same, too.Super Carenar has a 971xxx serial number. I know these might not mean anything regarding the Cosina's affinities and provenance, but it does give you a good picture of what the lens I'm wondering about looks like.


Last edited by Thagomizer; 12-30-2017 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Added link to site with photo of similar lens
12-30-2017, 11:42 PM   #2
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I think info on it can be found here, seems to be one of the later variants, probably v6:

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm Line Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
12-31-2017, 05:14 AM   #3
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I've been observing the market for K-mount lenses for more than 4 years and I have collected pictures of more than 4000 different K-mount lenses. However, I have only one single image of an original "Cosina 70-210mm 1:2.8-4 MC Macro". Just like you described, my picture shows a lens with the classical Cosina design, with vertical rectangular rubber knobs, an inscription on the front ring and on the lower end of the zoom-ring.

In fact it is very likely that this lens is identical to the Vivitar branded lens. And I tend to agree with Adam, the 62mm filter size is an indication that this is the original Cosina version of what is called Vivitar Series 1 70-210 Version 6 (Apochromatic).
12-31-2017, 12:42 PM   #4
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Thanks Adam and UMC!

12-31-2017, 08:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
Hi all;

I can't find much of anything about this lens; almost everything redirects to the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 version 4, occasionally the version 6. The lens I'm wondering about is actually badged as a Cosina, rather than a Vivitar. It has A contacts, has 62mm filter diameter and appears to be manual focus rather than AF. Would it be the same as one of the Cosina made Vivitars, or is it something different?

I'm curious enough that I wouldn't mind seeing imgaes of it . . .
12-31-2017, 09:01 PM   #6
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Here's the item here: Sigma UC 70-210mm F/4-5.6 Zoom Lens IOB - shopgoodwill.com
01-01-2018, 07:16 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote

That seems very much like the Carl Zeiss Jena 70-210/2.8-4, which seems much like the VS1 70-210 V6 --

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm Line Lens Reviews - Vivitar Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database

Here is the CZJ 70-210/2.8-4 (which is also most likely a Cosina-built lens) --










Last edited by fwcetus; 01-01-2018 at 08:32 AM.
01-01-2018, 07:57 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
...Here is the CZJ 70-210/2.8-4 (which is also most likely a Cosina-built lens) ,,,
As I stated here A Carl Zeiss Pk Zoom ? - PentaxForums.com, optic industry in former Eastern Germany struggled to survive in the 80ies and they didn't hesitate to rebadge Cosina stuff to fill the vast gaps in their own lens line-up.

01-01-2018, 08:26 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
As I stated here A Carl Zeiss Pk Zoom ? - PentaxForums.com, optic industry in former Eastern Germany struggled to survive in the 80ies and they didn't hesitate to rebadge Cosina stuff to fill the vast gaps in their own lens line-up.

Ah, yes, and ~that~ is the same lens model that I posted images about above. Thanks for "tying the two threads together".

As for Cosina/Zeiss lenses, some of the newer Zeiss optics are made by Cosina -- so such a collaboration wasn't just limited to just the earlier CZJ days...Cosina can ~indeed~ produce some very fine lenses when the specs call for it.
01-01-2018, 08:45 AM   #10
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I'm even a bit curious about the lens "title", as named on the front cover of my CZJ 70-210/2.8-4 lens --



I wonder about the significance (if any) of the "Series II" -- was there perhaps an earlier Cosina version, possibly similar to the VS1 70-210 V4 ?




Last edited by fwcetus; 01-01-2018 at 10:08 AM.
01-01-2018, 11:55 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
...Cosina can ~indeed~ produce some very fine lenses when the specs call for it.
Cosina probably has produced more lenses than any other Japanese company. However, one would assume that mass production and precision craft are different skills. Putting the name "Carl Zeiss Jena" on standard OEM stuff of the eighties was certainly not in favour of the reputation of CZJ. And probably then the Zeiss guys in Western Germany were happy that they had forced the Eastern guys to use the appendix "Jena" in the company name. Fast forward 20 years and you find the same Cosina manufacturing finest stuff for German Voigtländer - so they know not only of mass production, but indeed they also could (can) do precision production.

QuoteOriginally posted by fwcetus Quote
I'm even a bit curious about the lens "title", as named on the front cover of my CZJ 70-210/2.8-4 lens -- I wonder about the significance (if any) of the "Series II" nomenclature -- was there perhaps an earlier Cosina version, possibly similar to the VS1 70-210 V4 ?
This is a very valid question. To the best of my knowledge, the answer would be no.

I have come across the following CZJ lenses obviously being Japanese stuff:

Carl Zeiss Jena II F=24mm 1:2.8 MC Macro (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 24mm 1:2.8 MC Macro (KAR) [where Cosina made 2 variants with different design of the aperture ring]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28mm 1:2.8 MC (K) - AKA - Cosina 28mm 1:2.8 MC (K) [different rubber, but very likely to be the same lens]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=28mm 1:2.8 MC (KAR) - AKA - [I never saw a Cosina equivalent, but the shape of the lens looks very much like a Cosina design - however, this lens does not have the "Made in Japan under license from VEB Carl Zeiss Jena" inscription]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=28mm 1:2.8 MC Macro Jenazoom Super (KAR) - AKA - Sigma Mini-Wide II 1:2.8 f=28mm Multi-Coated (KAR)
Carl Zeiss Jena II F=28mm 1:2.8 MC Macro (KAR) - AKA - Auto Chinon MC 1_2.8 28mm Macro Lens (KAR) [It is said that Chinon had their lenses produced by Cosina or Cimko. This one looks like Cosina, but I never saw a Cosina equivalent]

Carl Zeiss Jena f=28-70mm 1:2.8-4.3 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 28-70mm 1:2.8-4.3 MC Macro (KAR)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro Jenazoom Super (KAR) - AKA - Sigma Zoom-ε 1:3.5-4.5 f=28-70mm Multi-Coated (KAR) [Sigma had at least 3 versions, the CZJ seems identical to the one with rhomboid shaped rubber knobs]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro Jenazoom Super (KAF) - AKA - Sigma Zoom-ε 1:3.5-4.5 f=28-70mm Auto Focus (KAF) [Here is where it gets weird: There was not a single mass produced Eastern German AF camera, so this lens was pure rebadged export trading ]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-70mm 1:3.8-4.8 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - [Another one that looks very much like Chinon/Cosina, but I have never seen a direct equivalent]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-85mm 1:4-5 MC Marco Jenazoom II (K) - AKA - Cosina 28-85mm 1:4-5 MC Macro (K)
Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-85mm 1:4-5 MC Marco Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - [I have never seen the Cosina KAR version of this lens, but the lens obviously is identical to the K version]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-135mm 1:4-5.4 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 28-135mm 1:4-5.4 MC Macro (KAR)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-200mm 1:3.8-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 28-200mm 1:3.8-5.6 MC Macro (KAR)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=28-200mm 1_4-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom Super (KAR) - AKA - Sigma Zoom-η 1:4-5.6 f=28-200mm Multi-Coated (KAR) [Sigma had 2versions with this name, the CZJ seems identical to the one with rhomboid shaped rubber knobs]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Jenazoom Super - AKA - [I have only a front view of this lens, therefore I can't say anything specific]
Carl Zeiss Jena f=35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Cosina 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro (K) [The version with rectangular shaped, vertically arranged rubber knobs]

Carl Zeiss Jena f=35-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC Macro Jenazoom (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 35-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC Macro (KAR)
Carl Zeiss Jena f=35-70mm 1:3.5-4.8 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - [Other than a blue engraved line on the top end of the zoom ring I cannot figure out any difference to the non-II version]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) [Push-pull Zoom version] - AKA - [I never saw a Cosina equivalent, however the design looks very much like the 28-135 e.g.]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Super Cosina 35-135mm 1:3.5-4.5 MC Macro (K)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=35-200mm 1:4-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA Super Cosina 35-200mm 1:4-5.6 (K)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-210mm 1:2.8-4 MC Macro (KA) - AKA - Cosina 70-210mm 1:2.8-4 MC Macro (KA)

Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-210 1:4-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom Super (KAR) - AKA - Sigma Zoom-κ 1:4-5.6 f=70-210mm Multi-Coated (KAR) [Sigma had at least 3 versions, the CZJ seems identical to the one with rhomboid shaped rubber knobs and the IR-mark on the right side]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-210 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Super Cosina 70-210mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro (K)
Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-210 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 70-210mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro (KAR) [CJZ version has the A-button in yellow and focusing scale in yellow/white]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-210 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - Cosina 70-210mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro (KAR) [CJZ version has the A-button in green and focusing scale in green/white]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=70-300mm 1:4.5-5.8 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - [A very similar Cosina lens exists, but I have never seen the identical Cosina variant]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Super Cosina 75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro (K)
Carl Zeiss Jena F=75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom II (K) - AKA - [Although this looks like Cosina, but I have never seen a Cosina equivalent]
Carl Zeiss Jena F=75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom II (KAR) - AKA - [Although this looks like Cosina, but I have never seen a Cosina equivalent]
Carl Zeiss Jena Jenazoom Super F=75-300mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC (KAF) - AKA - Sigma Zoom AF-λ 1:4.5-5.6 75-300mm multi-coated AF (KAF) [There are multiple Sigma variants that differ in very small details]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Super Cosina 80-200mm 1:4.5-5.6 MC Macro (K) [Mind that 2 Cosina versions exist that appear to be identical apart from the different inscription on the front ring]

Carl Zeiss Jena F=100-500mm 1:5.6-8 MC Macro Jenazoom (K) - AKA - Super Cosina 100-500mm 1:5.6-8 MC Macro (K)

Coming back to the initial question: I cannot identify any logic behind the "II" labeling in C'ZJs lineup.

Last but not least I find it amazing that CZJ sold K-mount at all. Carl Zeiss Jena was the company that was supposed to act as mother company for all camera related business in Eastern Germany from the early 80ies onwards. As such they had to supply lenses for the older M42 line and the B-bayonet cameras of Pentacon Dresden (marketing name Praktica). I do not understand the logic of an Eastern block company to import lenses from Japan just to market them as Eastern German technology in export to Western countries.
01-02-2018, 03:09 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
Cosina probably has produced more lenses than any other Japanese company. However, one would assume that mass production and precision craft are different skills. Putting the name "Carl Zeiss Jena" on standard OEM stuff of the eighties was certainly not in favour of the reputation of CZJ. And probably then the Zeiss guys in Western Germany were happy that they had forced the Eastern guys to use the appendix "Jena" in the company name. Fast forward 20 years and you find the same Cosina manufacturing finest stuff for German Voigtländer - so they know not only of mass production, but indeed they also could (can) do precision production.
Agreed. Good point.
01-05-2018, 09:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote

So, did you win the auction ?
01-06-2018, 07:19 AM   #14
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Thanks for asking, but no, I decided not to bid. I've already got the DA 55-300 and the F 70-210, so t that range is covered. I suspect the lens in question would not be any advance over what I've already got. You've gotta draw the line somewhere...
01-06-2018, 04:32 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thagomizer Quote
Thanks for asking, but no, I decided not to bid. I've already got the DA 55-300 and the F 70-210, so t that range is covered. I suspect the lens in question would not be any advance over what I've already got. You've gotta draw the line somewhere...

Understood. (I know that I often have trouble drawing that line sometimes.)
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