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02-08-2019, 12:44 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Spiratone 400mm M42 - Interesting Acquisition

Other than the cold-induced fog, this lens seems pretty cool. It's an M42 Spiratone 400mm f/6.3, labeled "Spiratone Telephone Auto Plura-Coat." The serial is 51729. Anyone have experience with these?

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Last edited by jawats; 02-08-2019 at 05:46 PM.
02-08-2019, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #2
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This lens is distinct from the 400mm f6.3's I am familiar with - its not a familar tokina or other. I think Spiratone was a US distributor so they would have contracted presumably one of the Japanese manufacturers to make this. googling pulls up a number of spriatone 40mm f6.3's but most are the familiar t-mount, pre-set "generic" type like these. This one is fixed mount and seems uncommon.

Add it to the lens data base and write a review.

PS I think you meant to write spiratone in your title right?

Last edited by marcusBMG; 02-08-2019 at 01:23 PM.
02-08-2019, 01:19 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
This lens is distinct from the 400mm f6.3's I am familiar with - its not a familar tokina or other. I think Spiratone was a US distributor so they would have contracted presumably one of the Japanese manufacturers to make this.

Add it to the lens data base and write a review.

PS I think you meant to write spiratone in your title right?
Marcus,

I DID mean to write Spiratone in the title. I'm just not sure if that can be changed.

I will definitely do a review of it.
02-08-2019, 01:21 PM - 1 Like   #4
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You should be able to click "edit"

02-08-2019, 01:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
You should be able to click "edit"
It doesn't let me edit the title, it seems.
02-08-2019, 02:38 PM - 1 Like   #6
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How to Change Thread Title? - PentaxForums.com
02-08-2019, 05:06 PM - 2 Likes   #7
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The 400mm f6.3 Spiratone came in several slightly different mounts and was over time sold under a diversity of names. It is one of those lenses that has much better IQ than it should considering the price point, praised by several of the photomags when in first came on the market. There's a local pro who used one from time to time right up to the last few years (he's well into his 90's and relatively inactive now - never made the conversion to digital, used Alpa way back, then Canon for 35MM, and a Hassy 500C).

Spiratone was a one-of-a-kind store in Manhattan that imported a variety of photo equipment under their own name, but also with other brand names. They were noted for useful and oddball accessories and inexpensive lenses that were sometimes quite good. I think they were the first to offer a Russian-made 500mm f8 mirror optic which is still regarded as a good example of that type of lens. The original single store was located up a flight of stairs from the street entry, with a very small showroom. You generally needed to ask at the counter to see something, then they'd fetch it from the extensive shelves that were inaccessible to the public. Later they moved to a street-level location about a block away. They were overshadowed somewhat by nearby venerable and gigantic Willoughby's (established 1898) whose showroom ran through an entire city block. The latter had one of the largest storefront display windows I've ever seen in NYC. One of the first times I went there in the early 1960's, in one window was an original 1000mm f8 Takumar,(M42) mounted on its dedicated tripod with the wooden case below, but it was far from the only equipment on display.

BTW: I still have a set of Spiratone M42 extension tubes, about the only piece of equipment from that era in my photography.
02-08-2019, 05:47 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by marcusBMG Quote
Marcus,

Got it. You have to click "Edit," then "Go Advanced," and then it can be edited.

Thank you!

---------- Post added 02-08-19 at 05:52 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
The 400mm f6.3 Spiratone came in several slightly different mounts and was over time sold under a diversity of names. It is one of those lenses that has much better IQ than it should considering the price point, praised by several of the photomags when in first came on the market. There's a local pro who used one from time to time right up to the last few years (he's well into his 90's and relatively inactive now - never made the conversion to digital, used Alpa way back, then Canon for 35MM, and a Hassy 500C).....

BTW: I still have a set of Spiratone M42 extension tubes, about the only piece of equipment from that era in my photography.
That's fascinating history. I'm guessing they had some good people there if you had expert-level questions.

Also, I got a filter with this lens - "Spiralite Coated 72mm Haze 2A" is printed on it.

02-08-2019, 06:08 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Your lens was mentioned in Robert Monaghan's long vanished "Third Party Lenses Resource Megasite" on the page "Cult Classic Third Party Lenses". You might be able to find it on the Wayback Machine.
02-08-2019, 06:19 PM - 1 Like   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neuse River Sailor Quote
Your lens was mentioned in Robert Monaghan's long vanished "Third Party Lenses Resource Megasite" on the page "Cult Classic Third Party Lenses". You might be able to find it on the Wayback Machine.
Or here, apparently: http://www.jcolwell.ca/MM/MonaghansCultClassics.pdf

I haven't seen the Neuse name in some time - I grew up in Kitty Hawk.
02-08-2019, 07:13 PM - 1 Like   #11
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Very good, I'm glad that is still available on the web. For any readers who haven't seen it, fascinating document that's worth consulting any time one runs across an old, obscure lens. I hope you will post some pictures with it.

As soon as I saw the mention of "Pluracoat", I remembered Monoghan's reference to it. The word is stuck in my head because it is so similar to Thomas Wolfe's gruesome description of the "pleurashock" in his book "The Magic Mountain".

Yes, it's that Neuse River, and my Pentax Forums name is a reference to my website, neuseriversailors.com.
02-08-2019, 07:17 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neuse River Sailor Quote
Very good, I'm glad that is still available on the web. For any readers who haven't seen it, fascinating document that's worth consulting any time one runs across an old, obscure lens. I hope you will post some pictures with it.

As soon as I saw the mention of "Pluracoat", I remembered Monoghan's reference to it. The word is stuck in my head because it is so similar to Thomas Wolfe's gruesome description of the "pleurashock" in his book "The Magic Mountain".

Yes, it's that Neuse River, and my Pentax Forums name is a reference to my website, neuseriversailors.com.
What a fantastic website you have. Just seeing the waters makes me wish to be on them.

Did you read "The Magic Mountain" in German?
02-08-2019, 07:37 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Thanks, jawats, for your kind words. No, I must admit I read "The Magic Mountain" in translation, not once, but several times. In my opinion, it is one of the finest works of literature. I consider it with "Moby Dick" and "Don Quixote" as my three favorites that I go back to time and time again.

My apologies to my Pentax Forums brothers and sisters for getting this far off subject. I promise my next post will be a photograph...
02-08-2019, 08:25 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Neuse River Sailor Quote
Thanks, jawats, for your kind words. No, I must admit I read "The Magic Mountain" in translation, not once, but several times. In my opinion, it is one of the finest works of literature. I consider it with "Moby Dick" and "Don Quixote" as my three favorites that I go back to time and time again.

My apologies to my Pentax Forums brothers and sisters for getting this far off subject. I promise my next post will be a photograph...
I shall read it, then. Thank you!
02-11-2019, 07:11 AM - 1 Like   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WPRESTO Quote
The 400mm f6.3 Spiratone came in several slightly different mounts and was over time sold under a diversity of names.
I had one in K-mount under the name Tamron Popular for a while. Not bad, but had no use for it and sold it.

Seb
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