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03-08-2021, 02:45 PM   #1
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Kitstar f/2.8 or f/3.5 28-80 zoom manufacturer ID?

Hi all,

I have had this lens in my bag for twenty years. I could not find another entry online with this name and specs, and the specs aren't entirely clear to me. The aperture ring has a f/2.8 position and it does go there. The front of the lens would indicate this is a f/3.5-4.8 lens. What's up with that? Is it possible this is a frankenstein lens? Any info would be appreciated. I read on another thread that Kitstar could be made by a range of manufacturers. I have found a Vivitar lens that looks very similar.

thanks,

evan

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03-08-2021, 03:26 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by evanleeson Quote
I read on another thread that Kitstar could be made by a range of manufacturers.
Yep, they were a house brand for the Kits Camera* chain of stores. As for your lens, if you do good work with it, then it is a good lens.


Steve

* Short for Kitsilano, the neighborhood for the original store in Vancouver, BC Canada.
03-08-2021, 03:34 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Yep, they were a house brand for the Kits Camera* chain of stores. As for your lens, if you do good work with it, then it is a good lens.


Steve

* Short for Kitsilano, the neighborhood for the original store in Vancouver, BC Canada.
Oh that's cool! Just across the water from where I live. Thanks for that. Still puzzled about the max aperture issue.
03-09-2021, 11:59 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by evanleeson Quote
Still puzzled about the max aperture issue.
Yeah, that's a strange situation. Normally the 1:3.5-4.8 printed on the front of the lens would indicate that at 28mm the max available aperture is 3.5, and at 80mm it's 4.8. But your aperture ring has a f/2.8 setting. Misprint on the front of the lens? Then the opposite side of the aperture ring shows four f-stop settings, and there's a screw by it. Could the screw be for setting the max available aperture to f/5.6 for instance? That way, when using the lens you can't go below f/5.6. Or maybe it's just an assembly screw that helps hold the lens together. Very curious.

Welcome to the forum. You've tossed us a head scratcher. Maybe one of the many knowledgeable folks here on PF can enlighten us. At least you can brag that you own a 'star' lens!


Last edited by Apet-Sure; 03-09-2021 at 12:08 PM.
03-09-2021, 12:21 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Apet-Sure Quote
Yeah, that's a strange situation. Normally the 1:3.5-4.8 printed on the front of the lens would indicate that at 28mm the max available aperture is 3.5, and at 80mm it's 4.8. But your aperture ring has a f/2.8 setting. Misprint on the front of the lens? Then the opposite side of the aperture ring shows four f-stop settings, and there's a screw by it. Could the screw be for setting the max available aperture to f/5.6 for instance? That way, when using the lens you can't go below f/5.6. Or maybe it's just an assembly screw that helps hold the lens together. Very curious.

Welcome to the forum. You've tossed us a head scratcher. Maybe one of the many knowledgeable folks here on PF can enlighten us. At least you can brag that you own a 'star' lens!
Thanks for your thoughts on the strangeness of the lens. I wonder if it was repaired with "compatible" but different components. Seems to be endless variation on this lens.
03-09-2021, 01:29 PM   #6
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That looks weird - and I tend to believe it is a lens that has undergone some tinkerer job. I know of 2 different Kitstar branded 28-80 lenses:

Kitstar MC Auto Zoom 1:2.8-4 28-80mm

Kitstar Int* Multi Coated 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm

I have good photos of the first variant and it looks totally different than your lens. I have only front-views of the second variant, so I can't tell anything about the aperture ring, but from what I can tell from the pictures, the shape and DOF-scale seem to match your picture.

Hence my conclusion that something happened to the aperture ring of your lens....
03-09-2021, 01:44 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
That looks weird - and I tend to believe it is a lens that has undergone some tinkerer job. I know of 2 different Kitstar branded 28-80 lenses:

Kitstar MC Auto Zoom 1:2.8-4 28-80mm

Kitstar Int* Multi Coated 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm

I have good photos of the first variant and it looks totally different than your lens. I have only front-views of the second variant, so I can't tell anything about the aperture ring, but from what I can tell from the pictures, the shape and DOF-scale seem to match your picture.

Hence my conclusion that something happened to the aperture ring of your lens....
Makes sense, especially when you consider the difference in font/color on the aperture ring compared to everything else on the lens.

---------- Post added 03-09-21 at 02:54 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
That looks weird - and I tend to believe it is a lens that has undergone some tinkerer job. I know of 2 different Kitstar branded 28-80 lenses:

Kitstar MC Auto Zoom 1:2.8-4 28-80mm

Kitstar Int* Multi Coated 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm

I have good photos of the first variant and it looks totally different than your lens. I have only front-views of the second variant, so I can't tell anything about the aperture ring, but from what I can tell from the pictures, the shape and DOF-scale seem to match your picture.

Hence my conclusion that something happened to the aperture ring of your lens....
And to further validate the tinkerer theory, I just had a close look inside when turning the aperture ring and discovered nothing happens when clicking between 3.5 and 2.8. So there you have it. It is as the front of the lens says, and the ring is an "after-market" addition, perhaps from a different Kitstar.

03-09-2021, 01:57 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by evanleeson Quote
Makes sense, especially when you consider the difference in font/color on the aperture ring compared to everything else on the lens.

---------- Post added 03-09-21 at 02:54 PM ----------


And to further validate the tinkerer theory, I just had a close look inside when turning the aperture ring and discovered nothing happens when clicking between 3.5 and 2.8. So there you have it. It is as the front of the lens says, and the ring is an "after-market" addition, perhaps from a different Kitstar.
If you want to have a look: Microsoft OneDrive - Access files anywhere. Create docs with free Office Online. There you find (among others) a file with pictures of the 2 Kitstar lenses.
03-09-2021, 02:03 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UMC Quote
That looks weird - and I tend to believe it is a lens that has undergone some tinkerer job. I know of 2 different Kitstar branded 28-80 lenses:

Kitstar MC Auto Zoom 1:2.8-4 28-80mm

Kitstar Int* Multi Coated 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm

I have good photos of the first variant and it looks totally different than your lens. I have only front-views of the second variant, so I can't tell anything about the aperture ring, but from what I can tell from the pictures, the shape and DOF-scale seem to match your picture.

Hence my conclusion that something happened to the aperture ring of your lens....
Any idea who the manufacturer might be? In my research I have seen very similar barrel markings on a Vivitar. Kiron maybe?

---------- Post added 03-09-21 at 03:06 PM ----------

Lens manufacturer identification help - Kitstar 28mm f2.8 - PentaxForums.com

This post mentions Hoya, Cosina and Chinon as possible manufacturers for Kitstar.
03-09-2021, 03:15 PM - 2 Likes   #10
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I have pictures of more than 5000 K-mount lenses (most of them rebadged OEM stuff and design variants). Looking through my Excels and pictures I found that your lens exists in several brandings:
  • Beston MC Auto Zoom/C-Macro 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm
  • Gemini MC Auto Zoom/C-Macro 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm
  • Gemini MC Auto Zoom/C-Macro 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm (different aperture ring)
  • MC Hanimex Automatic C-Macro 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm
  • Kitstar Int* Multi Coated 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm
  • Sakar MC Auto Zoom/C-Macro 1:3.5-4.8 f=28-80mm

None of these brands was a manufacturer of lenses. So even with my plenty of data available, I cannot even guess, who actually made this lens.

I will keep on searching for more data in the future, because there are many different lenses with the typical squares on the aperture ring (as on your lens) and I am really curious to figure out who made these.
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