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12-28-2008, 12:27 PM   #1
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Formula 5 lenses

Since this is not a Pentax lens I guess I can't post it in the lens forum. If it can be posted there, would the Mod please move it for me.

Q: Has anyone ever heard of Formula 5 lenses? I never have and I understand they come in both M42 and Pentax bayonet mounts.

12-28-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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Yes, I have one. A big ol' beast of a 75-205 3.5 in Canon FD mount. I've named it 'Googleproof' due to utter lack of information online. I *believe* that they are a rebadge of *something* for the Lechmere camera department, if my memory leads me in the right direction. (A friend had one when I was a kid and, recognizing it, scored for a song. Apparently some of the older ones, at least, were made by a firm called 'Mitaka,' back in screwmount days. I don't know if this is the case with the one I have.

Here's a real quick snap of mine.

I believe they made a 28 to match this, ...other Formula 5s I've seen are older, (and look rather like old Soligors) I'm guessing the one shown is late Seventies-early 80's, one-touch design but rather large for it.

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-28-2008 at 01:33 PM.
12-28-2008, 02:13 PM   #3
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The lens in that shot bears a strong resemblance to the first version of the Vivitar Series 1 70-210, which was made by Kiron and happens to be an excellent lens.

It's possible that the two are related.
12-28-2008, 03:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stevopedia Quote
The lens in that shot bears a strong resemblance to the first version of the Vivitar Series 1 70-210, which was made by Kiron and happens to be an excellent lens.

It's possible that the two are related.
There's a very good chance: the numbering looks an awful lot like that of some Kirons, and so does the breech-lock ring. In my OK-now-I'm-curious night of research, though, I didn't find a Vivitar *quite* of the same specs. It could be a slight variation of one of those more familiar models, produced for that store brand or some such. It's pretty nice, though, (I snagged this off Ebay for all of fifteen dollars, just cause I didn't have anything left in a tele in decent shape, and I recognized it from so long ago) Focus throw is very long, and it's very heavy for me (at least in combination with that F-1: it's fairly wieldy on a lighter camera like an A-1, actually, and I like what I've seen of the performance, but I don't routinely carry this one around: it rides in a separate bag in the car sometimes, though. )

Still a bit of a mystery, though. I can say right now there's not a whole lot out there about the brand.

12-28-2008, 03:33 PM   #5
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As these lenses came in Pentax mounts I think it's ok in the lens forum.
12-28-2008, 08:16 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ratmagiclady Quote
Yes, I have one. A big ol' beast of a 75-205 3.5 in Canon FD mount. I've named it 'Googleproof' due to utter lack of information online. I *believe* that they are a rebadge of *something* for the Lechmere camera department, if my memory leads me in the right direction. (A friend had one when I was a kid and, recognizing it, scored for a song. Apparently some of the older ones, at least, were made by a firm called 'Mitaka,' back in screwmount days. I don't know if this is the case with the one I have.

Here's a real quick snap of mine.

I believe they made a 28 to match this, ...other Formula 5s I've seen are older, (and look rather like old Soligors) I'm guessing the one shown is late Seventies-early 80's, one-touch design but rather large for it.
I have the 75-205 f/3.8 BEAST. Unfortunately it's not a pentax mount as the auction said it was.
12-29-2008, 12:09 AM   #7
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There was a prime labelled Formula 5 in a camera shop over in Tecumseh (near Windsor, for all you folks not from the area) that I visited early this year. I think it was a 135mm f2.8 and M42 mount but it has been quite a while. The auto/manual switch was stuck so I decided it wasn't worth taking a risk on.

If I'm remembering correctly from my research at the time Formula 5 referred to a certain type of 5 element 5 group lens formula at one point, I'm not sure if it was specific to one manufacturer or not.

Do you have a particular lens in mind?
12-29-2008, 01:55 AM   #8
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Hi JCSullivan

I am also curious to know more about these lenses as I have a 28mm MC f2.8 in M42 mount, which came as part of a bulk buy deal. The lens is in good condition and appears to have had little use but has accumulated a few fungus spots inside and the auto aperture pin was pushed in (by me) and has stuck in.

The few comments I found from searching the forums seem to indicate Formula 5 lenses are nothing special. It does not have the same quality feel as my Takumars, and is a big, heavy lump in comparison (takes a 58mm filter and weighs 330gm).

I'm interested to know the reason for your inquiry.

Geoff

12-29-2008, 05:16 AM   #9
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Thanks guys. Geoff/Ian this came up as part of a Ricoh KR-5 deal on the local Kijiji.

The info he provided was as follows: Formula 5 MC 1:4.5 f=80-200mm, model 101794
There was a flash as well - a Ultra-Flash model 1SC-J (can't find anything about that either.

Gary, thanks for moving the thread.

Last edited by JCSullivan; 12-29-2008 at 05:21 AM. Reason: additional info provided
12-29-2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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My lens also states proudly "LENS MADE IN JAPAN", ;-) but no other identifying marks.

Last edited by geoffox23; 12-29-2008 at 02:20 PM. Reason: added text
12-29-2008, 04:07 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Damn Brit Quote
As these lenses came in Pentax mounts I think it's ok in the lens forum.
I agree that any lens that can be mounted on a Pentax camera (any which way) deserves to be on this forum
12-29-2008, 06:50 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCSullivan Quote
Thanks guys. Geoff/Ian this came up as part of a Ricoh KR-5 deal on the local Kijiji.

The info he provided was as follows: Formula 5 MC 1:4.5 f=80-200mm, model 101794
There was a flash as well - a Ultra-Flash model 1SC-J (can't find anything about that either.

Gary, thanks for moving the thread.
If you'd like to show us some pictures, JC, it's remotely possible it might jog my memory.

Also, FWIW, my Formula 5 also displays a 'Made In Japan.' My guess is this is a constant.


Oh, btw, as for what 'Formula 5' means: in my research I discovered this is a basic ratio in optical design: in fact, this is one of the very things which made it so difficult to research my own lens: the formula actually occurs in darn near any combination with anything you could think of regarding lens design, ...but that's part of why I named my example 'Googleproof.'

Last edited by Ratmagiclady; 12-29-2008 at 06:58 PM.
12-30-2008, 05:26 AM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
If you'd like to show us some pictures, JC, it's remotely possible it might jog my memory.
No pics available. Since not much is known about these I'm gonna forgo even going to look at them. Besides, the guy says they've been sitting there for 15 years. I can only imagine what lurks between the glass.

Thanks everyone for any help you provided.
05-26-2009, 09:11 PM   #14
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Formula 5 Lenses were made by Mitake

I joined specifically because I found this thread on an Internet search. I have a Formula 5 lens made by Mitake (and so marked.) It is a 28mm f2.0 and was purchased at a Camera show about 5 years ago along with a Formula 5 Mitake marked 135mm f1.8! (My buddy and I purchased the lenses and we flipped to see who got the telephoto lens, he won.) Both are M42 screw mounts, both were purchased for $35.00 each. My 28mm f2.0 has been a great lens and it is holding up well.

I have a good shootout that a friend did complete with sample photos of the Vivitar 28mm f2.5 and the Mitake Formula 5 28mm f2.0 back home on an old hard drive. The two are quite similar and both use 62mm filters and hoods.

I'll post some pics of the 28mm when I get a chance, (my buddy has long since hit the pavement with his Formula 5 135mm f1.8, so I can't speak for that lens, other than it was super fast and that he liked it when he got it.)

I got a wild hair a few years back and jumped into expanding my M42 lens collection by trying some non Takumar/Zeiss stuff, which I wanted to put up. The big surprises were the Russian lenses and the Formula 5.

Mel
05-27-2009, 04:05 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miserere Quote
I agree that any lens that can be mounted on a Pentax camera (any which way) deserves to be on this forum
I guess old Nikon glass qualifies, as they can be prodded to stay on a PK mount. I can force all sorts of stuff onto PK and M42 mounts. They mostly just won't work, is all, at least not in any rational way. Like all those Leica and Canon and Argus and CCTV lenses. Sure, they can be reversed for macro work - but I don't need another 25 macro lenses. [I've gotta get rid of all this useless crud, grumble gripe grumble.] And all the transparent, translucent, refractive objects I've stuck onto poor helpless bellows - I should be ashamed, or arrested.
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