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03-21-2010, 12:47 PM   #1
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Meaning of Black Lacker on Lens Name?

Is there any special meaning to the presence of black lacker over the name of an old manual lens? I have a Super Takumar 50mm F1.4 and a Soligor 135mm F2.5, both of which are M42 screw mount lenses. I bought them both from the same gentleman, who bought them brand new back in 1968. Both of them have the lens name (but only the name) inside the filter threads blacked out with lacker:

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In both those pictures, it should say "Super Takumar" or "Soligor" on the top left, but there's black lacker covering up the white lettering.

I was wondering if this was just a quirk that this guy had (marking all his lenses), or if it means something like they were refurbished at some point.

03-21-2010, 12:50 PM   #2
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Avoidance of theft? Sort of like the bike messengers. They frequently ride high-end frames painted ugly.

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03-21-2010, 12:55 PM   #3
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I have several takumars that had previously belonged to a photojournalist. they all had the asahi optical and takumar names painted over.
03-21-2010, 01:12 PM   #4
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Recently read it had something to do with licensing the name. Honeywell, I think, had US distribution at the time? A blacked out lens means it was imported from Japan and purchased in Canada. Or some such. Can't find the reference now and was only paying half attention when I read it. Guess that's not much help, sorry.

03-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #5
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This gentleman originally ordered the camera body from Hong Kong in 1968 while he lived in NY, but I'm not sure where he got the lenses. They may have been purchased locally in the US. The body (original Spotmatic) says "Asahi Pentax" on it, not a sign of the word "Honeywell" anywyere. If he did purchase the lenses locally, it's possible the importing thing is in fact the reason for blacking out the lens name. But then why black out the Soligor name too?

Very strange...
03-21-2010, 01:51 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by séamuis Quote
I have several takumars that had previously belonged to a photojournalist. they all had the asahi optical and takumar names painted over.
On mine, it's only Super Takumar that's painted over, not Asahi Opt. Co.
03-21-2010, 03:53 PM   #7
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I think the basic idea is to protect the rights of the US distributor Honeywell. In order to get the lenses through Customs, the paint was required. I think the idea was only to make items that Honeywell didn't sell be different than items imported in other ways. So it doesn't matter whether Asahi or Takumar was obscured, as long as the lenses appeared to be different.

I don't know who did the painting, but I always imagine some guy in a customs warehouse with a little brush. You would hope he had steady hands.
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