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08-05-2014, 11:27 PM   #1
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Help me identify this lens

Hello everybody!

I was browsing the local goodwill on a fluke and came across this lens.



It's in beautiful condition. Nice and shiny. I decided to buy itn, only five bucks. From doing a Google search, I see that this may have been from a company called Spiratone and it may be a T-Mount (I can't tell if it's m42 or T-Mount). No idea about the quality of the lens yet (I haven't had a chance to take it for a test yet).

Does anybody have any information about the company or can tell me what to expect from the lens quality-wise?

08-06-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
dms
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See here web.archive.org/web/20021101165753/medfmt.8k.com/third/table1.txt

It was $70 in 1967. The lens is not a T. You need to have a picture of the mount--although you may know already if it is a M42. You can compare it to spiratone lenses to see if they may be the same.
08-06-2014, 04:24 AM   #3
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There was a Sun Optical Co. from Japan that use to make lenses for different companies including Spiratone, they use to label their own lenses as Suntar, so this might be a variation of their own lens line.
08-06-2014, 04:53 AM   #4
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Can't say about the quality, but 95% of the screw mount lenses you find will be M42. Without a thread gauge (something you're not likely to have unless you're a machinist) the only way to tell is to try it on a M42 camera or adapter. I've only found one T mount lens, a 135mm made by Lentar. I have a T mount adapter and it works fine but I don't use it much, I have a K mount that's easier to swap so I usually stick with that.

The difference between M42 and T mount is the threads. One is coarse threads, (M42 I think) one fine threads, and T mount has to sit about 5/16 inch further in front of the sensor while M42 can sit flush against the lens mount just like a K mount lens does. Both work fine...if you have the camera set to use manual lenses...

08-06-2014, 05:04 AM   #5
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I have an even more mysterious lens. An Auto Sunset 35 F2.8. It has a JCII sticker from 1987 on it.
08-06-2014, 12:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
See here web.archive.org/web/20021101165753/medfmt.8k.com/third/table1.txt

It was $70 in 1967. The lens is not a T. You need to have a picture of the mount--although you may know already if it is a M42. You can compare it to spiratone lenses to see if they may be the same.
Thanks for the info! I'm currently waiting for a couple of m42 adapters to come in the mail and I'll give them a try.

I think they may be the same because in my Google searches I came across a Spiratone lens that looks exactly the same, down to the funky focus scale.
08-09-2014, 03:53 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
I have an even more mysterious lens. An Auto Sunset 35 F2.8. It has a JCII sticker from 1987 on it.
Interesting! It seems we have two cousin lenses! Maybe we should do some tests to compare them.

I just got some m42 adapters in the mail for another lens, and I have it on my ME Super right now.

Some interesting info about the lens:

- The lens has two aperture rings. The first is to actually adjust the aperture, the second seems to limit how small the aperture can be set. I've never seen this before.

- The aperture has 8 leaves. I have high hopes for the bokeh of this particular lens and I hope that also means the optics are top notch.
08-09-2014, 05:37 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jadedrakerider Quote
- The lens has two aperture rings. The first is to actually adjust the aperture, the second seems to limit how small the aperture can be set. I've never seen this before.
That's a "preset" aperture. It's fairly common on 60s-era M42 lenses. It's so that you can choose the aperture you want to shoot at, open up to have enough light to focus, and then return to your chosen aperture without taking your eye off the viewfinder.

08-10-2014, 06:48 AM   #9
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Yep, Thoog pegged it, I have a couple of M42 lenses that work the same way. Great except for macro, it's too easy to move and lose your focus when shooting macro, although I did get quite a few nice macro shots with my Lentar 135mm...

With all of mine I've had good results other than macro, and I find that shooting at f8 I can usually see well enough to focus with no problems. Sometimes at f11 I can use them but it's a bit iffy, I usually stay at f8 anyway and almost always have no problems at all just leaving mine at f8.
08-17-2014, 06:17 PM   #10
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So I just got back some photos for this lens, and I have to admit I was pretty disappointed. When I got the first roll of film back, I was just experimenting and decided to give the subject a bright backdrop and adjusted accordingly. It really does not look good at all, but I chalked it up to a poorly exposed photograph.

Today I got back some more photos I took when I was testing all of my lenses together and came up with the second photo. While it's not necessarily bad, it really isn't all that impressive, which is disappointing for a f/2.8, 8 bladed lens. That was the closest I could focus upon the subject, and even at f 5.6 I was still getting some serious vignetting.

Still, for five bucks it's a curiosity in my arsenal, and I could still use it for some wide-angle shots. It may be better suited to landscapes, which are not my forte. Also, I got a Vivitar lens cap to go with my 28mm Vivitar, so it wasn't a total loss.
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