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Chinon 35-70 2.7-3.5 MC

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 15,512 Fri February 8, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $45.00 9.00
Chinon 35-70 2.7-3.5 MC

AUTO CHINON ZOOM MC 35-70mm 1:2.7-3.5

mount: K-mount
filter thread: 58mm
macro function (1:2.4)
two-touch type zoom
Mount Type:
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: February, 2019
Posts: 12

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 8, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Broad range of optical accuracy
Cons: Nothing major
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: ME Super K-X   

I have the 55mm filter diameter F3.5-4.5 Macro version of this all-purpose mid-range zoom lens, which sadly has no reference point on this website. It's really good as a flexible lens and it rivals both the A series SMC Pentax 1:4 35-70mm and M series SMC 2.8-4 40-80mm in both image sharpness, colour resolution and aberration. It can be found 50% to 70% cheaper than these two Pentax zooms on some online secondhand sales. It's as fiddly to operate as the M Series lens I just mentioned, but you get used to it. The warm colour tones are lovely and it functions so well across the f-stop (f5.6-f11 are best as with all zooms) and zoom range with stable results. The macro function is seriously good and very sharp. It's very compact. Great for inconspicuous use. Great for walkabout. Great for so much that so many prime lens lovers lug around two or three lenses for. Pretty easy to get the glass out and clean it all up inside if you want a pristine dust-free version. Linked to that, you may see a few bashed up and abused examples, so be choosy. Mind you, I had one bought used and abused in 2009 that was full of fungus and dust and it only took 2 hours to clean out before it gave years of perfect service; all for $10.
Junior Member

Registered: June, 2012
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
Posts: 36
Lens Review Date: October 16, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: cheap, sharp, fast, well built, useful range, "macro"
Cons: heavy, long at 35mm, soft wide open, some aberrations, old MC, no A setting or AF, rotating front barrel
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I bought it used not long ago for my 35mm camera. I wanted a fast zoom for general purposes and as a walkaround lens. I still don't have my first roll shot with it developed (when I have some film photos, I will post it in here), so in meantime I did some quick tests on digital (K10D). I found this cheap old zoom to be surprisingly good! Handling is good as this lens is a two-touch zoom, as we are all used to in digital age. The bad thing is that it prolongs towards wide end. It is much longer than a 35mm F2.7 lens should be. Focusing is smooth and the focus throw is long enough (about 180). The front barrel rotates when focusing. It has 8 aperture blades.
Overall image quality is pretty good (for a manual zoom). Images are a bit soft (but still usable) wide open, but stopped down few stops and this lens is sharper and more detailed than my standard SMC Pentax DA 18-55 F3.5-5.6 zoom. On the other side, on low f-numbers it is the same or even softer than the Pentax. Stopped down it is a solid macro (or "closeup") lens for digital, its optical magnification is 1:2:4, on digital it gets to 1:1.6 equivalent.
It is prone to flare, it's coating isn't on par with SMC coating. Some CA can be seen even stopped down quite a few clicks. They are not horrible, but they are there in some conditions and that's why I rate lower.
Here are some test pics (100% crops from 10mpx):

The sofftnes of the wide open lens is visible here. Still, I would not hesitate to use it, particularly on film, where this lens belongs.

*close distance:-)
This is interesting. My standard Pentax zoom got beaten. It would be not surprising from a better digital zoom or a prime, but I didn't expect old manual zooms to be that good.

35mm is a draw, except the Chinon providing slightly better reproduction of the print pattern.

A bokeh "test". The "background" environment is very harsh - dirty window, iron bars, a web and some buildings. I thing the Chinon zoom managed it quite well.

So I think for the amount of money I paid I got a quality lens for film and occasional use on digital. The only thing I am curious about is the relationship (and IQ differences) between this lens and the CZJ Vario Practicar 35-70 2.7-3-5 MC, which looks almost identical in specs and handling, but sells at ten times higher prices...
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