Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Third-Party Pentax Lenses - Reviews and Database » Chinon Lenses » Prime Lenses
Chinon 45mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

Chinon 45mm F2.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
7 29,946 Thu January 31, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $46.17 8.50
Chinon 45mm F2.8

This Chinon pancake lens is virtually identical in size and feel to the genuine Pentax-M 40mm pancake lens. It's harder to come by, but sells for less then the Pentax 40, and in my opinion is just as sharp.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

Add Review of Chinon 45mm F2.8
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-7 of 7
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2015
Posts: 3,498
Review Date: January 31, 2019 Recommended | Price: $48.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, good stopped down
Cons: Not very good wide open
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K1   

I bought this lens because I was looking for a film pancake and came across one at a decent price, far below what the SMC-M 40mm f2.8 were going for at the time.

I've read rumors online that this lens is sharper than the Pentax 40mm, and that it was made by Cosina. I don't know if either is true...

I will say that the DA40 XS completely obliterates this lens wide open on full frame. So on cameras that support automatic aperture, I'll keep using that one.

At f2.8, the Chinon is smeary on the edges and pretty weak. Dang. The center isn't terrible wide open, but it still doesn't match the DA40.
The smearing is mostly gone at f4, and by f5.6 I can't really tell the lenses apart in the simple comparison I made last night.
It looks really nice at f5.6. I'll tolerate the f4 performance and hold f2.8 'in case of emergency'.

The bokeh is better than I expected. Though it does have a hexagonal shape (six aperture blades) for highlights when stopped down, the blades must be a little rounded because the hexagons are a little rounded as well. The shapes aren't as annoying or as obvious as some lenses I've tried lately (I'm looking at you Petri 45mm f1.9). Transitions between in-focus and out-of-focus are smooth.

I'll need more time to evaluate handling. My copy came missing the focus rubber ring, so that's interesting, but it seems fine mechanically otherwise. It is a bit of a pain to mount/dismount because of the size, but it's a pancake... and no worse there than the DA40.

I doubt it will become my favorite lens, but I need to see what it does on film.
I have a roll of TMax ready for the MX, so we'll see...


Registered: September, 2010
Location: MD
Posts: 952
Review Date: November 3, 2014 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Pancake lens! Center sharpness, nice colors
Cons: Edges a bit soft until stopped down; bit long fl for APS-C
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30, K-x   

What a fun little lens! I was looking for a pancake lens, and this is a great alternative to the much more expensive Pentax 40mm ones. Put this little gem on my K-x, and I have a really small setup.
How does it work as a walkaround lens?
As compared to the Pentax pancakes, there really isn't much difference between 40 and 45mm, but both are a bit long on APS-C. Still, it is very fun to use.
Mechanically, it is very solid. The front lens is recessed, so no hood is needed, and I haven't had issues with flare. F stops are: 2.8, 4, 4.8, 5.6, 6.7, 8, 9.5, 11, 13, 16, 22. (I.e., half stops except from 2.8-4 and 16-22)
As can be expected with a pancake lens, the aperture and focus rings are rather narrow. One needs to be a bit mindful while focusing not to disturb the aperture ring, but it isn't a problem. Focusing is smooth. The blades on my copy are a bit slow, but only sometimes affects things if I shoot at f13 or higher, something I'm unlikely to do.
Center sharpness is acceptable wide open at 2.8, but it's excellent at 5.6-9.5. Edges are best best closer to f11, but the center starts softening here. Result: If I need to, I can use f2.8 or 4, but for best results, I'll usually shoot f5.6-9.5. As for sharpness, compare the test shot below comparing this Chinon with the DA 50 f1.8. (They are both at 100%, center crop. I moved the Chinon slightly closer to have the images cover the same frame.) The Chinon lacks a bit in contrast (which can be improved in pp), but it certainly is plenty sharp. I'm also not seeing any unreasonable aberrations. The bokeh is acceptably nice, and the pic of the red bushes below, shot at f5.6 can give you an idea of near/far bokeh.
All in all, a wonderful lens that I highly recommend if you can find one.

Left: DA 50 f1.8 at f7.1; Right: Chinon 43 f2.8 at f6.7 - 100% center crops

Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2011
Location: ON, RH
Posts: 2,179
Review Date: March 17, 2014 Recommended | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Fast, compact, light with good IQ
Cons: rare
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-01   

I really like this little lens... works perfect and feels just like home on my K-01.
I find it to be a very good portrait lens. Great color rendering and never had any issues with CA or PF.

Not the sharpest lens but definitely better than the Pentax 40mm version... better priced as well.

As a negative thing, people with larger hands might find it a little bit difficult to work with since the size of this thing is quite small!

The following pictures were taken with the 45mm lens + macro filters

Senior Member

Registered: June, 2009
Location: Finland, Kotka
Posts: 183
Review Date: August 16, 2012 Recommended | Price: $4.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small, light, sharp, very cheap
Cons: None, (sticky blades)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9   

I got this lens, Chinon CA-4s camera and starblizt flash for 10euros.
Some says that manual pancakes are hard to handle. Yes it is small and focus and aperture rings are thin, but not too thin, at least I can use it without problem. Focus is smooth and aperture clicks nicely.
I made test shoots wide open and they were quite sharp. Bokeh is okay. And there is no signs of hard CA.
Unfortunately it has sticky blades. I will edit this review if I can clean it up.

Non cropped shot @2.8 with K200D and ISO100

100% crop from previous picture, not sharpened (Note the spiderweb )

100% crop, high contrast out of focus area
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2010
Location: Frankfurt am Main
Posts: 1,240
Review Date: January 11, 2011 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: N/A 


It seems this lens was sold in Europe branded as "Auto Revuenon", which is not astonishing as some of the later SLRs of german based FotoQuelle/Revue were rebranded Chinon models.
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2009
Location: Christchurch, New Zealand
Posts: 2,419
Review Date: December 4, 2010 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Small! Fairly even across frame, quality feel
Cons: Performance drop at f2.8, manual, would be better if wider

I would like to start by saying that overall this lens performs well for its age but more importantly its a lot of fun on a modern DSLR!

I generally agree with the points from the previous review, although would like to expand on some points. Mechanical feel is indeed very nice and I can not imagine a more solid feeling lens – it feels like a truck could drive over it and it would still work. It looks great on a DSLR and makes a camera like the K-x look more like a super zoom P&S. I don't mind the thin focus ring too much – you do get used to it but I have occasionally accidentally changed aperture when going to focus and vice versa.

Now on to performance – as tested on a K-x DSLR. Firstly the great news is that it has fairly even sharpness across the frame (more so than a typical 50mm) and overall its a fairly sharp lens (although center sharpness is not as sharp a fast Pentax 50) . Sharpness does significantly drop off wide open at f2.8 (but still usable IMO). See center crops below.
Unfortunately (even on APS-C) there is also quite noticeable vignetting (light fall off around the edges) wide open but this is gone at f4. Contrast is not bad except wide open. The front element is recessed a bit so I typically don't use a lens hood or filter but flare will show up more than you would see with a modern Pentax prime (the coatings are better) so a hood might be a good idea if you shooting with the sun in front. Depends on your use but 45mm is not as wide as the 40mm Pentax variety, however I find it is noticeably wider than a 50mm lens which does help for general photography.

With DSLRs you need to use manual exposure mode and manual focus but the camera helps with both (metering and focus confirmation) and so it is not hard to do. I don't mind manual operation but if that bothers you then this is not the lens for you.

That all said I am happy with the results with any aperture from f4 to f16 and f2.8 can still be useful in some scenarios. Also there is a real (cringe alert ahead)... “fun factor” with this lens and for the money its a good buy. Would rate it as a 7.5

f2.8 100% center crop:

f4 100% center crop:

f5.6 100% center crop:
Junior Member

Registered: May, 2009
Location: Maine
Posts: 32
Review Date: April 3, 2010 Recommended | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Small, well made, very sharp
Cons: Small focus ring

This Chinon pancake lens is harder to come by than the Pentax-M 40mm pancake, but if you can find a good one, it will typically cost you less than the Pentax pancake. It's almost identical in size and feel to the Pentax, is just as well made, and I think it's just as sharp. Like the Pentax 40 (and like all lenses), it's sharpest when stopped down a couple stops. The only down side is for those shooting with a cropped sensor Pentax DSLR, the extra 5mm over the Pentax pancake is more limiting. But if you prefer to look at the bright side of things, it's wider than using a 50mm on cropped sensor cameras. The bottom line for me? I like this lens so much, I sold off my Pentax-M 40mm for twice what I paid for this Chinon and am one happy camper. Hunt one of these down and try it out.
Add Review of Chinon 45mm F2.8

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:39 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]