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Cosina 100mm F3.5 MC Makro

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 8.7
Bokeh 
 8.7
Handling 
 7.8
Value 
 9.8
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 39,197 Tue August 19, 2014
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $107.00 8.80
Cosina 100mm F3.5 MC Makro

Cosina 100mm F3.5 MC Makro
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Cosina 100mm F3.5 MC Makro
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Description:
There is both a later AF version and an earlier MF version of this lens (pics). The earlier version is also available as a Vivitar, Promaster, Phoenix and possibly other marques as well. The AF version appeared in at least four badgings, Cosina, Pentax, Vivitar and Promaster.

Weight: 208 g
Filter mount: 49mm
Aperture: F3,5 - F22, A
Iris:
Close Focus: 0.43 m
Focus throw:
PKA or KAF mount.
Max Macro 1:2,
1:1 with Achromat ("Matched Macro Adaptor" shipped in Kit - see pic)
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:



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New Member

Registered: August, 2014
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: August 19, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Cheap, Sharp, lightweight.
Cons: Build, 1:1 adapter poor (IMO)
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: Sony NEX 5R   

I have the manual focus version of this lens and i'm pretty pleased with it. Its generally quite sharp and the focus ring has a nice long throw, its build quality isn't the best but at 65 I can't complain too much

seams to be at its sharpest at around f8 and upwards but it is still very usable wide open at f3.5. I'm not very happy with the matched adapter however I'm sure it looses some sharpness and the dof is very very shallow when using it. Anyway heres some pictures i took with the lens.

Emerald Tree Boa by Caledonia84, on Flickr


Iguana by Caledonia84, on Flickr


Cosina 100mm Macro by Caledonia84, on Flickr

IDs to follow..... by Caledonia84, on Flickr

Dimorphic Jumper (gray) by Caledonia84, on Flickr
   
Site Supporter

Registered: July, 2007
Location: Jonesboro, GA
Posts: 1,807
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness, handling
Cons: Build quality is only adequate. A "Plastic Fantastic"
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10    Camera Used: MX, LX, K 10, K 5   

I bought this lens, with the Vivitar label, from the late, lamented Porter's in Iowa to use on my MX. I've used it subsequently on my LX and K 10 and K 5, and have never seriously considered replacing it. Fortunately it has the A on the aperture ring, so its easy to use on the DSLRs. Mine is manual focus, but I see no need for such in closeup work.

It is truly sharp, especially at 5.6 or 8. If you're looking for one second hand be sure the matched achromatic close-up lens comes with it. While the lens will focus from infinity to 1/2 life size without the close-up lens, to get to life size you need to attach it. I've noticed no difference in image quality with or without the close-up lens. With extension tubes you could really get close. The 100mm focal length gives a reasonable working distance, often a problem with shorter focal length lens.

The front element is deeply recessed so no hood is needed, but with the close up lens attached a hood would be a good idea.

All in all, this lens is a screaming bargain if you can find one, and if a plastic body lens doesn't bother you.
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Sydney
Posts: 217
Lens Review Date: July 4, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $46.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Light weight, image quality
Cons: None really
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

I have just received a brand-new Vivitar version of this lens. I have yet to test the 1:1 attachment, but so far I am very impressed. Mine is MF and I do not feel anything loose inside at all. I will post some shots soon.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 5

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 21, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $150.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, Great performance
Cons: AF hunts up close, Build quality B-
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

The first shot I took with this lens dropped my jaw. Even with a low resolution jpg the detail it pulled out was nothing less than staggering. Reasonably sharp at F/3.5, but at F/5.6 I have never seen anything like it at this focal length. NB: Upgraded bokeh from 8 to 9. Wide open, bokeh is sensational.

Reach on APS-C is good, comfortable doing headshots at 10ft. Very good in separating subject from near background.

Negatives... AF hunts in low contast situations, especially close up, and is effectively unusable in macro. Not really a problem, but as this is an old AF lens, those expecting 'like new' AF performance will be disappointed.

Build quality: PLASTIC. When not on the body, wouldn't store this anything other than carefully. If it takes a big hit, I get a feeling it won't survive.

For the money, this lens swings and hits big. Drawbacks are quibbles, really, and price to performance ratio is unbeatable. Worth getting if you see it.
   
Senior Member

Registered: May, 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 174
Lens Review Date: March 7, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $79.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, sharp, leight weight
Cons: build quality
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

I got it as a new old stock with the warranty for 79$ including shipping. I preferred this lens as it is cheap and had a reputation of "plastic fantastic" and also I doubted I had the zeal to spend hours of hard work at the macro work.

When it arrived, I was very happy. It was not too light weight for me (may be I never had bulky lenses???) and the focus ring was not loose. My initial test was on the house hold items and very tiny flower buds. I was surprised and very happy for the results.

This lens taught me that macro work is cumbersome and time consuming and the depth of field calculations are entirely different from the normal photography. I also found out that I couldn't spend the time for serious macro work. So my little investment on this lens very well thoughtful.

The only drawback of this lens is its build quality. That's why it's called "plastic fantastic"
   
Inactive Account

Registered: September, 2008
Location: Salford, Manchester UK
Posts: 7
Lens Review Date: July 19, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Light and sharp. Wonderful vreamy bokeh.
Cons: Cheap plastic, 1:1 adaptor required.

I love this lens. I have a MF copy, an "A" lens.
The front element is sunken, so no need for a hood for longer focal lengths, i.e. without the adaptor.
The 1:1 adaptor makes it true 1:1 macro.

The lens is sharp wide open, razor sharp at f/8.
It is made of plastic, not the greatest build quality.
As mine is an MF version, I ma not too worried as there isn't much to go wrong.

I love this lens,but am biased as I love macro lenses.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2011
Location: CENTER OF ENGLAND

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 10, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $190.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight on my K5 -K7 & K20D. Brilliant colour rendition. Sharpness all across the range.
Cons: None that I can find apart from the fact that no one is reviewing it anymore.

The only reason I did not give it a full 10, is because I have never ever found, any lens that would earn a full 10 in my eyes, but a 9 is darrned good too !
The lightness over my 100 Pentax is amazing, and it gives nothing away in quality either. My Pentax shows purple fringing, and my Cosina does not. I can live with the half life size, for normal use as I stay far enough away from my subject then. I use it in both manual AND in auto focus, and have no problem with either. I am an old guy, and old school, so manual control is not an IQ test, or a mystery to me.
Mention "f" stops, to some so called photographers today, and they think you are swearing ! LOL
All in all an excellent lens and well worth a high end 9 in my scoring.
Some have said it feels plasticy ?
Well so do some of my other lenses, costing 10 to 20 times as much !
It is also my favourite walk around lens, and is the best I own (Not just the least expensive) for portrait shots. I can set it at f3.5 and the face is pin sharp, and everything before and after the face is blurring up well.
Amazing.
Do not be so snobbishly fussy, and if ANY of my American cousins can find one of these under 100 bucks ?
BUY IT !
Then send it to me pleaseeeeeeeeeee.
I could do with one on my K7 & K20D as well
Keep on, keeping on. From the UK.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: January, 2008
Posts: 8,783
Lens Review Date: December 18, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: N/A 

 
Pros: light, good IQ, useful adapter
Cons: build, not ultimate IQ

This is a strange lens for me to review, since I hardly ever have used it after getting the Vivitar Series I 105mm macro. Though the latter is one of the more stellar macros ever made, the Vivitar 100mm version of the Cosina is no slouch either and weighs almost nothing in comparison. It is a lot easier to pick it up and go. And the fact that you need to screw in the adapter to go from 1:2 to 1:1 is no big deal, since most shots are easier to take at 1:2 anyway.

In fact this is the main reason I have kept this lens -- I use the adapter all the time on my other lenses. It is brilliant that the lens has a 49mm filter ring, because the macro adapter fits my FA77 Limited -- and does an amazing job. Though the magnification is so high that it needs to be used very carefully or artistically.

So, even though the Cosina/Vivitar is dead easy to throw in a bag, instead I just carry the adapter. Even less to worry about!

This lens appears to be embarrassingly badly made, with all sorts of wobble and slide. But I have never heard of them falling apart, so it's more a feel issue than a real worry. Since I am one of those who want a lens that feels good in the hands that's a bad mark against the Cosina/Vivitar.

But it is inexpensive and you will be surprised how nice the shots look. Though I haven't shot with it as much as other lenses, maybe I should. Some of my favourites were taken with this lens.

Anemone




Red Chilli



In fact, I am going to put this on my camera right now!
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Bamaga, QLD
Posts: 2,965
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: price, performance, IQ
Cons: nothing considering price point

All the above points- mine is the Vivitar version and despite wear marks on the metal lens mount ring it operates very well so doubtful comments on robustness are unwarranted.

Very happy with second hand purchase.

Examples are in this thread: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/members/arjay-bee-albums-single-september.html
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Salt Lake City, UT
Posts: 509
Lens Review Date: April 26, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $120.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Lightweight, high IQ, MF OK
Cons: A bit noisy, built quality, a hint of PF at f3.5, but much better than regular zooms
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

What a lens this is! I am reviewing the Promaster version of the lens.

I echo most of the comments made above.
1. IMQ is high at short range. Please see attached 100% crop at the largest aperture (f3.5) which was hand held. Most macro work would not rely on the largest aperture any way.
2. Very lightweight and portable. If one reads the Photozone.de analysis closely, it is not far away from the DFA 100mm, the Tamron 90mm, or the Sigma 105mm Macros. In addition, this lens is only about half of the weight of those mentioned above. This lens clearly deserves half more star on the Photozone review (3.5 star), although it is certainly not the same as those more expensive Macros mentioned above.
3. Best of all, the rubber ring allows manual focusing quite easily. I have recently used this lens more than my other Macros. I can also use it as a regular short telephoto lens, although resolution is lower to Sigma 105mm Macro. Color rendering is pretty good.
4. Quite affordable (relatively speaking).
5. While it is not a real 1:1 macro lens, but it is very close (1:2). I have used an old "A" type doubler and taken the lens off and use it as a "A" extender with great results. You can make it very close to the 1:1 macro. With the doubler, one can use catch-in focus on a K-x.
6. It can be a good portrait lens if you can tolerate the slow AF speed and noise!

So what is the downside. As mentioned above, it does not come from a name brand. It is noisy when auto focusing (not too bad). The build quality is sup-bar. I suspect that the numbers on the lens could fade away after some use. But I have yet "destroyed" a lens as a result of inferior built quality. A hint of PF at f3.5. But it is much better than any zoom lenses that I have.

It would be better use an old 2X adapter instead of the close-up dioptre lens to achieve 1:1. One can simply take the lens off from the 2X adapter and use it as an extension tube.

   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2009
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 3,758
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp, nice colors, creamy bokeh, macro, lightweight
Cons: plastic construction

I'm reviewing a brand new Promaster 7 (Cosina) MF 100mm. I don't have much to add to the reviews above. It's a very sharp lens, with good macro performance. I couldn't believe the sharpness of this lens for the money I paid for it. I find it clearly better than the Pentax M 135mm 3.5, and to me 100mm is more convenient than 135mm. I haven't noticed any purple fringing, and I've taken about a hundred pics of snowy scenery in bright sun. (In fact, my comparison of Sears 135mm 2.5, Pentax M 135mm 3.5 and Promaster/Cosina 100mm showed almost no CA in the case of the Cosina, some, but very much controlled CA in the case of the Pentax, and significant purple fringing in that of the Sears, which was also the least sharp. The Pentax seemed to have a very slightly better corner performance at f/3.5, but this advantage was gone by f/4.5 or f/5, and the Cosina's center sharpness looked much better than Pentax's at any aperture. Beyond f5.6, and especially between f/8 and f/11, sharpness is simply superb. I've heard many people say that even not-so-good lenses become sharp or very sharp at f/8. Pentax M 135mm 3.5 is rightly considered a sharp lens, yet at f/8 its output is not as crisp as the output of this 'plastic fantastic'.)

I didn't find the build quality to be really awful. The construction is cheap; still, it doesn't seem worse than that of the kit lens, for instance. Anyway, used with some care, it will give you exceptional results for very little money.

UPDATE: Made the mistake of selling my first copy, then long regretted it. I got to buy a second copy (without diopter, unfortunately), which did a wonderful job on a portrait occasion. A really excellent portrait lens!
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: Lyon, France
Posts: 31
Lens Review Date: November 17, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap, small, lightweight, good IQ
Cons: Built quality, AF noisy. Need adapter to 1:1 macro

I am reviewing the Cosina AF 100mm f3.5

This is very good lens. I bought a version for Canon then after passing to Pentax, I bought it again but branded as Promaster.

Pros: IQ is very good, cheap, lightweight.

Inc: Built quality (yes it made from plastic), AF very useless because it is very noisy, hunting in dark lighting.
It needs an adapter for 1:1 macro.
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: France
Posts: 128
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Image quality, color rendering, sharpness
Cons: Quality of plastic used for the barrels

I'm actually reviewing the Phoenix-branded MF version of this lens.

At first, the cons: the build quality is really poor, don't let this lens fall on the floor, or you will end up with a paper-press, if the lens doesn't explode. The quality of the plastic used for the barrels really remembers me a toy ...

Now, the pro: the color rendering is simply stunning (take a look here).
According to other reviews, it's definition maybe not the one you can get from a Pentax 100/2.8 Macro, but it's CA is very well controlled, and it shows a really nice bokeh ...

Unluckily, i didn't get the diopter for 1:1 ratio when i bought it (second hand), but Promaster is still selling the matched diopter as spare piece at 20US$ ...

If you can get this lens at less than 100$, don't hesitate: it's a REAL BARGAIN!
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2008
Location: SE Michigan
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: April 3, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp optics, very light weight, outstanding value
Cons: Inner tube rattles, feels like its going to fall apart

I'm reviewing the Promaster Spectrum 7 manual focus version of this lens.

I just got this a few days ago and all the things I read about this lens (all versions: Cosina, Vivitar, Phoenix, Promaster, etc.) have been right on. Absolutely the best value macro lens you can buy.

Considering all the reviews I read about the shaky AF system of this lens, I opted for the manual focus version which I believe works best for my kind of macro work anyway. Not having full 1:1 capability (unless the 1:1 macro adapter is used) is not an issue for me, but could be to some people. I have not seen a noticeable degradation in IQ with the adapter.

Overall, this is just the ideal macro lens I have been looking for. Since my macro shooting is occasional at best, I now have a lens that is technically capable of producing sharp macro pictures at a very reasonable price.
   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 66
Lens Review Date: April 2, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: This lens is really quite sharp wide open and has excellent bokeh
Cons: Plastic fantastic, wobbly, noisy

This lens is almost toy like in it's construction but, takes outstanding pictures. I have the Phoenix version but, it's identical to the Cosina. It sounds brutal when trying to AF but, it is fairly accurate in it's focusing. I've given up trying to AF when trying to take macro shots with the matched close-up lens, it is quite easy to focus in MF and gives me much better results. This lens is also quite nice for taking portraits. All in all you I can't really complain after all, it costs a $100.
Add Review of Cosina 100mm F3.5 MC Makro



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