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Quantaray 85-210mm f/3.8

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 12,561 Sun May 15, 2016
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $15.00 8.00
Quantaray 85-210mm f/3.8

Constant Aperture Manual Focus/Manual Aperture Lens

Macro 1:6 - 1:3 at 85mm end of lens.
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Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 867
Lens Review Date: May 15, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Constant aperture, macro/close focus
Cons: Some purple fringing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K20D   

My lens seems to a close copy of the Quantaray but is branded as a Helios (made in Japan), has a M42 mount and a switch for manual/auto.

Unfortunately my pc security does not allow me to view the M42 database, insisting it has some bug in it but I have seen a post that suggests this Helios is the same lens as a Quantaray.

My copy has a clickless aperture ring, I don't know if that is just a feature of having the A/M switch.

Macro (at the maximum of 1:3) allows close focussing and the images throughout the distances show it to be a solid performer if not super sharp. My K20D has no trouble getting the exposure right and the wide enough F3.8 enables focussing to be quite easy compared to F4.5 lenses which can be tricky in low light.

The only flaws I will gripe about is the purple fringing and on my copy the rubber focus ring sometimes slides, double sided tape to be added sometime.

Senior Member

Registered: May, 2012
Location: Ecorse, MI
Posts: 123

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 10, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, Decent Macro, Constant Aperture, Build In Lens Hood
Cons: Heavy, Manual Focus, Chromatic Aberrations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I bought this lens at an indoor Flea Market not really expecting anything from it. I am always buying old lenses at low prices. I only paid $20 for my Pentax M 50mm f/1.4 and I love that one.

I didn't mess with it much when I first got it as it was just a novelty. As of late I have been challenging myself to use 1 lens for an entire day and this day just happened to go to the Quantaray 85-210mm f/3.8

These 1st 2 shots are at somewhere between 1:3 and 1:4 on the macro scale. Activiting the macro capabilities of the lens is a simple tug on the Zoom ring which then gives you access to closer focusing at the 85mm end of the lens. It goes from 1:6 down to 1:3

Here's a bee sitting on a flower, the focus point is almost right but not perfect:

This one has a better focus point, just not the right one. The part that is in focus is pretty sharp though:

I still wish I had gotten the Bee in focus instead but meh!

Later on during the course of the day I met up with a relative to teach her a bit of photography basics and I used it for shooting portraits.

These next 2 images were shot at roughly 135mm at f/4

Here she was sitting in open shade and I was a good distance away:

The bokeh is not perfect but it is still pleasing not only in the portraits but in the macros as well.

This image was a Focus and Recompose shot so my focus is a hair off, not enough to hurt too much though:

Overall, I definitely got my $20 worth and then some. While it's not likely I will use this lens often I am not likely to toss it out either. It's a good lens considering. The Chromatic Aberrations are only really an issue above 135mm but for a MF f/3.8 constant Portrait Zoom it works well from 85mm to 135mm at f/4. I didn't shoot it any smaller than that but I could only assume at f/5.6/7.1/8 it's pretty sharp.
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