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Argus Auto_Cintar 50mm f2.0?

Kevin Dillon , Oct 06, 2007; 07:23 p.m.

Has anyone out there used this lens? What were your impressions? Good/Bad or average? How is the bokeh quality? Who actually manufactured this lens and what is the construction? (elements/groups)


Argus Auto-Cintar 50mm f2.0

Responses

Dan Fromm , Oct 06, 2007; 07:43 p.m.

Hmm. You have the lens, why don't you ask it what it does?

About what it is. IIRC, Argus' last gasp was a line of 35 mm SLRs sourced from Chinon or Cosina with lenses from the same maker. Sorry, don't recall which, its been quite a while and as a Nikon bigot I paid little attention to low end gear.

55/2.0 for a 35 mm SLR is probably a 6/4 double Gauss and most of them are pretty good. But as I said, ask the lens. Count reflections, and then you'll know whether its 6/4 or something more complex.

Tony Lockerbie , Oct 06, 2007; 09:16 p.m.

Dan has it pretty right and I would put my money on Cosina, they were pretty prolific. I would be also very surprised if it wasn't a good performer, maybe not at full aperture, but stopped down a little.

Bolt it on and take some pictures, that's what they were made for.

Tony

Kevin Dillon , Oct 06, 2007; 09:18 p.m.

...because the soon-to-be-previous owner hasn't given up custody of the lens yet, that's why. ;-) And... When I get it I'll be sure to take some beautiful pictures with my "low end gear" while my buddy continues to shoot sharp, but boring photos with his obviously superior Nikon gear. I'd rather understand exposure and composition while using my cheap lenses than have a bag full of top-notch Nikon gear yet remain clueless. :-)

Gary Turner , Oct 06, 2007; 11:58 p.m.

My Argus CR-1 has the same (55mm f2) M42 lens (mid 70's). That camera is most certainly a Chinon. The optics are possibly sourced from Chinon but I have read many Internet articles / comments that indicate Tomioka actually made numerous 35mm SLR lenses / elements for Cosina, Chinon, Yashica amongst many others. Some folks would also say the manufacturers usually put more effort (i.e. optical quality) into their faster f1.8, f1.7 & f1.4 lenses.

Dan Fromm , Oct 07, 2007; 08:43 a.m.

Gary, Kevin, back when Modern Photography magazine was going strong they ran educational articles on roughly a two year cycle. One of the articles that turned up every couple of years was a group test of "slow" (f/1.7 and slower) normal lenses for 35 mm SLRs.

The results were always the same. All of the lenses tested were pretty good and there was no rational way of choosing among them if lens performance was the criterion. MP once ran a piece on whether 100 lp/mm was attainable (short answer, with the right lens and emulsion, yes, but not easily or consistently) and got much the same result with the f/1.7 - f/2.0 normal lenses they tried.

Kevin, the big differences in the late '60s and through the '70s between the cheapies and first tier (in Germany: Leica and Zeiss; in Japan: Canon, Konica, Minolta, Nikon, Pentax, Topcon) were in quality control and build quality. The good stuff didn't take better pictures, it was more consistent and didn't break. First tier manufacturers did, though, make somewhat better wide angle and long tele lenses than their competitors.

Nikon, in particular, shone because of the breadth and depth of its system; the Nikon user who had just the one lens didn't, however, benefit from this. None of the competitors came close. Canon eventually caught up, but only after a lot of fumbling and many failures and changes of mind.

You're right, Kevin, that good exposure and composition beat bad, but given the prices of used gear nowadays there are few reasons not to, um, go first class. Back when, the good stuff was often out of reach.

Tito Carlos Maria Sobrinho , Oct 07, 2007; 02:13 p.m.

Dan is right:

Since 1956, I`ve been photographing with a YashicaFlex and later a Retina IIc.

In 1968 I came to the USA as a tourist with the idea and money to buy "The Camera" after reading several issues of MP & PF.

I looked for a M4+50/Summicron...$600.00.

Hasselblad Planar 80...more than 1,000.00.

I bought the Nikon FTn + Nikkor 50/1.4 + 28/3.5 + 200/4 at the Bahamas duty free store after just one day trip from Miami. Paid $500,00. Exposed rolls and rolls of Kodachrome 25 in my tour...USA and Mexico. After 1 month, I returned to Brasil. Interesting is that the Nikon din't have any warranty whatsoever! After all these years, it still works flawlesly.

David M , Oct 07, 2007; 02:20 p.m.

You enquire about a 50F2 lens yet your photo clearly shows a 55F2 lens??? It looks very much like a rebadged Cosinon lens. Cosinon lenses were not up to the standard of lenses from Chinon. So if it is a Chinon, it would likely be an excellent lens.

Kevin Dillon , Oct 07, 2007; 03:44 p.m.

My bad.... 55mm... My fingers got ahead of my brain. ;-)

Holly Johnson , Dec 27, 2010; 05:51 p.m.

So I've been searching for some help about a lens that my mom bought from Goodwill. She bought it because she thought it would make a good decoration piece. I was taking a look at it and tried to see if it would fit on my new Nikon (really just for kicks to see if i could use it) but then I got curious about what kind of camera it fits on. It is an Argus Auto-Cintar 28mm f2.8. I'm kind of new to photography so I'm not sure what that all means. It was attached to an accordion style attachment. It's a pretty cool little lens. If I could find what kind of camera it attaches to I might try a new kind of camera. :-)

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