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Are Super Marexars any good?

Krassi Genov , May 24, 2009; 10:52 p.m.

I have two Super Marexars that came with my Minolta SRT 202 - the tele 2.8 135 mm and wide angle 2.8 28mm. I would rather stick with Rokkors, so I was wondering if these Marexars are any good or comparable in quality/sharpness to the Rokkors?


Ralf J. , May 24, 2009; 11:18 p.m.

Krassi - funny you should ask, I have a multicoated marexar-cx on my Minolta X-700 and I have 8 exposures left on the roll. I picked up the lens for $2 at the camera show and I will provide you an answer on Tuesday when I get the roll processed. The focal length on my Marexar is 28mm with and a max aperture of 2.8. Regards.

Matthew Currie , May 25, 2009; 12:23 a.m.

My only experience with a Marexar was with a 28-80 zoom I have in Nikon mount. It was very disappointing, with distortion and softness at the wide end. I hope they did a better job with the primes.

JDM von Weinberg , May 25, 2009; 12:30 a.m.

This is a make of lenses not often discussed. I tried a Google, but while there were lots of hits about individual Marexars for sale or people, like you asking about them, I could find out almost nothing about where they come from or who made them or who sold them. Nothing on Camerapedia, either.

Any one know?

Andy L , May 25, 2009; 12:54 a.m.

Usually if Google doesn't know it, that's a bad sign. The world is so full of inexpensive Rokkors, Celtics and Series 1's, why mess around?

Or since you already have them, shoot a roll then tell us if they're any good.

Alan Clayton , May 25, 2009; 06:46 a.m.

In (UK) photo magazines of the 80s & 90s Marexars were typically the very cheapest offerings. They were never tested and certainly were not discussed in polite company. They appear at camera fairs for pennies, but may still be grossly overpriced.
Example prices (1982) for a standard 80-200mm f4/4.5 zoom: Tamron £109, Tokina £96, Vivitar £90, Bell & Howell, Ozek & Makinon £80: Marexar .... £55

Mike Gammill , May 25, 2009; 12:31 p.m.

Likely, the maker may vary with the lens type. Often common with the non-Series 1 Vivitars. A prime (28/35/135, etc) may be okay, but the zooms may be of dubious quality. I keep a few similar lenses for use on a "beater" camera body for pictures at the beach or other non-camera friendly environments. Sometimes comparing the specs (minimum focus, filter size) etc, may give a clue to the manufacturer. With some lenses, especially zooms, the marked focal lengths could be slightly different, but still be the same lens. For example, the Samyang 18-28 zoom was also sold by Vivitar as a 17-28.

john robison , May 25, 2009; 07:07 p.m.

The usual way to make a cheap lens is to make it cheap. I once, out of morbid curiosity bought a JCPenney 135mm f2.8 for an OM mount for $5. When the aperture stopped working I decided to disassamble the lens. Upon removing the mount the screws didn't look quite right so I checked them up close with a 5X magnifer. They were stamped! Thats right, stamped, you could see a line down the middle of them and they were not quite round but more this () shape in cross section. They also destroyed the threads in the plastic lens body as they were extracted. This was a one way lens, built cheap to generate maxium profit and hopefully last just long enough to get past the 1 year warranty. Additional disassembly revealed cost cutting in every aspect of construction, one direction assembly, never designed to be serviced. That could be true of a lot of 3rd party lenses now and even a few of the cheaper "kit" lenses made by Nikon, Canon, et al.

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