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Tell me about Makinon lenses

Peter Galuszewski , Sep 08, 2006; 06:52 p.m.

What are they? Are any of them any good? I have come by a couple wide angles from them (a 24mm f2.8 in Nikon mount and a 28mm f2.8 in Canon FD) and they both seem to be... pretty average at best. So I did some searching on the web and came up with nothing. The closest clue I found was on a cameraquest.com page of manufacturers who made lenses for Vivitar over the years, and one of them (serial number s starting with 33 I believe) is Makinon! Therefore, unlike many of the Hanimexes and Spiratones and Soligors, they are not a distribution name but an actual manufacturer. Can anyone point me in the right direction in my search for this obscure (and probably completely useless :)) knowledge? Are there any Makinon "experts" out there???

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Wigwam Jones , Sep 08, 2006; 11:59 p.m.

Makinon lenses were made by Makina Optical Co. Ltd. in Japan, and their reputation is not stellar, sadly. However, the word 'competent' comes to mind, and I have no doubt that excellent examples can be found. One nice thing about a lens maker like Makina on the used market is that their brand name cachet (they haven't any) won't work to run up the price. Thus, it can be cheap to experiment.

Many companies made lenses for Vivitar, from the sad to the sublime. The best, IMHO, were made by Kino/Kiron and Komine. Makina may have not been well-regarded, but again, for the price, might be worth a look-see for yourself.

And it is lens serial numbers beginning in '32' which are Vivitar branded but made by Makina.

Peter Galuszewski , Sep 09, 2006; 05:25 a.m.

Thanks! I thought it was either 33 or 32 - glad you straightened it out. But I look for 22 or 28 with those! :) Anything about their wide angles specifically? Any experiences? Mine seem well built, but the Nikon one is just plain sad - its a 24 that makes things look nearly fish eyed... and nothing is sharp. But I did notice the rear element was rattling in its little ring (which I suppose contradicts my well built impression) I tightened it, but haven't had a chance to try it (I am understandibly cautious of using the lens for anything I want to know will come out well)... I have to run of the mill wide angles for my FD system: a Sears 28mm f2.8 and said Makinon 28 f2.8 - the Mak seems more sturdy and better put together, but after my experience with the nikon mount 24, I am cautious of it, so I keep using the Sears... If you are wondering why, my car was borken into and all my good glass was stolen, along with a bunch of other stuff... (like my Canon EF, which I loved...), and now I am far too broke to rebuild up to that standard. As such, I am trying to "make do" in the mean time... thus my weird interest in Makinons and such...

H. P. , Sep 09, 2006; 05:25 a.m.

Here in the UK, I've seen several copies of a little book about lens choice put out by Makinon. As Wigwam says, the brand isn't associated with especially good reviews and, from what I've seen of them, the mounts don't inspire too much confidence.

I've always had very good results from Soligor and Vivitar lenses. Both brands tended to have very good quality control and both have, at various times, marketed lenses which performed in the same class as Canon or Nikon products.

Eric Miller , Sep 09, 2006; 05:56 p.m.

I got a Makinon 35-105mm zoom macro lens as part of a m42 lens lot that I bought off Ebay. Seems fairly solid, large and heavy, but what I could find out about them, was that Makinon was a very cheap lens manufacturer. Even with my lens, it doesn't line up properly when I screw it onto either my Minolta (w/adapter) or my Praktiflex. I don't expect much out of it, but I considered it a throw to begin with.

Peter Galuszewski , Sep 10, 2006; 04:53 a.m.

My sentiments exactly, I was just intrigued by the lack of information and the fact that they made lenses for Vivitar. The are large, heavy, and feel well made in the two mounts I have... but like I said, the wide angles I have are very distorted and not exceptionally sharp. I think between my experiences and the opinions expressed in this thread, I will pass on Makinon... however much of a bargain they seem. Thanks for the imput.

Bernie Parro , Sep 13, 2008; 06:11 p.m.

I recently picked up a makinon 500mm mirrored lense I thought it was a Pentax mount. It had a P42 on the barrel it does't fit any cameras I have .Pentax- nikon - Yashika- Chinon,Could someone enlighten me as to what the p42 stands for Thanks .I don't have a Patrika camera but I have a k-mount lense for one and its not the same.

Dennis O'Regan , Nov 09, 2008; 11:49 a.m.

P42 should mean the Pentax universal thread. I am surprised it doesn't fit. I have a Makinon 200mm f3.3 sitting in front of me (it is going to be sitting on ebay later today) that is marked P42 and just screwed it onto a Spotmatic. Fits fine. Are the threads on the lens damaged?

Dennis

Jason Velazquez , Sep 05, 2009; 11:08 p.m.

Hi... I don't have an answer, but since topics of Makinon Lenses are rare I thought I would continue by asking; I have a 135mm 1:2.8 Makinon Lens. Thought it might fit my nikon D60. got it for ten bucks at a flea market so I thought it might be a safe gamble. Unfortunately I was wrong. Might there be an adapter to it so it may work... I doubt it, but maybe you guys can help.

A Tonkin , Oct 01, 2012; 06:00 a.m.

I had a 135mm (possibly f2.8) Makinon lens a few years ago that I bought new and, in going through some old slides and finding things taken with it, I'd say it was perfectly adequate with no easily discernible, or even discernible at all, faults. Not sure what happened to it but its now made me want to look on ebay to see what’s available. The only problem as I vaguely recall might have been it focussed the wrong way, relative to my genuine Nikon lenses and so also relative to what the split ring focussing screen led me to be believe was the correct direction to turn.


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