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Yashica Lumaxar Lens

Tom O'Brien , Apr 18, 2007; 12:50 a.m.

I have read that many people have purchased a Yashica TLR with a Lumaxar 80mm 3.5 lens but most have said that they have not shoot any photos with the Lumaxar. Is there anyone who has tested the Lumaxar lens? Please respond stating your opinion as to quality.


Tom OBrien


John Seaman , Apr 18, 2007; 03:04 a.m.

Don't know about testing it but my Lumaxar (75mm not 80mm) is capable of very sharp & contrasty images. The camera was not very good with a strong light source at the front, even with the hood fitted, due to loss of contrast & flare. I feel that this was due to lack of light baffling and shiny paint in the camera body rather than the lens. I have improved this by putting extra light baffles in the camera body and repainting with matt (flat) black. Other issues affecting performance may be focussing and dirt or scratches on the lens.

Pete Andrews , Apr 18, 2007; 04:58 a.m.

The Lumaxar is a Tessar type design 4 element lens, which predated the Yashinon in Yashica's top of the range TLRs (Yashi'mat and Yashica D versions). It behaves exactly as you'd expect a Tessar clone to do.

Central sharpness is very good, and contrast is fairly high, even wide open. Edges and corners fall behind in sharpness just a little. By f/8 the centre reaches good to excellent resolution, almost indistinguishable from more expensive 6 element SLR lenses. Resolution tails off gently toward the corners, but is still good enough for demanding use. It's really only its mediocre microcontrast that prevents this lens from being rated excellent all round.

There! That's my minitest on the Lumaxar, based on comparison tests against a later Yashinon on a 124G (which it beat hands-down - maybe the Yashinon was slightly below average), and two samples of Mamiya 80mm f/2.8 sekor lens, an f/1.9 80mm sekor C, and f/2.8 70mm L versions of Mamiya sekor C.

Of the whole batch, the 70mm L lens and an N version of 80mm f/2.8 stood out as being the best performers, but I'm talking about really small margins here. The sort of difference you can only see with very fine-grain film at around 25x magnification.

I also checked out an 80mm f/2.8 Schneider Radionar (3 element) on an old 120 folder. Not bad in the centre, but awful astigmatism showing up further out, giving a real "swirly" image in the corners. Compared to that, the Lumaxar is a real gem.

Jeff Adler , Apr 18, 2007; 11:04 a.m.

The Yashinon lens I had on a 124G was extremely sharp. If you used a 124G and did not get good results with its Yashinon lens then the camera and lens were not aligned properly. My problem with the 124G was that mechanically it was poorly made. When I got rid of mine I replaced it with a late model Minolta Autocord (no meter). The lens on the Autocord was also good but it was also much sturdier. The only weak point on an Autocord is the focusing lever tab. I now have a Yashica A, a Yashica 635 and a Yashica 44 but most of my medium format work is now done with Bronuca ETR, SQ-A and GS-1 cameras.

Dmitri Donskov , Jun 25, 2007; 03:43 a.m.

Hi! I just bought Yashica-Mat too. And it surprisely has a Lumaxar 75. But the crank is a little hard to use. Maybe it need some oil? And who know where i can look on photos Yashica-Mat with 80 Lumaxar? And is it really rare 75 Lumaxar? Thank you and forgive me for my awful English.;)

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