Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Lenses?

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Viewfinder [ + ]USA1
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Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Lenses?

Unread postby Viewfinder [ + ]USA1 » Fri May 30, 2014 9:15 pm

I have a few of this same AF Lens with different brand names. A Soligor, a Quantaray, and a ProSpec. (Sigma once made a series of ProSpec AF Lenses.)
I believe these Lenses were made from the mid-1980's to 1990's.
The Lens is an AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Lens, and was Made In Japan.
The Lens's Specifications are:
Aperture: f/4.5 (Constant)
Aperture Range: f/4.5-f/32
Construction: 12 Elements in 9 Groups
Angle of View: 32-12 Degrees (32 degrees @ 75mm - 12 degrees @ 200mm)
Filter Size: 52mm
Length: 4.7'' (120mm)
Width: 2.5'' (64mm)
Weight: 1.25 lbs (570 Grams)
Lens Coating: Multi-Coated
Zoom System: One-Touch w/Internal Zoom (No change in Lens length)
Focus System: Auto Focus w/Manual Focus Ring
Minimum Focus: Normal: 9.75ft (3.0m) Macro: 37'' (95cm)
Macro Focus: 1:4 Life Size
Electronic Contacts: Minolta AF 5-Pin Type
Auto Focus Window with ft/m Distance Scale (includes IR Zoom Points)
The Lenses are of Metal construction, with a Minolta AF a-Type stainless-steel bayonet Lens Mount. (They almost look like a compact version of the Minolta Maxxum AF 70-210mm f/4.0 Lens.)

I have also seen this same Lens (on eBay) with other brand names, such as; Kodak, Magnicon, Rokinon, Five-Star, Sakar, Ryka, and more. Some of these Lenses have a thin Red Band on the Front-Mounted Focusing Ring, while other's don't. The Pattern of the rubberized grip on the Zoom Ring can also vary.
These AF 75-200mm Lenses have worked on every Minolta Maxxum AF-SLR that I've been able to test them on. Here's a partial list; Maxxum 5000, 7000, 9000, 7000i, 8000i, 3xi, Maxxum 7 & 9.
They even work on my Konica Minolta 7D DSLR! On my KM-7D, the Lens is an approx. 112.5-300mm f/4.5 equivalent.
I don't know what the ROM Chip in them is, but it sure is a good one!
I haven't tested them on a Sony a-series (a100-a900) DSLR, yet.
As far as I know, this Lens was made only for Minolta AF Camera's, as I've never seen any that were for Canon, Nikon, Pentax, or Olympus AF Camera's.
If any of you have the same Lens or Lenses as this, or, if you know what Lens Maker/Company made them in Japan, please reply to this post. Thank You.

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bfitzgerald
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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby bfitzgerald » Wed Jun 18, 2014 9:32 pm

Sort of question DK would likely know more than anyone..that's if DK is around?
Not seen him post for some time must be busy

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby pakodominguez » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:08 pm

Quantaray?
Sigma.
Pako
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Viewfinder [ + ]USA1
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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby Viewfinder [ + ]USA1 » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:21 am

Hi, thank's for replying!
I still hope there's someone out there that knows the answer to my question.
Since posting my question, I have found the List that I compiled, of all of the different "Brand" Names that I have seen, of this same Lens.
In reference to this AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Lens, so far, I have found no less than SEVENTEEN (17) Names (versions?) for this same Lens!
Here they are: (In Alphabetical Order)
AM-PRO, CAMREX MC, COBRA MC, FIVE STAR (Toyo Optics), FOCAL, IMAGE, KODAK, MAGNICON, PLATINUM OPTICS, PROMASTER SPECTRUM 7, ProSpec, QUANTARAY MX, RYKA, ROKINON AF-Z, SAITEX, SAKAR, SOLIGOR.

I did find out, that the Promaster Spectrum 7 Lens, is from a Company called Photographic Research Organization, Inc. (PRO) of Fairfield, CT (USA).
Some Lenses have the same exact Pattern on the Rubberized Zoom Ring, and some don't.
I have also seen an AF 28-80mm f/3.5-4.5 Lens version that was paired with the AF 75-200mm Lens.
Interestingly, what I have Not seen, is this Lens offered in any other AF Camera Lensmount, other than just for Minolta AF Camera's. Very strange, isn't it??
I still have the Box, for the SOLIGOR version of the Lens I have.
The End-Panels of the Box reads;
75-200MM f/4.5 MACRO
SOLIGOR AF for Minolta 5/7/9000
AiC PHOTO INC (Logo) Made In Japan.

If You want to see what the Soligor Lens looks like, go to eBay and just type-in "AF 75-200mm Lens", and you'll see one, and, a bunch of other's of this Lens for sale there.
Here's a Photo of mine, of the type of Lens I'm talking about.
I call it; "A Bad Day At The Horse Show." Subtitled: "Time to get a New Lens."
It was a rainy day, and the Shoulder-Strap broke. Yes, the Camera survived!
Attachments
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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:50 am

I can't be sure on this one, because there were dozens of small-shop makers assembling the stuff for different labels. I would suspect from the look of the lens that it's not a Sigma, Sun/Panagor, Kino, Cosina, Chinon, Tomioka, Miranda-Soligor. Most likely a Hoya (Tokina) design with all the component glass made by Hoya, but assembled and finished as a completed lens by a small workshop.

I suggest this because of the number of variants you have found. Hoya was and is the largest Japanese glass maker for lenses, and they were able to formulate a stock design, and sell all the glass to many different assemblers. This has the look of a Tokina/Hoya stock item to me anyway. They also designed and made the glass for the 100-300mm and 100-400mm APO lenses for Minolta (Minolta added the coatings and the assembly), and may have made several other Minolta AF lenses.

David

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby classiccameras » Mon Jul 07, 2014 8:50 am

Or Hanimex! which I think was an Australian brand name company.

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:08 am

Hanimex, like Allied Impex who owned the Soligor brand, sourced their lenses from various suppliers but always at the cheaper end of the market. Soligor went to Kino Optical for their C/D range after Vivitar had a success with Kino's high end optics and superior anodised barrel finish. Hanimex never did and always stuck to the basic grade.

David

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby classiccameras » Wed Jul 09, 2014 4:20 pm

One of my first slide projectors was a Hanimex, pretty crappy really, but did the job until I could afford a Leitz Pradovit.

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby Viewfinder [ + ]USA1 » Thu Jul 10, 2014 12:03 am

Hi D.K.!
You may very well be on the right track about this Lens, being of a Hoya (Tokina) design after all.
If they did indeed make any Minolta AF Lenses, wouldn't they also have had access to the Minolta ROM Chips, Lensboards, and the Stainless-steel Mounts, for the Lenses?
That would certainly explain why this Lens was only made with a Minolta "a-type" AF Lens Stainless-steel Lensmount, and Not for any other, correct?
This Lens does in a way mimic the design of the Minolta AF 70-210mm f/4.0, by Zooming Internally, and it has a Front-mounted Focus-Ring, just like the Minolta Lens does.
Side-by-side, the AF 75-200mm Lens that I have, looks like the Minolta's younger brother.
I will see if I can post a photo or two, of them both, side by side, for a comparison.

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:52 pm

I know for sure that the Minolta 70-210mm was not farmed out during the period that metal lens shades were issued with the lens. I saw it being assembled at Sakai, beside with the 28-135mm (in fact, I think it was our visit from the UK and the comments made by Minolta staff about the cost of this lens exceeding its sale price which started off its reputation - along with its performance).

However, the 70-210mm went into massively increased production as it was the best-selling lens in the range in the first two or three years. I would not be surprised if the plastic hood version didn't get assembled by one of Hoya's workshops. The Sakai assembly line was literally half a dozen 'quality circle' workgroup benches with a team of eight on each table. It was a small single-storey office unit, not a factory.

The Tokina (and variant) lenses of this period do seem to have approved Minolta chips, I've owned a few and they still work on digital SLRs unlike most early Sigma and some others.

I also think the Tokina 80-200mm f/2.8 was almost as good as the Minolta - and very similar.

David

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby Viewfinder [ + ]USA1 » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:54 am

Here are Photo's of both of the Lenses, side by side.
The venerable MINOLTA MAXXUM AF 70-210mm f/4.0 Lens is obviously on the Left, while a QUANTARAY MX AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Lens is on the Right.
While these two Lenses are Not identical, they do share some similarities.
Both Lenses Focus from Infinity to Minimum Focus (1.1m*), by turning the Focusing Ring Clockwise.
Both Lenses have Macro settings, with the Minolta Lens at the 210mm position, and the Quantaray Lens at the 200mm position.
Both Lenses have Macro Focus-Range Markings, from 2.5m to 1.1m*, on each Lens's Focusing Distance Scale.
*Could these two specifications, being the same on both Lenses, just be a coincidence?
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100_0709B.jpg (91.95 KiB) Viewed 1999 times
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100_0710B.jpg (106.74 KiB) Viewed 1999 times

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby David Kilpatrick » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:45 pm

Many Quantaray lenses were Sigma but I'm pretty sure this is not. If the AF works on a modern body, if definitely is not. It looks like a design from the same stable - maybe even something pitched to Minolta as a budget lens but never taken up. The size is really appealing. How does it perform?

David

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Re: Who actually made these AF 75-200mm f/4.5 Macro Zoom Len

Unread postby Viewfinder [ + ]USA1 » Fri Jul 18, 2014 8:34 pm

So far, the Soligor, Quantaray, and ProSpec versions of this Lens all work on my Konica Minolta 7D.
The two photo's of both Lenses were taken with the Soligor 75-200mm Lens on the KM7D.
They all Auto Focus, and the Aperture (F/stop) readout does display on both the internal Viewfinder Display, and the Rear LCD Display, and they work the same for my Maxxum 7, and also on my 9000AF.
The Auto Focus speed and accuracy of the Minolta AF 70-210mm and the 75-200mm Lenses are evenly matched on the KM7D (I tested from Infinity to 4.0ft and from 4.0ft to Infinity @ 210mm and 200mm, respectively.)
Images I took of the same scene with each Lens, show both have very good sharpness.
As for color saturation, (I'm no expert) they looked really close to me, but in the end, the Minolta Lens's colors were better (The Minolta 70-210 Lens was always known for having great color reproduction).
According to the specs I provided, the Lens was originally designed for 35mm (24x36mm) Minolta's, and it work's equally well for my KM7D with it's APS-C size 6MP sensor, and it may be able to work on a Sony a700, a Full-Frame Sony a900, or newer Sony DSLR Camera.


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