Kiron Lenses....any good?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by gnashings, Jun 7, 2005.

  1. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I came across a wide angle lens that fits my needs spec-wise, but is made by Kiron (I understand they did make some quality glass, even branded as Canon I believe... dont know how true that is...). The price seems to be very low (usually a bad sign...) and its local to me so I would not have to incur shipping. I just wonder if any of you could tell me anyting about these. Here is the actual item:

    http://cgi.ebay.ca/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=7520985284&fromMakeTrack=true

    I thank you in advance for your input,

    Peter.
     
  2. Jeremy

    Jeremy Member

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    Yes, Kiron made some good glass including the highly-spoken of Vivitar 1 series. I can't see how you can pass this us, especially at this price.
     
  3. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    Do some more web research on Kiron and Kino. There is a Kiron collector's group Kiron-Klub on Yahoo Groups (you have to apply & log in (free of course) to keep SPAM out.
    There are people there who can tell you which lenses were which, refer you to resolution tests, etc., etc.


    Kino was supposedly formed by former Nikon engineers. They made some of the first Vivitar Series 1 lenses and some Nikon lenses, and had a marketing falling out of sorts when they released their own Kiron line.

    They tend to be larger and heavier. There may be subjective preferences, but the only complaint I've read is the size/weight and 'tendency to flare' on some zooms. This is a moot point with the insane number of elements in a zoom. You need lens shades and care when pointing into a light source.

    The Bob Monaghan phot site calls them cult classic lenses.

    Murray
     
  4. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Wow, that is pretty high praise indeed! Size and weight are not of paramount importance to me, so as long as the optical quality is good (especially the distortion on the outer reaches of the frames concerns me, as well as good sharpness and contrast), I think I would definitely be inclinced to buy this lens. Now lets bad mouth it a whole bunch so the price stays low :smile:
     
  5. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    I have shot many different versions of Kirons over the years, and generally they have been as good of quality as many of the name brand lenses of the same era, as has been stated some of the zooms were prone to flare a bit, but not anymore that other lenses of that time frame.

    Dave
     
  6. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Thanks Dave - they are quite an unknown quantity to me, so I certainly appreciate the input. I think if the price stays reasonable I'll go for it.
     
  7. Adrian Twiss

    Adrian Twiss Member

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    I had a look at some of the other items this vendor was selling. Given the low price on both the Canon AE1 bodies he has for sale I don't think you can regard the low price for this lens as a possible bad sign. Anyway for the price what have you got to lose?
     
  8. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Yes, his items seemed very reasonably priced and without the often found "... I know nothing about cameras, but..." disclaimer, which doesraise an eyebrow in me as a shopper. For now, the lens would get most of its work attached to an AE1 body, actually. I also find his open invite "to come and see for yourself" to be a very encouraging sign. We'll see how the auciton goes.
     
  9. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Morning, Peter,

    I can't speak for the wide angle lens you're considering, but I do have a 100mm Macro lens in Olympus mount which absolutely terrific. If you can get the lens for a good price, it's probably worth a try.

    Konical
     
  10. stark raving

    stark raving Member

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    I have the early Series I 35mm-85mm zoom, and there were never truer words spoken. It's a heavy son of a gun and big too, and it will flare at the least provocation. However, resolution and contrast are both quite good over the full zoom range, especially considering when it was made (ca. 1975.) Build quality is superb. I use it mostly indoors in controlled lighting.
     
  11. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    I've got an 80-200mm f4.5 zoom in Canon FD mount. A bit heavy, plus it's soft wide open but stop it down just one stop and it's really good. I bought it years ago from new when I had little money and it's still serving me well. Haven't seen the flaring that some have with their other lenses. Obviously Kiron are one of those hidden gems.

    Mike
     
  12. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Hmmm, I do shoot a lot wide open - I wonder how the wide open perforamnce is on a wide angle prime vs the zooms. I assume it would be a bit better,no?
     
  13. Murray@uptowngallery

    Murray@uptowngallery Member

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    I signed up on the Yahoogroups Kiron group to get some info on a very obscure custom one, but that was probably a dumb assumption they would be familiar.

    If you didn't get the lens, I'd sign up on that user group if you have piqued a particular interest in finding a Kiron lens, because they can tell you and endorse for you specific lenses, as well as tell you which Vivitar ones were made by Kino and which by others. There's a pretty strong knowledge base in that group.

    The guy who did the advertising campaign for the Kiron line is (has been in the past, anyway) even in the mix on occasion.

    Murray
     
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  15. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Thanks again! One day left, and still not decided... but if the price stays and I don't hear any horror stories... I think I'll be happy. Its really only the wide open performance that raised a bit of concern - I do shoot a lot wide open (I know, I know, I should know better :smile: )
     
  16. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Unfortunately, many consumer lenses are soft wide open. It's one of the things you pay lots of money for when you buy a "pro" lens. You'll just have to start using a tripod more :wink:

    Mike
     
  17. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    There are a good many lenses that seem to have bit of a problem when shot wide open, even many of the brand name lenses could exhibit a bit of softness at the edges, most lenses do have a sweet spot for optimum sharpness and I have even seen this in the high dollar Leica and Canon lenses, so it would be something you would have to test to make sure what the sweet spot of this lens would be, and that being said, if the price is low enough, I would go for it and have fun playing with it...

    Dave
     
  18. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Exactly my thoughts at this point - if I buy it for $10, Henrys, the local rip off artists, will buy it for $20 and sell it for $60...:wink:

    Jokes aside, for less than the price of a battery for my AE-1, its worth a shot... or many shots, whatever the case may be! I'll be sure to post any impressions just incase anyone else finds themselves in my shoes.

    Thanks agian,

    Peter.
     
  19. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Gnashings

    Which Kiron lens in particular are you looking at? Kiron was indeed, founded by sone top Nikon lens designers. They are very good, and built as well or better than the Nikon's. As other's have stated, Kiron (Kino Precision Industries) did make many of the older and superb Vivitar Series 1 lenses. Kiron made an excellent 24mm f/2 and a 28mm f/2. The Kiron 105mm f/2.8 macro, is phenomenal, and goes 1:1 life size without any adapters. I also use the excellent Kiron 28-105 and the Kiron 70-210. Join the Kiron Klub ( http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Kiron-Klub/ ) and you'll have access to loads of info on any Kirons or Vivitars.

    Kiron Kid
     
  20. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    I am so upset right now - after picking your collective brains, and testing the patience of the seller with many questions (I might add he was very accomodating) - my ISP took a dump on me for the third time this month, leaving me without web access for the duration of the evening... I usually bid before the auction closes, so I didn't even have enough time to get to another computer. Lesson learned, I guess. Well, at least I know to keep my eyes open to the Kiron's as they seem to be somewhat of a hidden gem.
    Thanks for all your help, guys,

    Peter.
     
  21. Dave Parker

    Dave Parker Inactive

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    Darn, wished I had of known, I would have bid on your behalf....One thing good in the camera business, there will be another...

    Dave
     
  22. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Don't worry I'm sure there will be plenty more in the future. However, if I'm desperate to bid for something then I use one of the free sniping websites -- www.auctionstealer.com. They'll place your bid about 20 seconds before the end of the auction for nothing. If you want to get them to place it closer, like 3 seconds before the end then you'll have to pay, but they're very useful if you've got a dodgy internet connection or you're out when the auction ends.

    Mike
     
  23. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    Thanks Dave, I appreciate it!

    Mike, all I have to say is:

    Cool! I never new such a thing existed!

    Its actually kind of frightening... but not enough to desuade me from using it :smile:
    I know people say I get what I deserve, waiting for the last moment, but I have seen cases where something was going for lets say $10, and I was willing to pay $20. Someone came in with $11, then $15, then $18... and then gave up. The only result is that I had to pay more... I don't mind getting out bid, but I do mind paying more than I have to!(yes, I know its technically the same thing... it just feels like such a pointless waste of my money...)
    Anyway, I have some more lense in sight - one is a Kiron 28mm f2 - its going cheap, but there apparently a "small mark on lens that does not affect image quality!"... OK, then why go to all the lenghts of making them so clear and keeping them so clean??? I don't know how much I trust that...
     
  24. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    I think sniping 15 or 20 seconds before the other snipers get in is a good thing... If one of the last-second snipers makes the same bid price as you, you win as you got yours in first. If they bid more than you, well, they would have won anyway. 20 seconds makes it too short for someone watching to enter a higher bid manually but lets you get in before the other snipers.

    Sometimes, just because technology means you can do something, does not mean you should do it (look at pop-up adverts for another example :wink: ) ...

    Bob.
     
  25. gnashings

    gnashings Inactive

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    That is very true - its a double edged sword...
     
  26. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Gnashing

    Where is this mark? If it's a smallone on the front element, don't worry about it. The Kiron 28mm f/2 and 24mm f/2, are nice lenses.

    Kiron Kid