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Opinions on Pan Cinor reflex zoom...


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#1 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:52 PM

As many of you know, one clever way to acheive reflex viewing with a non reflex camera is with a lens fitted with a dog-leg viewfinder, such as those bearing the name Pan Cinor. I thought I recall reading that some people thought that the optical quality of these lenses was quite average. I was wondering if anyone else had any different opinions on the image quality of Pan Cinor reflex zooms - ie bad, okay, good, excellent etc?

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 10 April 2007 - 11:53 PM.

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#2 kevin jackman

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 12:05 PM

As many of you know, one clever way to acheive reflex viewing with a non reflex camera is with a lens fitted with a dog-leg viewfinder, such as those bearing the name Pan Cinor. I thought I recall reading that some people thought that the optical quality of these lenses was quite average. I was wondering if anyone else had any different opinions on the image quality of Pan Cinor reflex zooms - ie bad, okay, good, excellent etc?


i think pan-cinor means "bad" in french
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#3 Ian Marks

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Posted 11 April 2007 - 03:14 PM

If you go for a Pan-Cinor, at least try to go for one of the later ones (the viewfinder tube comes out of the lens at a 90-degree angle). I don't know if the optics are any different than the lens that precedes it, but I believe the coating is better. Two things help to off-set the so-so optical quality: one, the lenses are incredibly robust (mine still focuses and zooms smoothly); and two, they are comparatively inexpensive.

I recently saw some archival footage from the 60's that was almost certainly shot with either a Pan-Cinor or old Angenieux 12-120 (not a highly-regarded lens, but common back then), and I was surprised at how good it looked on my standard-def TV. I figure the original footage had been re-transferred by a really skillful operator, maybe even "kissed" with a tiny bit of post sharpening.

One of these days I'll actually shoot a test with my Pan-Cinor against some primes, but I never seem to get around to it.
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#4 Robert Hughes

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 04:10 PM

My black right-angle Pan Cinor 17-85mm is a fine C-mount lens, with a subtly "vintage" character. Its dual image focus is correctly calibrated and the lens hasn't yet turned to yellow radioactive dust (though it may someday).

Don't expect razor-edged sharpness wide-open, and don't shoot into the sun if you don't want flare. This lens is a heckuva lot closer to a prime than my Angenieux 10-150mm is. As with any older lens, you can get better sharpness by stopping down to f/11 or so.

I have a Som Berthiot 50mm prime which gives as pretty an image as you can want. It's smooth!

Edited by Robert Hughes, 24 May 2007 - 04:11 PM.

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#5 Ian Marks

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 05:23 PM

My black right-angle Pan Cinor 17-85mm is a fine C-mount lens, with a subtly "vintage" character. Its dual image focus is correctly calibrated and the lens hasn't yet turned to yellow radioactive dust (though it may someday).


Thanks for the positive comments regarding this lens, Robert. I just bought a second example of this lens (it's on its way right now) to go on a Bolex M4. About the radioactive dust thing, I've noticed that these lenses are unusually robust - much more so than one would expect for a lens of this vintage - and generally seem to focus and zoom more smoothly than the Angeneiux zooms.
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#6 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 24 May 2007 - 08:14 PM

....and the lens hasn't yet turned to yellow radioactive dust (though it may someday).

lenes taht turn yellow probaly have some Thorium Glass. The most famous is the Pentax Takumar 1.4 for older Pentax still cameras. The example I have of this lens was quite yellow, but several sunny days in the sun seems to have removed the colour cast.

Some say that by turning yellow the refactive index of the glass changes so much to make the lens useless, although my Pentax 1.4 still seems quite sharp.
YMMV
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