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Playing around with a stock 18-55 and a Sigma 70-300 ...
Now, with an SMC Takumar 105 and a CZJ Flektogon 35 too ...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Japanese classic: Kiron 105 f/2.8 Macro ...

... With a Pentax-KA mount, allowing the control of the diaphragm through the camera body dial and full "Av" exposure mode ...

Manufactured by the Tokio based firm Kino Precision (who also manufactured other excellent lenses branded either Kiron or Vivitar) during the early 1980s, this macro lens is able to reach a 1:1 reproduction ratio at the focusing distance of 35cm. It was sold also under the Vivitar (Vivitar 105 f/2.5 Macro) or the Lester A. Dine (Lester A. Dine 105 f/2.8 Dental) brands.

The lens is very well built, with a full metal barrel and a built-in collapsible hood. The very long focusing thread, requiring about 1.80 turns to focus from infinity to the minimum distance, allows for a very precise focusing. The 8-blades diaphragm spans from f/2.8 to f/32 in half stops increments (but my camera is able to control it in 1/3 f/stop steps).

At "normal" focusing distances (about 1m), the lens performs really well, showing a nice bokeh:

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4187

At closeups, the performances are outstanding:

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4174

Kiron 105 Macro Closeup - IMGP4197

But it is better to look at the full resolution images in my Flickr set, to really appreciate the performances of this lens.

My impressions:
  • Very well built, you can almost feel the meaning of the term "precision" when focusing.
  • Outstanding sharpness and realistic color rendering (not saturated as the Fujinon 55/3.5).
  • A bit soft wide open, its performances raise starting at f/4.
  • Nice bokeh.
  • Not really lightweight, 645g with a P/KA mount.
  • The camera + lens combo is quickly unbalanced when close focusing. Maybe a tripod mount on the lens would have been nice.

Time to start a fight for the Kiron 24/2 and the Kiron 28/2 ?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently purchased the Vivitar Series 1 105mm/f2.5 version of this lens. The Kiron manufactured serial number for Vivitar lens starts with a 22XXXXXX. I love to use this lens over my 50mm & 100mm 1:2 manual lenses because this lens is sharp, the contrast and color is realistic and it has a good bokeh. Even though it is a bit heavy especially I am disable and only have use of my left hand to operate the camera and lens. It functions as a short telephoto lens (equivalent to 150mm)without having to change lenses. When I purchased this 16 year old lens the infinity focus needed adjustment. Through the help of Pentaxforum members I managed to fix the infinity focus. It turned out to be a simple fix. The lens is fast and I agree that at 1:1 macro setting you will benefit having a tripod. Most of the time I do not need one. I would really recommend this lens if you are considering getting a manual focus one.

May 22, 2010 at 7:18 PM  
Blogger IndianaDinos said...


Thanks for commenting and for your feedback about this great piece of glass ...

June 10, 2010 at 11:08 PM  

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