A Mamiya and a couple of Hanimars

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by coryammerman, May 30, 2013.

  1. I recently put in a rather modest bid on a decent sized lot of film gear on eBay. In addition to the SRT 101 and a couple of lenses with diaphragm issues (that have since been resolved) that a posted about recently were a couple of tripods, a bunch of random filters, a nice Tamrac bag and a Mamiya MSX 1000 with a 55mm/1.8 lens and a couple of Soligor TC's. All in all not a bad score for 50 bucks plus shipping, I think.
    While awaiting the arrival of a Vivitar 80-200 for the SRT to arrive I decided to try out the Mamiya. I already had a Hanimar 35/2.8 in M42 mount and I recently picked up a Hanimar 135/3.5 pre-set lens that I bought strictly based on the fact that it had a 15 bladed diaphragm. So off i headed to downtown Memphis.
    I won't go into a whole lot of detail about the camera. There were 2 MSX versions, a 500 and a 1000. The numbers represent the fastest shutter speed of the respective models. When coupled with an SX lens, which is just a regular M42 lens with a click-stop added to the mount, the camera should give open aperture metering and spot metering in stop-down mode. I say "should" because the meter in mine is very nearly dead. It does respond to light, but only in very bright light and only if you set the ASA dial to 3200. Whereby it gives meter readings that would yield very overexposed pictures even with 100 speed film. Consequently, I used a combination of Sunny 16 and my Gossen Luna Pro light meter in trickier lighting.
    I'll say a little bit about each lens as I go along. First, the camera porn.
    Hanimar 35/2.8

    I had previoulsy used this lens with a Practika once before. I wasn't very impressed with it then, but I mainly used it near wide open due to low light. I had hoped that it would get better stopped down, but, alas, it was not to be. Which is unfortunate for me, since 35mm is probably my favorite focal length. Maybe it's just my copy is bad, but there is a significant amount of blurring on the sides. Which is a shame really, because the center is really quite sharp.
    Confederate Park
    Court Square- The building at right-center is the D.T. Porter building, which was the first steel frame building built in Memphis.
    Civic Center Plaza
    Royal Corner
    A Window, a Statue, and a Small Door- Detail of Calvary Episcopal Church. Founded in 1832, the chapel is the oldest public building in Memphis.
    Mamiya SX 55/1.8
    I expected this lens to perform well and it didn't disappoint. Very sharp and contrasty.
    Cannon detail- A close-up of the cannon in the first picture above.
    Door of The Pier
    Handicap Access
    Condos and Cars- While most older buildings along the waterfront have been knocked down and replaced with glass metal buildings, a few have survived and been converted into condos, while others are still waiting to realize their long-forgotten potential.
    Hanimar 135/3.5 pre-set
    This lens is a bit of a mixed bag. Initially, I was rather surprised at how tiny this lens is. It's much thinner and shorter than my Nikkor 135/3.5. It performed about as well as I expected for a cheap, un-coated 135. It's reasonably sharp at middle apertures. The 15 bladed diaphragm does yield rather pleasant bokeh. I've read a few reviews and seen some sample pictures in color that show it is quite soft wide open and exhibits a lot of CA. Not something I had to worry with shooting B&W. The handling of the lens, however, leaves a bit to be desired. I could point out that the aperture rings and focus ring are too close together leading to a lot of fumbling around, but instead I'll just say that it encourages a slower, more contemplative approach to photography. I believe that it's a T-mount lens and I'm sure that it was probably marketed under other names since Hanimar only sold re-badged lenses from other makers.
    Here's a picture of it next to The Nikkor for reference.
    Zinnias in a Box- This lens doesn't focus very closely. This was shot with a 2x TC added.

    Flower Bed- This was shot at either F8 or 5.6
    Bean Pod- Shot at f8 and at closest focus distance
    Front Street
    Larger versions of these pictures and a few more that I left out can be seen on my Flickr account:
    Thanks for looking.
  2. I forgot some technical stuff. Film used was Kentmere 100. Developed in T-Max developer (1+4) for 8 minutes @ 68F. Scanned on Epson V600 @ 2400 dpi. Some minor exposure corrections and downsizing were done in Capture NX2. No sharpening was applied in post processing.
  3. Very nice.
    I'll have to come back to them later to look more closely, but my first impression is good.
  4. Just wonderful. Such a nice long scale.
  5. Excellent examples, Cory, that Kentmere 100 is a very fine film. No surprises from the Mamiya and it's lens, altogether a very nice outfit. I've never had a Hanimex wide-angle that impressed me, but some of the 135's were really good. In fact, I have a very similar lens to the one you featured, with the "Hanimex" label, which is as sharp and contrasty as any 135mm lens I own, past about f/5.6. I'll post some stuff from it in due course. It really is an eye-opener. Thanks for an interesting post and some great images...I really like the "Bean-Pod' pic.
  6. Too bad about the 35/2.8. I have always liked the wider lenses and 35mm is very versatile.
    On a recent vacation I took along 35mm, 50mm and 300mm lenses and the only one I
    used on the whole trip was the 35mm.
  7. Great shots! While the 50 lens may be sharper corner to corner, if you have a subject in the center of the photo that you want to isolate, like the canon, that 35mm is really good! I used to have one of those 135 lenses, and they make excellent portraits, as long as you can live w/ the 135 focal length. In my humble opinion, sharpness at the edges of a photo is way overrated. Most shots feature a centrally located subject. I have never looked at a photo and thought "if only it were sharper in the corners". If landscapes are desired, 35mm is not the ideal film format anyway. It would be a lot better to shoot medium format.
    We spent a week in downtown Memphis a few years back while traveling by train to other places. A lot of potential there. I hope they're able to bring it back. There were a lot of neat signs everywhere that said "Be Nice, Or Leave". I believe an artist, who's name I cannot remember, had come up w/ the scheme. As an old time Southerner, that's exactly my sentiments. Life is too short for sub optimal manners.
  8. Thanks for the responses everyone.
    JDM- It's always helpful to make a good first impression. :)
    Gene- I was pleased with the scale too. This was my first time using this film and my first attempt ever at developing my own film. The Massive Development Chart didn't have a listing for Kentmere 100 with T-Max, so I had to make an educated guess at the developing time.
    Rick- I agree with you about the Kentmere film. I expected worse for $2.95 a roll. Unless I'm mistaken, Hanimar and Hanimex are the same company. It's not surprising that your lens would be similar to mine. Looking forward to seeing what you can do with it.
    Rod- It is too bad about the 35. Close to half of the 36 exp roll was shot with that lens. Guess Ill have to keep my eyes open for a better one at a good price.
    Steve- I'm not one that obsesses about corner sharpness either, but this is really quite noticeable when viewed larger than the 700 pixel limit. I'll attach a larger sample showing it at it's worst. I agree that Memphis does have a lot of potential. Also a lot of rich history. Unfortunately, it also has an administration that is more interested in playing the blame game than fixing any real problems.
  9. Great shots, Cory. 35mm Mamiyas were always underated in my opinion. My dad's first 35mm SLR was a Mamiya 1000 TL and he let me use it numerous times. I suspect he chose it over the Spotmatic, Minolta SRT, or Nikkormats avaible at the time because he was able to get it at a good price with the 1.4 lens. The DTL's were out by the time he bought it which further reduced the price. He never moved up to the later Mamiyas because it was only a few years until we opened a camera shop. From there it was mostly Minoltas and Konicas for many years.
  10. "There were 2 MSX versions, a 500 and a 1000."
    Sort of a lateral question if I may... Does anyone here owns the 500 version, and would he confirm that it actually reaches but 1/500? Reason for asking: Asahi Pentax did market a lower-cost version of the Spotmatic, which was described as having a max. speed of 1/500. In fact, however, the speed dial could be turned past the 500 mark to the (unmarked) 1/1000 position. The camera was an absolutely normal Spotmatic, and just the 1000 mark on the dial was missing. It was all but a gymnick to dump some extra cameras on the market. I wonder whether other manufacturers used the same trick.
  11. The "Confederate park" shows the "petzval" effect of the 35mm, but it seems somehow appropriate, I think.

    "Handicap Access" is one of my favorites, nice.

    The Hanimar 135 is nice too, is it Japanese made?
  12. Wow, that is some smearing of the edges and corners. If I got results like that I'd be sure to check the original negative to make sure it showed up on them and is not a result of something further down the image chain. If the 35mm is that bad in the corners, even stopped down it almost looks like an element is wrong. I'd be surprised if the 135mm pre-set lens is not coated, don't think I've ever seen a postwar lens that does not have some coating. Might be only a very faint blueish cast though. I've got a 28mm f2.8 Soligor pre-set that is not too bad at all at f8~16, very nice for a $5 lens.
    Lovely samples at the scale presented. Think I'd better get some of that film before the price goes up.
  13. I was also thinking how nice the tones are, bit hard to tell too much about sharpness from the small size, but you would expect a Mamiya lens to be top notch. Hanimex did make some amazingly good lenses, but some dogs as well...a bit like the ones from the FSU...luck of the draw!
    I really like the feel of the SX Mamiyas, very smooth and the shutters make a nice sound. I have a 35, 28mm and 50mm 1.4 for my Rollei SL35 which are all made by Mamiya and re-badged as Voigtlanders, superb performers, even though they are meant to be the budget lenses.
  14. Both "Hanimar" and "Hanimex" were part of the Jack Hannes empire, and it was generally assumed that "Hanimar" was a slightly budget line in lenses, rather like "Rokkor" and "Celtic" in the Minolta line. Almost certainly made in Japan, but by whom would be very hard to discover.

Share This Page