Anyone heard of SUMMATECH lenses?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by christos_theofilogiannakos, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. I have a Fujica STX-1 (a gift) which is probably my least used SLR. Until recently, I only had the kit 1.9/50 Fujinon to use with it, so I was always opting for my ST705 with the 1.8/55 whenever I wanted to shoot with a Fujica.
    A few weeks ago, I came across a "buy it now" sale on eBay for a "X-Fujica 2.8/28mm wide angle lens" new in box. It was the last piece and was priced at 20 bucks plus postage. As usual, I instictively hit the "buy now" button only to realize that no 28mm Fujinon with a 2.8 aperture existed in the first place. Checking the ad more closely (a bit too late for that) the lens was a third party "Marexar" which immediately explained the low price. Tempted to ask for a cancellation, I noticed that all other 19 lenses that were initially available had been sold within a week, so I said "what the heck" and decided to go on with it, as I didn't own a 28mm lens in any mount type. Samples photos taken with the 28mm Marexar in various mounts are available in Flickr and what I saw was so-so and reviews of the lens were not favorable. Nevertheless, since I only use film and I am anything but a pixel-peeper I thought I'd judge the lens myself when it arrived.
    Well, the lens arrived yesterday in its box with the silica gel satchet and all, but it was not a Marexar! Instead of that, the lens brand is the even more obscure Summatech. Googling it, I came up with almost nothing, other than that Summatech was a Denver-based company that sold camera accessories and binoculars. Apparently they also distributed a very limited line of lenses for various mounts. The user manual in the box (printed 1983) provided no info for the company itself or the actual manufacturer of the lens which is made in Japan and bore the golden JDMC II sticker. Searching Flickr for "Summatech" brought up only 2 (!) pictures, none of which was taken with a Summatech lens!
    Despite initial disappointment, I have to say that the lens is very well built (much better than the kit 1.9 Fujinon). The mount is metal, as is the rest of the lens, with very smooth focusing and an aperture ring that clicks very positively and is rated 2.8 to 22 with half stops inbetween. There is an orange circle beyond f22 that can only be set after pressing a small metal button next to it (macro?). The focusing grip is very pimply, similar to my Pentax-M SMC lenses and the lens feels reassuringly heavy. Could this be made by one of the better known third party lens manufacturers like Cosina or Tokina and then rebranded? Any info will be very welcome! I loaded the camera with a roll of Fuji C200 and we'll see how this obscurity turns out.
    (P.S. : As usual in such cases, a few days later, I came across a "buy it now" sale on eBay.de for a 3.5/28 and a 3.5/135 X-Fujinons with their boxes and original metal hoods for 40 euros incl. postage which I just couldn't let pass...)
     
  2. The lock on the aperture ring is for use on full auto bodies.
     
  3. Post a couple of photographs of it, Christos. Some erudite member of the Forum may recognise it as being identical with another brand.
     
  4. I used to be erudite but now I'm fully functional.
     
  5. Yeah, I've been fighting it off, too...
     
  6. I have a Summatech camera bag which I found in a pawn shop in Fullerton, CA some years ago. It gets a lot of use. I first bought a Domke angles shoulder pad for it. It fits the strap well and keeps the bag from slipping off my shoulder. Last year I had the top zipper replaced by the local shoe repairman. It may soon be time to get a new shoulder pad. The rubber has a great grip but doesn't last forever. The story has a funny ending. I almost always carry cameras bags on my left shoulder. Late last year I took a new jacket to be fitted by the tailor. He said my left shoulder was lower than my right one and added some padding to the jacket's left shoulder. Summatech? I like it!
     
  7. I carry my 4x5 camera around my neck. You wanna talk about a weird neck !
     
  8. OK, my connection was down, so I couldn't upload images of the lens. Here they are:[​IMG]
     
  9. There are a number of lenses markeed P-MC. Most of these are Panagors which are just like similarly marked Vivitars. I recently got a two-touch 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Access lens in Minolta mount. It has the blue P-MC letters and is the same as the Soligor C/D 35-70/2.5-3.5 except that the Soligor has a built-in hood and the the Access lens doesn't. I also recently got an interesting Panagor zoom with a marking of PMC in red. It's a one touch 80-200/4.5 with a built-in hood. In the normal range it focuses to 2 meters at all focal lengths. A ring just ahead of the aperture ring has a macro setting which gets the lens to about 1:6 at the 80mm setting. The lens is in Yashica/Contax mount. I can't tell how good it is yet because the seals are shot on both of my Yashica FX-3s. Sometimes an odd lens turns out to be a good performer even if the marked name is unfamiliar. The two Access 35-70/2.5-3.5 lenses I have work well.
     
  10. There are a number of lenses markeed P-MC. Most of these are Panagors which are just like similarly marked Vivitars. I recently got a two-touch 35-70mm f/2.5-3.5 Access lens in Minolta mount. It has the blue P-MC letters and is the same as the Soligor C/D 35-70/2.5-3.5 except that the Soligor has a built-in hood and the the Access lens doesn't. I also recently got an interesting Panagor zoom with a marking of PMC in red. It's a one touch 80-200/4.5 with a built-in hood. In the normal range it focuses to 2 meters at all focal lengths. A ring just ahead of the aperture ring has a macro setting which gets the lens to about 1:6 at the 80mm setting. The lens is in Yashica/Contax mount. I can't tell how good it is yet because the seals are shot on both of my Yashica FX-3s. Sometimes an odd lens turns out to be a good performer even if the marked name is unfamiliar. The two Access 35-70/2.5-3.5 lenses I have work well.
     
  11. There were similar specification 28mm f/2.8 lenses in lots of different "house-brands" like Berolina, Spiratone, Soligor, Vivitar, and many others.
    I don't recognize the specific "clothing" of this version, but as Jeff points out, the blue P-MC marking is a clue.
     
  12. Well, it looks like it would be a feat worthy of a Sherlock Holmes to recognize the origin of these various "house-brand" lenses. I just got me a Porst 35-105 f3.5 (constant) in PK mount from eBay.de marked as "new" by the seller which turned out to be just another name for the well-known Vivitar lens made by Tokina. It cost me about 40 USD (postage included) and my only problem now is to gather the strength (literally) to carry it around with my Pentax KM attached...
     
  13. I did some casual Googling and aside from finding this and similar queries on various camera sites, there's not much information out there. There is a company still in business which makes camera bags and other cases under the SummaTech name (link). Perhaps this is a descendant of the company that rebranded lenses back in the later 70s and 80s ( lots of them on eBay and elsewhere in FD and other mounts).
    A long while back, I tried to make up a list of "house" brands and identify who marketed them (like Cambron from Cambridge Cameras in NYC), but wasn't able to make much progress because there are so many of them from those days.
     

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