Are Super Marexars any good?

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by krassi_genov, May 24, 2009.

  1. Hello,
    I have two Super Marexars that came with my Minolta SRT 202 - the tele 2.8 135 mm and wide angle 2.8 28mm. I would rather stick with Rokkors, so I was wondering if these Marexars are any good or comparable in quality/sharpness to the Rokkors?
  2. Krassi - funny you should ask, I have a multicoated marexar-cx on my Minolta X-700 and I have 8 exposures left on the roll. I picked up the lens for $2 at the camera show and I will provide you an answer on Tuesday when I get the roll processed. The focal length on my Marexar is 28mm with and a max aperture of 2.8. Regards.
  3. My only experience with a Marexar was with a 28-80 zoom I have in Nikon mount. It was very disappointing, with distortion and softness at the wide end. I hope they did a better job with the primes.
  4. This is a make of lenses not often discussed. I tried a Google, but while there were lots of hits about individual Marexars for sale or people, like you asking about them, I could find out almost nothing about where they come from or who made them or who sold them. Nothing on Camerapedia, either.
    Any one know?
  5. Usually if Google doesn't know it, that's a bad sign. The world is so full of inexpensive Rokkors, Celtics and Series 1's, why mess around?
    Or since you already have them, shoot a roll then tell us if they're any good.
  6. In (UK) photo magazines of the 80s & 90s Marexars were typically the very cheapest offerings. They were never tested and certainly were not discussed in polite company. They appear at camera fairs for pennies, but may still be grossly overpriced.
    Example prices (1982) for a standard 80-200mm f4/4.5 zoom: Tamron £109, Tokina £96, Vivitar £90, Bell & Howell, Ozek & Makinon £80: Marexar .... £55
  7. Likely, the maker may vary with the lens type. Often common with the non-Series 1 Vivitars. A prime (28/35/135, etc) may be okay, but the zooms may be of dubious quality. I keep a few similar lenses for use on a "beater" camera body for pictures at the beach or other non-camera friendly environments. Sometimes comparing the specs (minimum focus, filter size) etc, may give a clue to the manufacturer. With some lenses, especially zooms, the marked focal lengths could be slightly different, but still be the same lens. For example, the Samyang 18-28 zoom was also sold by Vivitar as a 17-28.
  8. The usual way to make a cheap lens is to make it cheap. I once, out of morbid curiosity bought a JCPenney 135mm f2.8 for an OM mount for $5. When the aperture stopped working I decided to disassamble the lens. Upon removing the mount the screws didn't look quite right so I checked them up close with a 5X magnifer. They were stamped! Thats right, stamped, you could see a line down the middle of them and they were not quite round but more this () shape in cross section. They also destroyed the threads in the plastic lens body as they were extracted. This was a one way lens, built cheap to generate maxium profit and hopefully last just long enough to get past the 1 year warranty. Additional disassembly revealed cost cutting in every aspect of construction, one direction assembly, never designed to be serviced. That could be true of a lot of 3rd party lenses now and even a few of the cheaper "kit" lenses made by Nikon, Canon, et al.
  9. You guys talk about "cheap" like it is something bad. For many Art Photographers, "cheap" it is something *good.* You are aware that people do make art with Diana and Holga cameras and such? Not to mention other cheap plastic meniscus lenses and such. "Cheap" lenses can yield many, many interesting results. I own this lens, and it actually works quite well for a 28mm f/2.8 junk lens.
  10. What's wrong with simply trying?

    As said above, junk lenses can be something artistically great; I've got the cheapest model LensBaby and it's great fun - it would fail any kind of lens test, but it delivers something that "good" lenses cannot deliver. So, since you already own the lenses, worth the shot to see if they can work for you, or not. Not much to loose, except maybe a roll of film and some time.
  11. Though this is an old thread, Wouter gives some good advice here. I still stand by what I suggested in '09 that such lenses are also great for shooting photos under adverse weather where one might be reluctant to use their best gear. And, who knows, the results might be surprisingly good.
  12. Yes, collecting and using old lens can be both a lot of fun and very rewarding. Brand names are useful for establishing categories in the hobby, but often the names are no indication of manufacturer or quality. As with many consumer items, the "big" names are usually considered more desirable acquisitions, when there is often a lesser-known brand that will out-perform them at a much lesser price. And, of course, it sometimes turns out that the construction and quality of the product bearing the lesser known brand is precisely the same as it's more reputable (and expensive) counterpart.

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