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How good is the Prinz Galaxy 300mm f5.6@?

Discussion in 'Classic Models & Marques' started by FujiSigmaNolta, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Hi all,

    I have one of these but never used it. I bought some years ago for my Fujica ST605, but I only ever use with it the Fujinon 55mm f2.2 and the Orestor 100mm f2.8 with which I am in love, even if the rear element is slightly fogged. I know the Prinz has a rear plastic element (which is also slightly fogged) but I gave it a good clean with some ethyl alcohol and it became a bit better. All other elements are fine. The reason why I am asking now, is because I also found a long forgotten item in my drawer, a M42 Ensinor 2x teleconverter.
    I am not expecting brilliant results as I know using teleconverters is not great, but if this lens is not really that great either I might as well not use them not together or on their own. I don't want to waste film testing them as my budget has been doing well with digital lately :D

    Opinions please.
  2. Gordon_McGeachie

    Gordon_McGeachie In the Stop Bath

    I had a 200 of theres many years ago and it was a reasonable lens,but as we all do, I upgraded and it went by the by.
  3. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    It's too big for a paperweight: do you need a good doorstop?

    Generally the Prinz/Dixons lenses were positioned in the bottom to middle of the budget range, though some of the budget 35mm & 135mm lenses of the day were quite acceptable once stopped down 2-3 stops - some were complete junk. Really, it all depended on who made them: some gems turn up, but the best assessment is "average for the times" - and times have moved on ...

    In comparison, 300 & 400mm 'long focus' lenses were simple, easy to make designs, so can give quite tolerable results. However, true telephoto lenses are more complex and more costly to manufacture: hence budget ones were often pretty "average" (or in my personal view "mostly crap").

    If your 300mm is fairly short, & has an auto diaphragm it's most likely a telephoto. The "plastic rear element" suggests this, since the rear element in long focus designs tends to be quite inaccessible; but they often needed a rear screw-in filter to maintain critical sharpness - that could be the plastic bit(?).

    If it's quite long (c.300mm) has a pre-set aperture, T-mount lens, its a 'long focus' and you may find results are pretty acceptable. T-mount lenses may be capable of being mounted on a digital SLR camera too, potentially with better results than on film. I put a very old pre-set Tamron 200-400 long focus zoom(!) on a D70 some while back and found the results were rather good (using the central part of the lens): edge performance on film was crap, however (search the Classic Forum).

    The Ensinor should make a "great" paperweight.

  4. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Seems like a fair summary to me. Of the preset long toms, the 500mm is generally the best, the 400mm poor and the 300mm OK - I've got one, and it's, well, OKish. I have used it with my old Vivitar 2x convertor, and it's poor - and that's a convertor that's almost certainly better than yours.
  5. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    Ok, so it looks like the converter will do nicely as a cap for my Thermo when I am drinking the coffee from it and the lens will be replacing the missing leg on that old chair. :D

    On the other hand I am quite happy with the Orestor 100mm f2.8, it seems very sharp and the bokeh looks good. I had this image printed sold at near A3. It has a lovely aperture blade arrangement. I haven't got it with me right now, but it is near circular when it closes. Here's a sample I fished out from my Choose-Film.com account (it looks like it fits forum constraints but if not I'm sure the mods will let me know :D ) : [​IMG]

    In fact, this is another thing I wanted to ask. I have been using this lens for a while (a while is a good few years, maybe 4-5 I have had it) but I have never come across an Orestor, this is the first lens I had of the brand. Any firther info on company or lens? This lens seems very good, just wondering what other lenses they made. Thanks.
  6. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    It's made by Hugo Meyer, later part of the Pentacon (i.e. Praktica) combine. Their lenses were generally pretty decent, with the exception of the dismal Domiplan. ISTR that the 100 f2.8 was pretty highly thought of, along with the 30mm Lydith.
  7. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Very nice photo - just my style.

    The Orestor is indeed a very good lens, actually outperforming the Pentax-M 100/2.8 by a small margin, though not the classic Nikkor & Takumar 105s; and as I recall, it is pretty flare resistant. I haven't seen one in screw-mount for a while, nor a Lydith, and both should be on my wish list.

    In Camera Weekly test comparisons of 50mm lenses (c.1983) the paragon was the Planar 50mm f1.8; the Domiplan was used as an example of the worst. The Domiplan may now have some appeal to Holga enthusiasts ....
  8. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Interesting; the 1.8 Planar? That's the Rollei one, and I've always considered the 1.7 Contax/Yashica one better - and the 1.4 version in both mounts a touch better than that.

    The Domiplan isn't bad enough to appeal to Holga fans, nor good enough for general use - except at f11, IMHO.
  9. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member


    I'll check if it was Contax or Rollei (my 'library' is kept at work). In a classic resolution test the Planar shows very steep drop in resolution after f8 from <u>145</u> lpm (centre) and <u>125</u> lpm (edge) to a 'modest' <u>90</u> lpm at f16 (diffraction) - as good as they get. Even at full aperture the centre and edges are over 90 lpm: but there's more to a lens than sheer resolution ..

    The Domiplan resolution rises steadily (centre & edge) from around 30 lpm at f2.8 to a whopping 45 lpm at f16: it's clearly diffraction limited from about f5.6 - quite an achievement! I can't recall ever seeing a lest test as abysmal as the Domiplan's and I'm quite sure my 1900s Balda with 75mm f5.6 Meyer Trioplan is miles, miles better than that.

    The other 'cheapie' that can give excellent images is the 20mm f4 Flektogon, but QA issues may have been patchy with those. They seem to keep their price - another wish-list lens.

    Here's a website about M42 lenses - it lists a lot, but ain't very informative really: M42 lenses. The useful comments (if any) are almost invisible at the bottom of the pages.
  10. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Camera Weekly (1980s) used the Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm f1.7 as a comparison lens. In terms of overall performance it set a resolution standard that was hardly ever bettered, except in some limited way like at full or minimum aperture.
  11. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    I suspect that's a particularly poor example - certainly there's talk of widely differing ability of Domiplans on a number of site/discussion groups, with some respectable sources saying it's quite good for a triplet, others saying it's dismal, and me a little above the base. That said, I've had two of 'em, and both seem to be as good, or rather bad, as each other.

    I've got one of the 20mm f2.8 ones, sadly in Praktica bayonet rather than M42. As such, I can't fit it to my Canons, but it performs exceptionally well on film. The M42 versions of both the f4 and f2.8 versions do indeed keep their value. I' ve also got one of the 25mm f4 lenses - it's good, but not great.

    Quite interesting - thanks!
  12. Benchista

    Benchista Which Tyler

    Ah, the f1.7. Yes, it's a cracker indeed. The f1.8 was a much older design, from the Contarex I think, and is generally not that highly regarded - but it seems pretty decent to me.
  13. LordMinty

    LordMinty Well-Known Member

    IIRC isn't the 30mm Lydith Ivor Mantele's favourite lens?

    Probably a bad time for me to admit I've got two of them... :D
  14. Tacitus

    Tacitus Well-Known Member

    Two! Well, you should get rid of one ...... :rolleyes:
  15. Burgy

    Burgy In the Stop Bath

    The Prinz brand as a whole was awful. When I worked in a photo retailers we used to refuse to take them in px. I had a 70-162mm zoom on a Ct-1 and it was dire. Soon replaced it with pentax glass.
  16. DarkMatter

    DarkMatter New Member

    Sorry to be 18 months late in commenting on this post, but after reading this post, I dutifully purchased a zebra version of the Meyer Orestor 100mm 2.8, and discovered it had only 6 aperture blades javascript:void(0):eek:

    Could you further physically describe your version of this lens, so I could more successfully purchase the 14 blade model in the future?
  17. FujiSigmaNolta

    FujiSigmaNolta Well-Known Member

    You got mail!

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