View Full Version : Olympus lens mystery
This is a bayonet-mount 40mm f/3.5 Zuiko F.C., and its leather case is imprinted "Made in Occupied Japan", hinting at a 1950-ish date.
Around this time Olympus did offer the Ace, an RF camera with interchangeable lenses, but a 40mm f/3.5 was not one of them.
Before I saw the mount, I'd been hoping it was for Leica thread mount... too bad. But what is it? I'm tending to guess maybe for a scientific instrument of some kind.
Can anyone ID this lens and its purpose? Brian? :-) Here's a couple pics...
One more pic... There appears to be a tab on the aperture ring.
You know...that kinda looks like an Exakta mount.
A scientific instrument would not (usually) have a focussing Helical. Olympus made a lot of microscope lenses in these days, but they would be much smaller and no helical. Have you sent some pictures to Olympus?
I was looking at this lens in the above auction on eBay, at the time priced at $9.99. Now it has 6 hours to run and the price is about $38. And I'm less interested, not knowing if/how it could be used. Maybe other RFForumers can work up a "need". :-)
The focusing ring has those "gear teeth" that make me wonder if it was designed to interact with a motor-driven smaller gear to electrically control the focusing. Intriguing... and the seller has no idea what it's for.
I'll venture one of three guesses, (cheating but covering my bets), 1. Nikon SP 2. Contax ll or my real guess Olympus Pen F. Wonder how we'll ever find out? I say Nikon or Contax only because I traded my Kiev so I can't measure the mount flange, and I measured the lens on my Pen EL and am assuming the flange would be the approximate size. The lug on the mount (dark spot in line with the word "Japan" would indicate to me a RF lens as my Kiev had the same lug. Maybe the Contax/Kiev/Nikon guys could help? P.S. No laughing if I'm wrong, or I'll cry. LOL. Curt.
Hi Curt; thanks for the guessing, good tries but misses. Please no weeping! :-) I have in my hand a lens for Olympus Pen FT, and it does also have three lugs like the mystery, but there's more space between the lugs, which are correspondingly smaller circumferentially. And the diameter across the lugs is about 1/8 inch larger for the Pen lens.
Olympus offered a 40mm f/1.4 G.Zuiko, a 38mm f1.8, and a 42mm f/1.2. And a 38mm f/3.5 Macro. I don't think there was ever a 40mm f/3.5 for it. And assuming the leather case in the auction is actually for the mystery lens, that would date the lens some 10+ years before the Pen F was introduced (1963). And that lens does look older...
I have in my other hand a Jupiter-8M for Kiev RF, and it's "more different". The cylindrical shank above the lugs is much longer than the mystery lens. And the diameter across the lugs is about 1/8 inch smaller. (The Pen lens has almost no shank).
What's even more mysterious is that after I mentioned the $38 price with 6 hrs to go, there were 5 more bids, and it finally sold at $106.39. Wow! I was away at a birthday party and didn't see the auction end. I wonder if some of those surprisingly high bidders know what lens this is?!?
Could Richard be right? I've never seen an Exacta mount.
I went to the Ihagee site (www.ihagee.org) and I *think* I see your lens there: http://ihagee.org/vimlens20031225b.pdf
(First lens on page 19).
Well well! That's the first indication I've seen that Olympus made lenses for other mounts! That certainly might be our mystery lens! And if so, it wouldn't have done me much good, since I have never had any Exacta stuff.
Here's another shot of the mount
I'm pretty sure I've seen a Olympus accessory viewfinder for sale somewhere for BIG bucks... let me see...
... please wait ...
yeah ! finally found in KEH !
For the LTM version of the lens, I guess.
Two whacks with a limp noodle for me. I never even checked my Exa or my Firstflex 35 SLR, both Exakta mount. I guess this lens is the one on the Exakta site, but I still don't know the purpose of the two lugs on the rear of the lens and I still don't see the locking pin to hold the lens to the body. Odd. Gotta go through my goodies more often. P.S. then that lens will also fit/work on early Topcon like the Super D.
Oscar, interesting! That hints at products long lost in obscurity. :-)
The Topcon (Tokyo Optical Company) used the Exakta mount. My bestguess is that the lens was actually made for an early Topcon. All of those with the Exakta bayonet were interchangeable between Topcons and Exakta/Exas. Only the leaf shutter SlR Topcons (Auto 100, Unirex and IC-1) did not use a an Exakta bayonet.
It's probably woth a lot more than what was actually paid to a dyed in the wool Exakta collector.
And here you'll find the LTM one
$575 in EX++ condition, plus near 300 for the finder, hmmm, I guess for the total you can get a 40/2 cron/rokkor and one of those Leica CL shaped rear caps ! ;)
remember; this is from the occupied, japan; early in the postwar era;
in which any product which could be made and sold was encouraged.
i didnt recognize the mount; and it may fit several.
my first guess is it fit somthing which had a larger market then olympus then did. possibly even german camera. if you take it to a camera repair ; they may well recognize it. or dealers at a camera show. but
my curiosity is : why would you buy a lens if you didnt know what it fits; but then thats just my logic.
also; you could look at product catologs from that era; & it may be listed in a importers adds from this period.
Thanks Oscar and FCG! I like Olympus and I like 40mm lenses, and might have bought this eBay item had the price stayed down less than $20. I'll venture a guess that a couple of bidders DID know what this thing is for, so were fighting it out for possession!
Originally posted by Doug
I like Olympus and I like 40mm lenses
You could try to get a Oly SP then. An astonishingly sharp and fast 42mm 1.7 lens, center and spot meter and still can be had for $50 if you're patient. What do you think ?
That's a very attractive suggestion, Oscar. :-)
I do have a 35RC, bought used in 1972 to 'replace' a Pen D2. And 10 years later it in turn was set aside in favor of a new Minolta CLE, again not much larger but noticeably "better".
If I had any complaint about the 35RC it was mainly the fuzzy RF spot in the viewfinder. Last year I took it to my camera repair guy, but he said a CLA would cost more than the camera is worth. I thought that over for a month and took it back in and told him to go ahead. I've just put a roll of film through it... Nice little camera!
Oh, speaking of Olympus and 40mm, I guess I could add a footnote... that I also have a Pen FT with 40mm f/1.4, plus 50-90 zoom, and just recently found a 25mm f/2.8 for it too. But maybe I shouldn't mention this as it's not an RF camera. :-D
Most cameras that are any good cost more to service today than they are worth to other people. The real question is, "what is it worth to me to have the camera working"
A good friend recently gave me his Olympus 35SP. It's a really neat camera. Kind of like the RC on steriods.
Do I need to tell anyone here how much I love my Olympus 35SP's? :-)
Get it Doug - it's an amazing camera (excellent lens and a very good spotmeter (button on the back) built in. It's one of those cameras that just 'feels' right'.
i want one too!
but they go for way too much money on ebay nowadays.
my 35rc was just in for a cla and it looks great, nice clear viewfinder and no spongy seals. i bought it new in about '71 or so and it's the first money i put into it. i think most definately worth it!!
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