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What about Phoenix lenses?

Discussion in 'Lens Lust' started by italy74, Jul 23, 2007.

  1. Hi guys,

    I've never heard of this brand, here, and from what I've seen, the aperture numbers look like consumer lenses, but I confess I'm still curious..
    I guess they have no fast motor nor ed lenses inside.. I found them while looking on some big us online sellers (adorama, amazon, keh, bh..)

    Any experience with them?

    Thanks in advance

    p.s. question for ALL brands: Both Phoenix and some Tamron and Sigma lenses end with a 6.3-6.7 max aperture at the tele end. Are Nikon cameras able to autofocus with such slow numbers? From what I know, after 5.6 it should be manual focus.. or I'm missing something?
  2. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    If you've got plenty of light (bright sunny day) you should be fine with F6.3 or F6.7. These lenses are that slow because of their compact construction. You can't make fast glass with lenses as small as some of those.

    Bottom line... 90% of these lenses are fairly low quality and intended for consumer use. I'm not sure if I would even want my friends who aren't into photography using them though. If you know where to look, you can pick up older lenses that are MUCH higher quality for less money .
  3. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Agreed. I recall years ago, Phoenix lenses were sold in K-Mart and other department stores (forerunners of Walmart). I'd stick with the name branded lenses, as in most things, you get what you pay for.
  4. ultimind


    May 13, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
    For example.. if you were going to spend $139 on a new Phoenix lens, you'd be much better off getting a similar focal length used Nikon, Tokina, Tamron, or Sigma lens from eBay or KEH or where ever. A good majority of the time, old nikon lenses are as sharp if not sharper than new ones. They may not have super duper advanced "high tech" coatings that minimize flare, but who cares? Lens flares are cool anyways. And unless you're shooting sports or news, super highspeed autofocus isn't always a requirement.
  5. I've read that the Phoenix 100mm macro is a very sharp lens. It's apparently sold under the Vivitar and Soligor brands as well. Plasticky body and rather noisy, but great results and cheap.
  6. Ok, ok, I got the point...

    As I said, mine was rather the curiosity of a hermit seeing a radio device.. Never heard of it...

    Thanks, though. :) 
  7. thebac


    Jul 23, 2007
    Yes, that's true. It's also sold under the Promaster label.

    Like all macro lenses, it's wonderfully sharp. The body is really toylike (if you ever felt any of your other lenses were lacking in build, you haven't seen this one yet), though it does have a metal mount.

    I'd recommend it as a cheap macro even if it only goes to 1:2 natively (it's supplied with a matching filter/converter to get to 1:1); imo, it's easily as good a bargain as the 50/1.8.
  8. I believe at least a few of the Phoenix lenses, including the 100 macro, is made by Cosina.
  9. I totally agree.

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