Monday, March 25, 2013

Topcor 10cm [100mm] f2.8 - First Impression

I was quite excited to try out the lenses I bought at the show yesterday, so I chose the Topcon Topcor 10cm f2.8 and took some snaps with it. Beware that there are at least two mounts with Topcon cameras. The earlier Topcons have aperture settings on the camera body, much like the DKL mount. I wouldn't be surprised if Topcon used the DKL mount as the blueprint. Lenses with this mount is to be avoided. As far as I know, there is no adapter available to mount these lenses on the digital camera. The later Topcons have an Exakta compatible mount. The two Topcor lenses I got mount fine on the EXA to NEX adapter and I think the Topcors would work with most mirrorless Exakta adapters. Since these lenses have the arms with shutter button, they probably would not mount properly on EOS cameras, as the EOS adapter is much larger (wider) and would interfere with the arm on the lens.

The Topcor 10cm f2.8 is a beatifully built lens. Aperture ring has a locking mechanism which prevents accidental aperture change. You will have to depress a button in order to change the aperture. This button is located on the right of the lens and falls naturally on one of the fingers. It's a very well designed feature. The lens is very compact, about the same size as the 58mm f1.8. Minimum focus distance is about 1.2 meters, which is normal for lenses of that era.

The colors of the images taken with this lens seem very neutral, which is great for portraiture. Perhaps it was designed to be this way, as a 100mm lens is normally used for this purpose, though a maximum aperture of f2.8 seem rather slow. In terms of sharpness, the lens performs quite well even at f2.8, definitely OK for portrait. At f4, it has very high contrast and sharpness. So, initial impression is very favorable. Can't wait to put it through some more shooting sessions.

What a beauty! - Click for larger.

Red Umbrellas - Topcor 10cm f2.8 & Sony NEX-6. Click for larger.

Cotton Candies - Sony NEX-6 & Topcor 10cm f2.8 @ f2.8. Click for larger.

Megan - Sony NEX-6 & Topcor 10cm f2.8 @ f4

13 comments:

  1. Very nice pictures! I love the portrait! ;-)

    Greetings from the Netherlands,
    DzjieDzjee

    ReplyDelete
  2. very sharp, btw is the one with orange colored shuter button? cheers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Actually it's more like yellow than orange. Very compact lens.

      Delete
  3. After I saw your great pictures I bought one today, I think its quite pretty lens and I already have 3.5cm 2.8. I am wondering what is consensus about quality of these Auto Topcors vs sought after RE Auto Topcors... cheers,
    Rad

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Frankly, I don't know the difference! At least in Canada, Topcons are not very common.

      Delete
  4. Thanks for the mention in the earlier post. So glad you've managed to acquire some of these wonderful lenses, especially the rare early versions. Can't say for sure, but I imagine these are optically very similar to the RE versions, all will be single coated as only two later GN models from the 'classic' ranges benefited from such.
    Unfortunately in recent years most of the really good Topcon web resources have all but disappeared. There was even a highly rated book 'The Topcon Story' available to order, but that is now out of print and very hard to find and the author's website no longer available.
    The Topcon Club in Japan really is now the only site that has any great detail: http://www003.upp.so-net.ne.jp/Topconclub/lens1.htm
    It's a shame that we know less and less about these lenses despite interest increasing everyday. Strange that fairly recent history can get lost in the mist and despite the great promise of the Internet, that itself is already fast disappearing in to history.
    Good luck with your ongoing search, I greatly look forward to the results. Oh and if you fancy the 85mm, best start secretly saving ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Steve, thanks for your insights into the Topcon lenses. What you said about the net is true, but like everything else, it cost money to keep a site running and unless it generates revenue, it takes a lot of passion and money to keep a site running.

      These Topcor lenses are very well built, similar to the Takumars. Believe it or not, I don't normally go out of my way to seek out lenses I want. I buy most of my stuff by chance. Go to the photo show, or check local listings, and if I see anything I like, I would buy it. One thing I do not do, is buy lenses from eBay. I don't want to compete with 50 others who want the same item. I do keep interesting stuff in mind and when I see them, I would check them out.

      Thanks again for the info on the Topcon and Topcor lenses.

      Delete
  5. Hi,

    Was googling info on these Auto Topcors and your blog came up in search. I too have a NEX 6. I was wondering if you could post a photo of the lens mounted to your NEX. I am wondering/concerned if the Shutter actuation bar (which will have no function when mounted on a NEX) gets in the way of the grip area or get's in the way in regards to handling, i.e. focus ring etc when mounted on the NEX.
    Thanks for any thoughts. I'll bookmark this blog and check back for any answers.

    Rick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Rick, there is no danger of of the shutter actuation bar get into the way of anything, since the adapter would be very thick and the lens is a few centimeters away from the body.

      Delete
  6. Hello! Which Exakta-NEX adapter brand are you using? I just got my first Auto-Topcor 2.8 100mm "N" (US Navy edition) on a lovely Beseler Topcon Super D US Navy body. I am so excited, but as I am waiting for an order of new film, I did want to see how it performs on my Sony A7. I have the Fotasy Exakta-Nex adapter and have tried it on a CZ Jena with Exakta mount and this Auto-Topcor and it seems like the little lever/clip thing on the adapter is in the wrong place to hold the lens securely. I cannot get the lever to clip any of the little posts and even when it seems to lock in and won't turn any more, the lens can easily be pulled right off. I still tried it (with a pile of Scotch Blue Painter's Tape to prevent any accidents with this treasure), and I'm thinking of drilling a new hole in the adapter and changing the location of the lever but I figured I'd ask you first if there is an adapter brand, for Exakta to Nex that you find to be in working order and worth having. Thanks, in advance!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mine came with no name at all! It just said Exaktar-NEX on it and nothing else. Works fine for all my EXA lenses, including the Topcons.

      Delete
    2. I tend to buy the cheapest adapters available, so it's not surprising. I have got a few Fotasy adapters and they also work well too.

      Delete