Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 macro (Pentax) - Review / Lab Test Report
Lens Reviews -
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Special thanks to Oliver Kirchner for providing this lens!
Most users are probably aware of the three third-party AF lens manufacturers (Sigma, Tamron, Tokina)
but there used to be four. During the 90s Cosina entered the scene with a small lineup of very cheap
AF lenses. The lenses were sold under numerous labels including Vivitar, Phoenix,
Exakta, Voigtlander (not to be mistaken with the high-end SL series), Tokina SMZ (as opposed to AT-X),
Cosina and probably a couple more. The whole venture wasn't a big success so Cosina decided to abandon
this segment of the market again although they continue to manufacture lenses behind the scenes.
Today the remaining stock of this old lens series is sold for a few bucks over at eBay. Most of the
lenses aren't really interesting but there's one exception - the Cosina AF 100mm f/3.5 macro (~80-120€/US$).
Regarding the comparatively slow max. aperture it is a rather unambiguous macro lens which can give
you a max. object magnification of 1:2. Using the supplied "matched" macro adaptor you can even go
down to 1:1 although you loose infinity focus in this case. Interestingly the lens did even catch the
attention of Pentax where another variant was marketed as Pentax SMC FA 100mm f/3.5 macro for a little while.
It is a full format lens and when used on current APS-C DSLRs the field-of-view is equivalent to about
150mm in classic terms.
The Cosina is sometimes described as "cream in a yogurt cup" - a quite good summary.
The build quality is plain terrible. The plastic has a worrisome resemblance to the one used in
kid toys - it feels both cheap and thin. It is also a mover and shaker - all moving parts
are loose and wobbly. As you can see in the product images below the lens extends quite a bit
when focusing towards close distances.
The AF 100mm f/3.5 macro has no internal AF motor and relies on a slotted drive screw
operated by the camera. AF operations feel quite brutal but the AF speed and accuracy
is actually fine.
|Optical construction||5 elements in 4 groups|
|Number of aperture blades||8|
|min. focus distance||0.43m (max. magnification ratio 1:2)|
|Filter size||49mm (non-rotating)|
|Other features||1:1 macro adapter|