Amazing Kobori (Ultranar) 28-200mm vintage superzoom

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Larry Rexley Regular Member • Posts: 205
Amazing Kobori (Ultranar) 28-200mm vintage superzoom
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I found an intriguing lens on eBay this week... An 'Ultranar" 28-200mm f3.8-5.6 superzoom in like-new condition, in vintage Minolta SR (MC/MD) mount, for $22 including shipping.

Researching this lens, it turns out to be a Kobori-made lens similar to Vivitar, Soligar, Sunagor, and various other 3rd-party brand lenses made by Kobori. It has a reputation for being very good optically despite being a superzoom, with 18 elements in 16 groups!

in real testing with my Canon M6 Mark II and a Fotasy adapter, it turns out to be as good as its reputation... quite surprising a lens can cover this wide a range and do a decent job! Contrast in the images was lower than modern lenses due to all the glass, and there was a bit of a color shift, but color/contrast adjustment in PP was able to correct those.

The shots below have been resized to 3840 pixels wide, and in a few cases like the Moon photo cropped. Some of the building shots were cropped vertically to bring them to 2160 pixels high, but none of the building shots were cropped horizontally. No perspective or distortion correction was applied to any image, so you can see the distortion of the lens (it's really not bad considering the range of the lens!)

I tried the superzoom with a Viltrox 0.71x canon EF-EOS M2 speed booster modified to accept MInolta SR-mount lenses, and also tried it with a vintage Kiron MC7 teleconverter in Minolta SR mount. It seemed to work well with both, giving me an amazing range of 20mm - 400mm!!

Having so many elements, it's quite an interesting lens to get intentional 'flare' effects... in the last photo of sunrise I count at least 30 reflections of all sizes, shapes, and colors!

The lens serial number is 8670001... kind of cool to think this might have been the very first superzoom made for Ultranar?!  The Ultranar brand didn't last long, only about 6 years in the '80s.

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Viltrox 0.71x speed booster, lens set at f16 and 28mm, 1/20s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 28mm, f11, 1/99s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 50mm, f11, 1/83s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 135mm, f16, 1/12s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 200mm, f16, 1/6s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, vintage Kiron 2x MC7 teleconverter, lens set at f8 and 200mm, 1/25s, ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, vintage Kiron 2x MC7 teleconverter, lens set at f8 and 200mm, 1/16s, ISO 400

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Viltrox 0.71x speed booster, lens set at f11 and 28mm, 30s, ISO 125

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 28mm, f16, 20s ISO 100

Canon M6 Mk II, Ultranar 28-200mm, Fotasy adapter, 28mm, f8, 1/400s, ISO 100

vintage Ultranar 28-200mm f3.8-5.6 superzoom lens in Minolta SR mount, on a Canon M6 Mk II with Fotasy Minolta to EOS-M adapter. Also shown are a vintage Kiron 2x MC7 teleconverter and a Viltrox 0.71x speed booster Canon EF - EOS M2 modified by adding a Minolta bayonet flange to the front and readjusting infinity focus

Optical configuration of a Sunagor 28-200mm superzoom, also thought to be a Kobori --- the optical configuration of the Ultranar may be the same

Canon EOS M6
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