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Old Jan 7, 2008, 5:59 PM   #1
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The Phoenix/Vivitar/Cosina/ Promaster/etc. 100-400mm lens has been the subject of some discussion since Herbert Keppler mentioned his Phoenix example favorablyinone of hisrecent Pop Photo columns. I suspect this lens is on its way out, since the only mounts that seem to be available now new are Pentax and Minolta, listing from dealers from $186 - 209. A dealer now haslisted threeof these in Pentax mount at $149 new. Not the greatest lens, but at this price, it might be worth a try (he has a money-back satisfaction guarantee) for someone looking for a really long lens. Hestocks quite a few Promaster lenses (all of which look like the Phoenix, etc lenses), and although prevailing opinion has been that this (and the other)lenses are made by Cosina, this dealer claims them to be Sigma made. Regardless of who makes them, Promaster lenses carry a lifetime warranty!

Edit: So as not to disappoint anyone, I removed the link, as they are all gone now.
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 7:31 PM   #2
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I read the Keppler article, I also read the sad news that he is no longer with us. The author of "The Pentax Way" died recently of heart failure after a short illness, he was 82. I have great respect for his opinion since he was never swayed by brandnames and hype but instead was more concerned with good value in decent equipment.

I am saddened by the loss of a writer who's work I have always enjoyed and been informed by. If I could afford it I would snap up one of these lenses in a moment, since it comes recommended by one of the best.

Penolta, it is interesting that his preferred cameras always seemed to be Pentax and Minolta (much as mine have been) and I assume from your screen name that you are also part of that same group.

The photo industry has lost a great personality who has had an influence on many aspects of the hobby for over 50 years.

Ira
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 7:33 PM   #3
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penolta wrote:
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The Phoenix/Vivitar/Cosina/ Promaster/etc. 100-400mm lens has been the subject of some discussion since Herbert Keppler mentioned his Phoenix example favorablyinone of hisrecent Pop Photo columns. I suspect this lens is on its way out, since the only mounts that seem to be available now new are Pentax and Minolta, listing from dealers from $186 - 209. A dealer now haslisted threeof these in Pentax mount at $149 new. Not the greatest lens, but at this price, it might be worth a try (he has a money-back satisfaction guarantee) for someone looking for a really long lens. Hestocks quite a few Promaster lenses (all of which look like the Phoenix, etc lenses), and although prevailing opinion has been that this (and the other)lenses are made by Cosina, this dealer claims them to be Sigma made. Regardless of who makes them, Promaster lenses carry a lifetime warranty!
Hmmmm.....walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and looks like a duck (right down to the little red band around the end of the lens.....

Considering I've seen the exact same lens with the Phoenix, Vivitar, and Cosina badges on it, I'm assumig we're looking at the Cosina-made lens. I've bought two of them and had excellent performance from both. I suspect you may be right about it being on the way out. Adorama is listing it as "out of stock."

A couple of recent shots with the lens:





It's not a top of the line lens. Build quality is relatively cheap (particularly the hood), but it's a relatively inexpensive way to get 400mm and AF with decent quality.
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 8:02 PM   #4
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Monza76 wrote:
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I read the Keppler article, I also read the sad news that he is no longer with us. The author of "The Pentax Way" died recently of heart failure after a short illness, he was 82. I have great respect for his opinion since he was never swayed by brandnames and hype but instead was more concerned with good value in decent equipment.

The photo industry has lost a great personality who has had an influence on many aspects of the hobby for over 50 years.

Ira
Don't mean to take this thread off topic,but I have to admit that my deceision to recently purchase the Pentax 10-17 Fisheye lens was based on Keppler's "Inside Straight" feature in the Jan 2008Pop. Photog where spoke highly of the same. The news of his passing is indeed sad. Thanks for the info Ira.

Jay

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Old Jan 7, 2008, 8:21 PM   #5
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Monza76 wrote:
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I read the Keppler article, I also read the sad news that he is no longer with us. The author of "The Pentax Way" died recently of heart failure after a short illness, he was 82. I have great respect for his opinion since he was never swayed by brandnames and hype but instead was more concerned with good value in decent equipment.

I am saddened by the loss of a writer who's work I have always enjoyed and been informed by. If I could afford it I would snap up one of these lenses in a moment, since it comes recommended by one of the best.

Penolta, it is interesting that his preferred cameras always seemed to be Pentax and Minolta (much as mine have been) and I assume from your screen name that you are also part of that same group.

The photo industry has lost a great personality who has had an influence on many aspects of the hobby for over 50 years.

Ira
I didn't realize Bert Keppler had died. I have been a regular reader of his for as long as I can remember...must go back to the late '60's. I also have The Pentax Way...great book.

Very saddened by his demise...he will be missed.
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 8:59 PM   #6
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I have one with the Phoenix badge. I got mine new on Ebay from an estate sale. The warranty card with states it's a six year limited warranty, not lifetime. It's not bad for sports either, provided the light is good. Late afternoon was a bit rough when trying to catch action. This shot is at the 100mm end, Av mode 4.5, re-sized only.

(Edit: I goofed on which badge was on mine. Phoenix, not ProMaster)

Keppler will be missed. There is a good tribute to him on Adorama.

EDITORIAL: I Called Him Burt




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Old Jan 7, 2008, 9:06 PM   #7
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Only one left, I just bought one.

Eddie
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Old Jan 7, 2008, 9:16 PM   #8
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Eddie OM35 wrote:
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Only one left, I just bought one.

Eddie
Congrats! You'll enjoy it. It will hold you over until Pentax comes out with some new long, fast glass! When that happens I hope I can resell mine for a decent return.
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Old Jan 8, 2008, 12:42 AM   #9
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Ira, I missed the news of Keppleer's passing, too - thanks for the heads up. I have been reading his columns for somewhere in the neighborhood ofhalf a century (or so it seems) - always deliverring more common sense than hype. He will be missed. And yes, I use both Pentax and Minolta.

As for the Promaster warranty, I have the 100mm macro and itcame witha printed lifetime warranty, so the seller's claim for the telezoom must be correct. I wonder if I am entitled to a commission from him :G(if Iwere, this post wouldn't be "legal"). He is probably wondering why they are going so fast!. The macro has a similarly light and flimsyfeel (which may be misleading), but it is optically excellent, and well worth more than it cost.

Eddie, I hopethe zoomworks out for you!
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Old Jan 8, 2008, 1:06 PM   #10
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Thanks for the news although it is sad. I have been reading Keppler's articles since the 80s when I was shooting with a Minolta xg1. He was always straight forward and humorous. I never met him but I can't imagine not liking him. We will all miss him.

Glenn
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