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LENS PORN: Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)
Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)



Sun was one of the first third party lens manufacturers for SLRs. They had a long history of making lenses for other brands like Soligor and Vivitar, and was a highly regarded name. Unfortunately, many lens manufacturers died in the 1980s due to the rise of autofocus lenses where the market eventually migrated to. In short, autofocus killed the classic lens makers.

This is my second Sun lens. The first was a Soligor C/D 80-200mm f/4.5 Macro. Both these lenses I hold in high esteem.

This Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount) was in mint cosmetic, but needed cleaning for the glass, which I did myself. I temporarily switched the mount for a Nikon mount so I could use it with my Nikon D5200.



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Specs


Year Released: 1983

Focal Range: 35 - 140 mm

Focus Throw: 90 degrees

Focusing: 100% Manual

Minimum Focusing Distance:
7 feet / 2 meters (Normal Mode)

Macro Mode: 1:4
(Accessible from 35 - 140 mm)

Filter Thread Diameter: 62 mm

Aperture Run: f/3.8 - f/22

One-touch push-pull design.

Made in Japan


Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

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Summary



Pros

Focus throw of 90 degrees is not to long, not too short. Short enough to nail focus in fast action scenes like sport, but long enough for more precise focusing.

Very light and compact, even when fully extended

Images are crisp and sharp

I like the design, it doesn't look too 'mechanical'

Body made of metal

Still useful for low light and night scene

Very silky smooth to operate, you can actually turn the focus ring with your pinkie finger

Unlike so many lenses that are one-touch or push-pull design, this lens has no zoom creep

It's sweet that this lens came with its original lens wipe cloth, still very mint in its plastic

Image quality can compete with modern zoom lenses... with the added benefit of an aperture ring and you can find this lens VERY cheap in the flea market.



Neutral

I feel that a 28-140mm range would be more complete.

The macro feature is nice, but you have to toggle a switch to get to it. This design is what helps keep the lens compact.

It's not a native Nikon mount, so I had to swap it.



Cons

Variable aperture... I'm okay with half stops like f/3.5-4.5, but one stops like f/3.8-5.6 loses alot of light. For stills, it's okay to readjust the settings; but for videos, the loss of light is annoying. Most zooms nowadays are like that, I think people are used to it.


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Conclusion


This beautiful zoom lens is a pleasure to use. It was made in the early 80s when manufacturers were still not going cheap on materials and used metal for the body. For the image quality, I'm also satisfied with the performance in terms of sharpness, contrast and vividness of colors.

One thing that I do not like as with any other modern day zoom is the variable aperture. Constant aperture is one reason I always hunt for vintage zoom lenses. Despite this one thing, I'm overall very pleased with this lens.

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Further Reading













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Samples


Technical Note: Shot with a Nikon D5200. All photos shot JPEG at Basic/Small, Custom White Balance, Picture Profile - SD, no edit, no crop, no filter.

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)

Sun 35-140mm f/3.8-5.3 Macro (OM Mount)


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