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LENS PORN: Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)
Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)


Sands & Hunter. They are a camera company that I've never heard of until recently, when I saw this Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount preset prime lens. There is very little information about them, except the one I found tells they were founded in 1874, then purchased by JJ Foster in 1923, which was kept alive until 1928(?). An online search for the brand will yield wooden large format cameras, so they must be really old!

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)



This is a very rare lens. At first impression, I already suspected the design and markings strongly resemble a 1960's Tokina. I found supporting evidence that this lens also appears as a Vivitar, made by Tokina in the early 1960s!

img_7956
Image by 'steevithak' of Flickr.



After the restoration project, the mechanisms are now rattle-free, looking clean and the Nikon adapter has been permanently glued so that it won't screw off while I'm turning the aperture ring. The protruding rear part has also been taken care of so that it doesn't hit the mirror of my camera body. I also glued the two aperture rings together so that they turn simultaneously. Users of 'preset aperture' type know that the second ring is sometimes forgotten to be closed, resulting in overexposed images.

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)



The Sands Hunter 35/2.8 works as a semi-wide prime lens on full frame cameras, while it works like a standard 50mm on APS-C cameras like mine. Which is why this is a nice prime lens for doing environmental portraiture (where you want to show the subject in relation to its environment).

It was made in early 1960s, so the glass is obviously single coated. I used this outdoor and did not have any problem with bright light sources. However, sometimes I noticed there was ghosting, but not to a bothersome effect. Use of a hood will greatly improve contrast when shooting with bright light sources around.

Images are decently sharp at f/2.8 and looks like a watercolor painting (not considered a handicap), but gets better by f/3.5 and f/4 -- those are usually the stops you shoot portraiture with. It is totally sharp all over from f/5.6 to f/16, which are the stops you shoot with landscapes. Color fringing only appears at f/2.8 when I shoot on white objects, you can see it in white subjects even without zooming.

The colors are not too saturated (ala Takumar/Pentax/Nikkor) but they look natural and very pleasing especially for portraiture. For example, I love my Tamron Adatpall  28/2.5 (02B) but noticed that images lean slightly toward cyan tint.

Conclusion: Super old lenses should not be dismissed as crap or junk. Many people like them for the dreamy, painting-like or smooth effect that you don't get with modern lenses or even with post processing. This lens makes a good budget 35mm, plus it also has a preset aperture ring that makes it excellent for shooting videos. While it may have some softness and color fringing at f/2.8, it greatly improves by f/3.5. For landscape application, f/5.6 to f/16 produces sharp images that are at par with modern kit lenses.


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SPECS


Sands & Hunter 35mm f/2.8
Preset T-Mount Lens

Manufactured By
Tokina (early 1960s)

Minimum Focusing Distance
0.7 meters

Focus Throw
180 degrees (half circle turn)

Filter Thread Diamter
52mm

Aperture
f/2.8 - f/16 in full-stop clicks
(12 blades)

Other Features
Single coated glass (amber)
Preset aperture type
T-mount
The protrusion of the rear part may hit the reflex mirror.

Made in Japan

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)


Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

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Samples


Shot with a Nikon D5200
The camera has 1.5x crop factor



This shot at f/2.8, testing if my adjustment
allows correct focusing to infinity

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)



Bokeh Comparison
(Note: I missed focus in some of the shots!)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)



Landscape
(These were shot at f/8 and f/16)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)



Portraiture
(Shot at f/2.8)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 T-Mount Preset Lens (Tokina)
This is a composite of 3 exposures.


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Links

Sands Hunter 35mm f/2.8 Preset T-Mount Lens (12 Blades)

Restoration Project

1974 Brochure of Vivitar T-Mount Lenses
www.boggys.co.uk/page74.html

Who Is Sands Hunter?


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The Nikon D5200 as my weapon of choice.

Vintage lenses are my poison.

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