Pekka Buttler, 03/2023
The table below summarizes the lens’ key specifications:
|Brand:||Porst||Lens name||Color Reflex MC AUTO 1:1.2/55 mm F|
|Focal length(s)1||55 mm||Angle-of-view2||43°|
|Maximum Aperture||f/1.2||In Production||≈1975–1980|
|Lens mount||Pentax K||Subfamily (if applicable)||K|
|Length3||46,6 mm||Diameter4||64,8 mm|
|Filter ring diameter||55 mm||Weight||325 grams|
|Lens element count||6 *||Lens group count||4 *|
|Aperture blades (S/R/C)5||8 S||Focus throw||≈180 °|
|Minimum focusing distance||60 cm||Maximum magnification||1:8,8|
|Has manual aperture ring||YES||Has Manual focus ring||YES|
* Based on rather spurious online sources.
• While the basic method of operation of rebranders such as Photo Porst has always been to source their gear (cameras, lenses, accessories) from OEM sources, this usually still allows one to – with a high level of confidence – identify the original designer/manufacturer. Not so in this case.
• In simple terms, there seem to been no other lenses like this (Pentax K mount, 55 mm focal length, f/1.2 maximum aperture, 55 mm filter thread, 8 aperture blades). Hence, there is a possibility that this lens is a not a simple rebrand, but is rather an adaptation of one of the many Tomioka-inspired m42-mount 55 mm f/1.2 to a Pentax K mount
First, if you’ve never heard about Porst, you do not need to feel bad. For several decades, Photo Porst was a very successful German camera retailer and distributor – so successful in fact that used Porst cameras and lenses are widely available throughout Europe (Porst is kind-of central Europe’s Vivitar). Porst’s business was based on a strong network of retail outlets, that – alongside on-brand premium offerings – also sold Porst-branded cameras and lenses. Porst SLR cameras were rebrands of various well-known marques (primarily Mamiya, Praktica, Fuji and Cosina).
Porst sourced its lenses widely. While some of Porst lenses – as here is the case – were direct rebrands of identical lenses of major brands, most were sourced from (mostly Japanese) off-brand/OEM manufacturers. While the origins of such lenses (or at least a family resemblance) can often be discerned, this specific lens defies such sleuthwork.
As this lens uses the Pentax K mount, you will be able to – without issues – use this lens natively on a wide range of Pentax SLRs and dSLRs (as well as some 3rd party SLRs).
Adapting this lens to a mirrorless, full-frame digital camera is a breeze thanks to the lens having full manual controls (aperture ring, focus ring). The only thing you need is a simple, dumb adapter to bridge the difference in flange focal distances. Moreover, because the Pentax K mount is rather popular, a broad range of specialised adapters (including helicoid adapters, tilt/shift adapters and speed boosters
Besides using this lens natively on a Pentax SLR/dSLR, adapting this lens to other dSLR/SLR mounts is possible, but varyingly easy. With the Canon EF and Four Thirds mounts, using Pentax K lenses is not a problem, as a simple adapter ring will do. With other dSLR mounts (e.g. Sony/Minolta A, Nikon F) you cannot reach infinity focus without using an adapter with corrective optics. In either case, you will be forced to use manual aperture (wide open for composing and focusing / stopped down for metering and picture-taking).
1 Focal length is (unless stated otherwise) given in absolute terms (not in Full-frame equivalent), and according to the manufacturer’s naming practice (which does not always reflect the lens’ actual field of view). For an understanding of whether the lens is wide/tele, see ‘Angle-of-view’.
2 Picture angle is given in degrees and concerns the diagonal picture angle. Rule of thumb:
> 90 ° ==> Ultra-wide-angle
70–90 ° ==> Wide-angle
50–70 ° ==> Moderate wide-angle
40–50 ° ==> ‘Standard’ or ‘normal’ lens
20–40 ° ==> Short tele lens
10-20 ° ==> Tele lens
5-10 ° ==> Long tele lens
< 5 ° ==> Ultra-tele lens
3 Length is given from the mount flange to the front of lens at infinity. Measured unless stated otherwise.
4 Diameter excludes protrusions such as rabbit ears or stop-down levers. Measured unless stated otherwise.
5 S=straight; R=rounded; C=(almost)circular at all apertures.