Auto Chinon 200mm f/3.5 telephoto lens on Fuji X-T1

The Auto Chinon 200mm f/3.5 telephoto lens is an M42 mount lens made originally for use on the Chinon CS and CX range of film cameras. An example can be picked up for almost no money on well known on-line auction sites and are easily adapted to use with a modern mirrorless camera like the Fuji X-T1.

Auto Chinon 200mm f/3.5 Sample Pictures

Auto Chinon 200mm f/3.5 Description

The lens, like most of its vintage, is a heavy unit being made of metal and glass with no plastic components. This makes it slightly awkward to balance on a modern light weight camera – you need to support the weight in your hand and can’t just hold the camera body. That said, it’s not difficult to use as long as you are happy to focus manually and the X-T1’s excellent focus assist modes help there.

There is a 6 blade aperture fitted with a ring allowing adjustment from f/3.5 to f/22 with half stop clicks at all points except f/3.5 to f/4 and f/16 to f/22. The aperture is controlled by a pin in the base of the lens and an auto manual switch, but with a mirrorless camera this switch is disabled as the pin is permanently pushed in by the adapter.

On the front of the lens is a collapsible lens hood, which is always a useful addition to a lens because although the lens elements are coated, a lens hood is still the most effective way of limiting flare and ghosting.

Using the Auto Chinon 200mm

I used the lens on my X-T1 with the ISO set to auto and the shutter speed and aperture set by me for what I needed for each particular shot. Because the lens is fairly long I made sure the shutter speed was at least 1/250 and had the aperture between f/3.5 and f/8 for these shots on this not particularly sunny day.

Overall I found this to be a reasonably performing lens, especially if you take into account the price you can pick one up for. As with all lenses the performance improves as the lens is stopped down, but with the lens opened up there is some nice swirly background which is starting to show in the flower picture above and would be more apparent if the background was further away.

The pictures above were all shot in RAW, imported into Lightroom and given slight tweaking for exposure and contrast. The pictures of the pigeon in the tree also had some manual correction for CA since there was a bit of purple fringing around some of the branches.

2 Replies to “Auto Chinon 200mm f/3.5 telephoto lens on Fuji X-T1”

  1. Thank you Simon – this is very helpful – more please!

    The 300-400mm perspective is the go-to lens for most wildlife photographers, for whom AF and stabilisation is a near must.

    However it is also great when used sparingly for portraits (flattening perspective and narrowing the angle of view to exclude a confusing background behind your subject) and landscapes or cityscapes (isolating mid-ground elements in an otherwise busy scene). In that role the best value bet is often an adapted 200mm prime lens on a crop factor camera. On an M4/3, the 400mm equivalent view is where the “supertelephoto” highly flattenned perspective starts to be seen – a great option in travel photography.

    For that role we want lightweight and compact lenses (to justify space in a camera bag for an item we might use only a few times a day when out and about).

    So what is your top choice 200mm so far? I have a Soligor 200mm F2.8 from their CD top-end range; it is just wonderful for the images produced but impractical for a day out. I have tried some older 1970s era F3.5 200mm’s – but they all seem to be made like a tank and are too heavy to justify packing in my camera bag……so where is the ideal? …or are you still searching?

    I have found many 135mm lenses to fit the bill of lightweight, compact and good enough IQ for 8×10 prints and laptop screen viewing– but getting the “ideal” adapted 200mm seems more difficult!

    Best wishes – Paul C

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