The story behind this one is very odd. Revuenon is Foto-Quelle's house brand for camera gear from the 70's. Don't know who Foto-Quelle is? I don't blame you on that one - they were a camera retailer in Europe that was big at that time. So this is one of their lenses right? Well sort of. See they like Sears never manufactured their own equipment. They instead licensed and rebadged equipment from other manufacturers. In reality this is a lens from Chinon, a Japanese brand that manufactured cameras and lenses up through to the early 2000's. Just to add more confusion to the mix this particular lens was subed out to a Korean manufacturer. I couldn't find details as to who that was but it's most likely Samyang. So that's how you end up with a German house brand version of a Japanese company's lens that was manufactured in Korea. Probably - it's impossible to know for sure as records are scarce and likely hidden away in German/Japanese libraries somewhere that I'm not willing to hunt down.
What matters is that in the end though the resulting lens is a fine one. It's very well built and surprisingly handsome in its industrial design. I'm especially fond of the chrome rings on it. I managed to get mine for an absolute bargain as part of a set that included a bag, camera, 3 lenses, a teleconverter, and filters for just $30.
Mount: M42 Screw Mount
Focal Length: 135mm
Aperture Range: f/2.8 - f/22
Minimum Focus: 1.5m
Filter Thread: 55mm
Date Acquired: 06/28/2019
Serial Number: 238642
Purchase Price: ~$10
Going Price: ~$50
Condition: Some scratches on the glass but otherwise clear
The build quality of this sort of German/Japanese/Korean lens is remarkable. Despite being a house brand rebadged twice over it's solid metal and feels weighty in the hand. The focus and aperture rings turn easily with nice grippy rubber to help with ergonomics. The lens features an aperture pin as well as a manual/automatic switch for aperture control easing compatibility with adapters.
Performance is disappointing. The center is a little soft wide open and the corners are very soft. There's also a hint of chromatic aberration in the center and a general haze that lowers contrast across the entire frame. The center sharpens up nicely at f/4 and the chromatic aberration disappears. The corners unfortunately never improve even by f/8. Vignetting isn't bad though wide open and disappears by f/4. The lens does a very poor job in handling flare with huge arcs of color cutting across the frame. The bokeh at least is quite nice with very smooth rendering with point sources remaining round when stopping down.
Ergonomics are quite good with the lens fitting in the hand naturally. It would have been nice if it included an integrated lens hood but unfortunately it doesn't have one. This is doubly unfortunate given the lens's poor handling of flare. Still the lens is pleasant to shoot with no real difficulties in handling.
Should I get one for photography?
Alas no I don't think you should get one for photography. The performance isn't particularly remarkable which is difficult to justify when lenses that are even cheaper are dramatically better. I suppose if you found one for cheap (less than $10) it could be worth it but the Konica Hexar AR 135mm f/3.5 can be found easily for the same price with vastly superior performance.
Should I get one for a collection?
The sordid history of this lens and handsome appearance give it some appeal for the collector. I think it makes for a good conversation piece and if nothing else looks nice on the shelf. You can find these for a relatively good price making it easy to justify adding to a collection.
Other Photographer's Videos