Forums > Photography Talk > JC Penney Any Good

Photographer

Jim McSmith

Posts: 762

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

I got a JC Penney 28mm wide angle lens in Pentax mount. I think JC Penney could be an American brand however I do think it's a Makinon lens. Any good?

Feb 02 13 11:57 am Link

Photographer

Al Lock Photography

Posts: 16071

Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand

JC Penney was an American Department Store. I thought they went under about 15 or 20 years ago, but I might be wrong. The lens will just be branded with their name.

Feb 02 13 12:02 pm Link

Photographer

Jim McSmith

Posts: 762

Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

I didn't know they went under. I hope the lens is in the same league as the Nikon 24mm.

Feb 02 13 12:08 pm Link

Photographer

Chris Macan

Posts: 12795

HAVERTOWN, Pennsylvania, US

Al Lock Photography wrote:
JC Penney was an American Department Store. I thought they went under about 15 or 20 years ago, but I might be wrong. The lens will just be branded with their name.

No, JC Penneys is still around.
www.jcp.com

But to the question...
Some of those old JC Penny branded K mount lenses are pretty good.
But really the only way to know if you have a gem is to put it on a camera and test it.

Feb 02 13 12:10 pm Link

Photographer

Al Lock Photography

Posts: 16071

Bangkok, Bangkok, Thailand

Jim McSmith wrote:
I didn't know they went under. I hope the lens is in the same league as the Nikon 24mm.

I very much doubt it. I would expect something of the same quality as the old Nikon E series (although the 75-150 E was a very sharp lens) to be branded with JC Penney's name, not anything approaching Nikkor quality.

Feb 02 13 12:11 pm Link

Photographer

Vector One Photography

Posts: 2776

Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US

Major department store chains such as JCPenny or Sears would "name brand" items they sold. Name branding is putting your name on merchandise that you sell. They could have contracted with any lens company to produce that lens. And based on bids for that year, they would change manufacturers but the lens would remain the same.

In all probability that lens was not made by a primary manufacturer like Nikon or Canon. It could have been made by Soligar, Tamron, or Tokina.

Feb 02 13 12:15 pm Link

Photographer

Legacys 7

Posts: 33856

San Francisco, California, US

Jc Penny, Sears and even Kmart use to sell brand glass as well as cameras. I use to own a slr film camera that Sears sold. It shared the Ricoh mount. The glass was good on many of those cameras.

Feb 02 13 12:16 pm Link

Photographer

Scott Murphy Photo

Posts: 72

Pensacola, Florida, US

Al Lock Photography wrote:
JC Penney was an American Department Store. I thought they went under about 15 or 20 years ago, but I might be wrong. The lens will just be branded with their name.

Nope, they are alive and well, we have one in town.

Feb 02 13 03:05 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

-JAY-

Posts: 6694

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

I had a few JCP / Sears primes for my Minolta cameras. Using them with an adapter for my digital cameras - they still work well.

Feb 02 13 03:27 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

Robb Mann

Posts: 10651

Baltimore, Maryland, US

I think JC Penny is pretty equivalent to Tesco. Fyiw.

Feb 02 13 03:45 pm Link

Photographer

Zack Zoll

Posts: 2619

Glens Falls, New York, US

The earliest JCP lenses were made by Pentax, I believe.  Then came Ricoh and Soligor - I forget what order.  After that, they were more-or-less all nobodies.

So if it's a JCP lens from the early 70s, it might be pretty solid.  If it's late 70s or 80s, it's probably terrible.

Feb 03 13 08:07 am Link

Photographer

GER Photography

Posts: 7934

Imperial, California, US

Al Lock Photography wrote:
JC Penney was an American Department Store. I thought they went under about 15 or 20 years ago, but I might be wrong. The lens will just be branded with their name.

Uh, JC Penny is very much still in business, we pick up their $$$$$ every day!:-)

Feb 03 13 08:15 am Link

Photographer

Jhono Bashian

Posts: 2432

Cleveland, Ohio, US

I bought my very first SLR from JC Penny a Minolta SR-T 101 back in 1975.  Also several lens that were pretty darn sharp.

I would say go for it, I'm sure its a decent piece of glass.

Feb 03 13 08:20 am Link

Photographer

maso-arts

Posts: 1111

Cincinnati, Ohio, US

Legacys 7 wrote:
Jc Penny, Sears and even Kmart use to sell brand glass as well as cameras. I use to own a slr film camera that Sears sold. It shared the Ricoh mount. The glass was good on many of those cameras.

My understanding is that Sears' "Tower" brand cameras were made by Mamiya (35mm) and Graflex (Medium and Large Format), lenses by Mamiya and Vivitar.  Kmart's "Focal" brand was by Yashica and Ricoh.  JCPenny's earliest were (for the first year or so) Pentax, then Ricoh and Cosina.  This info was from an amateur repair guy here in town in the '70s.

Feb 03 13 08:38 am Link

Photographer

Legacys 7

Posts: 33856

San Francisco, California, US

George Ruge wrote:

Uh, JC Penny is very much still in business, we pick up their $$$$$ every day!:-)

Exactly. They were in the news this past week.

Feb 03 13 10:34 am Link

Photographer

Legacys 7

Posts: 33856

San Francisco, California, US

maso-arts wrote:
My understanding is that Sears' "Tower" brand cameras were made by Mamiya (35mm) and Graflex (Medium and Large Format), lenses by Mamiya and Vivitar.  Kmart's "Focal" brand was by Yashica and Ricoh.  JCPenny's earliest were (for the first year or so) Pentax, then Ricoh and Cosina.  This info was from an amateur repair guy here in town in the '70s.

Possible. But I do know for a fact that my old Sears slr camera lens mount was a Ricoh. I know this because when I'd gave my brother my Sear camera, I'd kept the zoom lens and it fitted on my Ricoh camera.

I had the Sears KS Super. The mount was the K mount. Ricoh and Pentax,

Feb 03 13 10:36 am Link

Photographer

Backstreet Photography

Posts: 138

Salem, Oregon, US

I have a JCPenny lens {28mm} that i use for my IR images since i don't need tack-sharp perfprmance there.  Acceptable results, especially when stopped down to 5.6-11, but no where near the Nikon/Canon glass quality.  It's a fun lens = you should give it a workout and see if it fits your needs ~ respects,  mike

Feb 03 13 10:43 am Link

Photographer

KungPaoChic

Posts: 3084

West Palm Beach, Florida, US

Al Lock Photography wrote:
I very much doubt it. I would expect something of the same quality as the old Nikon E series (although the 75-150 E was a very sharp lens) to be branded with JC Penney's name, not anything approaching Nikkor quality.

I have an old JC Penney lens. As I recall it was made my Minolta.

JCP is still in business but I don't think they have a camera dept anymore.

Feb 03 13 10:45 am Link