Montgomery Ward Auto Zoom f3.8 85-205mm

M Ward 85-205

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One of my ‘forgotten’ lenses, I found it when I was cataloguing my collection. I don’t remember buying it, so I suspect it must have come in a kit with another camera I purchased somewhere along the way. Long and heavy, it strikes me as the kind of lens you’d flaunt if you were trying to compensate for a shortcoming, if you know what I mean.*

BUT it turns out that it’s quite good as a user. Build quality is excellent, focusing and zooming is very smooth, the large popup hood a delight. And — always the most important part — it takes quite nice pictures. I’ve never been one to use this focal range much but this could become a favorite for sporting events….


The A-M switch puts it in Auto aperture or Manual (stop-down) mode. Zoom with one ring and focus with the other; there is a third knurled grip to help steady the lens while you do either so it isn’t tempted to turn out of the mount.

*when at near focus and with the hood extended, it’s over 9 inches long!

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