Do you remember?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by shadesofgrey, Jan 20, 2006.

  1. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

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    Evening all. Anyone remember the Vivitar 24-48 3.8 S1? Or perhaps, the Vivitar 135 2.8 S1? Trying to find a review/test of the above, not having much luck so I thought I'd ask you oracle's out there for a little help. Point me in the direction of a review if you can, or, speak your piece if you have, owned, used, even abused one. Your own personal thoughts on the above are most welcome.

    All the best.

    B.
     
  2. Oren Grad

    Oren Grad Subscriber

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    I'm old enough to remember them both, including the fact that the 135 was actually f/2.3 - the odd maximum aperture specification was one of the marketing tricks they used to set these lenses apart. Ditto for the 28/1.9 and 200/3 in the original S1 line (although now after all these years there's a 28/1.9 once again in the C/V line of Leica screw-mount lenses).

    Alas, I've never owned one, nor do I know of a review online - all of these lenses were long gone before the web really began to pick up steam. Best bet, albeit much more work, would probably be to track down a library that has old photo magazines.
     
  3. colrehogan

    colrehogan Member

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    Old Timer Cameras in the UK has tests for lots of cameras & lenses.
     
  4. Wayne R. Scott

    Wayne R. Scott Member

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    I have the Vivitar Series 1 135mm f/2.3 manual focus lens for Pentax screw mount cameras such as the Spotmatic. Also fits all other cameras using the 42mm diameter Pentax screw mount, such as Chinon, Fuji, Yashica, Ricoh, etc. Has a manual/automatic diaphragm switch so it can be used in stop down mode in conjunction with inexpensive mount adaptors. With a, say, Pentax screw mount to Pentax K mount adaptor, this lens can be used on any Pentax bayonet mount camera, from the K-1000, LX, ME, MX, ME Super to the latest Pentax autofocus models. Similar adaptors are available for most other brands of cameras. This lens was built in the same era in which such other well known and highly regarded Series 1 lenses as the 90mm f/2.5 macro, the 200mm f/3 telephoto, the 70-210mm f/3.5 macro, the 90-180mm f/4.5 flat field macro zoom, the 600mm f/8 and 800mm f/11 "solid cat" lenses, and the 28mm f/1.9 wide angle lens were built. What a lineup! The design philosophy for this batch of lenses is maximum performance. And they deliver! This 135mm lens takes 72mm filters, and measures just under 4" long at infinity. It has a built-in retractable sliding lens hood. Minimum focus is 3 ft., compared to 5 ft. for most 135mm lenses. Maximum magnification ratio is an impressive 1:4.5. Optical construction is 6 elements in 6 groups, compared to the 4 element in 4 group design of most 135mm lenses. The VMC multi-coating makes sure that flare is kept to the absolute minimum.

    Here is an example of an existing light photo with the Vivitar Series 1 135mm f2.3:

    [​IMG]

    Wayne
     
  5. elekm

    elekm Member

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    I have a brochure of the original Series 1 lenses. The only zooms at that time in the brochure were the 35-85 (Variable Focus, not a true zoom) and the 70-210. Drop me a note, if you'd like a PDF version. It's about 5MB, so your e-mail account will need to be able to handle an attachment of that size.
     
  6. dolande

    dolande Member

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    I still own the 200mm F3.0 (sitting somewhere in my parents house) in Konica mount. I have not idea how it compares with today’s lenses but as a teen, I was thrilled just carrying that lens. Here's one example taken some 20 years ago, and a picture I took the day I bought it. Boy was I happy.
     

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  7. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I had the Vivitar Series 1, 135 f2.3 with Nikon mount. I used it very much on my Nikons and remember it as having exceptional focusing due to the helical threads being designed so that it took forever to go from close range to infinity.

    When I bought a Nikkor 105 F2.5 I realised how good the Vivitar focusing was. The Nikkor was/is quite good, but the focusing movements required careful hand movements to get accurate focus, by comparison to the Vivitar.

    Unfortunately I was relieved of the Vivitar by professional thieves who used a removals van backed up to the house and removed everything I owned, except for my homemade double bed and my television set, which was faulty.

    Everything that Wayne says about the Series 1 lenses is true. They really were a superior aftermarket set of lenses.

    They also made quite a good colour enlarger, which I believe they actually manufactured, instead of re-badging some other manufacturers unit.

    In the late seventies and early eighties, their products were regarded as up with the best.

    Mick.
     
  8. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Member

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    Old Timer Cameras

    You can order most of their reprints on-line or the old way.
     
  9. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    I have 4 of these Series 1 lenses. The 135 2.3, 28 1.9, 24-48 were made by Kino Precision. The 800 solid cat was designed by Perkin Elmer

    They are all superb performers

    mark
     
  10. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    I'm pretty easy going about a lot of things, but the Vivitar stuff was good and bad, depending how you measured it.

    Good, very good, compared to the other off brand stuff.

    Nowhere in the park if you compare it to Nikon, Minolta, etc.

    Thirty years later, if used much at all, it will be worn out. If it wasn't used, the lubricants will be dried up and will wear out when you begin using it. The lubricants are critical in these designs. Guess why they were less expensive than Nikon ? Not because Nikon was out to overcharge you, but because they built lenses to a higher mechanical standard. Kino, and all, relied on lower expectations of service life and lots of grease instead of brass, steel, and ball bearings.

    Just one guy's opinion, of course
     
  11. shadesofgrey

    shadesofgrey Member

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    [QUOTE= df cardwell---Thirty years later, if used much at all, it will be worn out. If it wasn't used, the lubricants will be dried up and will wear out when you begin using it. The lubricants are critical in these designs. Guess why they were less expensive than Nikon ? Not because Nikon was out to overcharge you, but because they built lenses to a higher mechanical standard. Kino, and all, relied on lower expectations of service life and lots of grease instead of brass, steel, and ball bearings.

    Hi DF. Nail on the head time I think. Both my 135 and 24-48 needed a strip as the aperture blades seized due to one hell of a sticky mess! Common fault? My 85/f2 AI must be late sixty's early seventy's and it's a gem. Still crystal clear and running smoooooooooooth. Wonder how it compares to the ASI version?

    Hi Mark. Question. Do you find that the mount on the 24-48 is a tight fit as in, over tight? All my other lenses (Nikon 18/3.5 35/f2 85/f2 mount with ease but the 24-48 needs a real twist which puts me off using it on my FM3a. Don't have another body yet to try it on at the moment (Mick I sympathize! Lost my 2x F2's and FM2 the same way) as I traded in my well worn FA.

    Thanks for the interesting info Wayne; really enjoyed the read and the pic is real nice. What's he looking at, a $20 bill? Got that--I wish look in his eyes. Nice.

    Thanks to all those that recommended Old timers: Funny: I live around the corner from them but just never seem to remember them. Advertising at its best; obviously!

    Dave. An English eye. That is one stunning picture. A pleasure to view your gallery . Thanks.

    elekm. Very kind of you. Email on way over.

    Thanks one and all.

    Take care.

    B.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2006
  12. Mark Layne

    Mark Layne Member

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    Valid comment on mechanics but optically they work-at least the Series 1 lenses. I never was attracted to the others
    Mark