Vivitar 3.8/20mm

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by David Lyga, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Does anyone have comments on this lens: Vivitar 3.8/20mm (Canon mount)? I just bought one in a deal and it appears to be in near mint condition. Pros or cons. Thanks. - David Lyga
     
  2. Whiteymorange

    Whiteymorange Member

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    Like much of the gear sold under the names of companies that marketed but did not manufacture goods, Vivitar lenses are a mixed bag (though Vivitar, in this case, is given credit for the designs). Here is a website that lists the companies that did the manufacturing for them during the period from 1970 to 1990. I have found the Kiron lanses to be quite good (serial numbers beginning with 22), but others may have a different experience.
     
  3. narsuitus

    narsuitus Member

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    I cannot comment on the lens you mention. However, let me share my experience with you.

    I purchased three 28mm Vivitar lenses. All were in very good condition. Tokina manufactured two of the lenses and Kiron manufactured the third. I expected good image quality from the Kiron and was not disappointed. I did not expect the images from the Tokina lenses to come close to the Kiron and one lens did not. However, I was very surprised to discover that the images from the least expensive of the two Tokina lenses were slightly better than the Kiron.

    Bottom line, you may not be able to tell if you have a good Vivitar lens until you actually use it.
     
  4. BardParker

    BardParker Member

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  5. Alan Gales

    Alan Gales Member

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    Kiron was a real bargain back in the day. A good friend of mine bought a brand new Pentax ME Super Program camera with the Pentax 50mm lens when he was in college. He wanted a Pentax zoom but couldn't afford it so I recommended the Kiron. He purchased the Kiron and swore that it was sharper than his 50mm Pentax lens.
     
  6. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Is yours the Cosina version? I got mine pretty cheap, and it performed surprisingly well.
     
  7. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I says only Vivitar on it, not Cosina, Kiron Kid. - David Lyga
     
  8. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    David

    What is the serial # on your lens?

    Russ
     
  9. dbuckle

    dbuckle Member

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    I have the 20mm 3.8 Vivitar in Konica AR mount made by Kiron. I find it an excellent lens. David you can tell the manufacture by the first two digits if it's 22 then it is made by Kiron.
    [​IMG]
    Konica T3 by dbuckle2695, on Flickr
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 3, 2012
  10. BMbikerider

    BMbikerider Member

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    I have never seen the 20mm in UK. There was aF3.8 19mm lens sold under various names - Vivitar, Cosina, Sirius were a few of them. It was around about 20 years ago and it was absolute utter rubbish I wonder if this was developed from it? It certainly couldn't be worse. It had a 62mm filter thread and the build quality was good, but the glass - Ugh!
     
  11. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    The early Vivitar lenses were all superb and designed by Vivitar themselselsves although manufacture was sub-contracted. But the brand name changed ownership and some cheaper Vivitar lenses were just rebranded lenses from lesser known manufacturers.

    In the 70's to the 90's there were some poor quality lenses from companies like Sigma and Hoya, which you'd have expected to be good. In Hoya's case they had to scrap their entire range and they've not sold lenses under the Hoya name since - instead they used their Tokina brand name and the result was the ATX series.

    There were a miriad of odd brand names as well, some just available in one country, so the same lens would appear with a whole host of different nams on it, the 19mm f3.8 vivitar was one of these.

    Ian
     
  12. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    Kiron Kid: I will post the serial number on Tuesday. (I am not at home now.)

    dbuckle: that photo is the identical lens, but in Canon FD mount, not Konica. - David Lyga
     
  13. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    OK the serial number for the Vivitar that I now own (Canon FD mount) is: # 22200777. This was made somewhat later than debuckle's which begins # 220... but is otherwise identical. - David Lyga
     
  14. Kiron Kid

    Kiron Kid Member

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    Here is the Panagor (early Kiron) 21mm f/4.

    [​IMG]
     
  15. dynachrome

    dynachrome Member

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    I have two of these for Konica, white & red lettering and white & green lettering, one for Minolta MC and one for M42. Some years ago I wrote about this lens, the 19/3.8 and the 21/3.8 T4 in Camerashopper. The 20 is my favorite and seems to be the sharpest of the three. The older 21/3.8 T4 model is a very close second and surprisingly good. The 19 is not bad when stopped down a little and is light and compact but it is not as good as the other two. I have that lens in Canon FD mount. I remember using the 20 with a Konica at the ballpark when the previous Yankee Stadium was new. The 20 and 21 are similar in appearance to the 21/4 Konica Hexanon and the 20/4 Zeiss Flektogon. My 21/2.8 Hexanon is much smaller and lighter but the big 20 is still fun to use.
     
  16. David Lyga

    David Lyga Subscriber

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    I just tested it and even at f3.8 it is razor sharp, corner to corner. No complaints here. Thanks all. - David Lyga
     
  17. KrankyKraut

    KrankyKraut Member

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    The Vivitar 20mm 3.8 is a pretty good lens, assuming you have a copy that's within specs. Color and sharpness are good and distortion is much better controlled than in the 19mm 3.8 version. Contrast is medium-low; it's a 70's lens, after all. The 82mm filter size is a draw-back.
     
  18. benjiboy

    benjiboy Subscriber

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    I have a Vivitar 19mm f3.8 lens that was a present from a friend a few years ago and it was so good I'm using it on my desk as a paperweight, however it did give a taste and feeling for ultra wide angle lenses and I subsequently bought a Tamron S.P.17mm f3.5 lens which is IMO one of the best rectilinear ultra wide angle lenses ever made.