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  1. #1

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    Quanteray and/or Vivitar lenses

    Has anyone used either of these two brands of lenses for 35mm? Specifically a Quanteray 28mm 2.8 and a Vivitar 70-150 mm zoom. How would these lenses compare to Rokkor or Zuiko lenses of the same variety?
    Would these two aftermarket lenses be considered poor, fair, or good? Would one even bother using these lenses? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  2. #2
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    I used alot of the Vivitar lenses for many years, and found their quality to be good, actually vivitar has made many good lenses over the years and have been the manufacture for many of the big camera company lenses, all the same cavets apply, try it out if you can, inspect it closely, I am not a fan of Quanteray, but know others that have used them without a complaint.

    Dave

  3. #3

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    I would have more confidence in Vivitar (especially if their Series 1 line) than Quanteray. And I believe that much of the quality difference between 1st tier and 2nd tier lenses is build quality and phyical reliability. But I would have to believe that the Rokkor or Zuiko lenses are better both physically and optically. Especially in the Zuiko or the MC and early MD Rokkor's (not so sure about the later Rokkor's - but just an opinion).

  4. #4
    David A. Goldfarb's Avatar
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    Vivitar Series 1 lenses were often pretty good. As I recall, some of the standouts were an 80-200 zoom, 90mm macro, and the Solid Catadioptric lenses, as well as one fast 450mm catadioptric lens that was something like f:4.5, which was unusual for a mirror lens.

    Quantaray I think was made originally by Sigma and was always a budget line, not highly regarded.

    Bob Monaghan has a good website about third-party lenses for 35mm. Google "Monaghan" and "third-party" or "cult classics" and you should turn it up.
    flickr--http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidagoldfarb/
    Photography (not as up to date as the flickr site)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com/photo
    Academic (Slavic and Comparative Literature)--http://www.davidagoldfarb.com

  5. #5
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Here is the link to Some of Bob's 35mm stuff about lenses.

    http://medfmt.8k.com/third/index.html

    Dave

  6. #6
    reellis67's Avatar
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    To the best of my knowledge, Sigma makes the Quantaray lenses for Ritz camera. I have one and the quality seems fine to me, but I mostly shoot 120 and 4x5, so my estimation for 35mm may not be up to your specs.

    - Randy

  7. #7

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    Thanks Dave, David, Randy, mgb74-- Neither seem to be "cult-classics"! Learned a lot at http://medfmt.8k.com/third/index.html (great link!)
    "A certain amount of contempt for the material employed to express an idea is indispensable to the purest realization of this idea." Man Ray

  8. #8

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    For what it's worth neither Quantaray OR Vivitar were manufacturing lenses. they were/are marketing/importing companies. Vivitar had the good fortune in the past to hook up with Kino optics and come up with with some really great products, mainly the Series l lenses.
    Quantaray is a price point profitable lens series that is meant to provide a retailer with maximum profit from minimum investment. Most retailers were able to provide incentives to the sales staff for this line. The lenses generally meant to occupy space in the hall closet and performed that function very well.
    Heavily sedated for your protection.

  9. #9
    Dave Parker's Avatar
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    Vivitar has manufactured lenses on and off over the many years that 35mm cameras have been around, they are currently designing and running their own manufacturing companies in a couple of the low wage Asian countries.

    In addition over the years, Vivitar as well as Tamron, Sigma and Kiron have manufactured lenses for the big companies to suplement areas in product lines that Canon as well as others did not want to produce.

    But again, Vivitar has been and continues to manufacter certain lenses in their own lines as well as others.

    You might want to read through the extensive lens information that Bob offers at the link above that I posted.

    Dave

  10. #10
    df cardwell's Avatar
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    While just a photographer, and not a lens designer, I've been around long enough to notice that 'price point lenses' fall apart long before the best lenses. After all, there is a reason they hit a price point ! In the years I enjoyed toiling in a fine, professional camera shop...and hanging out in Steve Grimes' repair shop ... seeing which lenses came back in pieces, and seeing what they looked like on a repair table.... I formed my OWN opinions.

    You aren't guaranteed the best lens by paying the highest price. But you are guaranteed that a bargain lens will not last as long as a fine one, and optical goodness is directly related to the mechanical construction.

    My 50 year old Summicron gives great results, is tight as a drum. My 135 Sonnar is 67 years old, and gives first rate results. And looks new.

    Quanteray is a 'store brand' lens, a standard, inexpensive design that can be bought in quantity to sell at high profit by the large shops able to take advantage of this.

    From time to time, Vivitar made good lenses, that approached Nikon quality until the mechanics failed. Mainly, Vivitar has been a short-term bargain lens.

    Compared to the generally first rate Minolta and Olympus products, there really isn't any comparison.

    To survive in the market, everyone but Leica ( and Contax ) had to make a 'bargain line'. But buying a first rate lens from a cameramaker has always been the best value.

    Today, when the prices for superb quality Minolta or Olympus lenses are so low, why even think about putting a second or third rate ( or worse ) lens on your camera.

    Time is far more important than money. Run out of money, make somemore. Run out of time, and what ?

    The OLD fashioned advice was "spend as much as you can afford on as little as you need". It is still the only way to go.

    .
    "One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid,
    and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision"

    -Bertrand Russell

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