Do you remember?
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.
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.
Old Timer Cameras in the UK has tests for lots of cameras & lenses.
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:
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.
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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 todays 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.[IMG][/IMG]
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.
Old Timer Cameras
Originally Posted by colrehogan
You can order most of their reprints on-line or the old way.
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
Originally Posted by shadesofgrey
They are all superb performers
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
"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"