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  1. #71

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    Quote Originally Posted by dynachrome View Post
    Vivitar made three series of lenses (none of them called Series 1) which had interchanngeable mount adapters. The first set had the T mount system which was developed by Tasei (later Tamron). These were pre-set lenses. They were easy to make because they had no auto diaphragm. The second set was called T4. The T4 system worked with many systems but only if the mount required a single pin. You could buy a 135mm f/2.8 T4 lens and use it with a Canon FT QL and also with a Nikkormat if you bought both adapters. As far as I know all of the T4 lenses were made by Tokina. As more camera manufacturers made cameras with more than one pin in the mount, the T4 system grew limited. Some systems for which T4 adapters were not made include Konica Autoreflex (AR), Olympus OM, Pentax K, Yashica/Contax, Nikon AI/AIS and Canon FD. The later TX system had mount adapters for all of these. The TX adapter for Nikon AI lenses is rare. I don't think I have ever seen one of them but I have seen pictures of them on eBay.

    The original T system included a wide variety of lenses. The T4 system went from 21mm to 400mm and included a limited number of zooms. I have most of the T4 lenses. The ones I'm missing are the 400mm f/5.6 and the 55-135 zoom. There may have also been a slower T4 400. TX lenses went from 24mm to 400mm and included more zooms. These were either all or mostly made by Tokina. The only TX lens I seem to be missing is the 400/6.3. As I must have mentioned earlier, there were many Vivitar lenses which were not Series 1 models but which were also very good. There is an oddball 55mm f/1.2 lens which was made for Vivitar by Tomioka (later taken over by Yashica) and which, in overseas markets, was marked Series 1. At least once I saw a TX lens marked Tokina raher than Vivitar. It was probably originally sold outside of the U.S. Past a certain point you shouldn't put too much stock in what other people (including me) say about a particular lens. If you try the lens and like it then it works for you.

    This is becoming much more complicated than need be. Yes, there are some very good non-Series 1 lenses designed by Vivitar. But, as I said before, the early Series 1 lenses, ROCK! And meet or exceed OEM lenses (as do many Kiron's). I don't have the time to go into the whole Vivitar history. PLEASE, just tell me what focal length you are looking for, and I'm more than happy to hook you up with a Vivitar Series 1 or Kiron lens that you will be very happy and satisfied with. And if you come across a non-Series 1 Vivitar that you are interested in, I'll gladly give you the history and the lineage of it. Many of the non-Series 1 lenses are very capable performers.



    Kiron Kid

  2. #72
    Focus No. 9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiron Kid View Post
    Focus9

    The Vivitar series 1 lenses, are clearly labeled with the "Series 1" label. There are some that are the same focal length, but do not share the same aperture or "Series 1 designation. The Series 1 designs differ from non-Series 1 designs. Tell me about what focal length you are looking for, and I'll steer you in the right direction, and, or choose the proper Series 1 lens for you.

    Kiron Kid
    Thanks KK..that answer solves the riddle. I'm now intrigued with the TX lenses. The Vivitar that I have came with a used Ricoh XR2s along with a Promaster 28mm and a Quantaray 85-210. I purchased the set to expand my kmount lenses to fit my Pentax P3n. The Ricoh purchase started my CBA/LBA. Why? because the lady who sold me the Ricoh pulled out a SIGMA SA-1 with a Sigma 35-70 2.8 for $10 and I said yes. And I've been saying yes ever since! I have most ranges covered except the mega telephotos. Thank you again and I will keep you in mind should I decide I can't create without a 24 or 35.

  3. #73
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    Any thoughts on the Series 1 19-35AF? I just got one cheap enough that I won't mind if it's only okay. I have two 28-105 series 1s (one in Nikon and one in Minolta MD) both with serial #s starting with 09. The nikon mount one came attached to an F2A that was what I really wanted, and I haven't shot anything with it yet. I've used the MD mount a bit on an X-700 and it's not horrible aside from some barrel distortion at the wide end. I have primes for when I really want the image, but the zooms are nice for convenience. It's surprising how often the technical merits of the image (sharpness, contrast, distortion) are invisible if the picture says something. There are times when "look how perfect this image is" is exactly what I want to say, though. It's a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kiron Kid View Post
    The Series 1 model is a Cosina made lens. Nothing special. The Vivitar Series 1 28-90 and Kiron 28-105 are much better.

    Kiron Kid

  4. #74

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    Quote Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
    Any thoughts on the Series 1 19-35AF? I just got one cheap enough that I won't mind if it's only okay. I have two 28-105 series 1s (one in Nikon and one in Minolta MD) both with serial #s starting with 09. The nikon mount one came attached to an F2A that was what I really wanted, and I haven't shot anything with it yet. I've used the MD mount a bit on an X-700 and it's not horrible aside from some barrel distortion at the wide end. I have primes for when I really want the image, but the zooms are nice for convenience. It's surprising how often the technical merits of the image (sharpness, contrast, distortion) are invisible if the picture says something. There are times when "look how perfect this image is" is exactly what I want to say, though. It's a matter of choosing the right tool for the job.
    Ulysses

    The 13-35AF is decent for the money. There are many wide angle zooms that are considerably better. But they'll cost you a bit more. For the price tag, your 19-35 is alright. How do you like your Cosina made Series 1 28-105's?

    Kiron Kid

  5. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiron Kid View Post
    Ulysses

    The 13-35AF is decent for the money. There are many wide angle zooms that are considerably better. But they'll cost you a bit more. For the price tag, your 19-35 is alright. How do you like your Cosina made Series 1 28-105's?

    Kiron Kid
    KK: I'll try to shoot a few things with the 28-105 S1 this afternoon and maybe post the results. I haven't used the MD mount one in a while, and I haven't used the NAI at all yet, so I'll give that one a try. Thanks for the input on the 19-35AF. That's about what I thought and I should be happy enough with it. Any idea who makes them for Vivitar? Cosina?

  6. #76

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    Quote Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
    KK: I'll try to shoot a few things with the 28-105 S1 this afternoon and maybe post the results. I haven't used the MD mount one in a while, and I haven't used the NAI at all yet, so I'll give that one a try. Thanks for the input on the 19-35AF. That's about what I thought and I should be happy enough with it. Any idea who makes them for Vivitar? Cosina?

    The 19-35AF lenses are made by Cosina and Samyang.

    KK

  7. #77
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    It seems like I've been doing a lot of "comparing things" recently. I just posted a long article, as a result of a lengthy (and not always happy) exploration of film scanning, over in hybridphoto.com, with results that surprised me at first and on further thought, educated me about what kind of photographer I am (or at least informed me about the medium I work in.) I suffer from a severe case of G.A.S., and as a result I tend to think of myself as a gearhead. I'm also trained as a scientist, and I think of myself as a technically-oriented photographer. Then Kiron Kid asked me what I thought of a particular lens -- the Vivitar Series 1 28-105 -- and I thought, well, I'll just go out and shoot a bit with it (which I did) and since I had just bought a Nikkor AF35-135 to go with my new (to me) F5, I followed up with a few shots with it as well (both lenses on my D700, so I could see the results quickly and easily.) The results were, well, different. There are things I can say technically about the two lenses -- the Vivitar has enough light falloff that you'd probably call it vignetting, at least at some apertures and focal lengths while the Nikkor has none that I can see. On the other hand, both lenses have distortion at the ends of their focal ranges, barrel at the wide end, pincushion at the long end, at it's actually worse on the Nikkor at both ends. Either that or my brick wall is doing some strange things. The Nikkor's also sharper in the corners wide open (honestly, stopped down, too) and probably a tad sharper overall wide open. It's also more contrasty throughout, but that actually made the one shot I made in macro mode (of a single orange blossom) look better -- less washed out and showing more detail -- with the Vivitar than with the Nikkor. The corner sharpness was irrelevant in this one shot, and the slight vignetting actually worked with this image. It seems to me that I could get a tad closer with the Vivitar, too, but honestly I wasn't making measurements.

    But the thing I noticed most was how differently I worked with each of these lenses, which on the surface are very similar. Part of it was that I tended to be more involved with the Vivitar, maybe because it's manual focus I was just more hands-on in general. I'm still learning what the F5 can and cannot do and with the Vivitar (which I had used before on older Minolta gear) I maybe just reverted to my older set of manual everything skills. With the AF Nikkor, I tended to let the camera do what it wanted to. I think in retrospect, I could have gotten better exposures with the Nikkor if I had been more involved, like I did with the Vivitar, and perhaps controlled the contrast better in the macro shot. Or maybe not.

    Anyway, even if the Vivitar isn't as "good" a lens as the Nikkor, it's still an interesting and "useful" tool. It'll probably find a home on my FG (or my new Nikomat EL) and get some use. See, I've mentioned 4 cameras in this post, three of them new acquisitions. I really am a gearhead!

  8. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by ulysses View Post
    It seems like I've been doing a lot of "comparing things" recently. I just posted a long article, as a result of a lengthy (and not always happy) exploration of film scanning, over in hybridphoto.com, with results that surprised me at first and on further thought, educated me about what kind of photographer I am (or at least informed me about the medium I work in.) I suffer from a severe case of G.A.S., and as a result I tend to think of myself as a gearhead. I'm also trained as a scientist, and I think of myself as a technically-oriented photographer. Then Kiron Kid asked me what I thought of a particular lens -- the Vivitar Series 1 28-105 -- and I thought, well, I'll just go out and shoot a bit with it (which I did) and since I had just bought a Nikkor AF35-135 to go with my new (to me) F5, I followed up with a few shots with it as well (both lenses on my D700, so I could see the results quickly and easily.) The results were, well, different. There are things I can say technically about the two lenses -- the Vivitar has enough light falloff that you'd probably call it vignetting, at least at some apertures and focal lengths while the Nikkor has none that I can see. On the other hand, both lenses have distortion at the ends of their focal ranges, barrel at the wide end, pincushion at the long end, at it's actually worse on the Nikkor at both ends. Either that or my brick wall is doing some strange things. The Nikkor's also sharper in the corners wide open (honestly, stopped down, too) and probably a tad sharper overall wide open. It's also more contrasty throughout, but that actually made the one shot I made in macro mode (of a single orange blossom) look better -- less washed out and showing more detail -- with the Vivitar than with the Nikkor. The corner sharpness was irrelevant in this one shot, and the slight vignetting actually worked with this image. It seems to me that I could get a tad closer with the Vivitar, too, but honestly I wasn't making measurements.

    But the thing I noticed most was how differently I worked with each of these lenses, which on the surface are very similar. Part of it was that I tended to be more involved with the Vivitar, maybe because it's manual focus I was just more hands-on in general. I'm still learning what the F5 can and cannot do and with the Vivitar (which I had used before on older Minolta gear) I maybe just reverted to my older set of manual everything skills. With the AF Nikkor, I tended to let the camera do what it wanted to. I think in retrospect, I could have gotten better exposures with the Nikkor if I had been more involved, like I did with the Vivitar, and perhaps controlled the contrast better in the macro shot. Or maybe not.

    Anyway, even if the Vivitar isn't as "good" a lens as the Nikkor, it's still an interesting and "useful" tool. It'll probably find a home on my FG (or my new Nikomat EL) and get some use. See, I've mentioned 4 cameras in this post, three of them new acquisitions. I really am a gearhead!
    Ulysses

    The Vivitar is no dog. It's just not up to the quality of the older Series 1 models. Personally, I believe that just about any modern day lens (within the last 30 years or so) is very capable of delivering very fine results. There are really very few truly hideous lenses out there. Just earlier today, I was perusing my huge file of AP (Amateur Photographer) test results from past and more present testing. I've always found AP testing to be rather stringent & consistent. Even AP had trouble finding fault with some of the lenses that we consider to be "dogs." Of course, they can't test for long term durability, which is also a factor to consider when purchasing new glass.

    I personally believe, and keep in mind when reading lens reviews and opinions by other's, that most lens faults are "operator error" and caused by poor and improper technique (camera shake, crappy filters, funky lighting, etc). I have slides, negatives and prints made from 30 year old lenses that are extremely sharp. I've never had an editor, publisher or print buyer, ask me what lens was used for making said snap. I have some drum scanned slides shot with an older Vivitar Series 1, 28-90, that people swear was shot on a medium format rig, until I tell them otherwise. The scans and large prints are very impressive.

    The bottom line is, if you have a lens that satisfies you with it's results, you've got a good lens.

    Kiron Kid

  9. #79

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    The manufacturer of the solid Vivitar Series 1 lenses was the firm KINO PRECISION INDUSTRIES Ltd. (later KIRON) in Japan. They unfortunately quit producing lenses in 1987.

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