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  1. #21
    glockman99's Avatar
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    I have a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4 macro lens in Nikon AI mount, with the serial numbers starting with "28...". It's a VERY sharp, (but very heavy) lens. It does have a problem with alittle oil on the aperature leaves, so sometimes the opening & closing can be alittle sluggish. It does make for an excellent portarit lens wide open, tho.

    One of these days I'm going to get around to either cleaning up the oil, or selling it "as-is".
    Dann Fassnacht
    Aberdeen, WA USA

    glockman99@hotmail.com
    -------------------------------------
    My film cameras are all Nikons: F3HP, F4s, N90s, N8008, N8008s.

  2. #22
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cooltouch View Post
    Well, this quality drop hadn't occurred by the time they released their 28-90 f/2.8-3.5 S1. I had one of those in Canon mount, and shot thousands of slides with it. It was a great lens. The only thing I didn't like about it was it vignetted slightly at 28mm at wider apertures. After switching to Nikon several years later, I picked up a 28-105 f/2.8-3.8 S1 and used it for a while. This lens appeared to be every bit as good as the 28-90, but I'll admit that I didn't shoot with it nearly as much. I didn't keep it for long -- must have sold it when I went through one of my equipment downsizing moods. I hate it when that happens.

    Best,
    Michael
    I used the word some people carefully because I've never found a problem with lens quality wth any of the S1 lenses.

    But Vivitar did dumb down when they started selling non S1 lenenses and the quality of these did vary very considerably, from good/almost up to S1 standard to quite average.

    The Vivitar S1 range hit Tamron and Soligor quite hard in the UK, Tamron fought back by intoducing the SP range equally as good as the S1 range.

    Soligor lost their dominant position in the UK as a 3rd party lens supplier & never recovered.

    Ian

  3. #23
    cooltouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant View Post
    But Vivitar did dumb down when they started selling non S1 lenenses and the quality of these did vary very considerably, from good/almost up to S1 standard to quite average.
    I am not all that familiar with the history of Vivitar, but I am somewhat familiar with what the company offered over the years. I became interested in photography in the early 80s, and by then Vivitar had essentially two lines of lenses -- the S1s and the "regular" ones.

    It appears that you're suggesting that the S1 lenses predated the others? If so, I wonder about this. I used to own one of the quite rare Vivitar "Professional" 135mm f/1.5 T-mount preset lenses. This lens dated back to the 60s, I suspect, and predated the S1s, or so I had always thought. Vivitar also marketed a number of preset T-mount refractor telephotos ranging in focal length from 400mm to 800mm. These were big, beefy, all-metal-and-glass optics (not even rubberized focusing barrels) that were marketed in the 60s and 70s, from what I understand.

    The Vivitar S1 range hit Tamron and Soligor quite hard in the UK, Tamron fought back by intoducing the SP range equally as good as the S1 range.

    Soligor lost their dominant position in the UK as a 3rd party lens supplier & never recovered.
    Over here in the States, the S1s were duking it out with Tamron's SP and Tokina's AT-X. Sigma was a latecomer, but they began offering a premium product as well, once AF started becoming popular. Soligor I think just ran out of steam and dwindled away. On the advice of a friend, I bought a Soligor 85-300 two-ring zoom back in the mid-80s, and was totally underwhelmed by its performance.

    My impression with Vivitar was that it seemed that the company just lost interest in competing once AF lenses emerged. Vivitar was either unable or unwilling to do all the design work involved in order to supply lenses in a widely varying array of AF mounts and technologies.

    Best,
    Michael

  4. #24
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    You are probably right Michael, I don't think Vivitar were sold in the UK until the S1 series, often lenses sold under different names too, as it's often a simple badge ring in the filter thread.

    There were a lot of names in US magazines we never saw in the UK, andI'd guess the other way round as well.

    Ian

  5. #25

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    serial number 22948526 so it's a kiron. now i just have to get the hang of this beast. there's some marks around the edge of the lens, but i don't think they'll effect image quality.

    thanks again.
    -Jake

    Photography by the seat of my pants.

  6. #26

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  7. #27

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    YOU!! I've been trying to get this lens for a month or so now but the prices have gone up a lot recently... seems like it coincides with the creation of this thread!

  8. #28

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    i'd like to think i was that powerful

    i pulled mine from KEH.com i'm sure more will pop up there.
    -Jake

    Photography by the seat of my pants.

  9. #29
    dances_w_clouds's Avatar
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    If you are not happy with it, then sell it on eBay with that standard "rare", "minty", and "I do not know Jack Shyt about photography" with a starting price of $100.
    I found one today also it under a new description "minty mint" Now that sounds good ?????

  10. #30

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    "Minty mint" -- what an idiotic description.

    Anyway, I bought the Series 1 35-85 VFC back in late 1979 and carried it with me on many trips. There is barrel distortion on the wide end, and it's very heavy.

    As long as you didn't try to shoot architecturally, I think it's an excellent lens.

    I took it into the Louvre and shot some paintings and was quite surprised to see the barrel distortion when my slides came back. But overall, I liked the lens a lot.

    I'm sure that it doesn't stand up too well to today's lenses, but back then it was a real workhorse for me.

    It definitely falls into the photography as a weapon category.

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