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Vivitar 105mm f2.8 T4 vs. Nikkor K 105mm f2.5
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:19 am    Post subject: Vivitar 105mm f2.8 T4 vs. Nikkor K 105mm f2.5 Reply with quote

OK, I was comparing these lenses and I was a little surprised. Anyone care to guess which is which below? Sorry, but I couldn't get the exposures exactly the same.




PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

#1 is the Nikkor, #2 the Vivitar, because of a bit larger DOF


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:30 am    Post subject: Re: Vivitar 105mm f2.8 T4 vs. Nikkor K 105mm f2.5 Reply with quote

gaeger wrote:
OK, I was comparing these lenses and I was a little surprised. Anyone care to guess which is which below? Sorry, but I couldn't get the exposures exactly the same.




Really hard to guess when the aperture is not provided.

I'll play nonetheless. My guess is the 1st one is Vivitar because it's more contrasty and the second is sharper, hence Nikkor.


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
#1 is the Nikkor, #2 the Vivitar, because of a bit larger DOF


u're assuming these are wide open shots then Smile


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, I love your subject camera! These horizontal Brownies are cool machines, still usable now after ~100 years.

Second, this is a comparison I've been meaning to make as well, though my Nikkor is the Ai. I can say that between the Viv T4 and the SMC Tak 105 I don't see much to choose between; the Tak is of course smaller.

Third, I say 1 is Viv and 2 is Nikkor, pretty much for the same reason as ducdao. My limited experience leads me to suspect the Viv is the more flamboyant lens, while the Nikkor is more controlled and buttoned-down.

Fourth, I'll try to replicate your test using my Brownie and equivalent lenses. Might be interesting, or it might be of no value at all Smile


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For those interested, the first image is the Vivitar, the second the Nikkor. My point in this is that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference, even with a lens like the Nikkor, which I think is very, very sharp. I don't think that knowing the f-stop would help either -- just judging from the depth of field, what f-stop do folks think these were shot at?


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite close focusing, so I'd say f/5.6 or f/8. Would be more interesting how they compare wide open.

Or are these crops from wider photographs?


PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would say that a significant test of these lenses in particular should be done wide-open; partly because wide open performance would probably reveal the greatest differences, and also because this focal length will often be used wide open.


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 12:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you have any sample pictures taken with the camera in the picture?


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:59 am    Post subject: Lens Quiz Reply with quote

F 11 for both?

I prefer the Nikkor, but it is colder, and the warmer lens may be better for portrait.

I too would love to see them wide open?


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gaeger wrote:
For those interested, the first image is the Vivitar, the second the Nikkor. My point in this is that it's nearly impossible to tell the difference, even with a lens like the Nikkor, which I think is very, very sharp. I don't think that knowing the f-stop would help either -- just judging from the depth of field, what f-stop do folks think these were shot at?


Yay! Where is my winning prize? Smile

My guess is those shots were taken at f5.6

Vivitar's are way underrated. I have the 135/f2.5 TX and I can tell it's one of the best 135/f2.5 I've seen. Pretty much on par with the highly praised Pentax K135/f2.5 in term of sharpness and build quality.


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Am I the only one not surprised that the Vivitar stands up to the 'mighty' Nikons?


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 7:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

martinsmith99 wrote:
Am I the only one not surprised that the Vivitar stands up to the 'mighty' Nikons?


No, you're not. Count me in too Smile


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 8:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The answer to the question "Which lens is better, or is it?" always varies depending on sensor in use: at that aperture, the center detail those two lenses are capable of drawing outresolves the D300 sensor... If you shot an lpm (lines per millimeter) test and calculated the result as a number, it will show differences between those two. If you shot the same lpm test with a more capable sensor, you'll see the Nikkor pull a clearer lead.

In your case I wouldn't waste any more time with test shots. Enjoy the Vivitar, it is a very fine lens clearly worth given time shooting real subjects Cool


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is the difference in resolution between the two?

Of course in real usage it's down to one's preference, but I have found the original Helios 44 to be sharper than the Nikkor pre AI 50 wide open.


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lend me the Vivitar 105/2.8 and I'll let you know how many lines per millimeter it draws Cool

Seriously: The academic debate about which of those two draws more detail is a waste of time, because here the lenses are used on a sensor both the Vivitar and Nikkor can outresolve. Important thing is that they both are very very good on the D300. Plug the Vivitar and Nikkor on a D3X --> totally different results.

I'm not surprised about the 50/2 pre-Ai not being better than soviet biotar clone, the improved Ai 50/2 version is at its best an average performer.


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed Actually, were I to replicate this, the Vivitar is the Soligor T4, and the Nikkor is the ai... But at least the No.2 Folding Pocket Brownie is the same... isn't it? Laughing

I did have the Vivitar version briefly, but sent it to Bill...


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:
Plug the Vivitar and Nikkor on a D3X --> totally different results.
I thought D3x and D300 have about the same pixel density?


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish to note that LPMM is not the only criteria when using a lens out in the environment.

While the Nikkor does ultimately outresolve the Viv, the two have slightly different characteristics which have a minor but visible effect on photographs.


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nesster wrote:
I wish to note that LPMM is not the only criteria when using a lens out in the environment.


Very true and I regret being pulled into the same sharpness debate once again. Sadly, lens draw, fingerprint, 3D, colors, bokeh are nearly extinct thinking especially on photo forums like this, where we examine details on toasters, cameras or anything else available within 1.5m from our trigger finger. Even 1970s photo magazines ranked lenses according to how much they resolve at various apertures, so internet is not to blame.

3-4 years ago the Nikkor 105/2.5 still was a sleeper costing only 50-90 EUR used. Now that full frame users all over the internet have discovered it it sells for 200 EUR or more.

Keep quiet about that Vivitar 105/2.8, the World needs lenses which deliver an awful lot of quality for a price which essentially is peanuts Razz


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:
Nesster wrote:
I wish to note that LPMM is not the only criteria when using a lens out in the environment.


Very true and I regret being pulled into the same sharpness debate once again. Sadly, lens draw, fingerprint, 3D, colors, bokeh are nearly extinct thinking especially on photo forums like this, where we examine details on toasters, cameras or anything else available within 1.5m from our trigger finger. Even 1970s photo magazines ranked lenses according to how much they resolve at various apertures, so internet is not to blame.

3-4 years ago the Nikkor 105/2.5 still was a sleeper costing only 50-90 EUR used. Now that full frame users all over the internet have discovered it it sells for 200 EUR or more.

Keep quiet about that Vivitar 105/2.8, the World needs lenses which deliver an awful lot of quality for a price which essentially is peanuts Razz
Haha, how true.

I just bought a Soligor (Tokina) T2 100/2.8 for 30, but psssst Wink


PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry I haven't been able to do a full aperture test until now. Not the same 'toaster' but perhaps a more difficult test considering its highly fractile nature. I had to alter shutter speeds slightly to obtain a similar exposure. No fair peeking at EXIF!




PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is hard to tell which is which with these last photos but they sure are purty!! Ain't the less expensive Vivitars fun though! LOL

Last edited by Big Dawg on Sat May 14, 2011 6:20 pm; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 4:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Big Dawg: They ARE fun! I didn't realize what I was missing until I tried these T4 lenses. Not exactly up to Nikon/Canon/Leica snuff (maybe with the exception of the 105mm), but still pretty fun, considering the low cost of ownership!

Edit: No guessers on which is which? I thought the info that they were shot wide open was supposed to be the key ...


Last edited by gaeger on Mon May 16, 2011 1:04 am; edited 2 times in total


PostPosted: Sat May 14, 2011 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gaeger wrote:
Big Dawg: They ARE fun! I didn't realize what I was missing until I tried these T4 lenses. Not exactly up to Nikon/Canon/Leica snuff (maybe with the exception of the 105mm), but still pretty fun, considering the low cost of ownership!


I like the build a little better with the TX lenses but the T4's take very good photos.