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One More Vivitar . . .
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 2:23 am    Post subject: One More Vivitar . . . Reply with quote

Well, I don't own nearly as many Vivitars as some folks here do, but I own a few and won't mind owning more. Added another one today. I already mentioned in the "great deals" thread what I bought, but I'll go ahead and repeat myself here. I was the successful bidder -- actually I was the only bidder on an eBay auction for this Vivitar 200mm f/3.5 lens.

Here's the eBay auction number:
Click here to see on Ebay

Despite the claim that this lens is New Old Stock -- that is, never sold before, aka new -- I guess not too many people were interested in the old T-4 technology, and the photos, which are gone now, pretty clearly indicated that the lens was for pre-AI Nikon. But as you can see from the description, no lens mount was mentioned, which is likely another reason why it was passed over.

Here's a couplel of pics, one of the lens and the box it came in, and another of the lens with the literature that came with it. Lots of literature. Some -- most -- of which is incorrect for this lens!





First off, the lens doesn't have an interchangeable mount. It isn't T-4 or Tx or T-anything. It's a straight, non-interchangeable, pre-AI Nikon mount. So, the owers manual and the box, which are for a 200/3.5 lens, aren't for this one. The serial number on the box doesn't match either -- it shows a Tokina-made lens (first two numbers 37), whereas this one is Komine made (28...).

Additionally there are two small booklets, one for a "Vivitar Automatic Tx Lens" and another for a "Vivitar Automatic TX Zoom Lens 90-230mm f/4.5". But this isn't a TX lens. But that's not all. The warranty card is for a Vivitar 300mm f/5.5 lens.

The literarture has publication dates ranging from 1970 to 1975. And since the 1975-dated pieces were for the TX lenses, I'm guessing that the earliest this lens can be dated to is 1975. Perhaps somewhat later, but not too much later, since it has the all-metal ribbed focusing ring.

Simply put, none of the information included with the lens is for this lens! But that's okay. I didn't really want a T4 or TX lens anyway. In fact, this lens is identical to the Canon FD mount 200mm f/3.5 I won off eBay last year for about the same price. So I'm happy. I haven't had much of a chance to check this lens out yet, but if it's as good as my other Vivitar 200 then I'm good. But one really great thing about having it in Nikon mount, is now I have a reasonably fast 200mm for my EOS DSLR.

I'll try to get out tomorrow and take some pics with it, and I'll add them to this thread.

The eBay seller appears to have been correct -- the lens does not appear to have ever been used. It is completely mint -- not a blemish anywhere. About the only things I'd say are wrong with it are -- it's missing its front lens cap, and the focusing ring is fairly stiff. One of these days, I'll have to open it up and replace its lubricant.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting !

I don't think the docs were meant as deliberate trickery (to misrepresent "mint" as meaning with all original packaging, docs and extras).

Probably just the original owner stuffed all the miscellaneous loose paperwork for his other lenses into a surviving box.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, that's exactly what I'm figuring. A few miscellaneous leftover pieces and they get shoved into the last box on the shelf -- along with the lens, which didn't belong to that box either. Cool

The eBay seller states that he picked it up at an auction, and didn't know its history, so I think he was being honest enough about it. Heh. No complaints here. I bought a high-quality lens in mint condition for $10. The box has an old price sticker on it for $174.50. Figure that to be 1975 dollars. According to an inflation calculator I found on the web, that's $709 in 2010 dollars. I don't know whether I'm happy or sad about that. Rolling Eyes


PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:
Yep, that's exactly what I'm figuring. A few miscellaneous leftover pieces and they get shoved into the last box on the shelf -- along with the lens, which didn't belong to that box either. Cool

The eBay seller states that he picked it up at an auction, and didn't know its history, so I think he was being honest enough about it. Heh. No complaints here. I bought a high-quality lens in mint condition for $10. The box has an old price sticker on it for $174.50. Figure that to be 1975 dollars. According to an inflation calculator I found on the web, that's $709 in 2010 dollars. I don't know whether I'm happy or sad about that. Rolling Eyes


Great buy on a great lens Michael. That one is a good deal more pristine than the one I got and you paid less too. Congratulations.


PostPosted: Fri Nov 19, 2010 7:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds a great deal to me.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think this is from the same series as the 135/2.8 I had for a bit - it has a builtin hood, right? I've seen this 200 around - based on the performance of the 135, I would expect this one to be good too. Please post some shots from it.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Laurentiu Cristofor wrote:
I think this is from the same series as the 135/2.8 I had for a bit - it has a builtin hood, right? I've seen this 200 around - based on the performance of the 135, I would expect this one to be good too. Please post some shots from it.


28xx = Komine made = Good or great quality


PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, the Komine-made Vivitars are some of the best. Close or equal to the quality of the Kiron made ones, I'd say.

Oh, I failed to mention above -- this lens has an 8-bladed aperture iris.

Okay, I have some pics. Nothing special, just looked around for something halfway interesting to photograph in my front yard that would give some indication of this lens's performance. No post processing was done to any of the images other than resizing them for display here.

The purpose here is to show the performance of the Vivitar 200/3.5 wide open and then stopped down a bit -- f/5.6 in this case. I didn't take any photos at f/4 -- figuring there wouldn't be much difference between f/3.5 and f/4. I did take photos at f/8 and f/11, but there wasn't much difference in sharpness or color correction between those apertures and f/5.6, so I've decided just to show the f/5.6 shots. If you'd like to see the f/8 and f/11 shots (I have only a couple at f/11), let me know and I'll post them.

The camera is a Canon XS (1000D). Shots were taken at either ISO 100 or 200. I used Live View to insure accurate focus and for all images except the robin, a tripod was used as well.

So, here we go.

I know it's November when I see robins. Houston is a way point for them during their annual winter migration. I took several shots, all of them handheld. This was the only one that came out reasonably sharp. I didn't record the aperture, but it would have been either f/5.6 or f/8.



As I mentioned above, I have another 200/3.5 Vivitar that is the same model of this one, except in C/FD mount. I find that the performance of this one wide open is essentially the same. A bit soft, with noticeable amounts of chromatic aberration. You can see the blue and a bit of magenta fringing in the following photo and its 100% crop. Decent bokeh, though, with nice, round out-of-focus highlights.




This next series shows a 100% crop first, showing once again the chromatic aberrations and some softness when the lens is used wide open. It's followed by the original image, and then by an image at f/5.6. Noticeable sharpness improvement is seen at f/5.6 with an almost total elmination of the chromatic aberrations.





Bokeh are still soft and pleasing (to me at least) at f/5.6.

And one more pair of shots, showing the difference betweeen wide open and f/5.6.




All in all, a decent performer I think. The chromatic aberrations can be handled easily enough in post processing. Well worth the $10 I paid for it.