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Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 (Kiron version)
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:31 am    Post subject: Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 (Kiron version) Reply with quote

Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 (Kiron version)

I actually have two of these, one each in Canon FD and Nikon mount, both purchased some months ago from the Adolph Gasser closing out sales, for their customary $5 each. I really miss Adolph Gasser!
The Nikon version has rather stiff zoom, so I used the Canon one on a Nex 7, for the most part.

PJCT6745 by luisalegria, on Flickr

Its a bit awkward on such a tiny camera, but there was no helping it, its my only camera to which I can adapt Canon FD.

These are of course quite famous lenses, for which there is a very great deal of detail and background online. I presented my Tokina version of this some time ago, and there is considerable information there, and on the accompanying comments (thanks guys!).


Much more information on Mark Roberts site -


Nice writeup and many comments on Pentax Forums -


Mine seems to be quite a late copy, from 1981 by its serial number. My Nikon one is from 1975.

To summarize, this was a revolutionary lens when it came out in 1974, and it and the subsequent line became tremendously popular, among professionals as much as amateurs, as this was a better zoom in many ways than what Nikon, Canon and etc. were selling at the time. It does show its age in its size and weight, which is substantial! This thing is a beast, about 2 lb.

In part, what makes the Kiron version unique even versus its successors in the Vivitar Series 1 line is it is, besides a superlatively high quality zoom, also, practically speaking, a macro lens, as it was understood at the time, being able to approach 1:2 (1:2.2 per specs), which was where most longer focal length macros went. Its certainly not the best macro lens ever, but for then, and now, its more than good enough for most purposes, especially considering its versatility. Its the same sort of Swiss Army knife of a lens as the much later Tamron SP 60-300.

Anyway, I am very please with these. The macro feature requires switching it to a macro mode using the ring with the "wings", which is locked with a button. Macro focusing is then done by "zooming", plus finer focus with the focus ring. Or, as usual, moving it backa and forth a bit. This setup is a bit clumsy, as the zoom ring, of course, binds when you dont want it to, etc., and there are two focus controls not one, etc.

The other major defect is that this was the original creeping lens, where the thing shifts its zoom setting if you look at it funny. All subsequent creeping zooms learned to misbehave from this one. My Nikon mount one, conversely, does not creep at all, but thats because its zoom mechanism is way too gummed up.

Performance is just fine, with the usual inconsiderable aberrations wide open, a bit of purple fringing as usual. The Tokina version may be just a bit sharper, but it would be difficult to settle this point.

Samples - most wide open (f/3.5)

DSC07896 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07857 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07819 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07743 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07481 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07460 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07387 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07312 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07225 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC07157 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06862 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06669 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06660 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06486 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06495 by luisalegria, on Flickr

DSC06615 by luisalegria, on Flickr

The Bird -
DSC07647 by luisalegria, on Flickr

Crop -
DSC07647crop by luisalegria, on Flickr

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are particularly good Luis.
I can't recall how many times I have read that the Komine and Tokina versions are better than the Kiron, and yet the images that are continually posted that show real impact are always from the Kiron version.
I had the same experience as you - my only version was Kiron and the results were always pleasing.
Thanks for sharing these

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a M42 mount Kiron version, same as this, that has some nasty haze on some inner lenses, and a bit of fungus on the front element. It's a nasty old thing really. But it still takes decent pictures, it just loses a bit of contrast. I rarely use it, I much prefer the Komine 2.8 / 4 Series 1.

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Like 1 Like 1 Very nice Luis...

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vivitar marketed some excellent lenses and some of their zooms were ground breaking.
To me their best three zooms were the 24-48 by Kiron/Kino, the 28-90 by Komine and the 70-210 by Kiron/Kino.
Ninety percent of all my images could be made with these three.

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:53 am    Post subject: Re: Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 (Kiron version) Reply with quote

luisalegria wrote:
Much more information on Mark Roberts site -


And I have some info on the ~entire~ line on the Pentax Forums at https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/vivitar-series-1-70-210-line.html .

And I've posted some info specifically on the Kino V.1 model on this forum at http://forum.mflenses.com/three-variants-of-the-vs1-70-210-3-5-version-1-kiron-zoom-t77431.html .

And you've posted a very nice gallery of representative images here, luisalegria. Thanks !!!
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