Home
SearchSearch MemberlistMemberlist RegisterRegister ProfileProfile Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages Log inLog in

The Return of the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 Close Focusing
View previous topic :: View next topic  


PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:33 pm    Post subject: The Return of the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 Close Focusing Reply with quote

I was at a local camera shop yesterday, digging through their junk bins, when I came across the subject lens, in Nikon mount, no less. I was absently turning the focusing collar as I was looking at other items and happened to glance down at it as I was cranking on the focusing collar, only to see a lens that had transformed itself into a macro-looking optic. Whoa, they weren't joking when they stated it was "close focusing." It has a scale that goes all the way down to 1:2, which is as good as many macro lenses get. Okay, I sez to myself, I'm definitely buying this one. Had to fork over the princely sum of $10 to own it.

Now, I had never heard of a macro 135mm before (excepting my Pentax 6x7, which has a 135mm macro lens) -- at least in 35mm. So I did a bit of googling, and ran across a link to a thread here at MF Lenses on this lens. The thread originated five years ago, and the last post in the thread was two years ago, so given that it's gone pretty stale by now, I decided to start a fresh thread on the topic of this lens. Another reason why I did is because I couldn't find it on eBay. However, I tried using eBay's "Completed Listings" function and got several hits. In the past this lens has typically sold at a wide range of prices, from about $50 all the way up to about $120.

Condition-wise, this one is quite clean. Still has some residual dust that I haven't gotten rid of yet that the following pics will emphasize. The optics are perfect -- no haze or fungus or scratches. Iris blades are snappy. Focusing collar turns smoothly. This is a well-made lens. Beefy construction -- weighs about the same as my NEX 7 with 18-55 lens attached. In short, just a solid lens that I suspect got relegated to the junk bins just because it is a 135mm f/2.8 -- surely one of the commonest lenses ever made for 35mm.

Following are some photos. The first two are shots of the lens, and they are followed by shots taken with the lens. Now, as for post processing, all I did with the shots taken with this lens convert from raw to jpg and add a bit of contrast, as needed. No sharpening of any sort was done. I was shooting indoors with my camera's ISO set to "Auto" and as a result a few of the shots came out rather flat and somewhat noisy. I had to cure this in post, and it was the camera, not the lens, at fault.





Close-ups with the lens set to 1:2 and shooting wide open at f/2.8




More distant shots, again shooting wide open.



One of the participants in the earlier thread mentioned he had paid $125 for his copy and was glad to get it at that price. I can see why -- it really does an excellent job with close-ups. Outstanding detail is evident.

Optically, I have observed some red and green fringing along well-illuminated hard straight lines and also some light purple fringing around bright objects. Very minor, however. If you look closely, you should be able to pick it up. But this is the sort of CA that can be removed with just a couple of mouse clicks, so I'm not concerned. I still consider it to be very well controlled at f/2.8. I haven't even tried it yet at smaller apertures. Chances are good that it clears up completely by about f/8 or so.

So if you have this lens and you've got pics you've taken with it, how about sharing, so the rest of us can enjoy them also?


PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Michael

I've been looking for this lens for some time and recently found one in near mint condition - see below.

http://forum.mflenses.com/vivitar-2-8-135-close-focusing-t68393.html

I'll post some samples when I get a chance to use it, the weather here is dismal atm! Rolling Eyes Smile


PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Edited

Last edited by bernhardas on Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:50 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Tue Jan 13, 2015 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have been promoting this lens for some time. And since few people know about this lens one can find a sample at the price of a normal Vivitar 135mm.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had one a few years in PK mount that I had attempted to convert to???, whatever I was thinking at the time. It became just another lens that I couldn't get back together after abandoning the idea. Never got to use it. It's on my list to send to Marc Jensen in Florida to have him reattach the mount.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Congrats on your purchase, you'll enjoy it!

This is one of my favorite lens to take for Spring wildflowers. A few samples below with NEX 5N, more in the flickr album.


Crimson Columbine by B Zhou, on Flickr


Fremont Star Lily by B Zhou, on Flickr


Buckeye Tree Flower by B Zhou, on Flickr


Crimson Columbine 2 by B Zhou, on Flickr


Douglas Iris by B Zhou, on Flickr


Douglas Iris 2 by B Zhou, on Flickr


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very nice examples, Brian. Gives me something to look forward to. Things are kinda boring right now.

Woodrim, I'd say it's probably worthwhile to have the work done. This lens is shaping up to be an outstanding performer. Providing 1:2 at about 2-1/2 feet from the subject gives me all sorts of elbow room I'm not used to having at that magnification. Plus, I could use my Vivitar 7-element macro-focusing teleconverter and get my subject to 1:1 while maintaining the same distance, albeit with a loss of two stops of light, of course. I suppose I could accomplish the same thing with extension tubes, but I'd have to move closer to the subject, I believe.

Here are a few more, taking during the waning hours later this afternoon. It's been overcast all day, so not much to offer for late afternoon. I bumped up the contrast and saturation in pp to give the pics a bit more presence.

This street sign is about 100 meters from my front door. Very legible letters. This and all the remaining photos were taken hand-held.


I think I oversaturated this one just a bit.


One of a few bunches of tiny white flowers growing in our front flower bed. This flowers were at their freshness peak a few days ago. As you can see, they have begun to turn brown. I found this useful, though. The contrast gave me something to focus on. Otherwise it's all just white, and thus rather boring.


A section of the leaded cut glass in our front door's window. Nice contrast between the dissimilar metals and the glass, I think.


Of all the previous shots, numbers 2 and 3 were shot at close to 1:2.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 9:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

here are samples with this lens i made with Olympus E-M5
http://forum.mflenses.com/testing-my-lenses-part-122-vivitar-135mm-2-8-cf-t65682.html

this lens is a part of macro lineup made by Komine for several different brands, along with 55mm/2.8 and 90mm/2.8 so no wonder it's optimized for close up, but when you focus on things in distance there is a bit of softness when focusing that , thankfully, doesn't show in the resulting photo


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exist this lens under other names of other brands? What are they?


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edri wrote:
Exist this lens under other names of other brands? What are they?


Promura 1:2,8/135 mm Tele Macro

Panagor PMC Auto Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Rokunar V-HQ Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Toyo 1:2,8/135 mm Macro Telephoto

to be this lens it has to have 62mm filter diameter


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the information.


PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2015 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

edri wrote:
Thanks for the information.


i found mine on ebay by searching for 62mm. among that size filters search found also lenses with that filter thread


PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's an interesting way to do it. Surely you searched on more than just the text "62mm"? Seems like you might want to at least toss in "lens" or "135mm".

On eBay just now, here's an intriguing one: Click here to see on Ebay

That's the only prime lens I got a hit on when I searched eBay for 135mm 62mm.


PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2015 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

cooltouch wrote:

Woodrim, I'd say it's probably worthwhile to have the work done. This lens is shaping up to be an outstanding performer.


Absolutely. I had searched for this lens and purchased it knowing full well it was a good lens. At the time there were no mirrorless cameras and I did not yet have the Series 1 2.3/135. I just put it aside after getting the S1, which also focuses much closer than most.


PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 8:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WolverineX wrote:
edri wrote:
Exist this lens under other names of other brands? What are they?


Promura 1:2,8/135 mm Tele Macro

Panagor PMC Auto Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Rokunar V-HQ Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Toyo 1:2,8/135 mm Macro Telephoto

to be this lens it has to have 62mm filter diameter




How do you know the Toyo is made by the same company and is it Toyo Optics? any help verifying would be most appreciated. Thanks


PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

eriet30 wrote:
WolverineX wrote:
edri wrote:
Exist this lens under other names of other brands? What are they?


Promura 1:2,8/135 mm Tele Macro

Panagor PMC Auto Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Rokunar V-HQ Macro 1:2,8/135 mm

Toyo 1:2,8/135 mm Macro Telephoto

to be this lens it has to have 62mm filter diameter




How do you know the Toyo is made by the same company and is it Toyo Optics? any help verifying would be most appreciated. Thanks


my source is this:
http://olypedia.de/Vivitar_Auto_Telephoto_Close_Focusing_1:2,8/135_mm

as i said to be this lens it has to have 62mm filter diameter, so if the lens you need verification for has that diameter, it most probably is this lens


PostPosted: Wed Apr 22, 2015 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you... I cant get verification on the 62mm from a source... should have said that in my post so hoping the "macro" is the real deal.

Appreciate the help!!!


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 1:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Vivitar's serial number's first two digits are 28, which means it was made by Komine. You can see it in the first group of photos in this thread. Komine is not a particularly well known builder, but they have built some excellent optics for Vivitar in the past, for example, the Series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5 varifocal lens.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 2:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think the exact lens were sold in other brands, at least not in the same focusing helicoid.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have known of this lens for quite a while. I have owned the Vivitar 90/2.8 (sometimes denoted as 2.5) and 55/2.8 of similar mechanical design. I did a write-up of the 90mm here http://makingnottaking.blogspot.com/2009/10/vivitar-90mm-f25-11-macro-lens.html. I found them to be good lenses. Never owned the 135mm though I would expect similar performance.

Quote:
I don't think the exact lens were sold in other brands, at least not in the same focusing helicoid.


I agree with calvin83 that I have never seen this same optic rebranded as any other. The 90mm however, I have seen in nearly all the brands mentioned by WolverineX. But that has just been my experience.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

calvin83 wrote:
I don't think the exact lens were sold in other brands, at least not in the same focusing helicoid.


like many lenses that we don't have exact information on, existence of these would need to be confirmed by someone who has them,then we could be sure if they are the same lens or different.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 25, 2015 12:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well I won the auction so I will receive it next week. Do my best to help identify what a "toyo 135 macro 2.8" really is.


PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

DigiChromeEd wrote:
Hi Michael

I've been looking for this lens for some time and recently found one in near mint condition - see below.

http://forum.mflenses.com/vivitar-2-8-135-close-focusing-t68393.html

I'll post some samples when I get a chance to use it, the weather here is dismal atm! Rolling Eyes Smile


Taken on Sony NEX5T @ f11



PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whew! Outstanding!


PostPosted: Mon May 04, 2015 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice one Ed.can't wait 'til mine arrives.