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how good is Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm Macro F3.5 (Kiron)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:13 pm    Post subject: how good is Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm Macro F3.5 (Kiron) Reply with quote

I just want to know if someone has owned this lens and how good it is... I got it for cheap $40 and purchased blind. Usually I just purchase primes but this time I got this one too.





PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never had one, wouldn't pay 40 bucks for any MF lens (except for Lester A Dine or 1000/10 russian mirror or maybe Pentacon 300/4 or some such)

Heard the Vivitar Series 1 was legendary both in raw quality and in quality-for-its-time. Also heard this applies to MF lenses only, not the later lenses where Vivitar was supposed to uhmm.. have tried to um ... "capitalize" on the Series 1 reputation.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buerokratiehasser wrote:
Never had one, wouldn't pay 40 bucks for any MF lens (except for Lester A Dine or 1000/10 russian mirror or maybe Pentacon 300/4 or some such)

Heard the Vivitar Series 1 was legendary both in raw quality and in quality-for-its-time. Also heard this applies to MF lenses only, not the later lenses where Vivitar was supposed to uhmm.. have tried to um ... "capitalize" on the Series 1 reputation.


I had in my head also that Series 1 was really good and this is the reason I got this one. I know that it is MF lens and checked on my Nikon body and it does work in A mode. Focus assistance works there too. Need to test this one but I saw first snow flakes this season. Today looks better (clear skies and no snow anywhere) and if I have chance I will get this one for a streetwalk.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard the Kiron and Komine ones are the best, I have a Komine and I'm very happy with it. Purple fringing can be a problem, but it can be handled in post. The macro feature of that Kiron one is interesting, you get it into macro mode and then use the zoom to focus.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliott wrote:
I've heard the Kiron and Komine ones are the best, I have a Komine and I'm very happy with it. Purple fringing can be a problem, but it can be handled in post. The macro feature of that Kiron one is interesting, you get it into macro mode and then use the zoom to focus.


Macro mode is the main reason I got it... also the fact that it is series 1


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have three of these lens and they are well underrated. I just love it! once you master the focusing slider you'll get much faster. Heck I'll taken mines out tomorrow.


Flower and Bokeh by Jarrett_Hunt, on Flickr



Bokeh f8.0 by Jarrett_Hunt, on Flickr

This picture was taken at f8.0 while stand back about 4-5 feet. Look at the original size on flicker and you'll see all the details on the face next to the eye. I should've wiped the dust off, but you can see that too.

I paid about $90 because it was unopened and came with the original box and instructions. It even have it's same warranty.


Last edited by Nikonshooter on Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:13 pm; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RAART wrote:
elliott wrote:
I've heard the Kiron and Komine ones are the best, I have a Komine and I'm very happy with it. Purple fringing can be a problem, but it can be handled in post. The macro feature of that Kiron one is interesting, you get it into macro mode and then use the zoom to focus.


Macro mode is the main reason I got it... also the fact that it is series 1


The macro mode is great but it's only 1:2 and not 1:1. If you use extension tubes then you'll get there.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had the Kiron but sold it when I got the Komine as it was a little better.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

buerokratiehasser wrote:
Never had one, wouldn't pay 40 bucks for any MF lens (except for Lester A Dine or 1000/10 russian mirror or maybe Pentacon 300/4 or some such)

Heard the Vivitar Series 1 was legendary both in raw quality and in quality-for-its-time. Also heard this applies to MF lenses only, not the later lenses where Vivitar was supposed to uhmm.. have tried to um ... "capitalize" on the Series 1 reputation.


Learn more Surprised and you will pay 500 USD+ gladly for an MF lens.

I had lens long time ago I wasn't impressed, but I had not good camera either vs current ones. I think on latest cameras she is perform good enough to every body.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have two, both Komine's. One M42 and one Canon FD. I'll never part with them, they are great lenses. They are big heavy old fashioned things for sure, but the glass is good - obviously within the limitations of age, but still better than a lot of modern junk.


PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
buerokratiehasser wrote:
Never had one, wouldn't pay 40 bucks for any MF lens (except for Lester A Dine or 1000/10 russian mirror or maybe Pentacon 300/4 or some such)

Heard the Vivitar Series 1 was legendary both in raw quality and in quality-for-its-time. Also heard this applies to MF lenses only, not the later lenses where Vivitar was supposed to uhmm.. have tried to um ... "capitalize" on the Series 1 reputation.


Learn more Surprised and you will pay 500 USD+ gladly for an MF lens.



Spot on, Attila!


Anyway, with reference to the OP and the subject lens:

I acquired one of these as part of a "lot" purchase wherein it was not the primary purchase objective. I like the lens except mine is full of fungus and unusable. Here are the references I use for this series:

http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm

http://web.archive.org/web/20021203000649/http://medfmt.8k.com/third/cult.html#vivitar


Consulting the subtext of the cult classics page, one contributor has provided some resolution data which I think looks decent. The lens design appears to be center-optimized which is good for use on digital cameras. I welcome significant resolution drop off at the edges, since I don't use the edges of lenses. In the "old days" more even resolution performance across the entire field of the lens often was accomplished by sacrificing performance at the center.

The other thing about my lens which disappointed me a bit is that I ended up with an earlier, uncoated, version. The only slightly newer coated versions don't differ a great deal in price today, but they are preferable I think. The OP's lens also appears to be uncoated, as best I can tell.

But bottom line and speaking in general, I think these lenses are quite good. I'm not currently accumulating lenses in this focal length range or with such a high focal length ratio. But if I were, this Series 1 would be on my list for sure. It's a pretty cool lens.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

guardian wrote:
my lens which disappointed me a bit is that I ended up with an earlier, uncoated, version

I have two of the Kirons, one is from first production runs (in MD, purchased new). They are coated, maybe not multicoated. Never seen an uncoated one!
Still nice lenses, but somewhat heavy and bulky.
Keepers for me.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minolfan wrote:
guardian wrote:
my lens which disappointed me a bit is that I ended up with an earlier, uncoated, version

I have two of the Kirons, one is from first production runs (in MD, purchased new). They are coated, maybe not multicoated. Never seen an uncoated one!
Still nice lenses, but somewhat heavy and bulky.
Keepers for me.


Appreciate your post. Thanks! Need to look into that. Perhaps not as bad as I was thinking. Smile


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Minolfan wrote:
guardian wrote:
my lens which disappointed me a bit is that I ended up with an earlier, uncoated, version

I have two of the Kirons, one is from first production runs (in MD, purchased new). They are coated, maybe not multicoated. Never seen an uncoated one!
Still nice lenses, but somewhat heavy and bulky.
Keepers for me.


Did they make the Kiron in a multicoated version? My Komine says VMC on the name ring, so I'm assuming it is multicoated.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here are some test shoots with Vivitar Series 1 (Kiron made) straight out of camera. No PP at all:















PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So how do you like it so far?


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikonshooter wrote:
So how do you like it so far?


I like it. I must admit that I need to adapt to macro mode (how it is working) but it looks like this too.

The only thing I do not like is that it does not have tripod mount/collar on the lens itself thus this lens is on the heavy side.

I do love close focusing range of this lens.

If you click on posted pictures they will open in another tab... original size.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can buy a tripod collar, but you won't be able to move the slider all the way down.
I liked the first image, was the background the sky? Also what f-stops were the pictures taken at?
I would love to see more from this lens.
When using macro I start by focusing past the subject while zooming out until the subject is in focus. It's faster than trying to zoom in.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has to be quite a challenge on a little body like the E‑PL1, it is even 20g heavier than my Komine. It is more manageable on a DSLR, but it is still a workout to handhold.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nikonshooter wrote:
I liked the first image, was the background the sky?


Yes it was, but I think that was cloud instead of clear sky. That star on the top-tree was very high, I guess that tree is over 4-5m high and I was over 15m away from it.

F-stop was as long as I can remember between 4-8 somewhere...


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliott wrote:
It has to be quite a challenge on a little body like the E‑PL1, it is even 20g heavier than my Komine. It is more manageable on a DSLR, but it is still a workout to handhold.


Yes, it is... the only thing is I like lenses on the heavy side while easier to hold them steady.


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

elliott wrote:
Minolfan wrote:
guardian wrote:
my lens which disappointed me a bit is that I ended up with an earlier, uncoated, version

I have two of the Kirons, one is from first production runs (in MD, purchased new). They are coated, maybe not multicoated. Never seen an uncoated one!
Still nice lenses, but somewhat heavy and bulky.
Keepers for me.


Did they make the Kiron in a multicoated version? My Komine says VMC on the name ring, so I'm assuming it is multicoated.


When I wrote earlier about the coating I was operating from memory. I acquired my copy several months ago, and it was not the focus item within the lot of lenses I bought at that time. Still, I recall doing some research back then that left me just a bit disappointed regarding adequacy of coating.

I specifically recall finding my lens is not emblazoned with the "VMC" marking, and that one of my references back then called attention to that as being an unnecessary negative. It said the VMC lenses were better, but not more expensive. Only the very early lenses lacked the VMC advantage. My lens is really early as, too, appears to be the lens pictured in this thread's OP.

I realize I've not answered your question. It's because, even though I tried, I was unable to locate again the reference I was using several months ago. My gut says there were multicoated Kiron versions. But I can't offer you a URL which confirms that.

I've also been unable to confirm that the early lenses were coated, just not multicoated. But I surely hope that's true!!


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have nothing else to offer then an optical comparising between my two lenses.
The first one (22120079) has a pale yellowish coating, as seen frequently on older, single coated lenses, so it might be single coated.
the second one (22606535) shines in several colors, so it can very well be multi coated. In any case it has a different coating.
That difference is not very surprising, in the first half of the seventies multicoating grew very fast populair and more applied.
In practice I found that the IQ of the newer one is slightly better, certainly in "macro". But I thought it was only a result of sample variation.
Couldn't find anything on the web to confirm my findings. But I think that the higher production numbers are multicoated and the first produced series not yet.
I have not the faintest idea what is the first multicoated lens of the Kiron model - if I am right about this.
Never looked for that before, my oldy always had an UV protection filter on it, because I used the lens frequently along lakes and I didn't want splashing water on my frontlens Very Happy


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've owned about every version of this lens including the Cosina one. The Kiron to me is better for macro than the others and the Tokina and Komine better for other types of shooting. Almost as good as primes but just short of great. The constant aperture is a good point on the Kiron and Tokina and the A setting on the Komine makes it easier to use on my PK/AF Pentax K7. Saying all that I kept the Tokina and sold the others.

Go here for a few recent photos taken with it. These are crops of photos taken at some distance. It holds it's own with most of my other zooms but falls short of my Zeiss primes and my Bigma 50-500 for shooting small birds.

http://forum.mflenses.com/shooting-with-an-old-friend-t53067,highlight,%2Bshooting+%2Bfriend.html


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found something on Ken Rockwell's site: http://www.kenrockwell.com/vivitar/70-210mm.htm
There is a picture of a Kiron version with VMC (still higher production number then my second: 22848888), so loud en clear announced multicoated.