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Vivitar 135mm f/1.5 T-mount (converted to Nikon/Ai-S)
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:02 pm    Post subject: Vivitar 135mm f/1.5 T-mount (converted to Nikon/Ai-S) Reply with quote

Yes, 135/1.5 - it's not a typo.

This is a very interesting lens. It is on loan to me and I have no other interest in the lens than pure utter curiosity. All the Google hits I can find about the lens type happen to reveal the previous history of this particular copy: I can verify it's history, previous owners etc. by tracking posts with this copy's serial number.

Crazy lens: Best information available estimates total production at only 30 copies. It is weighs 2.2kg and is overall a huge beast even mounted on the large sized Nikon D3. The diaphragm is quite interesting as it from widest to smallest aperture the diaphragm shape changes from a smooth circle to a 16-star, then circle and finally a polygon. 16 aperture blades.

It has two aperture control rings: one for click-stops and one for stepless aperture control. Focusing is slow and precise, 340 degrees from near focus (about 1.8m) to infinity.

Here are two links to info about the lens type

http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/topic/823877/0

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=219&topic_id=1001&mode=full

Here it is, portrayed mounted on a Nikon D3 and also in the company of the Zeiss 85/1.4 ZF (which looks like a dwarf)





Weather forecast is rainy, but sample pics are sure to follow Razz once I've cleared higher priority to-do things (read: work I can invoice)


Last edited by Esox lucius on Sun Apr 25, 2010 7:41 am; edited 7 times in total


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pufffff!!!! And people call the helios 40 a tank......


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 8:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huge guy ! I look forward your shoots taken with this lens.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.5 at 135mm is heavy artillery, as shown by your pictures of the lens. Would be glad, to see some pictures, you took with this lens mounted to FX.

Ingo


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite a beast Vilhelm. I wonder how it performs. I saw one at arsenal, he wants $2.5k for it....


PostPosted: Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kds315* wrote:
Quite a beast Vilhelm. I wonder how it performs. I saw one at arsenal, he wants $2.5k for it....


As I know this lens is pretty unusable at wide open and if we can't use well at wide open no reason to use at all Laughing So I am curious ... Best fast 135mm lens what I ever seen that is Carl Zeiss 135mm f2 Orio have it that is sharp at every aperture.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attila wrote:
As I know this lens is pretty unusable at wide open and if we can't use well at wide open no reason to use at all Laughing


Easy answer: buy a Pentax dSLR. Enable Catch-In-Focus. Mount the lens; prefocus (wide open!) somewhere you expect something to happen. Hold down the shutter button. When something comes into focus, shutter trips. VOILA! Perfect picture!

Even better: enable CIF, set Drive Mode to Continuous. Attach latching shutter cable. Mount camera+lens on tripod, aim/focus somewhere you expect several things to happen. Latch the shutter remote. Now whenever something comes into focus there, camera goes SNAP! And then SNAP again! Excellent for shooting birds, bicyclists, bathing beauties, burglars, etc.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No surprises here, plenty of color aberrations and detail wide open is modest. Then again, I doubt the lens was designed for close up document copying, it could be a totally different story outdoors and focused at subjects further away.

Circumstances did not allow better setup, and field use is going to have to wait for the weekend (it's raining now). Uploaded in original size, I have manually fixed EXIF data for every exposure so you can read what aperture was used.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mureena/sets/72157623911354462/

You might want to consider downloading them in original size as I doubt I will keep them on my Flickr stream for many weeks. Might post some crops here though, once I get to upload field use examples.


Last edited by Esox lucius on Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:59 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

RioRico wrote:
Attila wrote:
As I know this lens is pretty unusable at wide open and if we can't use well at wide open no reason to use at all Laughing


Easy answer: buy a Pentax dSLR. Enable Catch-In-Focus. Mount the lens; prefocus (wide open!) somewhere you expect something to happen. Hold down the shutter button. When something comes into focus, shutter trips. VOILA! Perfect picture!

Even better: enable CIF, set Drive Mode to Continuous. Attach latching shutter cable. Mount camera+lens on tripod, aim/focus somewhere you expect several things to happen. Latch the shutter remote. Now whenever something comes into focus there, camera goes SNAP! And then SNAP again! Excellent for shooting birds, bicyclists, bathing beauties, burglars, etc.



I don't think so above method is help if a lens can't make sharp images wide open or can't record enough details. What you wrote down excellent procedure to catch right focus at wide open.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esox lucius wrote:
No surprises here, plenty of color aberrations and detail wide open is modest. Then again, I doubt the lens was designed for close up document copying, it could be a totally different story outdoors and focused at subjects further away.

Circumstances did not allow better setup, and field use is going to have to wait for the weekend (it's raining now). Uploaded in original size, I have manually fixed EXIF data for every exposure so you can read what aperture was used.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mureena/sets/72157623911354462/

You might want to consider downloading them in original size as I doubt I will keep them on my Flickr stream for many weeks. Might post some crops here though, once I get to upload field use examples.



Not too bad indeed, looks more less same than other noname 135mm f1.8.


PostPosted: Fri Apr 23, 2010 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It has two rings because it's a PRE-SET lens. All such lenses have two rings. If you are familiar with vintage zeiss jena lenses, you would see they are similar.

Did not know they only made 30 pieces. i have one of them ... haven't used it in years. Was never very impressed with it... and I certainly don't remember paying US$2.5k for it.

Its not the same as the no-name 135/1.8 (which I also have)... that one is multicoated (well, most of them are but there are slightly diff versions).

Between the two, I usually reach for the 135/1.8 for stage shooting. The f1.5 gets practically no use at all... for a time I even forgot I had it!

BTW, "converted" to nikon is erroneous. T-mounts were interchangeable. I've had both nikon, PK and EOS T-mounts on the vivitar 135/1.5 at different times.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keltzar wrote:
Did not know they only made 30 pieces. i have one of them ... haven't used it in years. Was never very impressed with it... and I certainly don't remember paying US$2.5k for it.

Its not the same as the no-name 135/1.8 (which I also have)... that one is multicoated (well, most of them are but there are slightly diff versions).

Between the two, I usually reach for the 135/1.8 for stage shooting. The f1.5 gets practically no use at all... for a time I even forgot I had it!

BTW, "converted" to nikon is erroneous. T-mounts were interchangeable. I've had both nikon, PK and EOS T-mounts on the vivitar 135/1.5 at different times.


1- Vivitar 135/1.5 was perhaps sold at 30 units but EXACTLY SAME soligor 135/1.5 was sold in relatively large volume
2- Most (but not all) 135/1.8 sold at that period were sigma made
3- Exactly as keltzar, saying that is was converted to nikon ai/s i a pure joke EXCEPT is if changed the internal mecanics for full aperture mesure (would you belived that ?)
4- Contrast is very low at 1.5 means quality ok ONLY if film contrast high (do not forget that the lens was sold at a period where the only high speed films were bw)
5- Willing a 2500 price for it would mean it would be more expensive than a last generation nikkor ed or canon l ??? .. Another Joke !!


PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mount fits Nikon Ai-S but looks very DIY and is quite roughly hand-drilled to fit using a Dremel or similar. Which is exactly why I wrote converted because it looks less machined than most DIY Nikkor Ai conversions.

Joke... I won't even comment on that.


PostPosted: Sat Apr 24, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="PBFACTS"].......2- Most (but not all) 135/1.8 sold at that period were sigma made....../quote]

The old 1,8/135 soligor lens, was a sigma lens too? Do you know that?

Thanks. Rino


PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="Esox lucius"]The mount fits Nikon Ai-S but looks very DIY and is quite roughly hand-drilled to fit using a Dremel or similar. Which is exactly why I wrote converted because it looks less machined than most DIY Nikkor Ai conversions.

Joke... I won't even comment on that.[/quote]

I'm going to hazard a comment without re-reading the thread...
The drilled holes you see were in the adapter? If so, these are the setting screw holes which allow you to re-center the lens and lock the adapter in place after mounting the lens so that everthing is right-side up.

Interesting - I've never seen a soligor 135/1.5 ... anyone have a photo?


PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 1:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am curious too, I heard first time now Soligor 1.5 is exist..


PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 2:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I frequently see a Soligor on eBay for a ridiculous sum....Both Vivitar & Soligor were marketing companies that bought nearly identical products from the same lens makers (Spiratone did as well)...Here's a link to an eBay listing for the Soligor version of this lens

http://cgi.ebay.com/Soligor-f-Nikon-1-5-135mm-Soligor-lens-/250618090962?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item3a5a0095d2

And here is another listing for another fast 135 that while not quite as fast, isn't nearly as pricey either...


http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Soligor-135-2-17402598-MINT-/390034061595?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item5acfd7791b


PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

keltzar wrote:
Esox lucius wrote:
The mount fits Nikon Ai-S but looks very DIY and is quite roughly hand-drilled to fit using a Dremel or similar. Which is exactly why I wrote converted because it looks less machined than most DIY Nikkor Ai conversions.


The drilled holes you see were in the adapter? If so, these are the setting screw holes which allow you to re-center the lens and lock the adapter in place after mounting the lens so that everthing is right-side up.


It looks like it's made from several parts stuck together with a total of 6 holes drilled, half of which lack screws. If this is factory work and not a conversion as I initially believed then I am quite happy that most of my experience with photographic equipment has evolved around other brands.





PostPosted: Sun Apr 25, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Screamin Scott wrote:
I frequently see a Soligor on eBay for a ridiculous sum....Both Vivitar & Soligor were marketing companies that bought nearly identical products from the same lens makers (Spiratone did as well)...Here's a link to an eBay listing for the Soligor version of this lens

http://cgi.ebay.com/Soligor-f-Nikon-1-5-135mm-Soligor-lens-/250618090962?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Film_Cameras&hash=item3a5a0095d2

And here is another listing for another fast 135 that while not quite as fast, isn't nearly as pricey either...


http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Soligor-135-2-17402598-MINT-/390034061595?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item5acfd7791b


Many thanks!


PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote=" It looks like it's made from several parts stuck together with a total of 6 holes drilled, half of which lack screws. If this is factory work and not a conversion as I initially believed then I am quite happy that most of my experience with photographic equipment has evolved around other brands.[/quote]

There is some wear and tear on the adapter so its hard to say ... and maybe the quality of this adapter is not the best, but clearly these are centering screws for the center ring in the throat of the adapter. It's not a home-made adapter per-se.


PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott:
Interesting soligor. First time I've heard of one.
Looking at the style differences, I would say the one Arsenal has is of a later style... maybe better, but definitely later... and possibly of a diff optical design.

The fine knurling on focus rings came later than rough knurling from my observation, and the use of synthetic rubber etc. even later.

I think the soligor f1.5 is probably late 1970s ?


PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

keltzar wrote:
Looking at the style differences, I would say the one Arsenal has is of a later style... maybe better, but definitely later... and possibly of a diff optical design.
I think the soligor f1.5 is probably late 1970s ?


The Soligor "Arsenal" version has the usual vivitar styling of that period and the "Esox lucius" version has the usual soligor styling of that period (and the soligor look i know for this lens) !!!!

The 135-1.5 is a 1968/1969 lens

Screamin Scott wrote:

And here is another listing for another fast 135 that while not quite as fast, isn't nearly as pricey either...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Soligor-135-2-17402598-MINT-/390034061595?cmd=ViewItem&pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item5acfd7791b


This is the Tokina made Soligor C/D 1975-1976
Quality good, full aperture low (but much better than the 135/1.5
Volume/weight ok

435$ Price still silly (not worth) !


PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2010 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Both sellers well known from at least double prices..