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Vivitar TX Series lenses
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Vivitar TX Series lenses Reply with quote

After collecting the Vivitar/Soligor T4 series lenses for a while, I stumbled into a few of the TX series. I think you know where this led. Gotta have 'em all! It turned out to be an interesting pursuit. It seems that this Tokina made series can be divided into two generations, with a few variations in each generation. I think the first generation was introduced in early 1975. I characterize them by their T4 style breech lock ring for the adapters. I believe all were new optical designs. Generation one is represented by the 11 lenses on the left of the picture. Five in front, six behind. The initial lenses were; 24/2.8, 28/2.5, 35/2.5, 135/2.5, 200/3.5, 300/5.6, 400/5.6, 90-230/4.5 and 75-260/4.5. Later additions included 35-105/3.5, 100-300/5 and an improved 90-230/4.5.

During this period, smaller, lighter cameras became very popular. The Olympus OM series led the way. Canon's A series were more compact than their previous models and following the success of the AE-1, everyone joined in, including Tokina. The TX series were redesigned to be more compact. The second generation (as I refer to it) is characterized by a narrower breech lock ring and a redesigned latch. Gen. two is represented by the 6 lenses on the left side of the picture. The second series consist of 24/2.8, 28/2.8, 35/2.8, 135/2.8, 200/3.5, 300/5.6, 400/5.6, 70-150/3.8 and 80-200/4. I think the 35-105/3.5, 90-230/4.5 and 100-300/5 were carried over with the newer style brech lock ring. Later a new 400/5.6 was introduced with internal focus and no tripod collar.

There's a gap in my magazine collection so I don't know when the second generation was phased in. TX was not as successful as the Tamron Adaptall 2 series and seems to have been phased out before 1985. I think I have one of each of the first generation. I have a few representatives of Gen. 2 but at this point I think I have more than enough and won't be pursuing the rest. It's time to take them off the shelf and start making pictures with them!

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gotta have 'em all! Gotta use 'em all!
Very nice collection. Smile

PostPosted: Tue Jul 07, 2009 10:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a nice family portrait - perhaps the first time all of these are together, as I doubt anyone at Vivitar ever had em like this...

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a wonderful collection - but I'm kinda curious:

Looking at the lineup here, there are no 50/55mm, 80/85mm or 100/105mm examples represented. Is this because they weren't made in this series, or just that you don't have them yet?


PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 10:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That there is no 50 - 55 or 90 - 105 macro in the line seems like a strategic error as Tamron had several in their equivalent Adaptall 2 series. There was a 105 in the older, T4 series but I don't believe there was a TX equivalent. The only 85 I know of was in the T2, preset line. I think these are all of the focal lengths offered in the series but there's always room for doubt!

Aftermarket 50 - 55mm lense are unusual as most cameras were bought with a normal. Some price oriented, mail order places did offer non branded 50s during the 80s.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 1:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm about halfway there Bill but with a mixed bag of T4's and TX lens. Really like shooting these and have found out how to get even a 90-230 T4 to shoot well. They all want or need slightly different in camera settings to perform best.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Dawg,

I think a sturdy tripod will fix most user's complaints about lenses. Luis Alegria has made some beautiful shots with the 90-230. I have a "Five Star" zoom that's not very good but I got it fungused and disassembled so it may not be the lens. The only lens I've tried and found bad, so far, is a Korean 35/2.8 in Topcon RE mount. Then, it's only "BAD" in the lower RH quadrant. I understand that's a sign of a de-centered element. Another candidate for operating table!


PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing that constantly amazes me about Louis - he doesn't use a tripod. Yes, he protests he throws out hundreds of shots to get the ones he posts for a given lens... but still... My getting one as sharp would take thousands, and even then I doubt I'd achieve the same.

I really like these adapter lenses also. I'll post a couple of directory pages from the '70s and mid '80s that have the then-current lens line ups.

The '69 directory had 'adaptamatic' as a Bushnell term rather than a Tamron one. But already, the early T4's were listed.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great stuff Nesster! I didn't think T4 dated that far back. I was thinking '71. I'd like to stumble into a stock of old Mod and Pop photo from the late 60s and early 70s just for the ads. I threw away stacks of 'em from the early 70s years ago during a move. I did save a few. I have a bunch of December "Top 40 Cameras" issues from about 85 to 93 or so. I should post some of the highlights in the forum.

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 9:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the 300mm f5.6 TX and its a beauty,examples are the cricket shots here