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Old May 19, 2010, 1:25 AM   #11
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the older series 1 manual focus lenses were much better than their later counterparts that merely had series 1 slapped on it. they were manufactured by companies like Kiron, Komine, and Tokina, mine is the Kiron.
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Old May 19, 2010, 9:04 AM   #12
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That's one massive lens, Dustin. IQ looks very good. I have a couple Vivitar lenses with the 55mm macro being my favorite (also a very large lens compared to other macro lenses but it's 1:1).
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Old May 19, 2010, 9:06 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Do the Series one lenses suffer from the lack of quality control other Vivitar lenses do? I have thought about adding the 100/2.5 but my experience with Vivitar has been so hit and miss I think I'd probably go for the 90/2.5 Tamron instead.

Great shots and a nice looking lens.
John
As Hards said, don't confuse the older Series 1 lenses with the "stuff" marketed today under the Vivitar Series 1 name. The name is all they have in common. Especially with the first series, they were among the best optics available at the time and were made by a company called Kino Optical that later marketed their own line (brand name of Kiron) of first-rate optics.

Even the non-series 1 Vivitar lenses were excellent. I mentioned a 24mm f2 close focusing lens earlier that often sells today on eBay at a premium price because people who realize what they have know how good they are, like this one...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Vivitar-24...item27af6820a8

I noted they specifically took an image to show the serial number of the lens. Vivitar lenses with a serial number starting with "22" were made by Kino Optical and are every bit as good as any brand-name lens with the same focal length and aperture.

The Vivitar company from the 1970's and early 80's does not even exist today. The name was purchased by someone who now makes and markets lenses and flash units using the "Vivitar Series 1" name. I think I have heard the company Samyang mentioned somewhere or by someone.
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Old May 19, 2010, 9:15 AM   #14
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For those looking for more info and a bit of a good read on Kiron, Kino, Vivitar,etc

Here's a link:http://olympuszuiko.wordpress.com/non-zuiko/
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Old May 19, 2010, 11:35 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
As Hards said, don't confuse the older Series 1 lenses with the "stuff" marketed today under the Vivitar Series 1 name. The name is all they have in common. Especially with the first series, they were among the best optics available at the time and were made by a company called Kino Optical that later marketed their own line (brand name of Kiron) of first-rate optics.

Even the non-series 1 Vivitar lenses were excellent. I mentioned a 24mm f2 close focusing lens earlier that often sells today on eBay at a premium price because people who realize what they have know how good they are, like this one...

http://cgi.ebay.com/Nikon-Vivitar-24...item27af6820a8

I noted they specifically took an image to show the serial number of the lens. Vivitar lenses with a serial number starting with "22" were made by Kino Optical and are every bit as good as any brand-name lens with the same focal length and aperture.

The Vivitar company from the 1970's and early 80's does not even exist today. The name was purchased by someone who now makes and markets lenses and flash units using the "Vivitar Series 1" name. I think I have heard the company Samyang mentioned somewhere or by someone.
Even the older Vivitar lenses suffer from quality issues lens to lens. I know from experience as I own a nearly mint 300/5.5 T4 mount that is pretty much useless (I suspect that is why it shows so little sign of wear) despite the fact that the Penatx lens forum raves about them and has some examples from a T4 200 that are tack sharp. Not a Series 1 I know so maybe I'm just being paranoid

FWIW this link says the Tameon 70-210 19AH is better than the Series 1. The reults show it to be better than my 60-700 and I consider that to be an excellent lens. Trouble is, I don't think I've ever come across a 19AH, just the cheap 70-210 that Tamron produced.

http://www.adaptall-2.com/lenses/19AH.html

Thanks for all the info guys.

John
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Old May 19, 2010, 1:18 PM   #16
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Vivitar has had several different companies make lenses for them, many of them truly [email protected] not every lens they marketed was of the same calibre, absolutely. That was part of the reason why I singled out the early Series 1 lenses and certain non-Series 1 by serial number where it's very easy to know who the maker was.

Here is a fantastic site to read about older manual focus lenses now considered to be "cult classics"..

http://web.archive.org/web/200212030...hird/cult.html
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Old May 19, 2010, 2:05 PM   #17
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Well of course every company has quality control issues. But in general if you know the manufacturer of the lens sold under the viv name, you can feel a little safer. Its too bad you got the lemon 300/5.5.

That is one reason I will not purchase a Viv Ser 1 lens unless their is a clear picture of the serial number on the listing.
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Old May 19, 2010, 4:00 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the info on serial numbers guys. Will come in handy as I'm always looking for more lenses and my Vivitar zooms have been all very good.
John
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Old May 19, 2010, 4:19 PM   #19
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There was one particular non-Series 1 Vivitar zoom I once owned in Nikon F mount and thought it was really excellent and is probably available for a song today, and that's a 70-150 f3.8. They offered two versions of this lens. The "good" one is a one ring zoom...the same ring that focusses is also used to zoom, and, as mentioned above, the serial number is a "22", meaning it's a Kino optic.

*note*- I typed the above, then thought I'd do a quick scan of ebay and found what looks to be a very cherry unit in Canon FD mount. Hard to tell just looking at the lens, but it is a physically very, very small lens and would work great on a micro four-thirds body.

http://cgi.ebay.com/70-150-3-8-Vivit...item439f5d9945

Last edited by Greg Chappell; May 19, 2010 at 4:22 PM.
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Old May 19, 2010, 4:53 PM   #20
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Looks very cool Dustin, glad it arrived OK and is what you were expecting..... oh yeah it does look a little large LOL.

Hope you get out in better light to shoot some more soon!!
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