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Old Oct 30, 2007, 7:57 AM   #1
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The Vivitar Series 1 name is one that I have come to associate with quality through perusing the posts on this forum. Thus, I was a little surprised when I ran onto this offering.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Vivitar-Series-1...QQcmdZViewItem

This is a Cosina-manufactured lens most often marketed with the Phoenix brand-stamp on it. I have the Phoenix lens, and I've taken some really good bird shots with it, but it's not one with which I would associate the quality I would normally ascribe to the Series 1. It's certainly not in the same optical quality league as my 70-210 Macro zoom (even the Model 4 I have, manufactured by Cosina)

I have seen some other Series 1 autofocuses in recent weeks that seem to duplicate Cosina-branded lenses. Have they pretty well taken over all manufacturing with the Series 1 name?
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 9:40 AM   #2
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how do you know it was by cosina. they did start making the s1 for vivitar sometime in the mid to late '80s. i don't know what happened in the '90s but vivitars s1 lenses started to wain in quality. after 1990 you can't even believe the serial number or the s1 designation.
don't knock cosina tho. they produce some very nice glass to the manufacturers specs. currently they produce the newer Zeiss lenses which are very highly rated.
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 9:53 AM   #3
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The specs and appearance of the lens are identical to the Phoenix, which is identical to the Cosina at the same length. Looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck......

Actually, I really like my Phoenix lens, so I'm not disparaging Cosina, but I am disappointed to see the Series 1 name associated with the lens, which I consider a good quality budget lens.
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Old Oct 30, 2007, 10:38 AM   #4
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Sad but true that the 1990's saw the slow demise of the quality Vivitar series ones. Not that the ones made after 1990 wouldn't take decent photos but the quality did suffer. If you just hold a mid 1970's to mid 1980's in one hand and the 1990's version in the other the difference in build will be apparent. Just the feel and fit and finish is different.

Dawg

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Old Oct 30, 2007, 3:14 PM   #5
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Hi TS,

This might provide some insight to the lineage of the Vivitar Series 1 lenses, in addition to some very good info on other 3rd party mfgs.

http://web.archive.org/web/200601010...t.html#vivitar

Scott
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 12:56 AM   #6
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That URL is in and out a lot. Last time I tried to access it it was off the web. Glad to see it up again!

Dawg
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Old Oct 31, 2007, 5:48 PM   #7
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No question the new AF Series 1 lenses are no comparison to the designs developed in the 70's and 80's that gave us some fine manuel lenses with amazing clarity and color quality for their time.Those days are gone from what I can tell.
I did have the 19-35 Viv. Series 1 AF and it was a decent lens(not fantastic) for the cost but none of the new line Series one's shine in the way the early ones did.
Great link !
Kenn
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Old Nov 3, 2007, 12:47 PM   #8
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Series 1 was reserved for the very best Vivitar sold in the 1970s to early 1980s (like L series Canon or M*, A*, F*, FA*, or DA* for Pentax). By the 1990s marketing must have decided to call all of their lenses Series 1 to capitalize on the reputation they had achieved in the past. Any modern Series 1 Vivitar is a low end consumer model, some are quite good but most are just mediocre.

Ira
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