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Old Nov 7, 2010, 1:44 AM   #1
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Default Vivitar 120-600

Anyone with opinions on this lens? I've been thinking of adding it to my collection, could be a very useful lens to own though I'll probably not use it much below 300mm. Any info thoughts ideas etc would be appreciated as it's hard to find much on this one.

John
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Old Nov 8, 2010, 8:27 PM   #2
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There will be some CA and flair with this one and it will be sharper a step or two up from wide open. I do not have one but that is the word on it from some that own and have owned it. Would like to have one myself but they can be pricey. Definitely use a tripod as it is heavy and long...but then you knew that didn't you.
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 1:35 AM   #3
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Thanks. Most old glass is better stopped down, not a problem most of the time. My current 600mm setup is an effective f8 and I was shooting with it all the way down to f19 over the weekend thanks to a decent tripod. Do you know if it has the PF problems? That's the one thing that really bugs me about my Tokina 400mm/Kenko 1.5 TC setup. Got a bunch of useless shots of Cormorants on a tree Sunday because of it.

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Old Nov 9, 2010, 2:02 AM   #4
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Decided to just bite the bullet and get it. Should be here on Friday and if the weather is at all good I'll test it out over the weekend. Worse case, I just send it back and it costs me a few bucks in shipping. I can't see how it won't be as good or better than what I am using now and a lot more versatile. Might even mean not having to carry two bodies so that I have a super telepohoto and a regular zoom.

John
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Old Nov 9, 2010, 8:43 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jelow1966 View Post
Decided to just bite the bullet and get it. Should be here on Friday and if the weather is at all good I'll test it out over the weekend. Worse case, I just send it back and it costs me a few bucks in shipping. I can't see how it won't be as good or better than what I am using now and a lot more versatile. Might even mean not having to carry two bodies so that I have a super telepohoto and a regular zoom.

John
When you get it give time to learn it well before giving up. I think you'll like it and enjoy it. After saying that ..if you decide to abandon it let me know...I may be interested. Is it a P/K mount?

PF has been reported with these lens but not objectionable and easily removed in post processing. Most of the early lens will have this.
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Old Nov 12, 2010, 11:35 AM   #6
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Once again KEH came thru for me and despite only paying for 2nd day air I was shipped the lens next day so ordered on Monday night and I had it Wed morning! First impressions are that it is one of the cooler looking lenses to own. Built like a tank (weighs like one too) and the example I have shows very little sign of use. the case is near perfect except for one strap holder. One issue I did have was that the mount has flange that was way too big to mount onto a modern camera so I had to file away a ton of metal to make it fit (meaning I can't send it back). I'll post a pic of what I'm talking about later. Once that was done it mounts fine though the AF confirm seems a bit hit and miss, maybe I need to file more away.

Haven't had the chance to take it out yet but tests done inside last night showed it to be sharper than my 400/1.5TC combo as well as quite a bit 'longer'. Either the 1.5 isn't 1.5 or the 600mm is longer on the Vivitar. I've noticed that the 200mm on my Tamron 80-200/2.8 is closer to 250 as well so I suspect the Vivitar is over 600mm on the long end.

Hope to get out and try it this weekend. Will tax my tripod skills but with the IS on I was getting god results in not the best light. I'll post samples when I get them.

John

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Old Nov 14, 2010, 8:51 PM   #7
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Waiting to see those photos and your observations John. That big flange is a problem I've run into many times on the older Vivitar K/mounts. Never a problem to solve but an aggravation anyway.
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Old Nov 16, 2010, 11:36 PM   #8
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Waiting to see those photos and your observations John. That big flange is a problem I've run into many times on the older Vivitar K/mounts. Never a problem to solve but an aggravation anyway.
I'll see about getting some up here soon. Had a chance to use it some this weekend but never in good light. Still, I'm pleased with it so far. As for the flange, thankfully the metal is really soft. Don't think it took more than 2 minutes to file it away.

John
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 12:57 AM   #9
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Default Some pics

These two were done Saturday late morning. It was overcast so not the best light. Shot using the K100D on a monopod (tripod with 2 legs extended actually) and IS on. Shot raw, developed with the Pentax utility program and tweaked with Elements 2 and Topaz Detail plugin. Focus is a bit off in each I think. Not the easiest to tell with the light I had. Had to rely on the beep and that is not always spot on.
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Old Nov 17, 2010, 1:02 AM   #10
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Default More samples

These two were done on Sunday between rain showers. Handheld out the car window resting on the pillar. Not an easy lens to shoot this way, especially at 1/20 sec. Thank god for IS. Should have boosted the ISO but I keep forgetting that on Pentax 1600 is usable unlike my older Oly bodies. Still, at least i got a few good shots. Overall I'm impressed with the lens. I think it should be quite good once i get the chance to use it in better light. Developed the same as the others. Camera shake was an issue, especially with the second. No way around it though, couldn't have shot the hawk out of the car.

John
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