vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Started Jul 13, 2006 | Discussions
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frank
frank Veteran Member • Posts: 6,961
vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?
1

I'm just curious about this lens, not really want to buy or keep one. Read some good words about it, seems it's a legendary zoom lens back in 70s, one of the best Vivitar S1 70-210 lenses:

http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm

Anyone has any experience with this lens? How does it compare with the other Vivitar S1 70-210 lenses (I believe there are more than 5 versions, and some still onsale brand new at the fleaBay)?

Thanks and cheers,
--
Frank
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Mousehill Veteran Member • Posts: 7,519
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Hi Frank,

I don't have any experience with them, but I did look into them a while ago. I've found a page where they are all listed:
http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm

Cheers,
Mike
--
--

Best of Gallery at http://www.culinair.com
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darkgenius Senior Member • Posts: 1,759
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Hi Frank, the first three series 1 70-210 lenses were all excellent. I have the f/3.5 Tokina made and the f/3.5 Kiron made versions, and still keeping an eye out for the Komine made one. I love the two I have.
Dave

Yem Contributing Member • Posts: 715
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?
monkmusic Regular Member • Posts: 180
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Hi Frank

I have this lens. I don't use it much and have been tossing up if I should sell it.

(information supplied by Richard Higgs.)

The Vivitar Series 1 - 70 -210mm F3.5 is an old "cult classic" lens, and much sought after even today!
The first Series 1 Vivitars were designed and built to be the best lenses

they could produce, cost being no object. Interestingly, it was designed in the U.S.A. This lens sold for about $ 425.00 new. This lens was produced in several versions. Mine is the first version, and arguably the best

The first edition was designed by Vivitar (Ellis Betensky had a hand in it)
and built by Kiron. (67mm filter) It is a professional caliber lens, with a 1:2
macro feature built into it. It was the first zoom, designed with the aid of

computers, that truly rivaled the OEM lenses of the time. That was in "76." It is a very high quality zoom, that will deliver professional quality results.

Richard modified the lens mount so that it will work on Pentax dSLR's, as the lens has a large flange on the mount which stopped it being used on digital Pentax SLR's... The flange has been machined down (standard modification).

The lens takes awesome photos with beautiful bokeh.

It is also razor sharp.

You can see a picture Richard Higgs took using this lens on his photography site at this link

http://www.pbase.com/rhiggs1/image/43641525

You can read more about this lovely lens here;

http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm

http://www.flickr.com/photos/monk2006/

'It's not how big it is, but how you use it' Pentax *ist DL... Diagnosed in the early stages of LBA (when mummy says it's ok...

phx Contributing Member • Posts: 523
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

I do not know the 3rd version but I had the first version f 3.5 made by Kino/Kiron. It was a very good and well made lens. Heavy and solid. Getting it into Macro mode was always a little pain in the A. I had used one before back in my film days, so I had to have it and I was really happy with it.

But then one day I started "pixel peeping" which was a bad idea. I compared it with the Pentax SMC A 70-210mm f4 and found the Pentax sharper at all focus ranges, so I sold the Vivitar. Always wanted to try the 3rd model S1 but never found a nice one.

K1000Photographer Veteran Member • Posts: 6,894
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Aren't they one touch zooms? They should also be quite good optically.I have a Tokina 80-200/4 one touch and it is quite sweet. The old Tokina is fairly sharp and has very good color, contrast and bokeh. Not bad for $10.

derbunk Forum Member • Posts: 54
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

I have the Komine version and just did a fast comparison to the Pentax DA 50-200mm. Both shot wide open at full zoom. The pentax is clearly the better at 400-500%, most notably in its lack of CA. Here's the results:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v95/derbunk/Post%20to%20web/Lens%20Comparison/

The Vivitar just may have to go back on eekbay.

Lou

bluelagoongli Regular Member • Posts: 263
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

I have this lens as well as the Pentax-A 70-210mm f/4.0. The Vivitar, IMHO, has a higher resolving power, but has worse color and contrast than the Pentax. I find the macro function on the Vivi very useful. it's 1:2.5 at the 210mm verses 70mm on the Pentax. Overall, I'd call it a toss up.

structuresguy Senior Member • Posts: 1,560
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Hi Frank

I have this version of the lens and quite like it. Though I have 4 other 70-200 range lenses, so it does not get much use. I do prefer my Pentax A70-210 though. Maybe just biased, but I think it is slightly sharper than the Vivitar.

Andrew

frank
frank OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,961
Re: Thanks guys for the info and quick replies :)

I'm not really buying that lens, just curious about it. It's regarded as one of the 'cult classic" lenses, must be good at something.

But I guess it's not as competent as it used to be after all these years, seems even the DA50-200 is optically similar if not better than the Vivitar.

Anyway, it's good to learn something about this (and other great glass too). Thanks again for all the info and samples. Really appreciate it.

BTW, just got myself a DA50-200, the best 'kid' lens IMO

Cheers and happy shooting.
--
Frank
GMT+8hours
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fwcetus
fwcetus Senior Member • Posts: 1,509
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Anyone has any experience with this lens?

My experience is that this is the sharpest of the VS1 70-210's.

Here's my VS1 70-210 collection (it's the 3rd from the left) -

-- hide signature --

Fred

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Whats the significance of the gold one? (anniv issue?) and any of these the QDOS one?

fwcetus wrote:

Anyone has any experience with this lens?

My experience is that this is the sharpest of the VS1 70-210's.

Here's my VS1 70-210 collection (it's the 3rd from the left) -

-- hide signature --

Fred

-- hide signature --

360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

fwcetus
fwcetus Senior Member • Posts: 1,509
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

Whats the significance of the gold one? (anniv issue?) and any of
these the QDOS one?

Hi, Jeff. The six are in more-or-less chronological order (I'm not sure it is exactly chronological for the last two to the right).

The gold one (70-210/2.8-4) really seems to be gold-plated brass (or it does do a good job faking it - {g}) - it is significantly heavier than the one to its left, with which it is otherwise identical optically and mechanically - it is a 50th (or is it 75th - I don't remember offhand) Anniversary limited edition, originally given to major distributors and dealers supposedly (from memory, I think my specimen might be #18 out of 50) (but my memory is poor - {g}).

The Q-DOS one is the last one on the right (optically identical but not functionally so) to the 4th and 5th lenses - this one (as you obviously know, since you asked specifically) produces normal or 3-D images at the slide of a button. (You can see the extra colored labeling for the Q-DOS functionality on its barrel, and the button is visible just above the aperture ring to the right.)

Anyone has any experience with this lens?

My experience is that this is the sharpest of the VS1 70-210's.

Here's my VS1 70-210 collection (it's the 3rd from the left) -

The lens I referred to is the third from the left.

-- hide signature --

Fred

cheng2004 Regular Member • Posts: 270
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

can you explain the difference between each one in terms of performance? i have the first from the left version, and was wondering whether the others are superior or inferior. can you also explain more on the qdos version, how does it produce 3d images?

i seem to remember the commemorative version on ebay, perhaps it was your serial number, a few months back.

fwcetus wrote:

Whats the significance of the gold one? (anniv issue?) and any of
these the QDOS one?

Hi, Jeff. The six are in more-or-less chronological order (I'm not
sure it is exactly chronological for the last two to the right).

The gold one (70-210/2.8-4) really seems to be gold-plated brass
(or it does do a good job faking it - {g}) - it is significantly
heavier than the one to its left, with which it is otherwise
identical optically and mechanically - it is a 50th (or is it 75th

  • I don't remember offhand) Anniversary limited edition, originally

given to major distributors and dealers supposedly (from memory, I
think my specimen might be #18 out of 50) (but my memory is poor -
{g}).

The Q-DOS one is the last one on the right (optically identical but
not functionally so) to the 4th and 5th lenses - this one (as you
obviously know, since you asked specifically) produces normal or
3-D images at the slide of a button. (You can see the extra
colored labeling for the Q-DOS functionality on its barrel, and the
button is visible just above the aperture ring to the right.)

-- hide signature --

Fred

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
A little help

http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm
http://www.pauck.de/marco/photo/stereo/q-dos/q-dos.html
--
360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

jeffkrol Veteran Member • Posts: 6,225
Thanks (n/t)
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360 minutes from the prime meridian. (-5375min, 3.55sec) 1093' above sea level.

fwcetus
fwcetus Senior Member • Posts: 1,509
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

can you explain the difference between each one in terms of
performance? i have the first from the left version, and was
wondering whether the others are superior or inferior. can you also
explain more on the qdos version, how does it produce 3d images?

I would say that the second-generation 70-210 is a bit sharper overall than the first-generation lens, and that the third-generation lens (the first of the f/2.8-4 versions) is a bit sharper still. However, the other three (all optically the same) are maybe not quite as good. However, none of these is a "dog", and the first-generation lens is certainly a nice lens to use (and to appreciate as a"classic").

I thank Jeff from jumping in with "a little help" - the links he offered are about what I would have offered (both the Mark Roberts versions page and the Q-DOS page (and the additional Q-DOS pages that are linked to/from it).

-- hide signature --

Fred

fwcetus
fwcetus Senior Member • Posts: 1,509
Re: A little help
MarkRoberts Forum Member • Posts: 80
Re: vivitar Series 1 70-210 F2.8-4 by Komine (the 3rd version)?

I have only version #3 but I use it quite a bit on my ist-D. It's one of my standard lenses when I'm traveling light - when backpacking, for example. I'm still often amazed at its sharpness. One of the things that makes it an essential part of my lightweight travel kit is its "macro" capability. It gets to 1:2:5 reproduction ratio all by itself, which is often good enough for getting wildflower shots in the field. But I've recently tried using it in conjunction with a 2-element close-up lens and have been very impressed with the results. For a literally unnoticeable increase in weight you get a fast 70-210 zoom that also does 1:1 macro! Not quite as sharp as a dedicated macro lens, but still an excellent tool for travel and field work.
Here's a shot taken with the Vivitar and close-up diopter at approx 1:1
http://www.robertstech.com/temp/feature/d601792.html
Not bad, eh?

I'm planning on adding some example photos to my Vivitar page fairly soon:
http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm

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