Vivitar 135/2.8 (VINTAGE STYLE!)

Started Aug 23, 2010 | Discussions thread
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cajuncc Regular Member • Posts: 277
Vivitar 135/2.8 (VINTAGE STYLE!)

Many years ago, I discovered an old Konica Autoreflex TC tucked away in a cabinet at my parents' place. Attached to said camera was a 1970's era Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens.

Fast-forward to yesterday, when the same lens, albeit in Nikon F-mount (non-Ai), showed up on my doorstep after having been purchased on ebay!

I immediately set to work disassembling the lens so I could grind down the aperture ring to fit it to my D700. A day (and a LOT of hair-pulling frustration) later, the old lens has been modified for Ai functionality. The aperture ring just BARELY catches the corresponding lever on the camera. I may have to wizard something up in the future, but for now, it works great!

The result is a perfectly working 135/2.8 lens. It'll probably see some use just toying around or possibly for portraits sometime. It was cheap enough and it's really just a toy. I've got plenty of better lenses for serious use.

Below are some samples at f/2.8, f/5.6, and f/22. Bokeh is pretty darn nice, if you ask me! And it's decently sharp, especially at f/5.6. I'm not sure why the f/22 shot has an orange color cast. It starts to set in around f/11 and gets worse as you stop down more. Possibly some sort of diffraction lowering contrast and picking up color from the table?

Using an old lens like this is really pretty incredible in a lot of ways. The feel of the focus ring is absolutely exquisite. The Konica one is a LOT tighter than the Nikon, but they're both buttery smooth, even after all these years. Setting aperture with the aperture ring is a bit of a throwback too. I've gotten so used to using the command dial that I have to re-learn how to use an aperture ring! Little touches like the built-in, slide-out lens hood are nice too.

Tomorrow, I'll take it outside and see how it does in bright light.

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