Vivitar 19/3.8 Information

Started Apr 21, 2018 | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 44,616
Strange about the Meike's

Alan WF wrote:

Lightness and compactness is important for me. The Vivitar 19/3.5 is about 180 g, and most of the competition is at 300 g or more. The only other similarly light lens I could find is the OM 21mm f/3.5, but it's not as wide, is considerably more expensive, and would be more painful to adapt to my FD-MFT focal reducer.

Well, I think you're on the right track there in that there really aren't many 19mm-ish old manual lenses anywhere near this small. Then again, the Lumix 12-32mm f/3.5-5.6 pancake kit zoom is way smaller than the 19mm + FR.

If you really want a tiny manual lens, there is the Pentax-110 18mm f/2.8. The catch is that it doesn't have an aperture -- that was in the body. Otherwise, it's actually not a terrible optic; I rated mine a "C" on APS-C, but that's because IQ really falls off by the corners of APS-C. I'd expect it to be fine on MFT.

I should have said, "lightness and compactness are important to me, but not above ergonomics". So, for example, a while ago I decided not to swap my New FD 28/2.8 for a smaller and lighter Meike 28/2.8 because the former feels sooo right in my hands and the latter is probably just too damn small for effective manual aperture control and focus. Equally, I have considered Pentax 110 lenses, but I have not been convinced by the ergonomics and certainly not by the lack of aperture control.

As to the Panasonic 12-32/3.5-5.6, sure, it's fine optically, and almost fairy-like in its size and weight. I congratulate the engineers who made it for their achievement. But I touch it, and my fingers scream.

Anyway, back to the Vivitar 19/3.8. Interesting. Flawed. Fun. Frustrating. Creative. Yeah, definitely a keeper, albeit challenging keeper. I will write at more length when I get the chance.



I bought a Meike 35mm f1.7 in M4/3 and was so pleased with it that I have bought the 28mm f2.8 as well.  These seem well made little lenses and very affordable.

The 28/2.8 has just arrived - MF is very smooth and easy to operate, clickless aperture I can live with and it is very compact - graces the Panasonic GM5 very well.  I have hardly had it long enough to properly try it out yet.

Straight up - push fit cap is so loose I will have to make it tighter or it will disappear pretty soon.

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Tom Caldwell

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