Vivitar 19/3.8 Information

Started Apr 21, 2018 | Discussions thread
Paulmorgan Veteran Member • Posts: 9,350
Re: Vivitar 19/3.8 Information

Alan WF wrote:

I just got a Vivitar MC 19/3.8 in FD mount. It's a handsome little lens, and about a 28-mm equivalent on my GM5 and focal reducer. I'm looking forward to giving it a spin over the weekend.

Vivitar MC 19/3.8 with a Lens Turbo II and GM5

I've got a few of questions.

  1. Anyone know when this lens was introduced by Vivitar and when it was withdrawn, to help me confirm the year of manufacture? The serial number starts "99", which I think means manufactured by Cosina (first 9) in 1979 or 1989 (second 9). Now, 1979 was more or less peak FD, but I guess the changeover to EF wasn't yet complete by 1989. So, while I favor 1979, I can't rule out 1989.
  2. Lots of places say this was also sold as the Cosina 20/3.8. Again, anyone know when it was introduced by Cosina and when it was withdrawn?
  3. Lots of places also say it has 9 elements in 8 groups, and it's clearly a retro focal design, but I can't find an optical diagram anywhere online. Any pointers?




I`ve got one of these knocking around, not a bad lens, even on 35mm, there were better lenses at that time but as with everything the prices get hacked when you went quality edge to edge.

I stopped using mine for digital stills when I got a Sigma 19mm but its lovely for video when I`m using a tilt adapter.

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