Vivitar 19/3.8 Information

Started Apr 21, 2018 | Discussions thread
MOD Tom Caldwell Forum Pro • Posts: 44,872
Re: Vivitar 19/3.8 Serial Numbers

Alan WF wrote:

That said, I've seen no lenses for Canon EF mount, which was introduced in 1987. The flange focal distance for EF is less than that of Nikon F and Pentax K, so I'd guess the lens could have been made to be compatible. If this lens was being sold in the late 1980s and early 1990s, why was there no EF mount version? Perhaps EF was seen as a high-end mount and not a suitable target for cheap lenses like this? Has anyone seen an EF version of this lens?

I wouldn't expect one: this isn't an autofocus lens and nearly all EF lenses autofocus. Not all Minolta AF lenses autofocus, but most do, so that would be credible too.

No, I'm not expecting an AF version in Minolta A mount or Canon EF mount, but rather an MF version for these new mounts. That there apparently were none might suggest that this lens died out shortly after it was introduced. Or maybe Vivitar were unable or unwilling to engineer their older MF lenses for these new mounts.

For the production numbers thrown about it would seem that the prospective market for “old fashioned” MF lenses for AF mount cameras was probably too small to be worth the effort.  I note that the M4/3 mount was initially a market for adapted legacy lenses (becasue they were cheap and the lack of oem AF lenses initially).  But just as soon as more oem lenses became available the interest in adapting these lenses seems to have largely evaporated.  This is despite the cost of oem AF lenses being higher.  Furthermore the difficulty in using MF lenses on the mirrorless systems is consierably less than on dslr/slr bodies.  Hence some MF lenses are still made for the M4/3 mount.

It also seem to me that Sony E/FE was attractive to adapt lenses to - especially those like myself looking for a new host sytem for a stock of Canon EF mount lenses.  But more and more “chat” seems to be about using oem FE mount lenses.

Therefore I would argue that not fully compatible lenses for AF mount systems are only seen as “filler” substitute lenses until there is a wider range of oem  lenses made available.

So to make MF lenses for a newly introduced AF mount system is a risk even today, but not as big as a risk as it was in the days of film.

On the other hand, maybe people adapted Nikon F-mount lenses to Minolta A or Canon EF. It's certainly possible, but I don't know if it actually was a common option back in the late 1980s.



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Tom Caldwell

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