Has anyone used a Vivitar 24mm f/2?

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
ProfHankD
ProfHankD Veteran Member • Posts: 9,041
Re: Has anyone used a Vivitar 24mm f/2?

JonesLongShot wrote:

ProfHankD wrote:

Of course. I have the Kiron version, as was discussed here a year and a half ago and way back in 2017, here was my quick review on my A7RII, as opposed to on APS-C. I rate it an "A" for IQ on both APS-C and FF, although it doesn't play quite as well with a focal reducer on APS-C. I think MFT would be pushing it a bit too hard wide open...

It has some softness at f/2 (all old fast lenses are soft wide open, and this has the usual SA glow and lowish contrast), but it sharpens up nicely stopped down, and by f/2.8 it's doing better than most old 24mm do at f/4. The Kiron version does have notorious problems with oil on the iris blades and stuck-open aperture due to the spring stretching over time; my quick fix of shortening the spring has fixed mine since 2010. I paid $40 for my very clean copy in 2010, and I'd say it's worth more for a FF body against other current options, but I'd be hesitant to spend much over $100 for one with a working aperture.

BTW, there's also a Komine version which is significantly different.

Thanks for the information.

That's what many of us are here for.

It sounds like this might make a decent purchase but the question now is how to tell if it is a Kiron or a Komine? Maybe a internet search will give me that information.

Kiron == Kino Precision. Here's a serial number list .

I should be able to grab this one for less than $100 although I hate spending even that much on old Vivitars.

Personally, I hate spending more than $25 on a lens including shipping. However, fast lenses and ultra-wide lenses both tend to draw higher prices, and a 24mm f/2 checks both boxes. I thought it was worth the risk without knowing details about its performance at $40 in 2010, and probably would have happily paid $60 then knowing what I know about it now... and $60 then is about $100 now because demand has shot up as mirrorless cameras proliferate.

As for Vivitar, well, in these mirrorless days we get to run fair side-by-side tests on lenses of all brands and... well... brand-associated pricing is a lot more consistent than lens quality. For example, the exact same 3rd-party lens in Nikon F mount is usually more expensive than in Canon FL/FD/FDn or Minolta SR/MC/MD. With over 250 lenses in many brands, I see very poor correlation between IQ and brand or IQ and price. I'm not saying this Kiron Vivitar 24mm f/2 is one of the best lenses, but I do think it competes disturbingly well with higher-priced 24mm f/2.8 and 24mm f/3.5 lenses from some name brands.

Back in the 1970s, it was pretty common among the photographers I worked with to be continually apologizing for only having been able to afford "Spira-cr*p" -- but in side-by-side testing now, most of my Spiratone lenses have actually been very good performers. I do have an 18mm f/3.5 Spiratone that deserves a low reputation, but my 135mm f/1.8 is quite good and my tiny 300mm f/5.6 mirror lens is arguably the first 300mm mirror to be optically worth having.

BTW, I think the poor correlation between brand or price and IQ continues with modern lenses. For example, I think Tamron's latest designed-explicitly-for-FE lenses literally outperform their closest, more pricey, Sony competition; I'm talking about the 28-200mm vs. Sony's 24-240mm and the 150-500mm vs. Sony's really excellent 200-600mm. I think of Laowa as sort-of the modern Spiratone in the best sense: relatively cheap, but really innovative optics that perform quite well doing things the more-respected brands haven't yet figured out how to do; there isn't any name-brand competition for my Laowa 10-18mm FF lens.

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