Has anyone used a Vivitar 24mm f/2?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
OP JonesLongShot Regular Member • Posts: 332
Re: Has anyone used a Vivitar 24mm f/2?

ProfHankD wrote:

JonesLongShot wrote:

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.

Thanks again for the valuable insights.

When I first started shooting digital there was a general feeling that film era lenses were simply not up to the task. Only new lenses designed for digital would be able to give us the best out of our cameras. I remember being disappointed in the performance of some film era lenses I tried on my Nikon DSLRs. But so far I'm surprised at the performance of the same lenses on my mirrorless. At this point I don't know if there is actually a difference or if it is just my perception.

I'm glad to be able to use these lenses but now that mirrorless has given us the ability to mount nearly anything the prices for even modest lenses have gone nuts. I paid $12 for my Vivitar 135. I purchased my Canon FD 50 1/4 at a garage sale as part of a two camera set for $25. I sold the cameras and other lenses and kept the 50mm. I have a JC Penney 28mm f/2.8 that came along with an Olympus 50mm f/1.8 for a grand sum of $0. The Olympus is a fantastic lens for stitching on my Canon M6 but the JC Penney lens is an amazing example of something that should never have been made. There were bargains to be had pre-mirrorless.

I don't actually have a need for this 28mm f/2 lens other than getting a little bit more light for doing some night sky time lapses. But if it is in good shape I'll probably buy it. Turns out the seller is an hour away so I have to set that up.

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