Since I am streamlining my gear to avoid distractions and focus more on photography instead -- I thought of selling another oddball item -- the Vivitar 75-205mm f3.8 Close Focus lens. As is customary -- I took it for a spin today before taking a decision.
The lens is typical late 70's/early 80's -- all metal with precision mechanics. A serial number starting with 22 indicates the maker to be none other than Kino Precision Optics, Japan that was a venerable name in it's time.
Time to bust another myth -- "using zooms with extension is cumbersome to the point of being unusable"
. Not really -- that's just another smartass generalization by armchair theorists. That applies only to zooms with a stiff, non-linear zoom ring or to zooms that have the same ring for zoom and focus ("push-pull" as they are fondly called). The zoom ring on this bably is as smooth as the focus ring -- and even using the 52.5mm PN-11 extension focusing was a breeze using the zoom ring. When you use zooms with extension, you should use the zoom ring to find rough focus and then use the focus ring to fine tune it.
I paid all of 69 US$ for it in 2005 because I was (and still am) under the impression that any optics created by Kino Precision is worth using. From initial tests the results were sharp and I heartily thanked the clueless innocent dude who let it go at such a low price. But somehow I hardly ever used it following then. Today, the results surprised me. Here is the beast in all it's glory, attached to the PN-11
The following photos aren't keepers but when taking these I was more interested in challenging the lens'capabilities so that I can make a sell/no-sell decision. From the 100% crops -- I'm keeping the lens for now. So it turns out that a 30+ year old lens from Kino Precision can keep up after all with a high-density sensor of today such as the one inside E-PL1. Imagine what their Kiron 105mm f2.8 Macro is going to be like? (yes I'm saving the best for last)
Re. below shot -- I and my shooting buddy have a joke between ourselves -- we refer to the Coromandel Marsh Dart damselfly (below) as "Losers' Angel". They are so plentiful that you shoot them only when you are finding no other subject.
Coromandel Marsh Dart
Coromandel Marsh Dart head -- 100% crop from above shot -- raw sharpening low
Grasshopper eye -- 100% crop from above shot -- raw sharpening low