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Interesting Macro Combo - Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 and Vivitar 2x Macro Teleconverter

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by arentol, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    I recently picked up the Vivitar 70-210 series 1, version 1 (version 3 would be great for this too) in Minolta MD mount, and then shortly thereafter the Vivitar 2x Macro Focus Teleconverter, also in MD mount.

    I took them out today for the first time and the combo is really great for shooting insects, especially bees where you may want a little more working distance. The IQ is surprisingly good, and the price can't be beat, I paid $60 for the lens and $40 for the Teleconverter, and both almost look like they have never been used before.

    Info on the 70-210 here:
    Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Macro Zoom Lenses - Mark Roberts Photography

    And the Teleconverter here:
    Vivitar 2x Macro-Focusing Teleconverter

    Both the lens and teleconverter were made for multiple mounts, so if you prefer a different mount like Nikon or Pentax you should be able to find this combo in that mount as well.

    The lens is interesting because it has a macro mode that changes it from a push-pull zoom to push-pull macro focus. This switches the MFD from about 6 feet (I think) to as little as 3 inches, and results in 1:2.2 macro capability. The problem is that nailing focus using this method can be hard because it is push-pull and small movements are challenging. You can get close though, then move forward or back and it works well, which you usually do with macro lenses anyway.

    The Teleconverter is a 2x, letting you shoot macro from twice as far away. It is specifically designed to make most 50mm lenses 1:1 macro capable by combining teleconversion capability with a built-in extension tube system that you can extend out by turning the ring that makes up most of the body.

    What is most interesting though is the combination of the two. Once combined with the lens in Macro mode you can focus from about 1cm with the extension tubes at max, to about 6 feet with the extension tube not in use. This gives great working distance, and makes the entire setup easier to use. Another interesting thing is that if your focus is close but not quite on you can get more accurate focus by turning the extension tube than you can with the push-pull focus system... So an extension tube system effectively becomes your focus ring when needing more precision. This makes for a very versatile setup.

    You can also use the extension tube in non-macro mode to achieve macro with a slightly different focus range.

    I don't know what the effective magnification ends up at with the new MFD, but it it seems to focus on something just over 1cm wide, so maybe 1.8:1. However, the great part is getting roughly 1:1 while the front of the lens is a foot away, the camera is almost 2 feet away, and you are about 3 feet away (if using LCD).

    Anyway, on to the examples. All of these are SOOC Jpegs. All distances are front-of-lens. The sensor is another 10 or 11 inches further back (it is a long lens combo).

    Taken from about 5 feet.
    i-RQHhKHb-L.

    This was from about 2 feet.
    i-Wq9LHRZ-L.

    And the rest were all from about 12-18 inches...
    i-Rb5RcCM-L.

    i-jMLzJxq-L.

    i-M9rgQfR-XL.
     
    • Like Like x 7
  2. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    That Vivtar 2x macro focusing TC is a well kept secret of the macro world :smile:. You might want to try that one with a prime lens and see how the results turn out.
     
  3. DeeJayK

    DeeJayK Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 8, 2011
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Keith
    Good stuff. Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. edmsnap

    edmsnap Mu-43 Veteran

    430
    Dec 20, 2011
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Love the lens; love the shots!
     
  5. johnc

    johnc Mu-43 Regular

    179
    Oct 20, 2011
    Circa 1982 ...

    oss907.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    I definitely will. I have a 50 f/1.4 and a 135 f/3.5 as well to use it with, and I expect the 50 to give the best results. This thread was mostly about the working distance and control provided by this particular combinations of lenses though..... I am not afraid of bees at all, but it is still nice to get closeups while standing 3 feet away.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Aug 8, 2012
    Denver
    Well, thanks for costing me more money :)

    I'm still hesitating on the converter, but I picked up the 70-200 in FD mount off the 'bay. Paid more than you, unfortunately, but still a pretty good deal.

    How is handling on the small bodies? I currently have an E-PM1 and am concerned that it'll be too front-heavy for tripod/monopod use - should I be thinking of rigging up a tripod mount on the lens, or is it not really a problem?
     
  8. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I never knew this converter existed - great way to transform a lens to macro. I may have to check out EBay for one of these. Awesome photos!
     
  9. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Found one on EBay for OM lenses - picked it up for $30. Can't wait to get my hands on it! :biggrin:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    Have fun with it :smile:.
     
  11. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    Thanks, I've wanted a longer macro lens. I had a Sigma70-300 macro for my 40D that I really liked but the longest I have for my :43: is a Sigma 24mm macro. Extension tubes require me to get too close to objects - I'm looking forward to trying this with an OM 135mm that I own.
     
  12. veereshai

    veereshai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    777
    May 12, 2011
    Arlington, VA
    That'll be a pretty sweet combo I reckon. Please post photographs with that combo when you get the 2x converter :smile:.
     
  13. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular

    77
    Aug 8, 2012
    Denver
    Wow - this thing is a beast. I'm definitely going to have to rig up some type of support for tripod use.
     
  14. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    Bob
    I will. I also have an OM 200mm f4 that I want to try with it. Lots to play with! :biggrin:
     
  15. apicius9

    apicius9 Mu-43 Veteran

    348
    Feb 1, 2010
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    I knew I should not have looked at this thread... Just could not resist. I have the Vivitar 105mm macro lens in MD mound and just added the 2x converter and the 70-210 in what I hope to be the Komine version (still waiting for it, but based on the serial number, it should be the right one). We'll see how that goes all together with the GH2 behind it...

    Stefan