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Your opinion of Vivitar

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ke7dbx, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. ke7dbx

    ke7dbx Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2011
    Just a general question. What is your opinion of Vivitar products?
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Which ones? There's a rather broad range...
  3. Phoque

    Phoque Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 18, 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    Could have been interesting to add in the choices: "no idea".
  4. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    None of the above. There are a lot of good Vivitar products, but they don't have to be the best in the world. From the choices given us there's only one positive answer and that is "best in the world", while all the other answers range from horrible to mediocre.

    I happen to like a number of Vivitar lenses, so for lack of a better answer I just chose "best in the world", lol!
  5. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Promit Roy
    There are two kinds of Vivitar products. One, classic Vivitar products. I assume these were produced when it was its own company. Apparently these are quite good. Two, modern Vivitar products. Vivitar is currently a brand of Samyang, along with Rokinon, Opteka, Bower and a few more (possibly Targus?). It's Chinese manufactured to a price point and you have to keep that in mind. The biggest issue with cheap Chinese goods is not quality. It's quality control. That's why you'll see such widely diverse reviews on these things. Some people get great copies that last forever, others get junk. It's all blind luck, and returns to a Chinese distributor are likely to be as easy as you'd expect.

    Short version: it's probably okay if you're just looking for a toy to play with. If it's critical to your work, buy four. Or a big name.
  6. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    Vintage Vivitar = Good
    Modern Vivitar = Chinese garbage

    I didn't see that option and not sure what the OP is asking about. Old manual glass is good
  7. snkenai

    snkenai Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    Some are very good, and others are just lenses. I have some of both.
  8. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I liked their old Series One stuff but that's gotta be thirty years old by now.
  9. MrDoug

    MrDoug Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Sep 5, 2011
    Boise, Idaho
    I haven't had a Vivitar (SP) product for at least 5 yrs.. and don't plan on getting one for the next 5 yrs.. I was very disappointed.......... with the products they have... K-Mart quality....Did I say that right? K-MART QUALITY.. LOL
  10. Warren T.

    Warren T. Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 10, 2010
    San Francisco
    The vintage Series 1 lenses were excellent.
  11. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
  12. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I tried some vintage Vivitar Series 1 lenses on the D300s a few years ago. I used the 28/1.9 for low-light shots set to f/2.8 (much too soft wide open), but compared to Nikon lenses contrast was notably lower; however, the Nikkor 28/2 I had was horrible so the Vivitar got used. I also had a Series 1 70-210/3.5 which was quite good but not as good as the Nikkor 80-200/4 and a Series 1 35-85/2.8 which was not good enough on the D300s.

    Another Vivitar lens I regularly used was the famous Series 1 90-180/4.5 Flat Field Zoom. I made close-ups with it and the F3, I really loved this zoom range. On the D300s it showed too much CA and the zoom range was less attractive, so I sold this one as well.

    And the last one to go was the 100/2.8 Macro, the same build as the famous Kiron 105/2.8 macro; oddly it didn't carry the Series 1 designation while it certainly deserved it. I saw recently that Ned still has one of these. I was happy with it until I noticed some colour fringing in pictures of lenses I took with it while I wasn't even specifically looking for it. CA in this kind of pictures is easily noticed because the subject matter is almost devoid of colours. The Vivitar/Kiron was replaced therefore by a Nikkor 105/4 and that one was replaced recently by a Minolta MD Macro 100/4.

    I also have a Vivitar 24/2 (not Series 1) that I use as a loupe :smile:. There's no point in using it as a picture-taking lens, it's very unsharp in the corners at wider apertures so a Nikkor 24/2.8 did better.

    The problem with the Vivitar brand name is that you never know what to expect from a Vivitar product. Like others have said, Vivitar lenses can be anything from awful to excellent. You really have to know what you're buying if it's Vivitar. Ended auctions on eBay are the best indicator :smile:. So logic dictates that I have not clicked an entry in the poll, Vivitar has products that match all the choices offered in the poll :smile:.
  13. JohnF

    JohnF Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 1, 2010
    Oberursel, Germany
    I had the 90-180 as well, which really was a wonderful performer on m OM1. But I sold it many years ago when I move to a Pentax 67...also had the 28 - 90 2.8 vsrifocal, which was a problematic lens: great build quality, but handling left to be desired...

    Sent from my GT-I9100 using Tapatalk
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