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02-14-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
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Vivitar 400mm f5.6 is it worth $100.00??

This past weekend browsing local camera stores and they had this lens for $100.00 appears to be clean, really didn't see any dust maybe a spec or two, no fungus and overall appearance to be a pretty clean lens.

Looking to see if anyone thinks it's worth it to play with or just not worth the time and look for something better? The link below is to the lens review on the forum but didn't see any recent reviews within the last year or so and was wondering if anyone has one and recent photos taken with the lens.

Thanks...

Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 Lens Reviews - Pentax Third-Party Lens Review Database

02-14-2011, 02:51 PM   #2
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If you already have a Bigma, I would say no.
02-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #3
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I have that lens...if it's the same incarnation...but I'm on my iTouch now and it's difficult to check.

So so far, all I can say is YES.

It's a monster as to size and weight, but I was extremely satisfied with the test shots I did with it. I don't usually need a 400, so test shots are all I've done.

The 400 regular lenses, not 500 mirror, don't show themselves that often, and based on what I've seen from mine, $100 is well worth it.

I think I paid close to the same, maybe 75 but who the he'll remembers, over a year ago.
02-14-2011, 02:57 PM   #4
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I don't know if the lens is any good but looking at your equipment I would say: what are you waiting for?

100 USD can't be that much for someone who spent what you've spent on glass. And if you don't like it you can sell it without a great loss.

Have fun,
Luis

02-14-2011, 02:59 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
If you already have a Bigma, I would say no.
I do, but I like to play with the primes, plus sometimes I just don't want to lug the bigma around...
02-14-2011, 03:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by stl09 Quote
I do, but I like to play with the primes, plus sometimes I just don't want to lug the bigma around...
Well, the Vivitar is 1.3 pounds lighter than the Bigma, but looking at your lens list I think you would get better results from your DA* 200 and a 2x tele-converter.
02-14-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I have that lens...if it's the same incarnation...but I'm on my iTouch now and it's difficult to check.

So so far, all I can say is YES.

It's a monster as to size and weight, but I was extremely satisfied with the test shots I did with it. I don't usually need a 400, so test shots are all I've done.

The 400 regular lenses, not 500 mirror, don't show themselves that often, and based on what I've seen from mine, $100 is well worth it.

I think I paid close to the same, maybe 75 but who the he'll remembers, over a year ago.
Thanks Ira, size wise it is big but honestly it didn't really seem all that heavy.
Kind of what I thought with regards to 400's showing up very often. I know it's not a Da* or even a Vivitar Series 1 Quality but still thought if the quality was good enough that it might be a fun lens to work with.
02-14-2011, 03:10 PM   #8
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I have posted this shot before, taken in 1982 just after getting the lens, shot on ektachrome 400



Note there are many versions of this lens, mine is a multi coated version, manual focus is accurate to say the least with 330 degree focus throw, but minimum focus distance of 22 feet (my version) is a bit long.

Note min focus distance varies as a function o of version

02-14-2011, 03:13 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by lpfonseca Quote
I don't know if the lens is any good but looking at your equipment I would say: what are you waiting for?

100 USD can't be that much for someone who spent what you've spent on glass. And if you don't like it you can sell it without a great loss.

Have fun,
Luis

Very true Luis...not one to throw money away try to make educated choices when it comes to the glass...
02-14-2011, 03:15 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I have posted this shot before, taken in 1982 just after getting the lens, shot on ektachrome 400



Note there are many versions of this lens, mine is a multi coated version, manual focus is accurate to say the least with 330 degree focus throw, but minimum focus distance of 22 feet (my version) is a bit long.

Note min focus distance varies as a function o of version
Thanks, Lowell...don't think this is the multi coated version don't remember seeing that noted on the lens

nice shot by the way
02-14-2011, 03:25 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
Well, the Vivitar is 1.3 pounds lighter than the Bigma, but looking at your lens list I think you would get better results from your DA* 200 and a 2x tele-converter.
Very good point and as so happens I posted a question just the other day asking about which would be the best converter to use with that lens!!!
02-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #12
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Just checked, and I have the 400 5.6, labeled Auto Telephoto, 77mm filter size, serial # 28400797. The same as in the review, with the tripod collar mount.

But I can't imagine that there's a 400 lens out there that's bigger and heavier than this.

And damn--I can't find those test shots that I did in order to post them here. But I'll keep looking.

All I can say is as someone who owns a lot of Takumar glass, I was extremely surprised at the sharpness of this lens at 100% crops. But like I said before, I rarely have a need for an FL this long.

My summary is that this is NOT a piece of garbage or novelty crap, so keep that in mind. And for a hundred bucks, I would jump on it in a heartbeat.

Last edited by Ira; 02-14-2011 at 03:52 PM.
02-14-2011, 04:16 PM   #13
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Here's an image taken wide open using my Vivitar 400 (non-MC), Jpeg right out of my K100DS.


02-14-2011, 06:39 PM   #14
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Most slow long lenses are... interesting, as long as you don't expect a lot in the way of IQ. My similar Spiratone 400/6.3 is good for clubbing aggressive poodles and making police nervous. My Sakar 500/8 mirror (US$13) is rather less intimidating and heavy, and sees more use. A long lens like the Viv may best be suited for surveillance, blackmail, etc -- images where content is more important than quality. Have fun!
02-14-2011, 06:56 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Most slow long lenses are... interesting, as long as you don't expect a lot in the way of IQ. My similar Spiratone 400/6.3 is good for clubbing aggressive poodles and making police nervous.!
Not like your Spiratone at all. The Vivitar is a true telephoto like the K400/5.3, just not quite as good.
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