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11-15-2007, 01:35 PM   #1
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Vivitar 400mm F5.6

Anybody know anything about this lens? All I know about it is what's above and that it's a Pentax K mount.

NaCl(400 and f5.6 isn't great but not terrible either)H2O

11-15-2007, 01:45 PM   #2
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If it is the same one I have, it is about 13 inches long, and has built in lens hood,

it is not internal focus, but rather the front element moves about 28 mm for focusing to minimum distance.

It also has integral tripod mount.

Biggest problem I have had is the 22 foot minimum focusing distance, which is about double my SMC-P 300mm f/4.0

It is also slow enough that it cannot be used with the 1.7x AF TC, where as my 300 f/4 can.

For large wild life, it is not too bad, but for birds, while, I find I can sneak up closer than 22 feet usually.

I got mine new in 1982 for $169 cdn as an inventory clear out.
11-15-2007, 01:51 PM   #3
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I guess I'll pass on it then. It's going for $139 at Adorama. The only thing I like about what you wrote is the tripod mount. I've got the 300 F4.0 Pentax, I'll wait and keep looking for something a bit better.

NaCl(the only thing I don't like about the 300 is no tripod mount)H2O
11-15-2007, 02:01 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by NaClH2O Quote
I guess I'll pass on it then. It's going for $139 at Adorama. The only thing I like about what you wrote is the tripod mount. I've got the 300 F4.0 Pentax, I'll wait and keep looking for something a bit better.

NaCl(the only thing I don't like about the 300 is no tripod mount)H2O
Don't sell it short.

One of the first photos taken with KX and 400 ISO E6 film

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11-15-2007, 05:33 PM   #5
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Here's the copy I have: Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 Lens Review - Manual Focus Lenses

If it's that one, definitely pass it up. for that price, you can get much better. Sharpness is ok but CA is terrible.

Tom
11-15-2007, 06:07 PM   #6
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I've got one thats pretty nice it has a TX mount 8 3/4" long IF and no tripod mount focuses to 12' but it's not too common.
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11-15-2007, 06:17 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TDN Quote
Here's the copy I have: Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 Lens Review - Manual Focus Lenses

If it's that one, definitely pass it up. for that price, you can get much better. Sharpness is ok but CA is terrible.

Tom
From the photos, that is the same one I used for the tiger.

from the pictures I could not tell if the one in the photo was multi coated or not, It should say "MC right on the front along with all the other data, but I don't see it marked.

mine is. That may explain all the complaints about CA. If so, it is something to look out for, as I never noticed any on my photos, althoug this lens has not had much use for 15 years, and not much at all, except a few test shots on a DSLR
11-15-2007, 11:31 PM   #8
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Both the photo's I see posted with it look good to me.

Tom, I do love that pic, but wish that you had the full reflection showing

11-16-2007, 05:17 AM   #9
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http://www.jcolwell.ca/_SPLOSdb/SPLOSdb-2004-09-31.pdf

Says it is nothing to write home about, but is OK. Now if you could find a 450 f4.5.... that would be something very nice indeed.
11-16-2007, 12:35 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by TDN Quote
Here's the copy I have: Vivitar 400mm f/5.6 Lens Review - Manual Focus Lenses

If it's that one, definitely pass it up. for that price, you can get much better. Sharpness is ok but CA is terrible.

Tom
Tom

Not to labour the point, but I have posted a photo of front of my lens.

Clearly there are 2 versions, My lens clearly states MC (for Multi Coared) on the front, plus Telephoto. The lens in the review is missing the MC designation and has Automatic Telephoto (if I can read the pixles correctly) Note also that the orientation of the lettering is different. (I have rotated my image so the serial number is in approximately the same position.)

This may be important for anyone looking to purchase this lens, as the multi coating seems to be very effective with respect to CA. I have gone back over many of my photos shot with this lens (scanned from film and slide) and see no CA at all

Last edited by Lowell Goudge; 03-02-2008 at 10:58 AM.
11-16-2007, 03:59 PM   #11
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There are atleast 2 versions of this lens. The one posted in the pic is the one made by Komine, and while normally the Komine made lenses are not too shabby, I don't care for the 400mm version of theirs. The better of the 2 versions I know about is the one made by Tokina.
11-16-2007, 04:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by digitaldevo Quote
There are atleast 2 versions of this lens. The one posted in the pic is the one made by Komine, and while normally the Komine made lenses are not too shabby, I don't care for the 400mm version of theirs. The better of the 2 versions I know about is the one made by Tokina.
Do you know which is multi coated and which is not?

or perhaps serial number ranges?

Note that it is not my lens that is for sale, so I am not trying to promote it but this is an important point when people ask for a recommendation about a lens,

Clearly I have a different opinion, but also a different lens
11-16-2007, 06:28 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by digitaldevo Quote
There are atleast 2 versions of this lens. The one posted in the pic is the one made by Komine, and while normally the Komine made lenses are not too shabby, I don't care for the 400mm version of theirs. The better of the 2 versions I know about is the one made by Tokina.
based upon the serial number and the information of the attached link, mine is made by Komime.
Vivitar Lens Manufactuers
don't know who made the other one but it is definitely NOT the same as mine. Either earlier production (mine is week 1 1980) or different manufacturer. Serial number is not clear enough to read.
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