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09-06-2011, 10:25 PM   #1
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Vivitar 28-210mm Lens

Aloha,

A few weeks ago I bought a Vivitar 28-210 3.5/5.6 Series 1 lens. The lens arrived today and it doesn't say Series 1 on the lens. Am I missing something or is this not a Series 1 lens? Is the standard lens going to be as sharp as a Series 1, or do I send it back?
Thanks and God bless Ed

09-06-2011, 11:18 PM   #2
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Did vivitar even make a 28-210 series 1 lens? What are the first 2 numbers of the serial number? How much did you pay for it? It could be a decent lens, series 1 or not. You could of course try it out.

Last edited by ripit; 09-06-2011 at 11:39 PM.
09-07-2011, 12:48 AM   #3
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From wikipedia (under vivitar) it is listed, but not as a series 1 lens. BTW I believe the vivitar series 1 (VS1) lenses from late 1970's thru mid/late 198o's are the most highly respected ones. I own/think very highly of the 70-210 f2.8-f/4 (komine made serial no. 28...) as well as the 200mm f3 (also komine). Your lense was apparently made after 1987--as it is not listed in a compilation I have of vivitar lenses thru 1987, and likely much later. But these listings are not 100% reliable. Also I have never heard the lens you have as spoken of when the better VS1 lenses are discussed, But as mentioned--if you have it try it. Respected lenses can be bad and not well thought of lenses can be good.
09-07-2011, 03:01 AM   #4
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Later Viv and VS1 zooms don't have a great reputation. Superzooms of that era don't have a great reputation. (Most newer superzooms are noticeably better.) You *might* have a decent lens; or maybe not. Shoot it and see! But if it doesn't say Series 1 on the lens, it isn't one. If it was mis-represented as being Series 1, you have legitimate grounds for return+refund.

09-07-2011, 04:40 AM   #5
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The reason I was asking about the serial is that I have a 28-210mm 3.5-5.6. The serial number starts with 094 so If I understand right it was either 1994 or before 1987? I am also guessing mine is cosina which is another reason to ask the serial number. From what I gather, part of the reason that cosina (and many other lenses in general) are not reputed to be the great ones is poor quality control. Mine defiantly seems to be one of the good ones but if quality control is bad then his might not be? It also has the smooth grip with groves and printing like other cosinas. mine defiantly feels and looks well built. I haven't had it long enough (and no good sunny days when I am free) to really test it out, but I do have a vivitar series 1 70-200mm (version 2) that I could compare it too later today after work. Limited indoor testing tells me my copy is in the same league but I haven't done a direct comparison yet. I would also like to compare my vivitar 28-200mm (kobori) and my vivitar 35-200mm (kobori) anyway. The 28-200mm is supposed to be one of the sharpest lenses made according to one thread but mine unfortunately is recovering from an infection (fungus).
09-07-2011, 03:25 PM   #6
EdF
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Vivitat lens

Aloha Ripit,
the serial number is "0120102". this doesn't tell me anything but it might say something to you or someone else here. I paid $50 for the lens. I have "e" mailed the seller and am hoping that he will send the correct one. I don't know how well this one works but am sure that the series 1 is better.
Thanks guys for the information Ed
09-07-2011, 03:26 PM   #7
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oops, Serial number is "01020702"
sorry Ed
09-07-2011, 04:26 PM   #8
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Now I'm wondering about my lens. I had assumed that the 09 on mine meant cosina but there is no 01 that I can find info on so maybe this is one of the newer lenses that didn't use the standard serial number system. Looking at what vivitar 70-210 series one have sold for on ebay (about 40-70$ shipped, you paid enough to get a series 1 lens. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but there is no 28-210 or similar series 1 lens but that doesn't mean it is not good quality (I would say that is undetermined yet). If you want the wider focal range (which could be very useful, you still might want to consider keeping it. I would think it would be worth a bit less though. Maybe you could settle on the seller for a partial refund. Alternativly you could try and get a vivitar 28-200mm with serial number starting in77. There is an 8 page thread on dpreview about how this is the sharpest long zoom ever made. You could also look at a 70-210 if you want a series 1. I guess see what the seller says. I'll have some pics of my lens up as well as pictures taken with it and with a series 1 lens in a little while.

09-07-2011, 04:49 PM   #9
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Here is something to get you started. Disclaimer, I'm a lousy photographer. My eye site is out just past what my camera can adjust for so I have to rely on the camera to a point to tell what is in focus.
The vivitar 70-210 is the series 1 lens. It was converted from olympus mount to pk mount. The vivitar 35-200 was converted from minolta mount to pk-a mount. The vivitar 28-200 was pentax A mount and this is the one that is supposed to be so good, but be aware, mine had fungus which was cleaned so it is not a good example. The vivitar 28-210 was converted from minolta mount to pk mount. The one pictured in this post is the 28-210.

Maybe someone with a better eye than mine can tell how the 28-210 compares to the series 1.
lenses at 70mm (shots at 200mm coming up soon).
vivitar_long_zoom_70mm Photo Gallery by Richard Homeyer at pbase.com
Attached Images
 
09-07-2011, 05:09 PM   #10
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Just a note. All these shots were shot in a very cloudy overcast environment with it starting to get dark for the night (had to shoot fast). They were shot on a tripod with 2 second timer (my camera resets away from 2 second timer when turned off to change lenses so you can probably tell that a couple were not with timer) and all were with aperture wide open. There hopefully should be at least one from each lens that was with timer and in focus.
200mm shots
vivitar_long_zoom_200mm Photo Gallery by Richard Homeyer at pbase.com
It will probably be a while but I'll take a shot of all 4 lenses for comparison.
09-07-2011, 06:42 PM   #11
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Vivitar lens

Yea Ripit, I noticed that this lens wants a lot of light also. My K10D goes beep when the pic is in focus, so I use that. I really want a sharp picture. Tks Ed
09-08-2011, 05:42 AM   #12
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I assume yours looks like mine (in particular the rubber grip)? I really don't know for sure now but I think it is made by cosina (if nothing else the rubber grip is similar to some other cosina lenses). If it is made by cosina, based on what others have said, they may not have the best quality control so yours may or may not be a good copy. I didn't have time to look at my pictures last night but it probably wasn't the best subject to shoot. At the fastest aperture the depth of field is narrow so you kind of have to pick through and try and find the sharpest leaf (they all look a bit soft to me but it could be a focus problem. I can say that when I first got mine working (converted mount), I was happy with it. It didn't jump out and make me say wow, this is the sharpest lens I have seen but my impression of my copy at least is that its got good sharpness. If you want the sharpest long zoom you can get, I would try out the one you got since you already have it (and if you are not happy with it try to return it based on the improper description). If you do like it I would still try to get a partial refund as improperly listing it as a series one probably made it sell for more (ebay I assume). If you don't like it, try and find a vivitar 28-200 with 77??? serial number. My copy of that lens is a bad example as it had fungus, though it still seems quite sharp (defanatly some contrast loss though). Here is a thread about that one
Manual Focus Gem Discovered: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review
Realize it is not a series 1 either (there are non series 1 lenses that are good).
IF its got to be a series 1 then a 70-210 would be the closest I know of
http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm (how to find the good ones as not all are the best either).
If its ebay and returning drags out a bit like it sometimes does I can post a little more info (I haven't had these lenses long so I'm still trying them out myself).
09-09-2011, 04:53 PM   #13
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Vivitar Subcontracted Lens Makers
(1st two digits of serial number)
6 Olympus
9 Cosina
13 Schneider Optik
22 Kino (aka Kiron)
25 Ozone Optical
28 Komine
32 Makinon
33 Asanuma
37 Tokina
42 Bauer
44 Perkin Elmer (US)
47 Chinon
51 Tokyo Trading
56 Kyoe Schoji
61 Samyang (?)
75 Hoya Optical
77 Kobori
81 Polar


I've got a 28-200 f3.5 / 5.3 that's NOT a Series1, with a 77 number - Kobori. It's the fat one touch zoom with a 72mm filter thread. It's not a bad lens, but it's not in the same league as my 70-210 f3.5 Series1, that's a great lens.
09-12-2011, 05:20 PM   #14
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I had a chance to shoot a little today at niagara falls. I had to cut it short but I got a few shots in with some of my long zooms. The series 1 70-200mm is noticeably better. The 28-210mm is still good and sharpness looks good enough (though when you compare it directly the series one has some wow to it the 28-210 doesn't). I might still use the 28-210mm over the series one sometimes due to the wider range but for shooting where I didn't need the wide angle, I would use the series one. I think the 28-210mm would get more use as a general carry lens (maybe not for long as I am looking for an auto focus 28-200).
I'm not sure what the original poster has done with the lens but I think I would want either a partial refund or a return. The price seems just a little too high and it was misleading to call it a series one (not that all series 1 lenses are top quality).
09-12-2011, 06:15 PM   #15
EdF
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28-210 mm

Aloha everyone,
thanks for everyone's help. I have taken some shots with this lens and 'don't think it is what I expect. I really want the sharpness of a series 1. I am looking for that "wow" factor that ripit mentioned. I haven't herd from the seller but have contacted 'e'bay. I am sure that he doesn't want negative feedback for $50. I am hoping that he will say "oops, I sent the wrong lens, the series 1 is on the way"!
Thanks again God bless Ed
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