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04-26-2012, 12:50 PM   #1
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Tamron SP Adaptall 70-210mm/f3.5 PKA vs. Vivitar Series 1 70-210m/f2.8-4 PKA

I purchased the Tamron SP Adpatall 70-210/3.5 couple of years ago because I read somewhere that it has beaten the Vivitar ( of the title above). I have no complaints about the Tammy, and I will never replace it. It is so perfect. Now, I have the LBA bug telling me that I should try the Vivitar and compare them by myself. Before I spend some money on the Vivitar, I would like to hear from people who has used both. What is your opinion of these two lenses. Also, I heard that the non-PKA of the Vivitar is the one that I should get.

04-26-2012, 01:19 PM   #2
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although all the series 1 lenses are quite good, I think the best of them is the 70-210F3.5 (Version 1) from a shaprness and contrast perspective.

it is a beast though, but when I see them they are not all that expensive, perhaps 50-70cdn, which is cheap, considering they were $350 in 1981. in today's value, considering inflation etc, that is literally thousands.
04-26-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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The v1 is great and seems like a beast (880g). The v3 is great and deceptively dense (860g). I just got the v3 a couple weeks ago and haven't yet compared it to the v1 which is 1/3 of the way across the USA from my current locale. But I'll be back to it in a couple weeks. And I'll get to decide whether to keep both, or just the v3 which I'm using a LOT now.

Weight comparison: my Tak-A 70-200/4 and some Samyang- and Kiron-made 70-210s are about 650g, but about the same size as the v3. Like I said, the v3 (PK-A mount) is dense. But it's not clumsy. I mainly don't use the v1 (M42 mount) because it *IS* a beast. I haven't tried the Tamron so I can't help there, sorry.
04-26-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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Adaptall site for the 19AH


I just got a 19AH at the beginning of the month and it's better IMHO than my 23A. A great lens ...

You might want to read this : Tamron SP Adaptall-2 70-210mm F/3.5 Model 19AH

I'm like Rio Rico, but in reverse ... have the Tamy(s), but not the Vivitar(s).

Salut et A+, John le Frog

04-26-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
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I have the Tamron 70-210 f/3.5 (19AH) and the Vivitar S1 70-210 f/2.8-4 QDOS (3D effect) version but I haven't compared them really. The Tamron appears better built but I haven't used it much, the Vivitar is good when not using the QDOS. I won't sell the Tamron as I can use it on other bodies if needed, likewise the QDOS is interesting. The pre-QDOS versions of the Vivitar are supposed to be better though.
04-27-2012, 08:53 AM   #6
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Good question. Back-in-the-day, every was wondering the same thing. Both lenses are pretty decent with the nod for build going to the Tamron.

04-27-2012, 07:49 PM   #7
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Well here's an article about the various versions of the Vivitar with tech specs
And here is a real clean one that I currently have up for sale

In all fairness since I do have experience with both I'll say they have different characteristics but which is better is a subjective thing.
If I was rich and retired and could play with my photo gear daily I would probably keep both.
The Tamron 19AH SP70-210 is a real nice lens as is 23A SP 60-300(which I'd love to get my hands on a clean early version of) and if you can find one the 30A SP80-200 is a cult classic.
Regarding the Viv Series1 , I bought my first in Canon FD mount from a retiring pro many years ago and still have it. It is a version 1 and became an instant favorite every bit as nice a lens as the Canon SSC and L series glass it shares a case with

Last edited by seacapt; 04-29-2012 at 08:40 AM.

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