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06-16-2012, 01:29 PM   #1
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Scored A Bokina!

Well, this may be ho-hum to some, but it's a big deal to me...after many years of waiting, I managed to buy a Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 Macro, with matching 1:1 adapter, in PK mount. The lens and adaptor are both very clean and unmarked.
My total price-including shipping was $273.00 USD, somewhat less than the going rate, I believe.
I posted photos of the lens itself on the "My Latest Acquisition" thread
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/general-talk/99051-your-latest-acquisitio...ml#post1991901
and 10 photos taken with the Bokina today, here;
rbefly's Album: Bokina- First Day - PentaxForums.com
A few comments seem in order. First, this lens is a fairly substantial piece of glass and steel. It's one of the heaviest lenses I own and certainly the heaviest prime.
But it FEELS right, solid and smooth. The bright red macro ratios/lengths lettering is handy and the focus is snappy and clear, within the limits of my VF screen and abilities. Aperture adustment is easy, but a bit looser than a typical "M" or "A" Pentax. Still, the detent clicks are solid enough that you can change f-stops without looking away from the viewfinder to check.
The Bokeh (as well-documented) is incredible, dreamlike, surreal, pick an adjective.
What suprised me is the overall clarity and sharpness. I've looked at many web pages of photos and it still rates a "WOW" when you get it right. Also, the textures of the various subjects are so real, it's uncanny. This is one of the few purchases I've ever made that's actually better than advertised!
Speaking of getting it right, there's a fairly steep learning curve and a split-prism screen for the K-7 is in my immediate future. For now, I may switch to using it on the K10D, which already has a KatzEye. I'm running about 10% "Keepers" with the K-7, a terrible ratio, even for macro. Maybe it'll improve with practice.
I don't believe it's any fault with the lens, just my focusing abilities and the screen limitations.
Most of the shots on the link were taken with a tripod, cable release, eyecup and lots of squinting. Hope you like' em!
If you find one for a good price....well, you know what to do!
Ron


Last edited by rbefly; 06-16-2012 at 01:43 PM.
06-16-2012, 01:37 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Welcome to the Bokina club! One word of advice: I have managed to get the adapter stuck to the lens, by mounting it with the apeture coupling levers crossed. In fact I've managed to do this more than once, and I will be careful not to do so again. My solution is to always make sure the aperture is stopped down at least somewhat before coupling the two. I've even stuck a note to that effect on the lens cap to remind me. Maybe this was just something with my copy, but I thought I'd share.

Enjoy!
06-16-2012, 04:37 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Welcome to the club. It's one heck of an awesome lens, and that's a good price for the kit. I think I ended up paying around $450 for the Tokina version and all the accessories in KA mount. Some things I've noticed:

It's tack sharp wide open
It can purple fringe
I don't use the macro adapter much (but I'm not a macroholic)
At 1:2 it's hard to hand hold and keep the subject in focus. Instead of turning the focus ring, move your whole body forward and backward slightly on your feet to nail the focus.
A hood helps with contrast, try to get the matching one or at least a snap-on substitute.

Have fun!
06-16-2012, 06:14 PM   #4
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There's A Club?

Hi Baron-nite, thanks for the welcome and advice. When you say stopped down, do you mean the actual lens aperture ring? I haven't used the adapter yet, but normally leave the lens at f/2.5. Don't do this when adding the adapter? the idea of info inside the lens cap is a great one, thanks!
Hello Jeffshaddix,
I did get some purple-fringing when shooting wide open at some water lillies, the reflection had a PF around each lily, on the sun side. Does it help to stop down?
Yep, it's a heavy lens, I'm making the monopod or tripod part of my macro kit.
There's a dedicated lens hood? I ordered a 58mm generic cheapie from eBay, but would love to have a genuine one. I'll keep my eye out.
Thanks,
Ron

06-16-2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi Baron-nite, thanks for the welcome and advice. When you say stopped down, do you mean the actual lens aperture ring? I haven't used the adapter yet, but normally leave the lens at f/2.5. Don't do this when adding the adapter? the idea of info inside the lens cap is a great one, thanks!
Hello Jeffshaddix,
I did get some purple-fringing when shooting wide open at some water lillies, the reflection had a PF around each lily, on the sun side. Does it help to stop down?
Yep, it's a heavy lens, I'm making the monopod or tripod part of my macro kit.
There's a dedicated lens hood? I ordered a 58mm generic cheapie from eBay, but would love to have a genuine one. I'll keep my eye out.
Thanks,
Ron
Check out the bottom of this blog post:
Making Not Taking: Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 VMC 1:2 "Bokina"

It mentions making a way to use the Tokina hood on the Vivitar version. As for which hood to try to find...look for one that either states "AT-X 90/2.5" or "SH-551".
06-17-2012, 03:32 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rbefly Quote
Hi Baron-nite, thanks for the welcome and advice. When you say stopped down, do you mean the actual lens aperture ring?
Exactly.
06-29-2012, 06:43 PM   #7
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Hood, Photos

Hi Jeff,
I did find a hood, it's about 1-1/2" long, labeled "T-58mm" no brand name; Seems to work OK. Today I found a Vivitar 58mm hood on eBay, same overall length, for $5.00. Got that one coming. I'm still looking for a genuine Tokina version.
Here's a few more photos, sticking to the K10D for now, the split-prism screen is a lot easier to M/F than the standard screen in the K-7.
I make no claim to be a macro expert, but this lens can make anyone look good!
Ron
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 
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