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02-05-2008, 01:18 PM   #1
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Vivitar "Series1" 70-210 f/3.5 Test shots

I have test shots for Vivitar "Series1" 70-210 f/3.5 on sale in marketplace that I truly have problem in selling it to others, what is wrong with this lens at $63.00, why is nobody interested in old lens?

I prefer much lighter gear and this lens is the heaviest that I have handled but the color, contrast, sharpness is the best 70-210 that I have handled. According to this site

Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Macro Zooms - Mark Roberts Photography

the one I have is the version 1, I think the version 3 will be lighter one. If you don't mind a bit heavy lens, this is for you to keep, visit my dying efforts in selling this lens


QuoteOriginally posted by hinman Quote
It is good weather today and hence some test pictures for the Vivitar Series 1 in this selling lot

Summary of impressions:
  • Contrasty & Sharp
  • Great color
  • macro is 1:2.2 is quite pleasant
  • reasonably sharp at wide open at f/3.5
  • focusing & zoom ring are smooth
  • very clean lens
  • bokeh is reasonably pleasant to me
  • - quite heavy & challenging to use
  • - I use MF for most shots in the series, AF switch for trap focus will be harder in a heavy lens

#1 at 210mm

#2 probably at 70mm

#3 focus on needle on roof top at 210mm

#5 in either f/3.5 or f/4.0, I don't remember

#6 in either f/3.5 or f/4.0, I don't remember

#7 in either f/3.5 or f/4.0, I don't remember

#8 with f/3.5 wide open for testing bokeh

#9 with f/11

#10 mistaken shot at f/3.5 in Av mode

#11 testing bokeh at either f/5.6 or f/4.0

#12 at 70mm

complete photoset:
vivitar_70_210_s1_test - a photoset on Flickr

slideshow in bigger size:
hin_man's slideshow on Flickr

I don't have wonderful site to take test shots and I am sure the lens is fine as is and it will produce pictures that rival lens on the expensive side. Please PM me for questions and I am begging someone to take this lens from my lot.


Last edited by hinman; 02-05-2008 at 07:58 PM.
02-05-2008, 01:33 PM   #2
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Hmmm... I have a similar lens. I don't know if it's a Series 1, but it is a Vivitar made by Kiron, serial # starting with "22" and I love it. Great images. Totally worth 10 times what I paid.

But I didn't pay $63. I paid what I thought was a great deal; $40 after shipping from ebay. I miss autofocus. But love the images and price.
02-05-2008, 01:54 PM   #3
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The lens has a cap with a "Series 1" label on it for what is worth. And mine comes with beautiful original lens case in black leather. Pictures of Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5 below. The serial number does start with 22 and that seems to come from Kiron like yours. And this one has a 67mm filter thread.

Previous owner kept it in pristine condition

02-05-2008, 03:52 PM   #4
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It sure takes some nice shots, I have the Version 3 and it is heavy as a mofo, but it is most def worth the $63.

02-05-2008, 04:35 PM   #5
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Hi Hin

I think you may have answered your own question when you said:

this lens is the heaviest that I have handled
Incidentally I still have an original Vivitar Series I 70-210mm macro in Olympus OM mount and it's a cracking lens, BUT as you pointed out it is a manual lens and it also weighs an absolute ton, when compared with today's lightweight offerings such as Tamron's 18-250mm for example. This possibly explains many peoples reluctance to consider it ? Good luck anyway.....

Best regards
02-05-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
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I have the Series 1, 70-210 2.8-4, version 3. I've had it ever since buying my Super Program (new). It's a wonderful lens, but as you point out, it is heavy. I'm just getting into using it with my K10D and I feel that it actually balances better with it, than it did with the much lighter and smaller Super Program. Even with owning this lens at $0.00 now, I'm still lusting after the DA` 50-135 2.8. The modern lenses are MUCH lighter and the autofocus is certainly helpful. The only other reason for people to baulk at your version 1 offering is the lack of the "A" setting on the aperture ring. You also need to have a high quality, multicoated uv or skylight filter and a good lens shade to keep the old lens under control. Vivitar's original clamp on lens shade for your lens is a great choice. I have a modified version that I use with my Series 1 28-105.
Here's the rest of my story. I bought my K10D as a body only (pinching pennies) and started using it with my Vivitar Series 1, 28-105 2.8-3.8 (with A setting). This was my primary lens on the Super Program and I love that lens. Shortly before a major vacation trip, I picked up my Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 and gained the autofocus feature. The picture quality is better, but not by leaps and bounds. The 28-105 is fairly light weight, but the 17-70 is much lighter. I like the reach of the 28-105 better but the 17-70 with my Tamron 1.4X is almost as good. Overall, I don't know if I'll ever bother with my old trusty 28-105 anymore.
In my opinion, the Vivitar Series 1 lens' are great budget lens' now.
Best of luck selling yours,
02-05-2008, 05:40 PM   #7
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Your lens does peak my interest, but I'm low on cash and trying to avoid LBA, so sorry. That's the excuse for someone like me.
02-05-2008, 05:50 PM   #8
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Hin, I've had the first three versions of this lens. Yours and the other 2. I now have a Sigma 70-200 f2.8 APO which is physically larger but does not weigh as much as the version 3 of this lens. Version 3 that calicojack has (Komine) is the biggest and heaviest of the bunch but also it's the faster version as well at f2.8-4. It is a sunningly sharp lens.

02-05-2008, 07:20 PM   #9
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Thanks for comments, Question on Macro

Thanks for all the comments and well wishes. I do have two potential buyers waiting for my answers. I have some questions that I don't quite know. In the above test shots, I tried out as much macro as possible as the macro ratio is quite good stated at 1:2.2 but I only tried the macro at 210mm and the closest distance is about 5 to 6 feet.

[Question] Can some of previous owners of Series 1 confirm if the Macro works across the focal range or if macro only works in the longer end at 210mm. I believe it is the later but I am not sure. There is s switch for macro when lens is in 210mm focal range, but once turned on in Macro setting, I recall not able to focus in shorter focal length as in 70mm but it may just be I am too close to the shooting object, I need help on this question.

Though the heavy weight, I am very impressed on the lens. The test pictures are done in a hurry this morning before work but the color, details and perhaps sharpness come out quite unexpectedly well, they definitely beat my favorite lens with DA 50-200 in both color and bokeh and I think they may get very close in IQ to more expensive lens.

My two favorites in the test are done in Macro at 210mm

Last edited by hinman; 02-05-2008 at 07:35 PM.
02-06-2008, 08:47 AM   #10
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If it's in good shape, it's worth more than $60, IMO, for just the collectability value alone.

02-06-2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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I have the same lens, and as others have commented , I also bought mine new (although I opted not to get a pentax M series camera because they were just too small, I used mine first with a Ricoh XR2s then KX then PZ-1 before switching to digital. With mmy PZ-1 I got the 1.7x AF TC, and even though the TC manual stated F2.8 or faster, I quickly learned it worked just fine uup to and including F4 lenses. with the TC it gave me a 105-350mm F5.6 AF zoom. the really nice thing is constant F3.5 apature of the lens. The lens is good and sharp.

With respect to the mactro question, when you switch it into mactro mode, )and you do this by pulling back on the ring all the way, then press the little button on the lens and turn into macto, ) the lens will give about 1:2.2 reproduction ratio, but it does this at 70mm not 210. basically the zoom ring becomes a quicl focus (for changes in focal length) and fine adjustment by turning


Seem you and I think the same, mine is essentually retired since I got my APO 70-200 F2.8

As for the price, you have it for 1/5 the origonal selling price and I think quite a deal. anyone looking for a quality fast long zoom would be foolish to pass on it,
02-06-2008, 09:04 PM   #12
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Thanks for the input, especially the correction and information about the macro. I just shipped it out this morning to Andrew in Arizona. And the best thing is that Andrew has used this lens before and he immediately jumped on it when he saw my posting in He is smart guy who loves this lens before but he sold it long time ago and missed this lens very much. So I am very happy to sell it to someone who doesn't mind the weight and who can truly appreciate the glass for what it is.

Though I may have not done the test shots with a better scene as I did it all in a hurry before work in the morning. My hands are shaking in doing all those shots due to the weight. But the color, contrast and sharpness is quite outstanding to me. And it is quite amazing that a zoom of this age can be this good.

If anyone have doubts about this Series 1 first three versions, you can make reference to better pictures here even with the 1st version from Kiron

* Vivitar 70-210 f/3.5 Series 1 - samples!!: Dyxum forums

* Vivitar Lenses

* Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 Macro Zooms - Mark Roberts Photography

But the weight is the reason that I have to depart with this beauty.


Last edited by hinman; 02-07-2008 at 08:10 AM.

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