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12-18-2012, 07:45 PM   #1

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Vivitar Kiron/Kino lenses and their ball bearings

Just picked up a Vivitar Series 1 105/2.5 macro -- like many of the Vivitars made by Kiron the aperture glides on a horde of ball bearings. (You can see them inside the mount.) When I turn the lens in my hands it was making a tiny sound like it had a loose one floating around in there, and so I removed the center bit of the mount (the black part) and took a look. But what I found was that there just aren't enough ball bearings to fill up the whole ring edge-to-edge and so there was a floating gap of a few millimeters which creates enough space for them to make a slight noise as they crash into each other to fill up the gap as you rotate it. But it works perfectly, and no loose ones in sight.

So the question is -- is gap normal for these Kiron Vivitars or did they not use quite enough bearings in my lens? Or maybe it has in-fact lost some over time somehow?

If you have a Vivitar/Kiron with this type of mount, can you check? Does it have a little rattle if you rotate it slowly?

12-18-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Madison, WI
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I have a vivitar and a sears with the load of bearings in the mount - both have a gap. I'll update this post with any rattle.

---- edit ----

Not a rattle so much as it's not silent - a little raspy on both. I'd say it's a good 5 mm worth of gap - probably as many bearings.

---- edit edit ----

I misunderstood your question, hah. That was the aperture mechanism that was a little raspy, which obviously uses the bearings. Yeah, if I put my ear to the mount and slowly rotate, I can slightly hear them clanking.
12-18-2012, 09:15 PM   #3
Not a Number's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Venice, CA
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I bought I Kiron 80-200mm f/4 zoom back in the 80s. It made the same rattling sound. I brought it to a trade show to show to the Kiron representative. He spoke to one of the technicians. The technician explained that they found by leaving out a few bearings the rings actually turn with less friction. This is by design.

Last edited by Not a Number; 12-18-2012 at 09:21 PM.
12-18-2012, 09:33 PM   #4

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Original Poster
Good to hear. I'll probably sell the lens so I need to know if it is normal or not. Beautiful lens -- I found it in the bargain bin where they usually put broken stuff!

12-18-2012, 09:37 PM   #5
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Venice, CA
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I still have the lens as well as the 2x teleconverter match-mate.

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