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03-06-2008, 09:44 PM   #1
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Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4!

I just got a Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4! It's the version 3, with aperture "A" setting and everything. Looks like it's in great shape, but it's night-time right now and my apartment lights aren't all that bright, so I haven't been able to give it a good testing yet. I'll probably take it with me to work tomorrow so I can test it out during lunch when it's nice and bright.

There is one peculiar thing I noticed about the lens, its widest aperture is suppose to be variable from 2.8 to 4. When the aperture ring is set to "A" and set the aperture to 2.8 @ 70mm on the command dial, when I zoom to 210mm the aperture stays at 2.8 instead of dropping to 4. Is this a "normal quirk" for a manual lens or just this lens, or might there be something wrong?

Thanks.

Alex

03-06-2008, 10:21 PM   #2
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I just happened to have that lens out so I put it on my camera and what you are seeing is what I am getting as well and I think it is due to the fact that is a barrell zoom and the f-stop is restricted on the barrell. I don't know how to actually say what I am trying to say.
03-07-2008, 12:01 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Buddha Jones Quote
I just happened to have that lens out so I put it on my camera and what you are seeing is what I am getting as well and I think it is due to the fact that is a barrell zoom and the f-stop is restricted on the barrell. I don't know how to actually say what I am trying to say.
So what I'm seeing is "normal."

I'm just wondering what this quirk has on exposure. I mean, when on aperture priority and set to 2.8, but I zoom the lens to 210mm, does that mean that my photos will come out under exposed?

I'll find out tomorrow when I have the daylight to do some tests. Thanks.

Alex
03-07-2008, 05:43 AM   #4
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Without taking the lens apart, I can;t tell you whether there is any intelligence inside that tells the camera or not that the maximum apature has changed.

I know some later version sigma lenses had a sliding internal contact pad arranged in what is called a grey scale encoding, so that as you moved the zoom collar out the information to the contacts on the lens base changed to signal the camera that the true maximum and minimum apature was.

Depending on age, this may or may not be included in each lens.

If it is not, don't worry, the light meter will interpret the reduced maximum apature as a reduction in light and correct accordingly

03-07-2008, 07:19 AM   #5
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I dont recall having may undersxposed shots with this lens. Admittedly I don't use it often, I just like having it.
03-07-2008, 08:27 AM   #6
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I think you are experiencing the same thing I was with my Pentax-A 35-70mm/f3.5-4.5 lens.

Here is the thread that explains it: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/21735-a35-70-question.html
03-07-2008, 08:38 AM   #7
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if you want to perform a simple test, pick a uniform wall, and measure exposure as yuou zoom in and out, I'll bet the shutter speed changes as you zoom, this implies the real apature is changing even if the reported apature is not.

Yoou could also take a phopto of the wall in manual mode with the lens wide open, and the same shutter speed, measure at minimum and maximum focal length the grey scale value in the histogram. I would bet that changes, indicating the apature really does.

As I said earlier, I would be willing to bet the older lenses allowed the camera metering to adjust for the light loss without changing the reported maximum apature.
03-07-2008, 10:04 AM   #8
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I was also thinking that the exposure would be fine, just that the aperture it was reporting was inaccurate. That mildly sucks for metadata, but it's not like I would have had focal length information either.

Thanks everyone!

Alex

03-10-2008, 04:48 PM   #9
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I went to the San Francisco Zoo over the weekend, and shot almost exclusively with my new Vivitar lens, which was great for getting a lot "closer" to the animals. It was also a good way to put the lens through its paces.

First off, one consequence about the lens not communicating it's max aperture as it zooms: for focal lengths greater than 70mm, it over exposes at anything other than than wide open. For example, at 210mm @ f/8, it will overexpose by one-stop. When I take my photos wide open, there is no issue regardless of the focal length.

This only happens with the "A" setting, using the aperture ring manually and doing stop-down metering totally avoids this issue. Then, I also give up the niceties of the "A" setting.

I think what's happening is that the camera still believes that the max aperture is still f/2.8 when it is f/4 @ 210mm. So when I turn the command dial to f/4, the electronics are stop up the shutter speed by one-stop, when really the aperture hasn't actually changed at all. This would explain why the exactly one-stop over exposure on 210mm at f/4 and small, and "perfect" exposure when the aperture is wide open.

Anyway, I think I could live with this, especially since I can easily use exposure compensation every time I zoom and change the aperture on the command dial. I haven't had the time to really look at the photos I took, but it appears to be plenty sharp (even wide open). There appears to be more chromatic aberration than I would like, but I'm not terrible worried.

I just need to find screw-on hood for this lens.

Alex
03-10-2008, 06:42 PM   #10
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Hi Alex

Re you observation:

QuoteQuote:
There appears to be more chromatic aberration than I would like (Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm)
Well to be fair, that's hardly surprising given the age and design of this particular lens ! I still possess a treasured Olympus OM1 mount Vivitar Series 1 and although it weighs a fair bit, it's still an excellent telephoto for it's period. However, I can't ever remember CA being much of an issue back in the days of film cameras and thus it is only recently with the introduction of digital sensors that chromatic aberration or purple fringing has raised it's head as a problem area ! Fortunately modern lens coating techniques have succeeded in taming this anomaly to a large degree and thankfully CA can easily be reduced or removed with the latest photographic editing software packages.

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 03-10-2008 at 06:51 PM.
03-10-2008, 06:52 PM   #11
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I'm curious as to whether this quirk is characteristic of all copies of this particular lens or just a few here and there. It looks like I'll be picking up a copy of this lens myself and I'm wondering. If indeed the one I get has this quirk, then at least I won't go into a complete panic, thinking that it's broken.

Heather
03-11-2008, 11:01 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by hwblanks Quote
I'm curious as to whether this quirk is characteristic of all copies of this particular lens or just a few here and there. It looks like I'll be picking up a copy of this lens myself and I'm wondering. If indeed the one I get has this quirk, then at least I won't go into a complete panic, thinking that it's broken.

Heather
If you use the aperture ring manually and do stop-down metering, there is no issue at all.

For the laziness of having it on "A" so I can use matrix metering, it's not a deal breaker for me. The behavior is predictable, and it's easy to adjust the exposure compensation to match.

I hear that not all version 3 copies of this lens have the "A" setting.

Alex
03-11-2008, 12:20 PM   #13
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Thi is absolutely normal. It's the case with all A-series zooms. All it will do is mess up the EXIF. BTW, enjoy the purchase! It's a wonderful lens!
03-11-2008, 06:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by JMS Quote
Thi is absolutely normal. It's the case with all A-series zooms. All it will do is mess up the EXIF. BTW, enjoy the purchase! It's a wonderful lens!
I'm glad to be normal, thanks!
03-27-2009, 11:31 AM   #15
emr
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I just got a Komine today. It looks optically fine and was quite cheap. The mechanics aren't 100% smooth but something I can live with. Moving the focal length to the longer ones requires some force but the feeling's pretty smooth anyhow. Not sure if I can describe this well. Are these usually easily movable all the way?

Another question I'd like ask is how have you found is the most practical way to use and hold this lens? It's pretty heavy and easily tilts the body/lens combo in my hands. Also as there's no tripod mount on the lens, I really wonder how sturdy a tripod does one need for mounting this? Also, do you have special tips for focusing as it seems a bit tricky at least in relatively low light.


QuoteOriginally posted by gerbilbox Quote
I hear that not all version 3 copies of this lens have the "A" setting.
AFAIK, mine's a Komine (Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/2.8-4, 62mm filter size, s/n 28******), but there's no A aperture setting but "P", 16, 11, 8, 5.6, 4, 2.8.
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