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05-16-2013, 08:00 PM   #1
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Vivitar 135 2.8 Close Focusing lens?

Anybody has any experience with this lens? I just picked up one for $50, heard good things about it but not much information.
How's the bokeh and sharpness? And also is it prone to flare/CA/etc.? Should I get a hood for it?

Many thanks!

05-16-2013, 08:04 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuan2195 Quote
Anybody has any experience with this lens? I just picked up one for $50, heard good things about it but not much information.
Great lens, used to shoot with it years ago, very nice and smooth bokeh and sharp wide open. I don't remember flare being an issue but CA's were fairly bad wide open, stopped down seems to tame it a bit.
05-16-2013, 08:07 PM   #3
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Hmm... So should I get a hood or not? I don't know if a hood help with CA
05-16-2013, 08:16 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuan2195 Quote
Hmm... So should I get a hood or not? I don't know if a hood help with CA
Mine had a built in hood AFAIR...

05-16-2013, 08:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Mine had a built in hood AFAIR...
I don't think so? I think only the normal Vivitar 135mm 2.8 NON close focusing has a built in hood? I actually have that one lens but the close focusing is on its way
05-16-2013, 08:39 PM   #6
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OK, so maybe I had the non close focusing one. is it a macro?
05-16-2013, 08:55 PM   #7
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It is... a 1:2 macro only. And it extends a lot in length.
05-16-2013, 10:09 PM   #8
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The close-focusing version has a very good rep. I have the non-close-focusing version in an M42 mount, and it's very good. It has the shortest built-in hood ever put on a lens, never mind a 135mm.

05-16-2013, 10:55 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by joe.penn Quote
Great lens, used to shoot with it years ago, very nice and smooth bokeh and sharp wide open. I don't remember flare being an issue but CA's were fairly bad wide open, stopped down seems to tame it a bit.
Hoods do nothing for CA, that is strictly the design of the lens, and common to most manual focus lenses,

A hood helps really with tow different aspects, flare when shooting close to the sun, by keeping the sun away from the edge of the frame, and also contrast. A hood eliminates light outside the frame, which otherwise would need to be absorbed in the internal baffles of the lens, and scatter that reflects off the lens coatings. Get a long hood, a 135 can likely support the use of a hood in excess of 50mm without vignetting on an APS-C sensor. The standard built in hoods for many 135's were only about 10mm long and totally useless. For my legacy lenses, where ever possible I use the hood from the next longest lens, this has me using , for example the hood from a 105mm on my 50, and the hood from a 135mm on the 85, unfortunately many 135's had a hood shared with the 200's so unless you purchase a custom hood B&W make some nice ones but not cheap, it is hard to get an effective hood for a 135
05-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #10
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If the Vivitar serial # starts with 28 that would indicate it is a Komine build. They are very good and rather rare. $50 is a great buy if it is in good shape. A Series 1 was also made by Komine.

Last edited by Phil1; 05-19-2013 at 05:34 PM.
05-21-2013, 06:45 PM   #11
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By coincidence I just wrote an extensive two part look at this lens, over on my blog. Start with part one.

In short: It's great! Worth at least $300 IMO but it can be found much cheaper.

Yes, get a hood. Essential.
05-21-2013, 08:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
By coincidence I just wrote an extensive two part look at this lens, over on my blog. Start with part one.

In short: It's great! Worth at least $300 IMO but it can be found much cheaper.

Yes, get a hood. Essential.
Thank you for the great article! Can you please elaborate why a hood is needed? I think it may get in the way when taking shots of flowers and insects.
05-22-2013, 02:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tuan2195 Quote
Hmm... So should I get a hood or not? I don't know if a hood help with CA
CA is a characteristic of lens design and a hood won't change whether it is there or not. That being said, rare indeed is the shooting situation and lens that does not benefit from using a hood.


Steve


(Check out heavystar on eBay for hoods...)
05-24-2013, 06:01 PM   #14
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A hood helps with several things:

* Protects the front element from impact damage, debris, dust.

* Keeps out stray light at oblique angles, improving contrast and colour saturation.

* Likewise improves flare resistance.

For a long lens that has an element right at the front, it is indeed essential. It's also much more the case that older lenses need all the help a hood can provide. Coatings have improved over time.

The hood is not going to get in the way because there is a limit to how close you are going to get to your subject... 59cm to be exact.
06-08-2013, 01:11 PM   #15
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Vivitar C F 135-2.8

Mine had a built in hood similar in style to the 135-3.5 M Pentax. As I recall, the front element was a lot bigger than the Pentax. What was noticeable was the coatings were not as good as SMC although the build quality is very good. I got rid of my copy when I went digital as I couldn't be bothered with using a pre-A lens.
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