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09-11-2013, 07:57 AM   #1
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Pentax 70-210 vs Vivitar S1 v2 70-210

Has anyone ever done a direct comparison of the Pentax 70-210 f/4 and the Vivitar Series 1 70-210 f/3.5 (version 2, the Tokina-made version)?

I was just wondering if the Pentax was "better": sharper, better contrast, better flare control, non-existent CA/PF, etc.

I hope this isn't a silly question. I ask because for some time, I was searching for one or both of these lenses. I finally got a really good deal on the Vivitar, and I am quite happy with it the sharpness and contrast. There is an ever so slight amount of CA/PF, but it really is ever so slight.

I had a few instances where flare/reflections showed up, but I was shooting at night at a football stadium, and swung around a little to close to the stadium lights - and I wasn't using the hood (bad photographer! <smacks back of hand>). Since adding the hood, I think I've got that under control, but I do wonder if the SMC on the Pentax would help even more.

I do like the constant f/3.5 on the Vivitar, since an f/2.8 doesn't seem to be in my financial future.

So, in a nutshell, I'm wondering: Is there any point in still looking to buy the Pentax?

Thanks for any opinions or insights.

Greg

09-11-2013, 10:20 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkreth Quote
So, in a nutshell, I'm wondering: Is there any point in still looking to buy the Pentax?
Autofocus...

I have used the v1 of the vivitar, so take my comments with a grain of salt. The vivitar I used was sharper, better at macro, faster (you know that) but heavier, with more CA, did not communicate the aperture or focal length to the camera, and it's MF (you know that).

Generally speaking the vivitar is a better lens optically, the Pentax an easier to use lens.
09-11-2013, 10:47 AM   #3
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I meant the MF A lens, not the slower AF one

QuoteOriginally posted by bdery Quote
Autofocus...
Generally speaking the vivitar is a better lens optically, the Pentax an easier to use lens.
Are you talking about the Pentax F 70-210 f/4-5.6? That's the only autofocus Pentax I know of in that focal-length range.

I was referring to the A lens, the one with the constant f/4. The f/4-5.6 AF version is a full stop slower at the long end; I wouldn't be able to use that, at least, not for what I'm currently using the Vivitar for.

I have the DA 55-300, which I like as long as I'm shooting in good light.

In this case, I'm using the Vivitar to school high school football; it's the fastest lens I own in the 200mm range.

Greg
09-11-2013, 11:30 AM   #4
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I have a 70-210/ 4 Pentax and it is manual focus, not auto. I love that lens. It is a little heavy but takes great photos. Pretty under rated if you ask me. I do not know anything about the Vivitar one.

09-11-2013, 06:51 PM   #5
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Here is a sample of the K-A 70-210. The photo is the jpeg as rendered by the K-r. The only edit is a resize. As you can see, the fog in Battery Park, Manhattan was pretty thick. The light doesn't get softer than this.
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-r  Photo 
09-11-2013, 07:10 PM   #6
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I can't speak of v2, but I have v1 & v3 and had a chance to compare v1 with Pentax 70-210/f4. Vivitar was a touch better throughout the range & slightly even better at the longer end.
09-12-2013, 05:02 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by gkreth Quote
Are you talking about the Pentax F 70-210 f/4-5.6? That's the only autofocus Pentax I know of in that focal-length range.
Sorry, indeed I assumed that you meant the pretty common F version.

QuoteOriginally posted by gkreth Quote
I have the DA 55-300, which I like as long as I'm shooting in good light.
From what I've seen IQ wise it's among the best unless you go to DA* level. But it's slower of course.

QuoteOriginally posted by gkreth Quote
In this case, I'm using the Vivitar to school high school football; it's the fastest lens I own in the 200mm range.
I think most of my comments still stand, the Vivitar will have more CA but perform quite well regarding sharpness.
09-12-2013, 05:53 AM   #8
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A series 70-210 (with no real processing and with some dirt on my ist ds sensor I have since cleaned)



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