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05-03-2008, 02:18 AM   #1
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Vivitar 75-205 f3.8

Simple question - does anyone have any experience of this lens. Seen it advertised fairly cheaply but it's a bit of a trek for me to go and see it. Constant f3.8 is obviously attractive on paper. Can't find much about it on teh interweb, however. s/n 22111932.

05-03-2008, 08:52 AM   #2
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I think that lens is a great value. The one I have is a push/pull design. It's sharp, and gives nice colors. It also has a "macro" setting. I purchased it new in 1981, the second lens I got for my Pentax ME Super.

By the serial number you referenced, it is a Kiron made lens manufactured in 1981. Here is a link to decoding Vivitar lenses.

The down side to the lens is it is big and heavy, prone to zoom creep, variofocal, with a rotating front element. If you can live with that I think it's a great lens!

A few sample shots I've posted before.

05-03-2008, 11:00 AM   #3
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Original Poster
Thanks for the response. Those sample photos are great. Does it perform well at the telephoto end too? Anything else of note - excessively prone to purple fringing for instance?

Am just looking to add a cheap telephoto lens to my kit - I'm a student, fairly new to SLR photography, so am very deliberately looking at the cheaper older lenses around. There are a lot of f4.5-5.6 zooms around in that range, but the f3.8 appeals more.

Big and heavy is the trade off as far as low price is concerned - I can live with that, so long as the images are respectable. That said, do you know the weight offhand? Found a single picture of it online (image link), an american site is selling one, but no weight data.

And as I don't like to use gradient filters, or polarizers (prefer NDs instead), the rotating element's not an issue.
05-03-2008, 11:17 AM   #4
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I believe both the above pictures were at the 205mm end. So yes, it performs well there. If I want sharp long telephoto pictures, this is the lens I grab. Much sharper at the long end then my DA 50-200mm, and sharper at the short end as well. I have never found any shots with this lens that have a PF issue. Maybe one or two shots that if I pixel peep on that I can see a little CA. But I would consider PF and CA a non issue with my copy of this lens.

edit: The lens in the link looks just like mine.


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