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05-04-2018, 05:43 AM - 4 Likes   #1
bdery's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
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Posts: 6,553
"New" used Vivitar 120-600mm F5.6-F8, what a lens! Compared with several other zooms

I found a hard to pass deal on Kijiji, a used Vivitar 120-600mm (yes, 600!) F5.6-F8. It arrived today, it really is pristine, hardly looks as if it's been used.

The lens comes with a beautiful hard case ni excellent shape also. Even the clasp looks high-end:

The lens is a beast, at almost 5 pounds. It's longer than even the Pentax DFA 150-450mm. When mounted on the K-1 and extended to 600mm (with the built-in hood also extended) it's quite a sight (excuse the poor cell phone picture). At its shortest the lens is about 30cm long, I did not measure it fully elongated.

The lens has a solid tripod foot, with a wide metal ring which clicks at left and right 90:


Of course it's fully manual:

The zoom ring is a bit stiff, with all that glass to move around, but the focus ring (located far to the front) is so easy to operate that I can literally move it with one finger. When holding the lens barrel, it's thus possible to focus:

The front element is clean and takes 82mm filters. The cap is a plastic screw-on, quite unusual.

Here is the Vivitar next to a few other tele lenses. From left to right,

Pentax DFA 100mm macro WR
Signa APO 400mm F5.6 (that one will be sold, I don't need both)
Vivitar 120-600mm
Pentax DA 60-250mm

At their shortest focal lengths, focused at infinity, the differences are dramatic:

With each lens at its longest, with the hood in place when available, the differences are less important, mainly because the Sigma has internal focusing and the Pentax 60-250 has a very long hood...

I'll be testing the Vivitar optically when skies clear. I can already say that it shows some purple fringing, which is to be expected and is easy to correct. I can also say that using such a lens at 600mm is no easy trick. The electronic shutter on the K-1 and an IR remote are certainly useful. The K-1's tilting LCD is also very useful.

Last edited by bdery; 05-05-2018 at 04:55 AM.
05-04-2018, 05:52 PM   #2
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brightseal's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Central New Jersey
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Looks like a really cool lens.

Last edited by brightseal; 05-04-2018 at 05:58 PM.

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