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04-15-2009, 12:19 AM   #16
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Well, (finally) arrived yesterday, after much screwing around.

While it was my fault that I forgot to change my postage address on eBay (last time I tried was when they made you send in your drivers licence, passport, birth certificate, urine sample, stool sample, blood sample, and an affidavit signed by you, three witnesses and a magistrate, under a full moon), so the very efficient seller sent it straight away to my old one.

Well, anyway, I wondered what happened. He wouldn't answer any PMs...until I pointed out that he changed his name from fotografikas to fotomatika. Which seems like a way to shake off some misdeeds under his old name.

Then he told me where he sent it, I rang that post office, et voila, they sent it on to my new address.

Anyway, stand by for a report on the lens. It's very heavy, and aside from a slight wobble (which seems to be common) in the front assembly, it's very, very well made.

You can tell it's an early CAD lens design.

04-15-2009, 06:22 AM   #17
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Can't wait to see some pictures made with this lens.
Thanks.
04-15-2009, 06:46 AM   #18
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Wow -- that's a big piece of glass -- it should dwarf your ME Super. I stuck my Tamron 70-300 (AF) on my ME Super just for giggles and you really don't notice that the body is there. Congrats on the nice lens.

I just snagged a lot on the bay -- I find that I get stuff cheaper that way and can usually sell off what I don't want. ME Super with winder II, Vivitar macro zoom, 2 light meters, M40/2.8 and the bonus prize: Vivitar 19mm/f3.8. I got the kit for the two primes and will sell off the rest. All is in great shape (I just re-sealed the ME Super last week). Got the lot for under $200US including shipping.
04-16-2009, 12:11 AM   #19
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Aye. I loved hunting the classified, back in Brissie. Plenty of sad stories to go with the guys - mostly fairly old whose eyes are going, or, even sadder, have to pay for medical treatment - who sell 'em.

'Cept that Hess bloke ("Any relation to Rudolf?" "Actually, I'm trying to find that out.") He was fine. 'Cept for the bleedin' bush turkeys in his front yard. Just never used the ME much any more...nor the A f1.7 50mm that was screwed on the front. Both of which I snagged for $30.

Sorry, I'll stop .

Yes, it's a huge piece of glass. It's a very..."square" looking lenses, which leads me to believe that all of it was computer designed, not just the optical formula and path. No, it's not square, it just makes me think of squarishness.

The edges are all cut off at 90 degrees, as is the "adaptor" area at the base of the lens (you know, the only bit that was different between the K, F, FD, OM, MD, etc, etc versions of this lens) where the aperture ring is.

In essence, I can really imagine the outline of this finished lens done in late-seventies wireframe, on a green vector display attached to a computer the size of a Russian submarine.

I've got some shots from it in the lab, should be up on Saturday if I'm lucky.

But some quick notes:

It really, really is nicely made. Vivitar weren't intercoursing around when they made these babies. Weight like a hunk of lead-coated (for safety) uranium. Yes, it most certainly weighs down my ME Super something shocking, even with ME II winder on it, with 4 AAs in it.

Glossy black, which is nice, but to be picky, it's the kind of glossy that makes it look like cheap plastic.

Oh, and the "trumpet bell" - the flared bit at the front, with the filter ring - overlaps the focusing ring - nicely preventing the entry of a lot of dust. Very nicely machined metal on this. It's got a late-seventies American look to it, but with Japanese precision.

Mine's in excellent nick, considering it's 31 years, 10 weeks old, and is a lens you really have to use, not just let it sit in your bag.

Having not looked at the shots yet, I'll can't give you an optical review. But I can say this. There is ZERO visible barrel distortion in viewfinder - very admirable, and I'm sorta hypersensitive to these things. It's not just an excellent zoom, I think - it's an excellent prime.

Now, for a few negatives:

* The front-assembly wobble. Might be age-related.
* No DOF scale. Would've been hard to do, I 'spose, on a zoom likethis. And I could never get hyperfocal to work; but I like to think I could at 24mm.
* Focus and zoom rings are a bit stiff. Again, might be age-related.

Everything about this lens speaks precision. From the "weird" focal length (48mm - maybe it's where Pentax got the idea from...) to the odd aperture choice - 3.8, not 3.5 like Wikipedia says - says slight sacrifices were made for optical quality.

Niiiice, as they say.

04-16-2009, 09:07 PM   #20
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Well, I spoke too soon. The Viv appears to be broken.

It won't stop down when taking the shot. This is quite recent, as it worked about a day after I bought it. Stop-down lever moves, but lens does not actually stop down.

Damn.

I'm guessing some little linkage between the lever and the blades is unattached.
01-13-2010, 06:53 PM   #21
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As promised...

Hi Lith

As I mentioned in my message, hopefully the problem with the lens is just a sticky aperture. I've attached a few photos that should help. While holding onto the focus ring you can twist off the front section of the lens. This will allow you direct access to one side of the diaphragm. With a little lighter fluid on a q-tip you should be able to get it moving again. Apply a little at a time and don't push to hard (counterclockwise circular motion). Don't move the aperture very much when it is wet. You could use an air blower to speed up the drying process. If the diaphragm is stuck wide open it might not work. There is a way to manually close it, I can take a few more pictures of the process if you need it. Let me know if it works. -Dave-







01-15-2010, 07:44 AM   #22
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Cheers, dmoon! Now, if you could help me find my copy, I'd be grateful. Lost it (as in "it's around here somewhere" not "dropped it off the ship while we were take depth readings over the Mariana Trench.")

I'm 90% sure the it's not oil on the blades, but I'm keeping an open mind.
04-08-2010, 09:23 AM   #23
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All, I just got the same lens. I can not put it on my K100DS. Few post above me says that I should dremel a flange near the mount. Any chance I can find more detailed howto?

I also noticed that mine aperture is stuck wide open. Any specifics I should do after I gut this bad boy open? Thanks.

04-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #24
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congratulations!

share with us some pictures taken by this lens please looking forward to it!
04-08-2010, 03:44 PM   #25
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I do hope you get that issue fixed, since I have a thing about Vivitars. They tend to be nice if not too recent. (No '90's or later please!)
04-08-2010, 08:44 PM   #26
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dmoon911,

"While holding onto the focus ring you can twist off the front section of the lens". I found this part a little bit hard. Does it require force to unscrew it? I'm just worried i might break it if twist it too hard.... thx.
04-09-2010, 06:19 AM   #27
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QuoteQuote:
"While holding onto the focus ring you can twist off the front section of the lens". I found this part a little bit hard. Does it require force to unscrew it? I'm just worried i might break it if twist it too hard.... thx.
I sent this info to a couple people who all said the same thing, that it was too tight and they didn't want to force it. My lens may have been disassembled by the previous owner who may not have put back a locking screw of some kind? That may be why my copy comes apart so easily. I'll take it apart again tomorrow and see? I've opened pop bottles that were harder to unscrew that my lens. I'll let you know what I find out. -Dave-
04-09-2010, 07:51 AM   #28
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Lithos, are you able to mount the lens to the body (modern ones)? Mine was able to be mounted on the sellers old super program body, but not on my K100DS. Someone shorten the offending flange with a Dremel.

dmoon911, what do you think of the lens itself? How's the IQ?
04-09-2010, 08:18 AM   #29
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If you look close at the above pictures you can see the shinny spots where I used a dremel. It took about 10mins. If you want to do a quick test wide open you can just take the flange off and try it on your camera.

I haven't taken many pics with it yet. I take about 90% of my photos in the spring and summer months. Most of the shots I did take were to see if the lens was actually working after my tinkering, but those looked pretty good. I'll post some shots when I take a few more.
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