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06-14-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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bdery's Avatar

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Location: Quebec city, Canada
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Would you buy it?

I have a Vivitar series 1 70-210 f3,5 that I love. I do not mind manually focusing and exposing, and this lens produces (to my eyes) amazing results. CA and PF are a problem of sorts at wide apertures, but nothing dramatic. this is what the lens can do:



Manual focus is not an option for the wife, however, so she never uses that lens, and gets scared when it's on the camera. The lens is also very heavy.

I have the possibility to purchase, for a good price (and including a camera, a case, and accessories, that I could try to resell) a Pentax-F 70-210. The obvious gains are size and AF. But I've always been using lenses whose IQ is excellent, and I do not want to replace my Viv with a poorer lens.

Question : even though the Viv is reknowed for IQ, are more recent lenses likely to be better? I've never used a tele in this range so I have no point of comparison.

In other words, what would you do? Get the Pentax or keep the Viv, a known quantity?

Thanks for any input.


Last edited by bdery; 06-14-2009 at 12:57 PM.
06-14-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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Just1MoreDave's Avatar

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Location: Aurora, CO
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When people talk about a lens that they can't warm up to or have a hard time figuring out, I think of my Pentax-F 70-210. It has everything I'd want on paper, I haven't discovered any IQ flaws in testing, and it's even a convenient travel size. Yet I keep overlooking it. I don't know why.

On paper, f5.6 seems slow, but it doesn't need to be stopped down for better IQ. I've never seen it tested against the Vivitar but wouldn't be surprised if it beat it. I think it opens to f4.5 until 170mm - I'll check that to be sure*. The F lenses were not built for silent AF operation and this lens is no exception. You gain a lot of features with an F lens - focal length for SR, A position on aperture ring, auto-focus, EXIF data, MTF data.

Either lens would be resellable. Since it is always easier to judge a lens when you use it, I would buy, use, test and sell whichever lens doesn't work for you.

*f4 until 110mm
f4.5 until 170mm
f5.6 to 210mm

minimum focus distance 1.1 meters, 49mm filter size, typical F small focus ring

Last edited by Just1MoreDave; 06-14-2009 at 05:06 PM.
06-15-2009, 07:45 AM   #3
axl
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Location: Nove Zamky, Slovakia
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I was contemplating getting F70-210. though the lens is not too big it's quite heavy (metal barrel) I asked few people on the forums. I think I even started thread comparing it to some other lenses (I'm on mobile right now but when I'll get on my pc I'll try to dig it out and post a link here for you).
General consensus was it's very good performer even if tad on heavy side and not very nice...
but opticaly many who used it liked it.

BR
Peter

PS: at the end I didn't buy it since after the inspection of the lens I discovered funghi...
06-15-2009, 05:21 PM   #4
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Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
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Original Poster
Thanks for the comments. My Vivitar is 956 grams (a kilo) heavy, so most lenses are lighter. Noisy AF isn not a bothe per se, and if this F lens compares with my other, the focus ring has a longe throw than more modern lenses, so I could always go back to MF.

It's true that it's reselleable, too, but I'd rather not buy just to sell...

I'll submit the idea to the wife, and see where that goes.

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