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08-12-2009, 01:15 PM   #1
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need a back-up telephoto, common sense or old vivitar s1?

So I just dropped my Sigma 70-200mm HSM in the mail for warranty work today. This leaves a gap between 135mm and 500mm in my lens line-up and someone else here said it took 8 weeks for his lens to get back to him for the same issue. What better excuse for getting another lens is there??

I've been intending on getting a Sigma or Tamron 70-300mm lens for a lightweight long distance alternative to the 70-200mm. Now seems like a smart time to follow through with that.

On the other hand, I know where there's an M42 Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f3.5 as well as an M42 Vivitar 200mm f3.5. Together, the cost would be about the same as what I've seen some of the used 70-300mm lenses go for on ebay. I don't need to buy them as a pair though. both are in great shape, tight but not stiff focusing, a few slight scratches that shouldn't effect IQ. The only reason I haven't purchased them already is because I already had the 70-200mm Sigma.

I see two (real) options:
1. Go buy the two Vivitars, (can't leave one by itself amongst the canikon glass) use them and decide whether or not to keep them. I figure I could always sell them to fund the 70-300mm consumer zoom alternative.

2. Just go for the 70-300mm zoom to begin with since the Vivitar 70-210 isn't enough of a decrease in size for the lightweight hiking/riding setup. Plus I'll have autofocus and apeture control for those times when someone else uses the camera.

3. Buy all three and intend to sell the two Vivitars so someone can enjoy them rather than wastefully sit in a shop where they will get another coat of dust until I look at them in another 2 years... Knowing me, I won't follow through and pass them on to the marketplace though. Well, maybe the 70-210, but I'm growing fond of the 200mm already. Err

What do you guys/gals think?

08-12-2009, 01:46 PM   #2
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Well I've owned the Tamron 70-300 LD Di that I bought new and I've also had several used versions. I was never impressed with any of them. A lot of people like them though. I feel the IQ at 300mm and f5.6 is poor and stopping down requires high ISO or slow shutter speeds resulting in noise or motion blur. I took a lot of photos with the new one and sold it after about a month.

The Sigma comes in two versions and I guess the APO version is quite good. I've never owned either.

I've also owned the Viv Series 1 F3.5 original and it was cool but very, very, heavy. If you could get a good one for about $50 I'd say go for it but... Another thing with the first version is that it's prone to coating degradation in the inner elements.

I've also had several copies of the Vivitar 200 F3.5 prime in M42 mounts and 28xxxxx serial numbers [Komine]. They were all good. Better, IMO than a Super Takumar 200 F4. Quite cheap too. This is also a big heavy lens. I left it at home a lot because of it's bulk.

I just got a SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm F4 and now have it listed in the marketplace. It kicks ass IMO and I'm not saying that because I'm selling one. In fact, I have a very strong urge to pull the listing and hold on to the lens.

Id say the SMC Pentax-A 70-210mm F4 is a better alternative than the lenses you listed with the possible exception of the APO version of the Sigma.

Regards,
Mike
08-12-2009, 09:26 PM   #3
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If you're considering the econ Tamrons, don't pass up a 75-300 DL. There's a reason this FF cousin to the 70-300 Di is still cataloged.

I've compared all three Tammy 7x-300's and my 75-300 has been the most satisfactory of the three.

H2
08-13-2009, 01:46 PM   #4
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Original Poster
thanks for the input.

I can get the 200mm for $30 and the 70-210 for $40.

According to the serial number the 70-210 is a Kiron build. I forgot to check the prefix on the 200mm, but it appears the focussing ring is supposed to have the rubber grip which is missing.

I starting to think I'll get the 200mm when I drive past there again and keep an eye out for a different zoom. For $30 bucks, I guess the worst that could happen is it collect dust at my house instead of the shop it is at.

I think I'm going to have to pass on the 70-210mm due to weight, dimensions and the full manual aspect and keep an eye out for a Sigma APO, one of the better Tamrons.

Xman, I'll have to read up on the A series and see if it at least fits the size requirements for me. I'm not bothered by MF obviously but as I said this purchase ought to be "noob-proof" for the times I hand my camera to someone that doesn't know much. It being an A lens, I understand the camera can control apeture so the only manual requirement is focussing, which isn't too much to ask someone to do.

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