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03-08-2010, 12:17 PM   #1
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Vivitar 250mm f/4.5 prime

I got this lens with some other stuff I picked up and couldn't find much info about it. Only reference I got was this which doesn't really help.

It's got a weird ratcheting lock screwmount adapter which could also adapt to PK possibly if one could be found. It also has a built in slide out hood.

DOF preview is from that push pin on the adapter.
The glass looks clean and blades are snappy but I don't know what use I'd have with a 250 prime. I also don't understand the aperture ring, it only rotates towards the white numbers as far as I can tell so I'm not sure what the arrows and colors mean.
I'll try to get some shots with it to judge its characteristics but since this is all new to me, what should I shoot? Wide open, fully stopped, and in between?

Anyone have experience w/ this lens and/or know its worth?





03-08-2010, 12:44 PM   #2
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I have that same lens--or similar enough--but mine is M42. Yours has a built-in hood, right? What's the serial #? Anything near 69466?

I haven't shot with mine on the digital yet, but from what I've read about it, don't quit your day job and don't bother waiting on line for Antiques Road Show to claim your fortune.

Not the greatest piece of glass out there, but who knows. Tastes vary.

I would shoot between F8 and 11 to start for the lens's best quality (just guessing), although in practice, you would probably usually be stopping this down most of the way.
03-08-2010, 12:53 PM   #3
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Serial reads 379001478 and yes, built in hood too.

It is M42 on the other side of that adapter. I would like to know the adapter name so I can see what other mounts are available.

Well, I didn't expect it to be a super rare thing, it looks pretty generic and kinda cheap. I was just expecting a rough range if I do want to sell it in the future.

I'll probably get some shots with film and some with digital just to see the difference.

Do you have some film shots with yours to compare?

Heres another picture I took of it.

Last edited by Asudef; 03-08-2010 at 01:24 PM. Reason: Added picture
03-08-2010, 12:53 PM   #4
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That looks like the vivitar T4 mount. This was a univerasal adapter mount like the Tamron Adaptall so different adaptors would allow the same lens to be used on a range of cameras. I haven't owned one and so can't confirm but the aperture is probaby rotated in different directions with different adapters as the aperture mechanism workes in different directions on different camera makes. There is some more information on the mount here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-slr-lens-discussion/33896-anyone-u...nt-lenses.html

03-08-2010, 01:48 PM   #5
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I never used the lens, and I'm pretty sure mine is a straight M42 without the adaptor, but I'll check when I get home.

How many blades you got? I ask because mine DOESN'T have that hood. Also, what's your filter size? Don't have mine in the office but I'll post later.
03-08-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Asudef Quote
Serial reads 379001478 and yes, built in hood too.

It is M42 on the other side of that adapter. I would like to know the adapter name so I can see what other mounts are available.
It's a T4. Adapters were made by Soligor and Vivitar. I have a Nikon and Miranda T4 adapter for anyone who wants them and will pay postage.

I have a T4 M42 adapter with a little wheel to switch the aperture from Manual to Auto. I had to modify it to get the lens to stay in Manual, so the aperture ring controls the blades. It looks like yours is different.

Vivitar continued with TX adapters, and there's a K-mount TX adapter. There's also an M42 adapter that allows open aperture metering on cameras like the ES. I'm not sure if that one was around in T4 form. The TX-K adapter has to be slightly modified to fit and work on T4 lenses. I can't remember if T4 adapters work with TX lenses.

Lenses are easy to find cheap if you look; someone will sell the lens with an unpopular mount or no mount, and there will be few takers. They are also highly recognizeable in a photo, with that dual-direction aperture ring and rectangular bulge. I liked the Vivitar 135/2.5 TX, and always wanted to try the 400/5.6 TX.
03-08-2010, 11:36 PM   #7
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That was what I gathered from MattGunn's link. So its a T4 huh and there isn't a T4 K mount. That sucks.

Ira, mine has 8 blades and 62 filter size. I got a few test shots up but I want to do a set and dont have a tripod to do it on. They look pretty decent so far though.
03-09-2010, 04:25 AM   #8
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I collapsed when I got home from work yesterday, but I'm going to bring it to the office today. I'll take pictures of it and also do some tests with it and post.

03-09-2010, 07:05 AM   #9
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Okay, here we go. Mine is TOTALLY different, and me thinking I had the same lens as you is a good example that getting old is not always such a good thing.

It has a screw in lens cap, but doesn't indicate the size. (Pardon the dust.)




There is no A/M functionality on mine, and no pin. There are two rings, with one adjusting the aperture, and I guess the other "setting" it, like a lock function. Focusing ring is the huge barrel:




This is obviously the M42 adapter, T mount I assume, held in by three screws (one shown circled here). I too would like to find this adapter to K. The rear element is WAY recessed into the lens, not even counting the adapter.



Now, as far as blades go--this thing is off the charts. There are so many blades in there and it's so hard to see, I was getting dizzy. I'm guessing it's 16 or MORE. So now I have to do some web research and see what the deal is.

I'll go out in the middle of the day and shoot and post here, but since I want to start doing many lens tests here for different lenses, I want to find a decent subject/object that I'll use for all of my tests, more or less.

------------------------------------------------

Edit: Man, I just came back from Wikipedia and Camerapedia and they don't even LIST any 250 4.5's.

Last edited by Ira; 03-09-2010 at 07:29 AM.
03-09-2010, 07:59 AM   #10
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not the same but

To give a rough idea of the value of a long Vivitar T4 lens: Maybe 18 months ago, I bought a batch of lenses that included a Vivitar (Tokina) TeleZoom, 75-260mm, f/4.5-6.2, with a T4-Canon FD base. Price per lens: US$9. Nine bucks. Including shipping. Yours is faster, so it may grab as much as US$30. In comparison, my West German manual M42 Enya Tele-Ennalyt 240/4.5 was US$27 on eBay. And it sure looks cute.
03-09-2010, 08:50 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
To give a rough idea of the value of a long Vivitar T4 lens: Maybe 18 months ago, I bought a batch of lenses that included a Vivitar (Tokina) TeleZoom, 75-260mm, f/4.5-6.2, with a T4-Canon FD base. Price per lens: US$9. Nine bucks. Including shipping. Yours is faster, so it may grab as much as US$30. In comparison, my West German manual M42 Enya Tele-Ennalyt 240/4.5 was US$27 on eBay. And it sure looks cute.
Could this thing have as many blades as I think I'm seeing?

I'm also reading that Vivitar not only imported from several companies, but had some custom-spec'd for them.

The weird thing is, I find ZERO documentation on Vivitar 250s anywhere.
03-09-2010, 09:45 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Could this thing have as many blades as I think I'm seeing?

I'm also reading that Vivitar not only imported from several companies, but had some custom-spec'd for them.

The weird thing is, I find ZERO documentation on Vivitar 250s anywhere.
Older telephotos tend to come with a lot of aperture blades. Then manufacturers started using less. The extra blades probably did something that was later possible with glass or coatings. The best way to count them is to take a photo of them.

Robin Parmar has a list of 37 Vivitar 28mm lenses with 6 different filter sizes and maybe 8 different manufacturers, and that's only lenses that fit or can be readily adapted to K-mount manual focus. Vivitar may not have always led in quality, but they had to lead in variety.
03-09-2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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Just got back from shooting, and the weather limitations of the kx quickly came to my attention when it started drizzling. Didn't get much, plus it was way overcast.

I did a series of tests on subjects with varying apertures, so let me go through this lens to see if it has a sweet spot at all. I've never used a tighter focusing ring, and I was literally right at the edge of almost removing the lens from the mount when I turned it.

And I right this second realized I have a problem, because was multi-tasking:

I just fired up the Utility software, and with this stop down lens--the aperture isn't recorded in the EXIF. I guess I'll just compare depth of fields to get an idea what was what, or take NOTES next time!

But manually focusing by trying to turn this huge barrel at wide open, waiting for your focus confirmation as well, then turning the stop-down ring, then hitting the green button, THEN pulling the trigger--this ain't no lens for the faint-hearted
03-09-2010, 10:28 AM   #14
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Well, she sure ain't gonna win no awards, but I still want to give this lens another shot on a sunnier day, on a tripod. Would also like to see what a pro could get out of it.

But for now, she's back in the bag--and the 50 1.4 Tak goes back on,












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