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04-03-2010, 12:20 PM   #1
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My Vivitar 400mm 5.6 Lives

Never used it, and the tripod mount was broken off, so I epoxied it on earlier in the day.

Did not have a great experience with my Vivitar 250, and when the hell am I going to use a 400 anyway? The thing weighs a ton, but who knows? No interest in shooting the moon, because I've seen that stupid thing every day of my life. And this 400 ain't exactly knocking them dead in the reviews department.

So as a test tonight, gonna tie my younger kid to the chair in the backyard after it gets dark, stick a lamp on him, and see how far back I have to go to get a portrait framed. (I wanted to shoot my wife, but she only does nudes, and the neighbors always complain.)

This should be REALLY awful, or funky, or whatever. I'll decide that in PP, since I'll be shooting RAW.

Will post photos here later tonight, and for those of you not on EST, do the math for what later tonight means.

Or just ignore everything here, because this isn't exactly going to be ground-breaking work.

04-03-2010, 02:20 PM   #2
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It'll be better than using your 18mm and cropping the inner-most 1% of the frame, for whatever that is worth.
04-03-2010, 03:47 PM   #3
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Gonna do it tomorrow instead, I think.

Sun is still high in the sky and I'm exhausted already.
04-04-2010, 08:19 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
Gonna do it tomorrow instead, I think.

Sun is still high in the sky and I'm exhausted already.
From carrying your setup around or from tying your kid on the chair ?

04-04-2010, 12:31 PM   #5
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The lens ceases to live again--and I dodged a bullet:

I just went in the backyard with lens mounted to the tripod's quick release mount, and screwed lens into body. As you know, with the M42 adapters, the lens aperture markings don't always align perfectly. It's usually not a big deal since the lenses work fine, but with a tripod mount on the lens, it matters--because it makes the camera crooked.

Well...one little twist to correct the problem quickly separated the "repaired" mount from the lens, WITH BODY ATTACHED. (So much for 5-minute epoxy.) Fortunately, I'm a Jew like Jesus, and since it's Easter Sunday, he was looking down on me and it all just landed in my hand and didn't go crashing onto the patio cement.

I know I'm stupid, but I'm not stupid enough to mount via the camera body, since the lens is so huge.

However, I AM stupid enough to attempt some handhelds, so let me go back out there now and see what happens.

Last edited by Ira; 04-04-2010 at 12:38 PM.
04-04-2010, 12:37 PM   #6
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My heart is palpitating after 5 shots:

It's like working with a WWII-era bazooka.
04-04-2010, 12:40 PM   #7
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All I can say is that if the Martians land in Coral Springs, Florida right now, I'm going to have the tightest shots of anyone in the neighborhood.

I'm not saying they'll be in focus or properly exposed, but the framing will be tight.
04-04-2010, 12:42 PM   #8
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Update:

My back is starting to hurt, and I think the neighbors are calling the police.

04-08-2010, 04:40 AM   #9
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don't anything about this lens, it is a manual lens? and how is the iq at 5.6
04-08-2010, 05:01 AM   #10
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Just to give people an idea about what the 400mm Vivitar can do, I shot this in 1982 on ektachrome 400 using a KX (don't ask shutter speed and aperture)

I had just bought the lens brand new as part of a stock buy out from a camera store, cost all of $159 cdn. I still have it but it gets little use.

04-08-2010, 05:49 AM   #11
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I only managed to salvage a few for demonstration purposes, and if I can get this thing on a tripod instead of handholding, I don't think it's terrible. Two images with no PP, and the final at 100% crop.
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01-03-2011, 06:52 PM   #12
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Vivitar 400mm

I am very fond of Vivitar glass and appreciated your effort (even though it's nearing a year for this one and years for an older one).

Too many people tend to obtain or read reviews and opinions without realizing the are several generations involved. Old barrel and very heavy early versions without coated glass, TX interchangeable mounts versions, then Kino, Komine, and Tokina manufactured versions near the Series 1 versions and then followed by the later Cosina and down the tubes of today with inexpensive junk.

The Kino, Komine, and Tokina versions of telephoto lenses were usually well made and in the case of Big Bertha the 200-600mm zoom? An exception existed of a Japanese company (probably Asanuma or Cosina?) that moved production to Korea. Tremendous lens unfortunately the mirror flipping causes shake it's so sensitive - maybe a little sloppiness would have helped? It is one of the finest built big lenses of all times, a real marvel. Consider it's 8 lbs. and after all these years they are still tight and precise control wise.

I'm going to do a side by side comparison of the Komine made 28xxxx 400mm with the Nikkor 400mm ED IF F/5.6 and post the results on my Flicker account, Because I don't have a 400mm in K mount. Another urban legend about Vivitar is Series 1 quality, it doesn't have to be labeled Series 1 to be great. My example of the 400mm Komine (28xx) F/5.6 MC is pristine just like new inside and out, in F mount though so I'll use a D200 to compare it with the Nikkor side by side. My Nikkor is tried and true with no issues, a very clear and clarity rich lens. I'll shoot tripod mounted and just have to switch lenses only, outside in daylight 25 feet, 40 feet, and longer just for grins in distance. I'll use stationary subjects. Not scientific at all and rather real world use in practical real world applications that these are best suited for.

Last edited by Spotman; 01-03-2011 at 07:50 PM.
01-04-2011, 01:25 AM   #13
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Super-teles, is it? My entry in that crowd is badged SPIRATONE. Got my first one for maybe 20 bucks in 1975, T-mount for my APS-C-size half-frame Olympus Pen-FT and WOW! I thought, "Hey, it's like having a 600mm lens!" but it's not, it's just a cropped 400/5.6. Anyway, it saw serious action before it was stolen, mostly with Tri-X pushed a bit. My second one, in T-mount for PK, arrived last year for US$15 shipped, and worth every penny. I'm almost afraid to take it or the Lil'Bigma 170-500 outside, for fear of getting shot (and not photographically). Has anyone here actually been confronted over exposing their long lens in public?
01-04-2011, 04:15 AM   #14
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This is the 28XX series also, labeled Auto Telephoto.

One day I'll figure out a use for it.
01-04-2011, 06:53 AM   #15
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Ira

can you photograph the broken tripod mount

depending on where the break is, I might have some ideas.
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