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05-01-2010, 09:56 AM   #1
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Vivitar Series 1 105mm macro BROKEN!

This is my luck I must say. The day I win the contest my trusty manual macro lens breaks.

It will now not focus beyond about two feet. There is a rattling inside like a screw has come loose. I do not remember banging it or otherwise abusing it. Just last week it was fine. I cannot afford another one.

Anyone know about taking apart and fixing these? I am no expert with such things.

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05-01-2010, 10:07 AM   #2
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I had something similar happen to mine. I ended up selling it for $99 usd and getting the Sigma 105m EX DG. However, if you were in the U.S. there are 2 or 3 possibilities of reliable repair people that could fix it for ~ $60-135 USD. I can't really say on your side of the pond. I regret not having mine fixed. Mine also had the aperture stuck wide open at the same time it stopped focusing at a distance.
05-01-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
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Yikes. If I sold it for $99 I couldn't afford to replace it with anything. At that price I would keep it just for the macro end, but I have been using it for a lot more than that.
05-01-2010, 12:57 PM   #4
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Total wild guess, but it could be the screw that bolts down the focusing ring to the helicoid coming loose. I had something similar happen to my Takumar, of which, I no longer can focus beyond 5 feet. It was an easy fix but realigning it properly for infinite focus was a lot of trial and error.

You can try Ralph Innes at Repair Resources & Rates He charges only $60 for macro lenses. Shipping will cost you from Ireland to Canada but you should get it fixed for $120 or less, which is a fantastic deal. I wouldn't risk tampering with such a legendary lens myself, I'd let the pros handle it. Ralph specializes on Kiron lenses but he said he has no problems with Series 1 lenses. In fact, I recently sent in my Series 1 90mm macro lens to him for a repair. I can't wait to get it back.

Selling such a great lens for $99 just because of a lack of an easy fix is criminal. You'll regret it.

05-01-2010, 01:06 PM   #5
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Wow, thanks Hangu. That is a good option if I cannot find someone closer.
05-01-2010, 01:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Anyone know about taking apart and fixing these? I am no expert with such things.

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I have my Kiron version all apart, so I can give you some tips there. (For some reason I have not put it together yet, can't really explain why.) I don't have a guess about what might be wrong with your lens. These lenses have two sets of focus threads, so they can extend in front of and behind the focus ring. If only one end moves, that at least tells you what end to look at.

If you can't fix it and it's the KA mount version, you might look for a Pentax lens without the A position on the aperture ring instead. The KA mount can be moved to the new lens without much trouble, PM for details. This lessens the replacement cost a little. Unfortunately even the K mount version sells for a lot, and it doesn't look like other mounts are cheap either. Here's the mount removed:

05-01-2010, 02:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Yikes. If I sold it for $99 I couldn't afford to replace it with anything. At that price I would keep it just for the macro end, but I have been using it for a lot more than that.
I know. I hadn't found the people I know about now for repairs, plus I needed my lens for work related stuff so I put the money that I was quoted on repairs and the $99 and it nearly covered a new Sigma 105mm. I only gave about $99 and shipping for my Viv 1 when I bought it. I had not realized that those things had gone 'cult' at the time either.

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05-02-2010, 06:50 PM   #8
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well if you have a k-x, you could trade it for a mint vivitar in the marketplace.

05-02-2010, 07:18 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
well if you have a k-x, you could trade it for a mint vivitar in the marketplace.
The Vivitar is a nice lens but it's in no way close to the value of a Kx, not even if it were mint. There are plenty of high quality 90-105mm f2.5-2.8 Macros available for $200 or less.
05-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #10
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Out of curiosity, what makes this lens worth the $600+ you see them going for? How is it $200+ more of a lens than my sigma 105mm? Is it just because of its cult following? I mean obviously its a good lens, but is it really THAT good?
05-02-2010, 07:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
I mean obviously its a good lens, but is it really THAT good?
All I know is I cannot actually imagine a better lens. Unless one could magically make it half the size and weight.
05-02-2010, 07:46 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
All I know is I cannot actually imagine a better lens. Unless one could magically make it half the size and weight.
Well I could say the same of my sigma, at a significantly lower price AND it has auto focus.....
05-02-2010, 08:15 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Out of curiosity, what makes this lens worth the $600+ you see them going for? How is it $200+ more of a lens than my sigma 105mm? Is it just because of its cult following? I mean obviously its a good lens, but is it really THAT good?
I cannot discuss it there because it violates the posting rules. The most I've ever seen one go for is $375. I see people ask more, and they can ask whatever they want. The question is, who will Pay it? It's worth whatever you can actually get for it. No more, no less.

Robin, good luck with yours. Were I you, I would get together with Just1MoreDave and figure out how to take the thing apart. Can't be rocket science.


1300
05-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
Out of curiosity, what makes this lens worth the $600+ you see them going for? How is it $200+ more of a lens than my sigma 105mm? Is it just because of its cult following? I mean obviously its a good lens, but is it really THAT good?
Where do you see them go for $600? Ebay?

QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
All I know is I cannot actually imagine a better lens. Unless one could magically make it half the size and weight.
There are a whole slew of 90-105mm macros out there, the 105mm series 1 is certainly not the best of the bunch. David at "Making, Not Taking" did a pretty nifty macro shootout comparison.

The Vivitar Series 1 90mm f2.5 (Bokina) is visibly better at corner sharpness/contrast and I would say slightly better at center sharpness as well.

Macro_LRC_layout_f2513.jpg (image)

I know I'm pixel peeing here but if you're going to pixel peep, macro shots are definitely where you would do it.

The Bokina requires an adapter to reach 1:1 and will not focus to infinity with the adapter on, while this is an inconvenience, I think it's a worthy trade off for superior image quality from macro to telephoto work.

I've heard that the 105mm S1 is not great for portraits and other non-macro work, is this true? I feel like it's more of a rumor.
05-02-2010, 08:33 PM   #15
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the marketplace and ebay....
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