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10-17-2013, 10:44 AM   #1
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Vivitar Series 1 90-180mm Flat Field (PK) MACRO (Cult Classic) REDUCED WW Marketplace Listing

Item for Sale
1st time on Marketplace: Vivitar Series 1 90-180mm Flat Field (PK) MACRO

Asking Price
399 USD

Item Location
Kearney, NE (United States)

Item Description
This is one of the "cult classic" lenses that you rarely see in a Pentax mount. In fact, as far as my GoogleFu can tell, this is the first time that one has ever been offered on PF Marketplace! This is a gorgeous copy of this lens and it it ready to use on your Pentax DSLR. My only reason for selling this beauty (and another scarce lens) is to pay for a high-dollar lens that I really need more.

The Cult Classics page has this to say about the Vivitar Series 1 90-180mm Flat Field:
Vivitar 90-180mm f/4.5 Flat-Field Macro Lens

Vivitar also made a number of high quality zooms under the Series I label. The 90mm to 180mm
f4.5 flat-field VMC lens from 1978 is an optic that has also achieved cult status
This Vivitar 90-180mm f/4.5 lens was really designed for medical photography needs. A ring-light flash unit was designed to mount on the front of this lens too. But as far as I know, it was never released. This original medical market niche explainssome of the design features and range of this high quality zoom lens.

This lens is over 6 inches long, and pretty heavy at 2.3 pounds. At a constant f/4.5, you aren't going to value it for its speed either. But it produces excellent results in macro-work down to 1:4 at 90mm and to 1:2 at its 180mm setting. On most modern zoom lenses, macro photography settings are a lower quality setup. Achieving macro capabilities means shifting some elements and so sacrificing some of the zoom's control over spherical and other aberrations.

Most current zooms only offer macro settings at either one end or the other of their range. Generally, you would prefer macrophotography at the longer end of the range, but most zooms opt for the easier macro settings at the shorter end of the zoom's range. Only a few zooms offer continuous macro-settings over their full range. Even the better current zooms generally only get to 1:4 to 1:6 reproduction ratios (.e., the object is one-fourt
h lifesize on film). The Vivitar 90-180mm f/4.5 Series I macro zoom is designed to provide the highest possible
quality continuously down to its closest macro settings. The Vivitar 90-180mm f/4.5 flat-field lens provides high quality macrophotography continuously from 90mm (to 1:4) to 180mm (to 1:2). That's unique, and useful, so you should expect to pay quite a price premium for such a cult status lens!
Here is a set of images produced by this same model of lens: Vivitar Series 1 Flat Field Macro Zoom 90-180mm f/4.5 - a set on Flickr and here is another thread with images from the Vivitar Series 1 90-180mm Flat Field.

Another page on this lens says:
In the words of Modern Photography's test of June 1978, "the combined abilities and quality of image of this Vivitar Series 1 lens are not even approached by any other zoom lens. It is by far the best close-focusing zoom going." Yet it is also immanently usable for nature photography of small insects or flowers, or small product photography such as jewelry. Today it's difficult to find, and well worth looking for.

Nicely finished in black, the 90-180 features a rotating locking tripod mount, separate diamond knurled focus and zoom control rings, and clearly marked reproduction ratios though out the zoom range. Weighing in at 38 oz, Vivitar used Multi-coating in its 18 element, 12 group design. Filter size is 72 mm. Minimum aperture is f/22. Minimum focus distance is 27" for 1:2 ratio at 180mm.

I will be happy to ship this lens WORLDWIDE to PF members with good Marketplace feedback (no New Members or 0% feedback, please).

This lens is virtually never seen in a PK mount, so here is your chance to get a Pentaxian's rarity. Priced to sell at $399 plus actual shipping. (See eBay for prices in a much more common mount, though you don't often find eBay sellers willing to ship worldwide). Contact me for a shipping quote to your location (serious only, please).

Are you the original owner of the item being sold?

Are you selling or trading this item?

Item Condition (Key)

Shipping Destinations

Shipping Charge

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Return Policy & Additional Details
No returns, but you will have no reason to. (I will be using the proceeds to buy another lens immediately.)

Please send me a private message if interested in the item!

Last edited by cheekygeek; 10-19-2013 at 05:07 PM.
10-17-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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I remember when it came out ... one beautiful copy you have there. I'm searching for a standard zoom right now or I would be totally interested. Good luck with the sale.
10-18-2013, 08:22 AM   #3
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I have this lens. I got it new in 1981. Fantastic manual focus glass. I will probably never sell it. GLWS!
10-19-2013, 05:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the comments! Bumped for a significant price reduction!

10-21-2013, 10:22 AM   #5
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Only reason for selling is that I have too many good macro lenses and not enough for astrophotography (opposite ends of the photographic spectrum!)

Last edited by cheekygeek; 10-23-2013 at 07:07 AM.
10-22-2013, 06:02 PM   #6
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Is this still available? Does it mount easily to & from the camera body?

You noted a price reduction - is the price 399?

Thank you
10-23-2013, 07:02 AM   #7
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In response to a "stealth" PM that I received, I've again inspected the lens carefully. Optically and mechanically, this lens is gorgeous. The snappy aperture action is like a new lens. It is optically beautiful and clear. No oil on the aperture blades. Cosmetically, it is hard to imagine finding a lens of this vintage in this nice of a condition. It is ready to mount and use on your Pentax DSLR. I found two (very minor, IMHO) cosmetic issues and have taken photos for you to see them:

One is a bit of finish wear on the underside ring, closest to the camera:

the other is a 5mm slice in the middle of the rubber of the focusing ring:

I also realized that I did not do a good job of showing that this lens comes with the original, correct, metal screw-on lens hood:

10-23-2013, 07:45 AM   #8
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So this is the solution to the missing Sigma 180mm macro? Looks nice indeed.

10-24-2013, 09:02 AM   #9
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SOLD to the good lady in Michigan.

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