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07-24-2011, 06:07 PM   #1
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Vivitar A lens

Good Evening from the sunny SF Bay area........

I was given a Vivitar 28mm 1:2.8 close focus wide angle lens which has an A on the apature ring next to the 16 setting. Being new to dslr cameras and lenses, is there
an advantage to A vs M on manual lenses? This lens looks to be in mint condition like it just came out of the box. I haven't had a real chance to take it outside in daylight
yet, but have played with it in the house for a few minutes. What can I expect from
this lens?

Thanks for all the great info and help from everyone on the forum.....

Rick
SF Bay Area

07-24-2011, 06:17 PM   #2
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you can use the e-dial to set your aperture, the aperture shows up on the exif, you dont have to do stop down metering and you get ttl flash exposure metering
07-24-2011, 06:30 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
you can use the e-dial to set your aperture, the aperture shows up on the exif, you dont have to do stop down metering and you get ttl flash exposure metering
This is once you put the lens on the "A" setting instead of the individual aperture markings on the lens.

Congratulations on your gift! Quite a few reviews on this lens, and it looks good.
07-24-2011, 06:40 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by adpo Quote
you can use the e-dial to set your aperture, the aperture shows up on the exif, you dont have to do stop down metering and you get ttl flash exposure metering
The camera works a lot better with the A position on the aperture ring. With just a couple of extra pieces of data from the lens, it can control the aperture in the body. That leads to the extra functions above, plus multi-segment metering and ability to use any mode.

The lens itself has achieved a cult status. It should sell for quite a bit if you don't like it.

Chances are pretty good it has a Ricoh pin that retracts and won't cause trouble. Removal is optional.

07-24-2011, 07:16 PM   #5
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Your gift is a winner! What is the serial number? Vivitar marketed more than one CFWA and the serial may reveal the maker. My Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA (#28xxxxxx) is about my favorite manual prime.
07-24-2011, 07:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Your gift is a winner! What is the serial number? Vivitar marketed more than one CFWA and the serial may reveal the maker. My Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA (#28xxxxxx) is about my favorite manual prime.
Hi Rio.......S/N: 28505966

what is the advantage of having an "A" lens with my K-x? I might be getting
a 50mm 2.8 from the same person along with a few other lenses as he doesn't
use his old Ricoh slr anymore.

Rick
07-24-2011, 08:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kx-Rick Quote
Hi Rio.......S/N: 28505966
Ah, yours is Komine too. Yes, it's legendary...

QuoteQuote:
what is the advantage of having an "A" lens with my K-x? I might be getting
a 50mm 2.8 from the same person along with a few other lenses as he doesn't
use his old Ricoh slr anymore.
An A-type lens has contacts on the base that communicate with the camera. The features were mentioned above: P-TTL flash support, ability to set the aperture from the camera, matrix metering. It means it's automatic everything except focusing -- a bit easier and more flexible to use than non-A-type glass. NOTE: All AF lenses (F, FA, and DA series) have A-type contacts.

With a non-A-type lens that lacks the contacts (including M and K series, and all M42 screwmounts such as Takumars), you are limited to M, B, X, and Av modes. A-type also gives you P, Sv, Tv, and Tav modes (depending on the camera). And P-TTL flash support is a big advantage, much less trial-and-error than with non-A-type lenses.

Most of the non-Pentax A-type lenses I've seen were made for both Pentax and Riocoh SLRs and have a version of the infamous "Ricoh pin". Such lenses can be identified by the AR or AP on the aperture ring, next to the smallest f-stop (16 or 22). They may have KR printed near the lens base also. On some (all?) Ricoh-made KR lenses, that pin extends out, catches in the AF screwdrive hole on your Pentax dSLR, and is a pain to free. Many threads here deal with simply solving that. But all the other 3rd-party KR lenses I have seen have more of a 'nub' than a 'pin', which doesn't get caught. None of mine have been problematic.

Last edited by RioRico; 07-24-2011 at 08:41 PM.
07-25-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
Ah, yours is Komine too. Yes, it's legendary...


An A-type lens has contacts on the base that communicate with the camera. The features were mentioned above: P-TTL flash support, ability to set the aperture from the camera, matrix metering. It means it's automatic everything except focusing -- a bit easier and more flexible to use than non-A-type glass. NOTE: All AF lenses (F, FA, and DA series) have A-type contacts.

With a non-A-type lens that lacks the contacts (including M and K series, and all M42 screwmounts such as Takumars), you are limited to M, B, X, and Av modes. A-type also gives you P, Sv, Tv, and Tav modes (depending on the camera). And P-TTL flash support is a big advantage, much less trial-and-error than with non-A-type lenses.

Most of the non-Pentax A-type lenses I've seen were made for both Pentax and Riocoh SLRs and have a version of the infamous "Ricoh pin". Such lenses can be identified by the AR or AP on the aperture ring, next to the smallest f-stop (16 or 22). They may have KR printed near the lens base also. On some (all?) Ricoh-made KR lenses, that pin extends out, catches in the AF screwdrive hole on your Pentax dSLR, and is a pain to free. Many threads here deal with simply solving that. But all the other 3rd-party KR lenses I have seen have more of a 'nub' than a 'pin', which doesn't get caught. None of mine have been problematic.

Thanks so much Rio......

took this shot in the front yard with the Viv 28mm after reading your info.

Rick

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07-25-2011, 01:15 AM   #9
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here's the other shot of the same "busy" bee that I took......

Rick
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07-25-2011, 07:16 AM   #10
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One more advantage, the aperture value is recorded in EXIF.
07-25-2011, 08:42 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kx-Rick Quote
here's the other shot of the same "busy" bee that I took......

Rick
Learn to use Catch In Focus and you can rule your photo world with the lens.

07-25-2011, 01:08 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
Learn to use Catch In Focus and you can rule your photo world with the lens.

Thanks Jeff.....

I'll give it a try!

Rick
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