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Vivitar 13mm f2.8 K mount - $199 B&H
Posted By: y0chang, 11-03-2014, 11:38 AM

I saw this deal from B&H, im pretty sure its the same as a samyang 14mm, which is highly reviewed. Its very tempting as a ultra wide astrophotography lens.

Vivitar Series 1 13mm f/2.8 Ultra Wide Aspherical Lens VIV13MMP
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11-23-2014, 02:23 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by robtcorl Quote
note, it was a tighter fit on my K-5 than any other lens I own, but not a real problem, maybe just my copy.
They are all like that.

11-23-2014, 03:11 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by vonBaloney Quote
I don't think so, they are simply wrong -- they have the wrong specs for some reason. It is the same lens. The B&H guy is just looking at his database. Anyone looking at the lenses side-by-side would conclude they are the same, and have the same FOV...
In the thread I linked, this was the specific question that was asked, whether its just data or actually different lenses. The answer was that they are actually different. But I get your suspicion, which is why I would like a definitive review by a user. I cant just buy and import this lens for a quick test
11-23-2014, 03:37 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
In the thread I linked, this was the specific question that was asked, whether its just data or actually different lenses. The answer was that they are actually different.
It was pretty clear that he was basing his answer on his database, not on examination. I invite you to look up the Bower, Rokinon, Samyang (all listed as 14mm), and Vivitar (13mm), and look at all the specs side-by-side.

It is spec soup. The Rokinon exactly matches the Samyang, so let's put that aside. Samyang and Vivitar say angle of view is 115.7/93.9 (FF, APS-C), but Bower 114/92.5. Vivitar & Bower listed as 14 elements in 12 groups, the Samyang 14/10. Minimum focus is close, but not exact: Vivitar 30.5cm, Bower 28cm, Samyang 27.43cm. Weight is all over the place: 1.3lbs, 1.8lbs, 1.17lbs. Of course they all look more or less identical.

Despite all this nonsense, they are the same lens! If they are not, are we saying that Samyang made two versions? (Which doesn't make sense according to the above specs, which are just a mish-mash.) Or did someone else make one that looks exactly the same? If so, who? Some secret manufacturer? (Vivitar does not MAKE lenses.)
11-23-2014, 03:52 PM   #19
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But the Vivitar at least looks a little different, while the others are nearly identical. And hey, I agree, I just wanted to point out that thread because its about the lens offered here

11-23-2014, 04:51 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
But the Vivitar at least looks a little different, while the others are nearly identical. And hey, I agree, I just wanted to point out that thread because its about the lens offered here
They all look identical in form/size. The Vivitar has a different Vivitar-branded rubber grip, and we can presume that Vivitar would *like* us to believe it is in-fact a different lens by the fact that they have chosen to call it a 13mm. But the lettering and the "UMC", which is a Samyang-specific name for their coatings is the same on all the non-Samyang branded ones. The Samyang itself has different lettering in the picture, but it also looks like they are not showing the Pentax version as the stock photo. They are the same same same.
11-23-2014, 09:02 PM   #21
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Samyang actually made two versions of this lens. The improved version came out in 2010 and can be verified by the UMC lettering. (See these reviews: Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 IF ED MC Aspherical review - Introduction - Lenstip.com
Samyang 14 mm f/2.8 ED AS IF UMC review - Introduction - Lenstip.com)

The lenses look the same to me, they even all have the same "ED AS IF UMC" lettering on them. I bought the Vivitar (but I don't have a Samyang/Bower/Rokinon to compare it to).

The Vivitar wiki page (as unreliable as it may be) also has this: "Vivitar Series 1 13mm f/2.8 (rebadged Samyang 14mm f/2.8, released in 2010)".

If you look around the web you'll find stories saying that Vivitar is no longer using Samyang glass and has moved to a Chinese manufacturer (for example, the 85 1.4 is going to be replacedd with an 85 1.8). Maybe these low prices are clearing out the last of the stock? (My Vivitar 13mm says Made in Korea.)

Botom line: for that price if you don't like it I'm sure you could sell it for little or no loss anyway.
11-24-2014, 10:37 AM   #22
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i assume this lens (13mm viv) has electrical contacts on the mount???
no pics make it more difficult to tell, also no 'a' printed....
am i correct??
thanks... dave m
11-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by dcmsox2004 Quote
i assume this lens (13mm viv) has electrical contacts on the mount???
no pics make it more difficult to tell, also no 'a' printed....
am i correct??
thanks... dave m
Yes, manual focus 'A' lens. One gripe I have with it (once you get a copy that is not decentered -- I had to try 3 times) is that it has a much longer throw than needed for such a wide-angle -- I find it a bit difficult to focus precisely. The focus throw on it is more suited to an 85mm portrait lens -- did they recycle the parts from the 85/1.4?

11-25-2014, 12:26 PM   #24
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Looked at the box of my Vivitar 13mm -- it has the exact same specs listed as the Samyang and Rokinon other than the 14mm vs 13mm difference, naturally (14/10, 530g, etc), so I don't know where the specs listed on B&H (Adorama has the same) for the Vivitar and Bower came from...
12-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #25
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Just took the plunge after viewing the samyang lens club thread. Hoping it arrives before christmas.
12-04-2014, 07:44 AM   #26
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I have the Vivitar 13mm lens that I purchased recently via Amazon for $199.95. My view about the conflicting information regarding the specifications stems from there having been an early version of this lens and the current model, with some sellers still using the earlier specifications. Appearance wise, they look the same except for the focus ring, where infinity focus on the current model is at the infinity symbol, while on the earlier version there is a tick mark for infinity well before the infinity symbol.

It's a great lens at this price and I don't think you'll be disappointed with it. I've tried out the lens a few times and it is sharp. I didn't notice the moustache distortion mentioned in reviews with several landscape shots, but perhaps that was with the early version of the lens or would be more apparent with architectural photos. At 5.6 and smaller apertures and focus set at 7 to 10 feet, everything seems to be in focus from a few feet in front of the camera to infinity. So that's how I'll use the lens, rather than trying to focus for each shot, unless I'm photographing something quite close.
12-04-2014, 07:47 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by T Evergreen Quote
I have the Vivitar 13mm lens that I purchased recently via Amazon for $199.95. My view about the conflicting information regarding the specifications stems from there having been an early version of this lens and the current model, with some sellers still using the earlier specifications. Appearance wise, they look the same except for the focus ring, where infinity focus on the current model is at the infinity symbol, while on the earlier version there is a tick mark for infinity well before the infinity symbol.

It's a great lens at this price and I don't think you'll be disappointed with it. I've tried out the lens a few times and it is sharp. I didn't notice the moustache distortion mentioned in reviews with several landscape shots, but perhaps that was with the early version of the lens or would be more apparent with architectural photos. At 5.6 and smaller apertures and focus set at 7 to 10 feet, everything seems to be in focus from a few feet in front of the camera to infinity. So that's how I'll use the lens, rather than trying to focus for each shot, unless I'm photographing something quite close.
It definitely has significant distortion. Harder to see in landscape shots. For lightroom I found a profile that does a pretty good correction, but you lose a little bit of the edges.
12-04-2014, 08:08 AM   #28
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Oh I recently got a LR profile for this lens, from another PF user (he made it)! The distortion correction is quite good, makes the horizon nice and.. well, horizontal
12-04-2014, 08:14 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Oh I recently got a LR profile for this lens, from another PF user (he made it)! The distortion correction is quite good, makes the horizon nice and.. well, horizontal
I downloaded a user profile (with the Adobe profile downloader) -- I think it was for Nikon Samyang version. Works fine, but if there is another one around I'd like to try it...
12-04-2014, 08:40 AM   #30
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The crop sensor crops out the mustache portion of the distortion, so it's basically just regular barrel distortion for the most part (and quite a bit of it still).
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