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Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8 Review RSS Feed

Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 7.5
Bokeh 
 7.9
Handling 
 8.9
Value 
 9.3
Reviews Views Date of last review
28 252,763 Fri December 22, 2023
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $32.57 8.21
Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8

Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8
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Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8
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Description:
This review page is for the Komine made versions of the vivitar 135mm f2.8. These came in both 4-element and 5-element versions that look exactly the same. The earlier 5-element came in 2 versions - The 5-element 'milled metal grip' V3 was made from 1971(?) to 1974. The 5-element 'rubber grip' V4 was made 1974-76. Both have an 8-blade aperture. The similar-looking 4-element V5 was made 1976-82 and has a 6-blade aperture. (There) ...is a 5-element V4 S/N 2860xxx. Optical diagrams in .a.t. 's review below.
Note that the "close focus" 135mm f2.8, also made by Komine, is reviewed here.

Tokina made a TX 135mm F2.8 reviewed here.
f3.5 135's also have review pages.

These are fully manual lens most common in M42 screw mount and some available in P/K mount. Features a built in retractable lens hood. Minimum focusing distance just under 5 feet. 55mm filter.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



Add Review of Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8
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New Member

Registered: May, 2008
Posts: 7
Review Date: December 22, 2023 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp with a smooth focus ring
Cons: Need to stop down a bit and color fringing
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K-1, Canon R10   

If you're looking to get a fast medium telephoto and experiment with manual focus, catch-in focus, or something fun without breaking the bank, this is an excellent one to pick up as they go pretty cheap. I bought mine years ago so I don't remember the price.

The nicely damped focus ring is a pleasure to use and if you have access to a camera with focus peaking, you can get a lot of mileage as long as the object is not fast-moving (unless you're doing catch-in focusing).

As others have pointed out, there are many versions of this lens. Mine has a serial starting with 37. While user a.t. has said that the version with rubber grip has only 6 blades, my copy has 8 blades and, interestingly, has a slightly longer grip (15 rows of bumpies vs. 11 in his picture).
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2019
Posts: 1
Review Date: April 17, 2023 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp. Good build quality.
Cons: None, came as a freebie as part of a bundle.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Ricoh XR-1/XR-1S.   

This lens came as part of a bundle from a charity shop that included a Vivitar V3000S SLR, a Vivitar 28-70 zoom and a Vivitar 283 flash for the princely sum of $26-00............!!!

Basic P-K mount, it won't communicate with either of my K-1 or K-3 DSLRs.

Only used a couple of times with a Ricoh XR-1S SLR and Rollei Retro 80S b+w film, it has produced surprisingly good 'head shot' portraits, both outdoors and with studio flash. Very sharp at f4.0.

A very well-made lens, it's built-in lens hood is very reminiscent of early Tamron Adaptall designs.

Several reviewers report variable results with this lens, so I must have a good example. I would recommend it as there are obviously good examples collecting dust in the marketplace at give-away prices as I have found
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2015
Posts: 11

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: September 29, 2019 Recommended | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Good sharpness, colours and contrast
Cons: Terrible CA
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 4    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-30; NX500   

This lens feels like a premium lens. Better than many OEM lenses. Very well made. Everything is well thought of. From the subtle click sounds of aperture to the built-in hood that includes velvet cloth on the inner side like Pentax Limited lenses. For the price, this lens is fantastic! Good sharpness, colours and contrast. This lens is better than Super-Multi-Coated Takumar 135mm f/3.5 on sharpness, colour, and contrast. Bokeh is terrible and CA is really an issue and it does not disappear no matter how much you stop it down (removable in post processing). For a detailed comparison, see here
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 892

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: March 5, 2018 Recommended | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Seems well built, can be bought cheap, A/M stop down.
Cons: Not quite as sharp as I had hoped for
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5   

My Kominie made, 8 blade, milled focus ring arrived today so I took it outside for a quick trial. I should have shone a torch through it first to check the optics because when I did so the torch showed what might have been a scattering of dust (or something, Balsam separation?) across at least one element and fringes of fungus at the edges. I have tried to evaluate this lens taking into consideration the detrimental effect the problems might have caused on the contrast.

Good points are that this lens feels well built and smooth in operation, probably has been hardly used but maybe it is just very well built and it has the F2.8 aperture for use in isolating subjects and focussing and the 8 bladed iris.

Bad points are that F2.8 is not sharp, though it gets sharper stopping down (as would be expected) I do not think this is the sharpest lens I have had in 135mm at any aperture (and in my copy the aforementioned stuff on one or some of the elements).

It is usable (even with the slight reduction in contrast I suspect I am getting) and compares favourably with my other manual focus 135mm lenses but it is not likely to be my favourite.
A good value lens in many respects and at the price I can recommend it, just cannot award it a 10 in any category, there are many legacy 135s out there and I look forward to finding my perfect 10.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2011
Location: yesterday
Posts: 1,261

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: March 25, 2017 Recommended | Price: $24.50 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: quality & value
Cons: nothing important
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 8    Value: 9    Camera Used: K10D, Canon 5D   

To put it simply...
Good image and build quality with amazing value.

I own two versions of this lens - both in M42 mount. The older has a metal focus grip and five elements. The newer has a rubber focus grip and 4 elements.
I can't see any significant image quality difference between them, but I'd recommend the five element for two reasons:

Shorter minimum focus distance (1.4m vs 1.5m) and more aperture blades (8 vs 6).

Here's a comparison of my two lenses:












Re price paid, $24.50 is the average of my two.
   
New Member

Registered: October, 2016
Posts: 8

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: November 26, 2016 Recommended | Price: $10.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, build quality, build quality
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: OMD EM10   

I have the 5 element, 8 blade aperture, m42 mount, all metal version in near mint condition. Markings are all red and white, no green on the distance scale. Wide open and a half stop down, it's a touch soft with contrast a little on the low side, but perfectly useable for certain situations when you want that particular look. From f4 to f10 it is extremely sharp with good contrast. f11 and 16 are good but it does start to soften from diffraction, but still quite good for such a small aperture. There is a little PF under extreme conditions, but not bad for a lens of this age. I have new modern lens that are far worse.




   
New Member

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Setúbal (near Lisbon)
Posts: 5

2 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 28, 2015 Recommended | Price: $38.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpnes and marvelous colors
Cons:
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon 5dii   

   
New Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Bern
Posts: 1
Review Date: June 12, 2015 Recommended | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Qualitiy <> Price
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 9    Camera Used: Canon 50D   

Serial 2823...
Raw-Software: Photomatix Pro


@ f4 (right click for fullsize view)


@ f4(right click for fullsize view)

@ f4(right click for fullsize view)
   
Pentaxian

Registered: April, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain
Posts: 10,887
Review Date: November 9, 2014 Recommended | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great image quality, very well built, pull-out hood
Cons: None

I have an M42-mount, 5-element version with eight aperture blades.

This lens is very sharp wide open and quite compact for an old 35/2.8, though it's bigger and heavier than the "M" series 135/3.5. It's the only M42 135mm lens I have and I have no need for any others as this one is so good. The short pull-out lens hood is handy, especially as this lens has a fairly uncommon 55mm filter thread, this means I don't need to bother packing a separate hood when I take this lens out.

Focus is extremely smooth and the aperture ring clicks very nicely.

Highly recommended.
   
New Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 5, 2014 Not Recommended | Price: $44.00 | Rating: 4 

 
Pros: Build
Cons: Optics
Sharpness: 5    Aberrations: 4    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 4    Camera Used: K-50 &amp; K01   

I have two copies of the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 m42 (both Komine 28xxxxxx). Ebay price at separate auction I paid was
nearly identical.

They are: an 8 blade diaphragm and the other a 6 blade diaphragm.

Build quality of both lenses are superior metal construction comparable to Takumars, are beautifully made
and nicely balanced for manual focusing. Each has a tight, somewhat short but useable built in retractable lens hood; large, medium throw focus rings are both a bit stiff; 55mm filter thread; smooth aperture rings half stop to f/22.

Optics: I had hoped for much better. Color & bokeh is quite good, but both are comparably soft at most all apertures through f/8. The 8 blade version is better.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2013
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 1,126
Review Date: January 18, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: contrast, sharpness stopped down
Cons: sharpness wide open, some purple fringing
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 8   

The lens is ok. I used it on an olympus DSLR.

It is a bit soft with purple fringing wide open, but can provide very good, sharp contrasty pictures when stopped down to F5.6-8.
Overall it has adequate performance, better than for example 18-55mm WR. The 'rendering' is pretty good.
   
Inactive Account

Registered: October, 2011
Posts: 147

4 users found this helpful
Review Date: December 6, 2013 Recommended | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Surprisingly good - feels like a Tak...
Cons: none so far...
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I only use Prime M42s with my K-01. And prior to this - only Taks and SMC Taks. Reading the Positives here on the Forum, I decided to take a chance and buy one. I looked a bit until I found one that looked MINT. I maybe paid more - but got a great lens on ebay for $45.

It is great - the contrast seems to approach my 50mm F4 MACRO Tak. Sharpness, even at F2.8 is super.

This is a great lens - if you get a mint example.

12/19/2013 - IMPORTANT NOTE: There are at least two different manufacturers of the Vivitar M42 135mm F2.8 Vivitar. The one shown in the picture above has a '37xxx' S/N - indicated it was made by Tokina. Mine that I rated has a '28xxx' S/N - indicated it was made by Komine.

Furthermore, the Komine came in both 4-element and 5-element versions that look exactly the same. The earlier 5-element came in 2 versions - The 5-element 'milled metal grip' V3 was made from 1971(?) to 1974. The 5-element 'rubber grip' V4 was made 1974-76. Both have an 8-blade aperture. The similar-looking 4-element V5 was made 1976-82 and has a 6-blade aperture. The lens I have and am reviewing here is a 5-element V4 S/N 28604109. This Manual is the earlier Metal grip version V3 5-element, believed optically the same as V4: http://www.boggys.co.uk/download.php?filename=Vivitar_135mm_f2.8_Komine_6-72_OM_400dpi.pdf

03/04/2014 Either my example of this Komine is exceptional, or my copy of the 43812 V2 SMCT 135mm F2.5 is poor.. Using the test procedure and chart provided by http://bobatkins.com/photography/technical/lens_sharpness.html,
the Komine at F4.0 is both sharper and higher contrast than the SMCT 2.5 at F4.0

However, the Vivitar 'Chrome Nose' 135mm F2.8 (Kiron?) - picked up as an extra in an Estate pile - is decidely inferior to both across the board.

Be aware - as obviously the Vivitar 135mm lenses from different manufacturers will have different performance.
   
New Member

Registered: September, 2013
Posts: 4
Review Date: September 30, 2013 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Super cheap, nice bokeh and handling
Cons: No close focus, requires PP
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

This lens is nice, not too large for a tele, although I don't have much experience in other 135mm lenses! It's pretty sharp, although I cannot seem to configure the K5ii to take advantage of it. Straight out of the camera, it gives a somewhat blueish tone to the images and the colors look very flat. Nonetheless, with some post processing, you can get great images from it, with good colors and contrast. It does have some abberations at 2.8, but nothing too crazy.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2010
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: November 8, 2012 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharpness
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

Good sharpness and contrasty color. My copy is made by Komine (28xxxxxx), taking 55mm filter and has a handy retractable hood. Nice and highly economic mid-range lens if you could find a good copy.
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2011
Posts: 13

1 user found this helpful
Review Date: December 23, 2011 Recommended | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness , build quality , low price
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I bought this Vivitar 135mm F2,8 ( 55mm filter thread , not the close focusing variant ) Komine made in K-mount and tested it against some steep competiton , Tamron 90mm DG F2,8 Macro and Pentax FA 200mm F2,8 . At F8 the Vivitar has excellent resolution , better than Pentax M 135mm F3,5 which I had for a while but the surprise is the very good image quality at F3.5 , as sharp as the FA 200 and very close to Tamron 90 , all tested at F3,5 in exactly the same conditions with Pentax K20D RAW image . Minimal loss of resolution at the corners which means that this is a high quality lens which can be used wide open with very good results , much better than Pentax-M 135 F3,5 and not much larger at 390g . Excellent mechanically , great handling and superior optics for 70 $ ( mint condition ) , isn't it lovely ?
Add Review of Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8



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