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Vivitar (komine) Auto Telephoto 135mm F2.8

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 7.8
Bokeh 
 8.3
Handling 
 8.8
Value 
 9.2
Reviews Views Date of last review
25 173,616 Mon March 5, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
96% of reviewers $31.26 8.16
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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Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 801
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2011
Posts: 924

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 26, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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
Lens Review Date: July 28, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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
Lens Review Date: June 12, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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: 5,381
Lens Review Date: November 9, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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
Lens Review Date: November 5, 2014 I can recommend this lens: No | 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: 1,125
Lens Review Date: January 18, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 6, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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: 3
Lens Review Date: September 30, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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
Lens Review Date: November 8, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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
Lens Review Date: December 23, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | 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 ?
   
Site Supporter

Registered: April, 2011
Location: St. John's, NL
Posts: 470
Lens Review Date: July 27, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Build quality, IQ, bokeh, focusing
Cons: heavy

I have the k-mount version of this lens it seems. A good length for a head and shoulders portrait or small dogs. Easy to focus at f2.8. Images are sharp from f2.8 up. On the cropped sensor works as a poor mans long telephoto.

Works well indoors on the K-x given enough light (from a large window on a cloudy day), although the distance required for decent composition means it should only be mounted for specific purposes.

For the cost, this is an excellent lens to have for pictures when you don't want to be in everybodies face or when you want to have a nice tight shot.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Gwynedd
Posts: 93
Lens Review Date: June 9, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Good Colour, sharpness and contrast, Outstaning build quality
Cons: Purple fringing at large apertures

As soon as I lifted this out of it's packaging I was impressed by the tank like build quality, everything feels spot on with this despite it's age. Mine is an early Komine example, looks just like the image above.

Optically it's good enough, just watch out for Purple fringing around harsh highlights up to F4. Wide open it also tends to have a ghostly effect around highlights, gives quite an otherworldly look to images.

I've put together a little selection of test images here.

(Please note I have an Olympus OM fit version, and the samples were shot on a Panasonic GH1)

I would definitely reccomend this lens for portraiture and other short tele work, provided ypu can avoid harsh highlights.
   
Forum Member

Registered: November, 2010
Posts: 56
Lens Review Date: December 5, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: Fastness, solid build
Cons: Lens hood

As far as I know, this lens comes in a couple of different versions. Mine is a Komine-built one with a k-mount. What strikes oneself when picking up this lens is its weight. The lens feels quite heavy and I for one like that, although I know this might be an issue for some. It weighs almost 400 grams. The build is sturdy. I have accidently dropped mine and it still works fine. I’m not sure if the modern kit lens I got with the K-r when I bought it would have stood up to that test.
It is of course a manual lens, but my K-r seems to interact with it reasonably well. It does however have troubles metering the light correctly in low lit surroundings using a small aperture. In well lit conditions it seems to calculate the shutter speed reasonably well at all apertures. I do not know if this problem comes down to the lens or to the camera’s metering system.
The lens has a retractable lens hood. I’m not sure if that is good thing since it seems to get in the way most of the time. Furthermore it doesn’t proceed that far out which often makes you need to attach a more effective lens hood.
What I appreciate with this lens is its relative fastness, f2.8. This allows for a very shallow depth of field. The focus ring and aperture ring has the right feel to it in my view.
The lens produces sharp pictures with very good colours. My lens seems to have a quite neutral bokeh, that is the “circles of confusion” is evenly lit (not lighter in the middle nor towards the edges).
To sum up, this is a very good lens if one takes into account what you usually have to pay for it. A whole lot of value for your money.

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



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