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Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade

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3 16,994 Thu March 14, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $23.33 7.33
Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade

Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade
Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade
Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade
Vivitar t-mount 200mm f3.5 18 blade

Vivitar T-mount series - early 1970's.
Details from Ponder and Best catalogue, 1974.

Focal Length (mm): 200mm
Aperture Maximum: f3.5
Aperture Range: f3.5 - 22
Iris: 18 blades
Optical construction: 5 elements / 4 groups
Minimum focus distance: 12' / 3.8m
Focus throw
Filter size: 67mm
Length (at infinity): 5" /
Weight: g / 22 oz.
Mount Type: Third-party (adapter required)
Price History:

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Site Supporter

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Somewhere in the Southern US
Posts: 12,134
Lens Review Date: March 14, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: 18 blades, sharp, preset diaphragm
Cons: heavy, min focus distance 12ft
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 6    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-5iis   

Mine is a Ver 3 of the lens with metal focus ring with only longitudinal ridges. It was made by Tokina and is built like a tank. Yes, it is front heavy because it is widest at the front and has a VERY significant taper to the mount end, which means that the largest elements (there are only 5 in 4 groups) and the most metal are furthest from the camera.

With a continuous movement on the diaphragm, 18 blades, and a f3.5 the bokeh is creamy and amazing. My copy has a very smooth feel to the aperture ring and the blades move effortlessly. Love them or hate them the pre-sets from that era often have a very large number of blades and resulting creamy bokeh.

Sharpness is there but focusing can be a challenge, particularly if you do not open it up for light while focusing and close it down to shoot. For $15 its been a treat to use, and a bit of an education. Not sure its a regular use lens but I could see using it for long-distance when a dreamy bokeh is required.
Senior Member

Registered: February, 2013
Posts: 227
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Built like a tank
Cons: Built like a tank
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 8   

I picked one of these up simply because its construction was intriguing. It takes rather decent pictures IMHO. I didn't notice any harsh aberrations and it seems rather sharp. My only complaint is its like strapping a boat anchor to your camera.

Forum Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 78
Lens Review Date: February 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: solid/metal build, LOTS of blades/"creamy" bokeh
Cons: heavy/front-heavy, middling contrast, uncoated, soft images

o 67mm filter thread
o ~10ft (3m) minimum distance focusing
o f3.5 - 22 whole stops, but with "infinite" settings in-between each
o m42 mount

This is an older Vivitar lens, with a serial number that doesn't utilize the well-known system. Also, it is a preset lens; whether you consider that a pro or con is your call (personally I like it). As a result, stopping down is very easy, and the action on my copy is smooth and almost frictionless. Also, the numerous blades make for a very circular iris, which gives the sought-after "creamy" bokeh.

The lens, as would be expected with its all-metal build, is heavy, and I want to point out that most of that weight comes from the front of the lens, making it somewhat awkward to use (to me). Also, I'm going to go out on a limb and say this uneven distribution of weight is part of why the mount-end on my copy was loose when I first acquired it. By that I mean that it spun freely, and would allow the rest of the lens to "hang" slightly.

I have not been overly impressed with its image quality, but then I've only shot with it hand-held in anything but good sunlight, so that's probably why. Again, I'll go out with a tripod soon and post the results. The lens seems to be somewhat soft at all apertures. Maybe useful for portraiture in that respect.

While I do recommend it, in the here and now I can't really say go out of your way to find a copy of this lens, unless you're some sort of collector. I got mine on eBay, back before Pentax, Vivitar or M42 lenses were all the over-priced rage. (Also, I didn't know exactly what I was buying.) Initially I didn't use this lens much at all as it came with that loose mount-end. A small screwdriver helped fix that issue, but now -- probably from horrible storage and handling on my part -- the front element is loose (the front-most piece of glass shifts front & back a little). Go figure, and be warned.
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