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Vivitar 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 Macro

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 32,489 Mon April 15, 2019
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
83% of reviewers $38.83 7.33
Vivitar 70-210mm F4.5-5.6 Macro

The later vivitars are generally not as well regarded as the Series 1 and other Vivitars from the1970's . This TP is a compact lens that has the A setting, much smaller and slower than the series 1 70-210 lenses. One touch design.
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: April, 2019
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: April 15, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $3.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, no CA, smooth focusring
Cons: Harsh bokeh, slow
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Sony A3000   

I have another copy of this lens allthough it looks different, with a different focusring and some other minor differences. I found it this afternoon while in a thrift shop, it was part of a package for which I paid 12,50- EUR (about $14 as at this moment) in total, 1 Canon Canonette, this Vivitar 70-210, a Canon remote chord and a Sony 0.5x wideangle lens.

I did not expect much from this lens but it totally took me by surprise. After I got home I took some testshots mounted on a Sony A3000 and I noticed immediately it was sharp enough wide open while CA/Purple fringing was as good as absent. I took it outside as well, had to crank up ISO cause of the failing light, but even then wide open it was sharp enough to enjoy it.

Its weakness is the bokeh which is pretty horrible in my opinion but overal its a great vintage lens. The only thing I still have to figure out is how to get it into Macro-Mode as there isnt any special knob or button or anything, perhaps someone can tell me after seeing these pictures.

Also took a few with the lens stopped down to f/8 and f/11 during the morning hours which makes it just as sharp as any Canon L prime I owned, the performance of this cheap optics is totally unbelievable, even at about 70+ meters away I can still read the small characters on car number plates while aberations are non existing.

Some shots of the lens itself

These first testshots are at f/5.6

From this afternoon, pictures shot at f/8 (Sony A3000 at 400 ISO)

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New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 6
Lens Review Date: September 2, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp high contrast
Cons: nothing
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-x,k200d,,mz50,z-20p   

My item has high contrast, very high sharpness, for macro with macro tubes, too, and a very good color rendition
very content with it
nearly no CA's

there are s u r e l y 2 different types of this lens: 10/8 of plastic housing and 11/8 constructuion of metal. the better one is the 11/8 elements (I've both!)

One achromatic lens more in opical construction has made here a big difference.

This is the evaluation of the better one

ps. the better version is made of glass and metal, it is heavier, - the simpler one with one achromate lens less version is made of plastic and light.

One difference more: the better one has blue color painting for MACRO-inscripure, the cheaper one in orange color . May be that color have been changed for different countries ?

My best macro photos with tis lens, achrpmatic focal reduktor and macro ring at f 11
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: April 17, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: price,
Cons: max aperture f4
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 7
Community Manager

Registered: March, 2007
Location: Toowoomba, Queensland
Posts: 23,291
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 5 

Pros: Good quality images
Cons: Zoom creep, plasticky build, difficult to fine focus

This was an acquired lens within a film SLR package I got to go travelling with.
The lens performed reasonably well stopped down and when not going close focus. Otherwise the lens seemed to suffer from poor sharpness and low contrast.

Nevertheless, it did an OK job for me in various settings - it was slow, but it performed OK in optimal settings (not that often where I was).

There are just so many other options out there for a telezoom, even MF, so I'd hesitate to recommend this one amongst what's available in the same range.
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2010
Posts: 2,395
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: pretty sharp, good colours/contrast, little CA
Cons: zoom creep, slow, aperature ring is not the best quality

I wanted a cheap lens to take pictures during nature walks.

This lens is a massive bargain and seemed to outperform all of the other lenses I tried at the outlet (cleaning out manual focus lenses). It is also slower than the other lenses I tried, including a vivitar 70-210 f 4.5, and a soligor C/D 80-200 f 4.

I don't know if this lens is outperforming them because of a defect in those lenses, or because this one is just a good performer, but it is great for the money. In good light it took better pictures than either contender.

The aperture ring on my lens is broken and needs to be taped into the A setting. Lens creeps. Otherwise, it feels very solid.

Some CA (but much less than the others mentioned). This lens is not particularly sharp, but takes very nice pictures when you don't pixel peep. Bokeh is nice, but not stellar. For someone who wants to try out telephoto photography, this is a good deal. For someone who requires telephotography, this lens is not the correct tool: the correct tool will cost 10 times as much.

Obviously the max f stop of 5.6 has it's limitations but for the price this lens does everything I want and this lens can often be bought for the cost of 2 dinners.


I rated this lens 6 out of 10, because it is obviously not going to perform better than a 300-600 dollar alternative. If you want something that will give you excellent pictures (8, 9, 10 out of 10) then you will have to pay for it. You will have to pay 10 times the amount to get twice the performance. Keep that in mind.

For next to nothing, reasonable performance is what you should expect out of this lens.

Registered: March, 2008
Location: Quebec city, Canada
Posts: 6,505
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Small, good enough IQ, A setting
Cons: Zoom creep

I got this lens in a package that I purchased for another lens. I ran some tests with it and it's surprinsingly good even wide open. No visible distorsion and vigneting, evenly sharp across the frame, good colours. Metering seems a bit uneven in difficult situations.

My copy is in great shape, without visible damage. the body is mostly plastic but the mount is metal. the aperture ring does not feel as nice as those found on Pentax A lenses but it will stay in the auto position at all times anyway.

The lens extends when zooming and focusing, and my copy can exhibit zoom creep (to be expected, I guess, with such a design, after many years). Focusing is easier than I would have expected, even though the handling of the zoom/focus ring doesn't feel as nice as with my series 1 equivalent.

In short, a surprisingly good lens that I would probably use more if I didn't have a faster series 1.
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