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Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina Review RSS Feed

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina

Reviews Views Date of last review
10 60,003 Mon February 20, 2017
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
90% of reviewers $56.14 8.90
Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina

Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina
Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina
Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina

See also tokina RMC 70-210mm f3.5 - this lens' predecessor. The Tokina doesn't focus as close but is in most respects essentially the same lens.

Manufacturer : Tokina (37xxxxx)
Maximum Aperture : f/3.5
"A" aperture setting : no
Manual Focus
70-210mm F/3.5 Fixed aperture
Optical Construction : 14 elements / 10 groups
Filter Thread : 62mm
Maximum Magnification (Macro) : 1:4
Weight : 710g

Review and test chart results by Benjamin Govert - Vintage Lens Reviews.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:

Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-10 of 10
New Member

Registered: December, 2016
Posts: 22
Lens Review Date: February 20, 2017 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $50.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Bright when wide open...
Cons: ...but that no matter because of it's too soft wide open. CA is also a problem.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 6    Value: 7    Camera Used: Pentax K-70   

It's big and heavy lense.
The f/3.5 sound nice on the paper but in real use at full tele, it's way too soft for quality photography.
Other issue is chromatic aberration- it was way to high on some shots.
It's just avarage lense. I didn't like it. I wanted a bright telephoto for difficulty light conditions. I get an telephoto lens that picture is well from f5.6 and this is not so bright...and this whole ugly chromatic aberration
I sold Vivitar and bought Takumar 200mm f/3.5 - and that was very good shoot!
Takumar ( m42 ) is so much better.

Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2015
Location: Toulon, South of France
Posts: 357
Lens Review Date: July 21, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: good build quality, sharpness, very good bokeh
Cons: weight
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Hopefully I never sold this lens, I first tested it using a poor quality filter and thought my lens was crap.
In fact it is a jewel, mine is as good as the gen 1 Komine but with much better handling.
I tested it few days ago with no filter and no hood and see what I get with just raw to jpeg conversion with LRc !
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 38

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 6, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Lightweight, very sharp
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

This is a very good lens. I have and use all of the Vivitar Series 1, 70-210 lenses. The second (Tokina made) and the third (Komine made) are by far, the best of the line. This one is not a true macro, but does focus very close. It handles beautifully and delivers suberb results.

Kiron Kid
Senior Member

Registered: October, 2007
Location: Thach, Alabama
Posts: 169
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

Pros: Of the first 3 70-210 series ones this is the most compact and lightest
Cons: Zoom creep
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K10D, KX and K7   

I got this lens uber cheap as it had a Yashika/Contax lens mount. I modified it to fit my Pentax cameras and have owned it for over 10 years now. Compared to the Kiron and Komine versions this lens is light weight. Very sharp and usable f/stops from f/5.6 to f/16. I normally walk about with a Sigma 50-500 Bigma so the weight is not an issue to me. I'm looking now for one with a real K-mount but the price has climbed over time. Guess I'll keep this one.
Forum Member

Registered: January, 2015
Posts: 71

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 14, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $15.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Super sharp, good range, pretty fast, wonderful macro with a good close up lens
Cons: No "A" setting, heavy, only goes to 1:4 by itself
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-50   

I used to have this lens and my overall impressions were pretty good, but my Tamron 19AH was clearly better at all settings. I ended up selling that copy. I recently acquired another one for next to nothing because it looked new and unused and I couldn't help myself. I don't know if I got a particularly good copy this time, or if my old one was defective in some way, but I am blown away by the sharpness of copy #2.

Here is a shot using the Olympus MCON-35 macro extension (+2.8 Diopter). This is at minimum focus distance at 210mm and f/16, which gets very close to 1:1. Sharpness seems to peak at f/8 or f/11, but I see very little IQ loss due to diffraction at f/16. It is much more pronounced at f/22.

I don't have any modern, top of the line lenses to compare this to, but it's as good as I've gotten out of vintage glass in this focal length range on my K-50. I have tried two copies of the Komine version 3 and was not impressed, mainly due to sensor reflection issues as it is stopped down. I get zero sensor reflection even fully closed at f/22 with this Tokina version 2.

50% crop:

Veteran Member

Registered: August, 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 302
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $58.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, solid build, excellent color and contrast
Cons: No A setting, weight, CA
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-3   

Very nice lens considering its limitations, being an old design and usable only as a manual lens. I rate it 8 primarily because I just don't use longer lenses much and it is heavy to carry around. I have no problem with it's perfomance, however, and because it didn't cost much, it is good to have available. I am usually on tripod while using it (especially towards the 210 end), after all, the 35mm film equivalent is 105-315 on my K-3.
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: very few aberrations,very sharp lens
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: k-x,k200,mz-50,sfx.,z20p etc   

I've both versions,difference scarcely,excellent corrected, nice macro feature,very good sharpness,nice bokeh
for converter using favorable, similar to some excellent old manual 2,8/70-210 and much more better than some new modern plastic buildt lenses
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2009
Posts: 398
Lens Review Date: November 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 7 

Pros: fast all the way through the range
Cons: first stop down is f5.6, heavy
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 6    Value: 8   

Amazing build quality, but it turns the opposite way to Pentax, and I mainly use Pentax manual primes, so this is very confusing, particularly if trying to adjust the plane of focus. Capable of very high resolutions especially at 70mm. Long end is not as sharp in my shots but that could simply be down to camera shake. Wide open, it flares terribly and the first stop down is f5.6. Cool colours, looked blue in comparison to my Pentax lenses. Lack of protection for the aperture lever. Mount looks like its built to last.

Net net net, nicely built, but Pentax lenses suit me better so I sold this on. In fact, there is so little difference in price, if you are buying this for the long end performance, get the M 200...there is no competition. The fact that there is so much flare at f3.5 means that f5.6 is the first usable aperture setting in my opinion.
New Member

Registered: August, 2010
Location: British Columbia
Posts: 13
Lens Review Date: August 27, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $110.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: about 30 years old, and my copy looks and feels like new, very tight and smoth operation
Cons: wish there was a wide angle equivelent

Best lens i have, i sold my DAL 50-200mm to finance the vivitar... boy am i glad i did. where the pentax just sat on a shelf, the vivitar won't leave my camera bag.

manual control and all, its still much easier to get beautiful shots which the pentax was unable to deliver. Guess such comparison isnt even fair as the pentax is not in the same class.

the vivitar series 1 (tokina) is a very sharp lens with beautiful colors, for a 30 year old lens it is buttery smooth, and tight with all controls... still looks like its brand new. its an extremely high quality lens. really a pleasure to use. I will never get rid of it.

i'm using it on a pentax kx.The green button, manual focus... its all a pleasure considering how many shots are keepers the manual effort isn't even an issue

seems i preffer the manual control as i use my pentax-m 50mm f1.4 pretty often aswell. (another excellent lens)

also i have 2 other vivitars on their way as well, cant wait to try them.
1. vivitar 28mm f2.5 (by Kiron)
2. vivitar 28-85mm 2.8-3.8 mc (by kiron)

Senior Member

Registered: January, 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 206
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: Sharpest of all Series 1 70-210mm, Lighter than version 1 and 3 of this lens, well built
Cons: No "A" aperture setting, only 1:4 macro

In my opinion, this is one of the finest lenses that I have ever laid my hands on. It is built like a tank, yet not so heavy that it is uncomfortable. In my comparisons, this Tokina made version is noticeably the sharpest of all the Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm lenses. It is also sharper than the Pentax-A 70-210mm and the Pentax DA 50-200mm.

The colors and contrast are very impressive. It just does not get much better than this.

My only complaint is (obviously) manual focus, no "A" aperture setting, only 1:4 macro, and zoom creep. A lot of people go crazy for the version 3 (made by Komine) with the "A" settings and f/2.8-4, but if you are after the sharpest of the bunch... this is it!

Read a comparison of the 3 versions of the Series 1 70-210mm lenses by Hin Man here:
Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 70-210mm f/3.5 (Version 2) - made by Tokina

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