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Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount Review RSS Feed

Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount

Reviews Views Date of last review
2 10,471 Sat May 9, 2015
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $37.50 8.50
Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount

Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount
Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount
Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount
Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount
Vivitar (Tokina) 35mm f2.5 or 2.8; T4 / TX and fixed mount

The tokina made Vivitar 35mm can be found in T4, TX and fixed mounts. According to online comment the T4 was 2.8/35 and did not change from the time of introduction to the end. It had a milled focus sleeve. The f2.5/35 was introduced when the TX line replaced the T4 series, ca. 1975. The f2.8/35mm TX version was introduced a few years later. These later ones have rubber grips.
Vivitar also sourced 35mm f2.8's from Kino Optical (kiron) 22xxxx serials, Komine, 28xxxxx serials, and Cosina 9xxxxxx serials.

Optical Formula: 7 elements in 7 groups
Aperture Mechanism: 6 slightly curved blades
Aperture: f2.5 - f 16, single stop clicks
Focus: ~ 300 deg throw, anti-pentax rotation.
Minimum Focus Distance: 27cm
Minimum Length, including PK TX exchangeable mount and caps: 74 mm
Maximum Diameter: 70mm, including the bulge for the Open/Close button
Weight, including PK TX exchangeable mount and caps: 314 gm
Filter Diameter: 58mm
Slip on metal cap diameter: 60 mm
Angle of Acceptance: 63 degrees

PDF of a TX mount user manual here.
T4 M42 mount mod described here (second post March 20 2009).
How to make a TX- PK mount work on a T4 lens (it will fit but you can't move the aperture ring) - see this thread.

Lens in pic 4 is a OM mount, pic 5 is M42. f2.8 version specs:

52mm filter thread.
Serial number starting "37" indicates it was manufactured by Tokina.
Aperture stops down in half-stops from f/2.8 to f/16.
M42 mount with A/M switch.
Eight aperture blades.
Focusing ring turns almost full 360 from infinity down to 0.4m.
Mount Type: Non-Pentax Mount
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: February, 2015
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: May 9, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharpness, color rendering, no CA or distortion.
Cons: None so far.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: ILCE-6000   

After hunting for a good vintage manual focus 35mm prime in M42 mount with little satisfaction, my research lead me to this gem by Tokina. This lens is also available under the Ricoh marque. And probably branded by others.

Build quality is very good, typical all metal/glass construction. Focus throw is ideal. Optical performance is excellent. Center sharp wide open, with nice bokeh. Color is accurate and rich. No CA, or PF detected, and stopped down, it's very sharp for landscapes. It's near field and far field focus is well balanced. I didn't see any problems with flare either. But I do shoot with a hood regardless.

I like it better than a Super Takumar 35 f/3.5. Sharper and faster than the Tak. A definite recommended buy should you need a 35mm prime.
New Member

Registered: February, 2012
Posts: 15
Lens Review Date: November 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: Very good wide open, and it is fast compared with most zooms
Cons: CA round the borders, doesn't improve stopping down
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 8    Camera Used: Samsung GX20   

When I started with a Digital SLR, I had nothing faster than f3.5 at less than 50mm, so I bought some inexpensive wider primes to give me f2.8 for use (mainly indoors) in lower light. When I bought the Tamron 17-50mm f2.8 AF, I hoped it would cure me of LBA, but unfortunately it just meant the faster primes became larger, harder to find and more expensive.

The Vivitar TX 35mm f2.5 is one such purchase.

Actually, I like it. When I bought it, it was a bit faster than anything else that I had at 35mm, I find the extra half stop or so over the Tamron 17-50mm AF useful, and the TX is the easiest to focus of anything I have at 35mm without the benefit of a split screen or an eyepiece magnifier attachment. Wide open, the TX displays excellent contrast and sharpness in the centre of the image. Focusing is lovely and smooth. The TX handles very nicely; a plus from the lens's possibly excessive diameter is very precise manual focusing.

The drawbacks with the TX are:
  • It doesn't get any better at all as it is stopped down. It starts better than the Tamron 17-50mm wide open, but by f5.6 the Tamron surpasses it
  • There is obvious CA in the corners and along the edges when the image is viewed at 1:1. And this, remember, is on an APS-C sensor
  • The CA doesn't diminish much, if at all, as the lens is stopped down
  • I have to use a hood, otherwise veiling flare is a problem, even if there are no obvious light sources other than the sky
  • It seems unnecessarily bulky. The CZJ 35mm f2.4 Flektogon is almost exactly the same length, but it takes a 49mm filter rather than a 58mm filter.
The CZJ 35mm f2.4 Flektogon is faster again, shows less CA, and improves markedly as it is stopped down. The Flektogon gives subtle renditions of fine detail, but the contrast of the Flektogon is much lower than that of the TX wide open, and even with the Seagull focusing magnifier I find focusing the Flektogon in poor light is tricky. By f5.6, the Flektogon shows much less difference between the corners and the centre than the TX, but overall the Flektogon is still behind at f5.6.

The Cosina 35mm f2.8 is tiny by comparison with the TX. Wide open, the Cosina 35mm f2.8 is ahead of the Tamron and nearly up with the TX, and by f5.6 the Cosina surpasses the TX. But at f5.6 Tamron has overtaken the Cosina. The Cosina shows the least CA of any of these primes. The Tamron always has better contrast than the Cosina, and shows no CA whatsoever.

I find autofocus with the Tamron on the GX-20 to be hit and miss. It doesn't seem to be back focus per se. When I 'improve' the focus manually, my manual adjustment is still considered to be 'in focus' by focus confirm. I need the Seagull, though, to do this with both the Cosina and the Tamron.

In conclusion, the TX has a place; used wide open for available light shooting. The main reason I don't use it more is my Vivitar (Kiron) 28mm f2. Rather wider, but faster still.

For good measure, I also compared the Pentax-M 40mm f2.8. Sharpness is in the same ballpark as the others mentioned here, and it is of course tiny. Whilst it may be the case that I have low standards, I recommend all of these.

Overall, I give the TX an 8. I have marked it down for its rather restricted applicability in my situation.
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