Vivitar have by no means manufactured lenses themselves, however they’ve designed, sourced and bought a lot of them, and full marks for innovation and a selected honesty are so as. The design facet introduced the zoom lens into the mainstream of pictures and the uncommon honesty was their try to be straight about what the time period macro actually meant. To Vivitar of the 1970s and 1980s, macro meant life-size, or 1:1 magnification, not the macro time period used freely on many manufacturers’ zoom lenses, a few of which didn’t focus notably intently. This early Tremendous Zoom, made for Vivitar by Kobori, focuses right down to 1:4, or one-quarter life-size, and for this Vivitar coined the time period “macro focusing zoom lens”. Vivitar zooms have been marketed as amongst the primary true zooms of top of the range, so let’s examine how that stands up in the present day, utilizing the 36MP Pentax Okay-1 and an M42 screw thread model of the lens.

Vivitar 28-200mm f/3.5-5.Three Macro Focusing Zoom Classic Lens Dealing with and Options

Vivitar 28-200mm f/3.5-5.3 Macro Focusing Zoom Vintage Lens
 

In widespread with most handbook focus lenses from the 1970s and 1980s, the Vivitar is comparatively slim, presumably as a result of there are not any AF motors and circuit boards so as to add in, however they’re comparatively heavy in comparison with present manufacture. Steel and glass make this M42 model of the lens weigh in at a hefty 640g with out caps. Made by Kobori within the early 1980s, it’s multicoated, important actually contemplating its optical system of 18 components in 16 teams. Once more typical of the period, the diaphragm contains simply 6 blades.

Vivitar was one of many first to supply high-quality zooms that have been billed as being the equal of prime lenses, and though we’ll reserve judgement on that till we have a look at the technical outcomes, it’s true that the lens appears very effectively made.

Vivitar 28-200mm f/3.5-5.3 Macro Focusing Zoom Vintage Lens
 

Beginning our lens tour on the entrance, we discover a 72mm customary filter thread. Instantly behind that is the big trombone motion mixed focusing and zoom ring. Push/pull to zoom, rotate to focus. It is extremely spectacular that when the vertical shot was manufactured from the lens, with the zoom pushed totally out, it didn’t transfer within the slightest, regardless of the burden of all that cup. Most lenses would slowly creep downwards beneath that weight, however not the Vivitar. The zooming motion could be very easy, as is the focusing. The main target throw in the usual vary is a really small 30 levels, so there’s a actual restrict to its precision. On this vary, handbook focusing, in fact, the minimal focus distance is 2.5m, or 8.2 ft, some of the apparent limitations of a zoom as in comparison with a chief lens. At 28mm, we’d have the sphere of view, however a chief lens is perhaps anticipated to focus right down to 0.3m or so. Nonetheless, at 200mm focusing continues into the macro focusing vary, right down to 1.1m or 3.6 ft. That is fairly spectacular for a 200mm lens and offers us a most magnification of 1:4; one-quarter life-size.

Vivitar 28-200mm f/3.5-5.3 Macro Focusing Zoom Vintage Lens
 

Trombone motion zooms imply that it’s potential to supply markings indicating the depth of area. There are blue traces that present DOF at f/8, which is highlighted in blue on the aperture ring, and inexperienced traces that present DOF at f/22, additionally highlighted, in inexperienced. The purple line is the IR focusing indicator, exhibiting the displacement in-focus place for IR pictures.

There are extra marks of significance. The purple dot signifies the aperture chosen, however the inexperienced line near it reveals the discount in aperture as we zoom in to 200mm. That is in fact solely approximate and for the needs of our MTF and CA graphs we present solely the right worth for max aperture and the marked worth for different apertures, however all the right aperture values for 200mm as this data was supplied on the time by Vivitar and included within the lens instruction handbook.

Vivitar 28-200mm f/3.5-5.3 Macro Focusing Zoom Vintage Lens

The aperture ring itself is closest to the digicam physique, and the effectivity of this can rely considerably on the mount variation getting used. The lens was out there in Contax/Yashica, Canon FD, Konica AR, Nikon F, Olympus OM, Pentax Okay, Pentax KA, Minolta MD, Minolta MC and in addition M42 screw mount. The model used for this evaluation is the M42 lens, mounted on a Pentax Okay-1 utilizing the Pentax Adapter Okay. This makes the aperture ring uncomfortably near the digicam and really fiddly to make use of, particularly as its resistance is kind of agency. Turning the aperture in the direction of f/3.5 tends to barely unscrew the lens, which isn’t useful and wishes watching. Not solely that, however the auto/handbook swap widespread in screw mount lenses is not possible to show while the lens is mounted on the digicam. Usually, because the mount is completely handbook, with no electronics in any respect, the swap might be set to auto to focus at most wide-open aperture, after which moved to handbook to cease right down to the chosen worth. As an alternative, the swap must be set on handbook and the lens bodily opened up after which closed down once more to focus after which to shoot on the desired worth.

All of that is most inconvenient when the lens is used on a tripod, however to be truthful it’s barely simpler when used handheld and there’s barely higher entry to the aperture ring. One of the best method is to focus at open aperture after which rely the clicks to cease right down to the required aperture. This works effectively in observe and does enhance dealing with.

 

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