old 3rd party lenses test - quality?

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by jcn, Dec 29, 2003.

  1. jcn

    jcn Guest

    ....looking for a test of old 3rd party lenses. there are
    a lot of used 2/135, 3,5/200, 4/80-200, etc. lenses for
    very little money.
    eg. just bought a vivitar md 2,8/135 - solid piece of glass!

    what about the quality of these soligor, vivitar, tokina, etc.
    any links, tests or reviews? can someone report his experiences?
    thank´s a lot.
    jcn, Dec 29, 2003
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  2. Take a look at the following site:


    Johnny Johnson, Dec 29, 2003
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  3. jcn

    Alan Browne Guest

    Look at the Chasseur D'Images site. They have a comprehensive set of
    reports that *might* inlcude the lenses you're looking for. Downside is
    purchasing the reports... but thay are listed at the site.

    Alan Browne, Dec 29, 2003
  4. jcn

    Tony Spadaro Guest

    With used equipment the only test that is going to be meaningful is the test
    you make on the actual lens you have. Time does not treat every item exactly
    the same.
    Tony Spadaro, Dec 29, 2003
  5. jcn

    jriegle Guest

    Some are exceptional and some are junk. For one example, A 135mm f2.8 Focal
    brand (Kmart's house brand - I think) was very sharp, easily a match for my
    Pentax 135mm. Another was a 135mm f/2.8 Sears lens with a special macro
    mode. This lens was terrible. Contrast was poor (macro or non macro focus).
    jriegle, Dec 29, 2003
  6. jcn

    Eyemgruvin Guest

    Subject: old 3rd party lenses test - quality?
    The Vivitar Series One and Tamron SP were superb lenses. Perhaps some of the
    photo mags have archived old test reports of lenses.
    Eyemgruvin, Dec 30, 2003
  7. The old Vivitar Series One lenses were made by Kiron, and were easily the
    equal of much OEM glass. I suspect Russ at Quietlightphoto could help you
    determine if yours is a Kiron.

    As in much else, one gets what one pays for, but one is well advised to
    learn what it is that one gets. In this case, you pay for the odds: most
    expensive glass is most likely to be up to spec, and least expensive much
    less so. In the used market, these bets are off, by and large, so it's a
    matter of judging the individual item. Lens design itself is a rather
    mature science, where materials provide the limiting factors. What's
    relevant here is how that applies to older lenses.

    Before the advent of the recent explosive growth in materials technology, it
    was a fairly level playing field out there in lens-land. One paid for
    build quality, primarily, and that meant exactly that: how carefully was
    the lens assembled and tuned? Some designs were easier in that regard than
    others, of course, but except for the very highest level, it was a matter
    of getting hold of a really good example of whatever brand/model of lens
    one sought.

    Thus one could find an exceptional ProMaster or Focal, but much more rarely
    than one could find in the camera manufacturer's products. And of course,
    this was even more true for Zeiss and Leica, the latter was pretty much
    guaranteed, if not the former.

    Nowadays, what with the ability to mold multi-index (of refraction) elements
    and build to tolerances machinists are hard put to match, one really does
    pay for a difference in intrinsic product quality.


    Bill Tallman
    William D. Tallman, Dec 30, 2003
  8. jcn

    Jean Guest

    Mark One Tamron Adaptall 2 lens's are amongst the best 3rd Party Lens's ever
    made, just make sure its the Mk1 AD2, they went down hill from the Mk2, and
    the AF range are bottle bottom glass in comparison.

    Jean, Dec 30, 2003
  9. jcn

    Paul Rubin Guest

    Basically those companies could do the simple designs pretty well
    and the complicated designs not so well.

    135/2.8, 200/3.5: simple designs, can be good lenses

    80-200/4, 135/2: much harder to do right, these will be crap.

    I have one of the 135/2's and found it useful for some low light
    shooting situations, but it really wasn't a very good lens.
    Paul Rubin, Dec 30, 2003
  10. I had a Vivitar Series One f 2,8-4/28-105 mm PKA Lens.As an Expert of
    World Health Organisation I was living in Africa with its marvelous
    motives for four years.
    This lens was a nigthmare for me.I had some Ricoh Rikenon P lenses and
    it is a diametrally different story!
    I warn You,newer buy this lens!Mechanically O.K.,optically Pepsi Light
    bottle bottom!
    If You are shooting negatives buy for example a good f2/35 mm prime
    and crop the pictures,slides afford much more expensive zoom f.e.
    2,8/28-70.The moments are wanishing,the lenses stay!DON`T SPOIL THE
    Thomas Glaser, Dec 30, 2003
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