Vivitar Series 1 lenses and one with sticky aperature

Discussion in '35mm Cameras' started by braxus, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. braxus

    braxus Guest

    I just got a lens off Ebay. Yes it seems this is another winner sale here.
    Anyway the lens is a 28-90 Vivitar Series 1 F2.8 and the aperature is
    sticking. Sometimes it will close down, sometimes not. When it goes from
    close to open it has a slow comeback almost as if its spring action is slow.
    I enquired on this at a store and they said what it may need is a service to
    clean and relube the lens which costs $75 Canadian. Is this worth it? I've
    already made the investment in the lens and returning it may not be an
    option. I paid $75 US for the lens. The camera store says I got a good deal
    and its a good lens, so he thinks its worth it. Could this be all it is or
    something more with the Vivitars Im unaware of? Im currently trying to
    contact the seller to resolve this issue.
    I also got a Vivitar 70-210 Series 1 lens from a different person. That one
    is in good shape. No probs. What Im wondering since both lenses have focal
    length between 70-90mm, which lens should I use over the other for this
    focal range? The tele or the wider angle one? By the way both of these are
    for Canon FD mounts. Both are the 67mm filter size version.

    PS I must add that the weight of both the T-90 tank and the 2 Vivitar lenses
    on this camera- man I need muscles now to hold this thing all day. Looks
    like the Rebel G will get more use now. :p
    braxus, Aug 12, 2003
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  2. Since the lens is a Canon FD, it means that it was made in the early-mid
    '80s, so it was made for Vivitar by Kiron. Kiron was noted for their
    excelent optics, the quality of which far exceeded their business sense.

    I would return the lens on pricipal, whomever sold it to you ripped you
    off. If that's not possible or is not an issue, then I would get it
    fixed. I would not have bought it for $75 US, knowing I'd have to put
    $75 Canadian into it to use it, but given the choice of paying the
    $75 Canadian or tossing it, I'd fix it.
    I don't think anyone can say. It's more a question of which lens feels
    easier to use and which one YOU produce better pictures with. I'd rather
    carry the 28-90 and leave the 70-210 in the camera bag or at home, but
    that's personal preference.

    Just a reminder, Canon dropped the FD mount around 1985. You can't say
    for sure, as no one really knows when they stopped making cameras and
    lenses that used it and sold off old stock while they retooled for the
    EOS system. Therefore it is highly unlikley you will find anything made
    for it (with the exception of a small run of cameras sold in Asia) made
    by anyone after 1990.

    Any camera or lens that old will probably need service now, or if not,
    soon and that should be taken into account when you buy things.

    Especialy be warry of A-1's who need to have their mirror gears
    lubricated, and T-90's whose 10 year lithium batteries are way past due
    for replacement.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 12, 2003
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  3. braxus

    braxus Guest

    I talked to the seller on this. He will not accept a lens return since the
    package has been openned. He said the lens hadnt been used in a year. Ok. He
    mentioned it did work fine last time it was used. Ok. We came to an
    agreement after I said Id have the lens shipped out for repair and then show
    him the invoice, Id have some of my money refunded for the lens. Now the
    cost for repair I found out may be more then $75 C. They said ripping these
    things apart is more complex then indicated. I'll see what the repair quote
    comes to. So much for getting a deal. This is one of the things that should
    have been checked before sale however as its easy to check without even
    mounting the lens. I also sent out my T-90 with the lens to also get
    repaired. It needs some circuit board repair to get the shutter working
    again. The shutter is new in the camera, but that repair obviously wasn't
    done properly last time. Too bad the warranty ran out. Well its humbling to
    know the 70-210 lens I also got which I overpaid for by double, works fine.
    So at least thats one good thing. Good thing I also have an AE-1 to use
    while my T-90 gets fixed. Also buying a Rebel G body to play with and start
    in the AF world. Man all this gets so expensive. Gotta love this hobby.
    braxus, Aug 13, 2003
  4. That's a good indication to me that it doesn't work. Like untested with
    surplus electronics.
    I would wait until he gets the bill and see what he does. If he dosen't pay
    negative feedback him!! Don't do it now, as it may just get him upset and
    he won't pay.

    Does it display DEAD in the viewfinder. If so, it's not their fault, sort of.
    That's the 10 year lithium battery going. IMHO if they replaced the shutter
    on a T-90, they should have replaced the battery, or given you the option.
    (It would have been about $10 more.)

    Too bad you're in Canada. I have an EOS Rebel 2000 I'd love to get rid of.

    Geoffrey S. Mendelson, Aug 13, 2003
  5. braxus

    braxus Guest

    You may be right. Will have to see.
    Already there. I planned on holding off on feedback till this issue is
    No it doesn't. Its fine. The LCD also is fine. The shutter was replaced in
    '99 when they still had shutters to put in, and 2 rolls went through it
    Curious. What you asking for the body? I have a buddy in Seattle.
    braxus, Aug 14, 2003
  6. braxus

    Kevin Butz Guest

    Its up to you, but if you can't return it, I would definitely FIX the lens.
    I got one of the 28-90s last year and couldn't be happier with it. At $50 ca
    to have it tweeked your still ahead of the game and will have a great lens
    in hand.

    Kevin Butz, Jun 24, 2004
  7. braxus

    Kiron Kid Guest

    I just got a lens off Ebay. Yes it seems this is another winner sale here.

    The Vivitar S-1 28-90, is a very good lens. It is worth the time and money
    to have it cleaned. Back in the mid 80's, when your lens was made (by Komine,
    for Vivitar) they used animal based lubricants in the lenses. Over time and
    heat, they break down, and migrate down onto the aperture blades. Slowing them
    down, and eventually they will stick open. The modern day synthetic based
    lubricants are much more impervious to temperature extreme's and time. If it is
    done correctly, the problem should not reoccur. I, like Kevin, highly recommend
    that you have this particular lens fixed. It's a great lens. I've also included
    my review of the Vivitar Series 1, 70-210 lenses. Yours is the first edition.

    Regarding Viv S-1 glass. There are numerous (6) Series 1, 70-210 lenses.
    However, for the sake of discussion, we will deal with the first five. The 4th
    & 5th editions are nothing to seriously consider, so we will concentrate on the
    first three editions, which are the good one's. The 4th & 5th editions are also
    2.8-4 variable aperture model's, but lacking in construction quality (Cosina
    built). Due to the fact that the third one is a variable aperture lens, (2.8-4)
    it will be somewhat sharper than a fixed aperture lenses. It is much easier to
    design and build a quality variable aperture lens.

    The first edition was designed by Vivitar (Ellis Betensky had a hand in it)
    and built by Kiron. (67mm filter) It is a professional caliber lens, with a 1:2
    macro feature built into it. It was the first zoom, designed with the aid of
    computers, that truly rivaled the OEM lenses of the time. That was in "76." It
    is a very high quality zoom, that will deliver professional quality results.

    The second edition (my personal favorite) was built by Tokina, per, Vivitars
    specs. It too, is a fixed 3.5 aperture, but smaller, lighter and sharper. (62mm
    filter size). I really like it because of the fixed 3.5 aperture which is nice
    for focusing in dim light and long range flash work. However, not a true macro,
    1:4 life size. However, it deliver's very good results!

    The third edition was made by Komine, and like the first two, is very well
    built. It is a 2.8-4 variable aperture lens, and the sharpest of the bunch. It
    has 1:2.5 life size macro from 100-210mm's, with a working distance of about
    two feet. Which can be quite useful. Can you see a discernible difference in
    slides taken with either one of them? Probably not! Don't get caught up in
    bench tests. Any of the first three editions will give you
    professional-publishable images. I really like this lens, and in time may
    become my favorite.

    Personally, I recommend the second or third edition of the line. I have and
    use all three of the first editions, and can highly recommend any one of them.
    Superb optics and construction.

    Also, the Kiron 70-210 f/4, is an excellent performer that deliver's
    professional caliber results.

    If you have anymore questions about the Vivitar or Kiron lenses, or want more
    detailed information on a particular lens, please don't hesitate to ask. I also
    have the the production code for the Vivitar lens line, which enables me to
    identify the manufacturer, and date of manufacture, for any of the Vivitar
    lenses. Are you aware of the Viv S-1 28-90 or the Kiron 28-85? As for Kiron
    glass, well that's another discussion.........
    Kiron Kid, Jun 25, 2004
  8. braxus

    Mark Roberts Guest

    I have a page of info on the 70-210 Series 1 lens(es)
    If there's anything you can add I'd be grateful.
    Mark Roberts, Jun 26, 2004
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