Author Topic: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro  (Read 304 times)

MEPER

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Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« on: March 22, 2021, 23:16:15 »
I just received this lens which I in a long time had wanted to try out. It should exists in a modern Tokina ATX version but I wanted the original for the build quality and historical reasons.
It came in mint condition and 1:1 optical adapter still thin plastic protect on it. The pictures at ebay of the lens was quite poor and description in France and the black lens case was "cracked" because of aging. So I was lucky and took the chance and made an offer which was accepted.

Do you know the lens?

To check if lens was really ok I took a couple of images with it at 2.5 and it has the special soft bokeh many talks about.
Image of watch is shot at ISO 3200 on Z50.....so not lens fault if a bit grainy.....

Now I have the Nikkor 105/4 and 105/2.8 VR.....it could be fun to compare the bokeh quality and sharpness. I am sure 90/2.5 has less LoCA compared to 105/2.8 VR-

Roland Vink

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2021, 00:43:14 »
I have the Tokina version which has the same optics. The Tokina is supposed to have better coatings, although they don't look quite as good as AI Nikkors - the reflections are brighter. The build quality is also supposed to be less solid than the Vivitar, although it still appears to be a very well made lens - in the hand feels as good as any AI Nikkor.

I haven't used mine much, mainly because I have too many other macro lenses to choose from :) From my limited experience, it is a sharp lens. Wide open there is some loss of contrast and an overall softness to the image although it is plenty sharp. Contrast increases on stopping down a bit. Given it's reputation for good bokeh I was a bit disappointed with the background rendition at medium-far distances - it's not bad but I think the 105/2.5 is better. At closer distances the bokeh is very nice :)

Mine came with the 1:1 extender but I sold it as I bought it mainly to use as a medium-tele/portrait lens that can focus closer than normal (why do all 85mm lenses only go down to 0.8-0.85m?). I have other options for getting to 1:1 which gives me more working distance.

David H. Hartman

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2021, 01:18:35 »
I just received this lens which I in a long time had wanted to try out. It should exists in a modern Tokina ATX version but I wanted the original for the build quality and historical reasons.


My memory from the old days is Vivitar was an American company that was a pioneer in computer aided optical design. They had their products manufactured in Japan so the quality was very good. The Series 1 lenses were Vivitar's premium line and enjoyed a good reputation. Vivitar is probably best known for the Vivitar 283, a sent from God speedlight for JP and PR photographers. Some years back the name "Vivitar" was sold and lower quality products were manufactured in China.

Dave

The Vivitar 283 and similar 285 have trigger voltages too high for modern cameras. This is old news on Flickr sites like Strobist.com.


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MEPER

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2021, 07:51:45 »
It will be fun to explore what the lens can do. I also read that the coating on the Tokina version should be better but by look the Vivitar coating looks ok. And built quality is very good (same feel like Leica-R lenses).
Another reason I wanted the lens was that I was told that a "hand picked" one was the one which took the image that was used to make the x1000 enlargement from a 24x36mm frame from Gigabit film:
http://www.gigabitfilm.de/download/thousandfold_linear.pdf

Some more info about Gigabit here:
http://www.gigabitfilm.de/download/resolution.pdf
http://www.gigabitfilm.de/download/cln.pdf

That was that experiment that triggered me to get the lens......15 years back or so......but just got it now.
The "bokeh" roumors also made be interested. I think the Tamron 90/2.5 SP also has this reputation.

rosko

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2021, 14:12:50 »
Your Vivitar seems to be similar to my ''Bokina'' 90mm ATX. The one Roland was tokina talking about ?  :)

I loved this lens but I resaled it as I had to many macro lenses at this time (around 2014). I remember it was quite heavy.
Francis Devrainne

richardHaw

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2021, 14:33:57 »
Tokina makes Vivitar lenses if i am not mistaken :o :o :o

when i was young, there was Chinon, Lenon, Soligor and others.

MEPER

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2021, 14:51:10 »
There is a list somewhere on the internet which states which Vivitar lens made by whom......Tokina made some of them but there were also other Japanese brands.....like Kiron and others?

I remember Soligor as "junk" :-)    ....also Petri.....I had a Petri zoom.....dull and gray images compared to my AI converted 35/2 Nikkor-O-C   .....when I got my FE2 + 35 O-C and 85 H-C I sold the Petri :-)
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Thomas Stellwag

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2021, 18:11:15 »
https://www.apotelyt.com/camera-kit/vivitar-catalog

here is one of them and a lot more about Vivitar

37 was indeed the Tokina numbering
Thomas Stellwag

David H. Hartman

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2021, 19:32:51 »
Many years ago when I tested all of my lenses on Kodak Techpan I took an insurance photo of my 135/5.6 Componon-S using a 55/2.8 AIS Micro-Nikkor. I was so amazed at the resolution that I made a 5x7 print of a small area and counted the tooling ridges on the barrel of my enlaring lenses. I used a needle to count the ridges and estimated something above 110 lines per millimeter. The 55/2.8 was probably set to f/5.6 and the light source was most likely a Vivitar 285.

I'm quite sure my 50/1.8 AI and 55/2.8 AIS are able to exceed 100 lp/mm. I don't know the upper limits of these lenses. They have more than enough to satisfy my D850.

Dave
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Akira

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2021, 19:36:05 »
I had a Tokina version of this lens with the dedicated macro adapter.  I remember I was impressed by the red coating of the lenses used in the adapter.  Here in Japan, people said that it was a must-have for the butterfly shooters.

IIRC, the lens was originally designed by Kodak.
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MEPER

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2021, 19:42:51 »
It is always interesting to see what other people think about the lens and here there are also some nice images......and a couple of what I would call.....very nice images.....and it was not the butterfly....
https://www.pentaxforums.com/userreviews/vivitar-series-1-90mm-2-5-macro.html

The list of manufactures of Vivitar lenses very interesting. Some brands I did not know like Perkins and Bauer and a few others.
Also nice there are images of the lenses. The 450/4.5 mirror could be fun to try and also the 800/11 mirror.

rosko

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2021, 19:57:05 »
https://www.apotelyt.com/camera-kit/vivitar-catalog

here is one of them and a lot more about Vivitar

37 was indeed the Tokina numbering

Many  thanks for this link, Thomas !

Very interesting piece of photographic history.
Francis Devrainne

John Geerts

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2021, 23:21:12 »
Interesting information in the link, Thomas.

I have the Series One 200mm f/3, made by Komine. A remarkable lens.

MEPER

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Re: Vintage Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro
« Reply #13 on: March 24, 2021, 21:16:40 »
I did a small quick test this evening and compared 90mm at 2.5 with AIS Nikkor 105/2.5 at 2.5. Handhold with a bit of support. Took several images and picked the sharpest from both. I will not conclude anything after such a quick handhold test other that 90mm Vivitar seems to be very good at full aperture. First 90mm with additional two 100% crops and there after the 105mm.