Vivitar Series 1 90 f/2.5 macro. is it any good ?

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by emre_imamoglu, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. I'm looking for a cheap decent macro lens to use with my D70. AF ones
    are expensive for me, therefıre I started looking for a MF one. I
    don't think that metering will be a problem using the histogram. I
    know that current Vivitar products are not quite good. But I found a
    used Vivitar 90/2,5 Series 1. With the adapter it can go to 1:1. Is it
    any good? Heard of 105 f/2.5 but not this one. Any comments on the
    optical quality and value will be aprreciated.
  2. That particular Vivitar has a very good reputation. I believe that all 90/2.5 macro lenses
    were of the first generation
    of Vivitar Series I optics, which were as good as were available.

    Now, that particular lens may have been dropped or something and not be up to par, but I
    think you can reasonably expect it to be very good.
  3. I've owned one of these lenses since 1978 or thereabouts. I don't own a Nikon D-SLR (yet) so my comments only apply to film work. The lens is well-built and yields sharp, flat-field images. My only complaint is that there's a lot of glass, especially with the 3-element macro corrector/extender, so you have to be careful about internal reflections; use a lens hood when possible. With the D70's lens magnification factor your effective focal length may seem long for macro work?
  4. I use to own one and it's very sharp. Unfortunately it also suffers from excessive flare and ghosting in adverse lighting. Under good lighting conditions though, it's great.
  5. At the time it came out; it was the sharpest lens the photo mags had ever tested. It tested at 109 line pairs/mm at F11 and F16; on axis; AND the corners; at a 1:9.7 Mag. This lens was designed by an USA design optical design team in the North east I think. The one I have is a nice lens; with a quick focus. Many of these lenses were sold; they are way more common than the 105mm F2.5 VIVITAR Series lens.
  6. There is also a VIVITAR 90/2.5 macro of the same era; that is NOT a series 1 lens; that is decent; but has somewhat more corner darkness wide open. These lenses where made at the same time; and may not have been made by the same maker.
  7. I had this lens for two decades and it was a wonderful performer on a series of Nikon
    cameras. Most often I kept a 2X (Nikon) TC with it and the resolution still held up. After
    more than 20 years of hard use, the lens barrel started to get a little wobbly and the
    diaphragm blades began to get a little out of alignment, so I'd check those items on your
    potential purchase. But it's a great lens.
  8. I borrowed it briefly, and though I finally went for the 105/2.5 because it goes to 1:1 by itself, I can vouch that both these lenses look blisteringly sharp to my eyes.

  9. I had one years ago. Very Sharp. I have a 16X24 hand held enlargement made on K64 that really is good. Mine finally wouldn't stop down past F:16. I finally sold it when most of my copy work was handled better by a 60mm Nikkor (flat objects). I never used the 1:1 converter so I can't comment on that. The lens is heavy to carry, but as I said, super sharp.
  10. I agree with the veteran users of this lens who have posted above.

    This lens made me retire most of my micronikkors.

    It is an optical gem without any parallels.
  11. I have it --in a 42mm Pentax mount, and it's an excellent lens. The equal to it, is the
    Tamron 90mm 2.5 - also an amazingly sharp lens.
  12. Incidentally, the Tamron SP 90mm f2.5 Macro mentioned above is a copy of the Vivitar Series One. They are optically identical, except that the Tamron does not have an optical extension tube for 1:1, just a mechanical one. I have owned and used both of these lenses. The Tamron also has better multi-coating, IMHO. So, up to 2:1 in good lighting, the lenses are identical. The Vivitar is sharper at magnifications beyond 2:1 when the optical tube is used, and flare isn't a big problem. IMHO, the Tamron is better when flare is an issue in general use. FYI, I kept the Tamron over the Vivitar because of the Adaptall mount system, so I can use it on my Olympus, Leica, Canon, Minolta, and Pentax bodies, as well as my Nikons.
  13. The Viv S-1 90mm macro (made by Tokina)is a very good lens. Also, the Kiron 105 macro and Viv S-1 105 f/2.5 are extremely good.
  14. The Tamron SP 90mm macro is NOT a copy of the Vivitar Series 1 lens. Tamron has a patent on its optical design for the SP 90mm.
  15. I have one with a Minolta mount but now shoot Nikons. I would love to find a way to convert it to my Nikon D300. I would hate to give it up and may buy a roll of film and shoot something with my older Minolta. It is a great lens.
  16. I agree with the comments about the pros and cons of this lens which I've owned since it came out. I believe the other 90mm Vivitar referenced was an f/2.8, not f/2.5. And I don't think the Tamron is the same design; the number of elements and groups does not match up, for example. In any case no other lens ever racked up such high resolution figures in _Modern Photography_. Wide open it was a mere 98 lines/mm, center and edge, at 1:9.7 magnification. (Why that odd number? I believe this was based on a design for a copy machine lens, and so optimized for about 1:10 rather than the approximate 1:50 for a regular lens and 1:2 or 1:1 for a macro.) For reference, the highest figure for the Nikon 1.4 normal lens of that era was 70 lines/mm at f/8 and 1:50. Test results for the f/2.5 and the f/2.8 were about on a par with the Nikon normal lens at 1:50. At 1:1 and 1:2 the f/2.5 was much superior to the f/2.8. The lens is at its best on a copy stand with carefully controlled lighting that does not cause flare. BTW, if you look this up in one of _Modern's_ Photo Buying Guide Annuals the results for the two lenses are somewhat garbled together.
  17. There were both 90/2.8 and 90/2.5 non-Series 1 Vivitar macro lenses. The 90/2.8 was also sold in the U.S. under the Panagor name. I have the Panagor in Konica AR, Minolta MD and Nikon AI mounts. The 90/2.5 was sold in the U.S. under the Elicar, Spiratone and Rokunar names. The one I have is a Rokunar and is in Minolta MD mount. I have a 90/2.8 Vivitar Macro in OM mount. Both the f/2.5 and f/2.8 lenses are very good and focus to 1:1 without any additional extension tube. My 90/2.5 Vivitar Series 1 is in Canon FD mount. It is quite good but is not as well coated as the later Vivitar 100/2.8 Macro (22XXX...) which was sold under the Kiron name as a 105. I think this same lens was also sold as a 105/2.5 Vivitar Series 1. My 90/2.5 Tamron SP is the second model. I wanted a medium telephoto macro for Pentax K and M42. The 100mm Takumar M42 lenses are not that expensive but the 100mm Pentax macro lenses are sought after by users of K mount DSLRs. The Tamron was reasonably priced even in very nice condition and is a very good performer. I haven't compared it directly with any of my other macro lense son the 90-105 range but I like it.
  18. a bit of confusion here the only 90mm series 1 will only go to 1:2 with out the extender
    • Vivitar 90mm f/2.5 Macro (1:1 macro, made by Komine)
    • Vivitar 90mm f/2.8 Macro (1:1 macro, made by Komine)
    • Vivitar Series 1 90mm f/2.5 1:2 Macro, 1:1 achieved with dedicated extender, nicknamed the Bokina (made by Tokina)
    • Vivitar 100mm f/2.8 Macro (made by Kiron)
      • Vivitar Series 1 105mm f/2.5 macro (1:1 macro, made by Kiron)

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