zondag 4 maart 2012

vivitar 200mm f/3.5

Vivitar was a lens re-seller, and the serial numbers are an indicator who actually manufactured the lens. There is some difference in optical quality and exterior per manufacturer. You can check who made your lens on this list
The serial number on my lens starts with 28 which means it’s made by Komine.

I am not sure if I am really positive about this lens. In test shots it shows what it can do, but in the field (which is way more important) it is a lens which takes getting used to before you get good results. It is pretty difficult to get the right focus, and if you missed just a bit you will notice it. I guess I will be more positive about it in the future, but for now I really need to pay attention to my focus, more than on any other lens (except for macro photos)

Handling the lens
The lens feels solid, it is quite heavy but not front heavy. You can stabilize it quite easily and does not feel unbalanced on my D60. The focus ring is quite smooth, not as smooth as my Nikkor lenses, this one uses oil. This is a major disadvantage during cold days because the oil becomes stiff and the lens is harder to focus. However most of the off-brand lenses use oil in their focus mechanisms so I won’t nag about it anymore. The thing is, focus is really critical with this lens. When I first got it and tested it I was a bit carless about my focussing. At first I thought I bought a dog because images were soft. This lens does not tolerate focus errors at all, and the right focus is a bit hard to achieve. It takes a smaller twist on the focus ring than I used to to defocus the lens. This is could be because the focus ring is not precise enough, but I think it’s mostly because it is a longer lens with a faster aperture than I normally use. The lens has a built in hood. It is relatively short and I am not sure how effective it really is. But it probably is better than nothing and it seems like a nice feature. (especially during the rain to keep your front element dry)

Wide open this lens is extremely prone to CA. In high contrast situations you’re able to see it without looking closely. During processing you will find CA everywhere. However it falls within the limits of what’s correctable in my post processing program ( I use Capture NX 2, but I’m sure any other program will be able to cope with it as well)
The sharpness wide open is a small OK. It does not shine wide open. At f/3.5 details start to blur, perhaps also caused by the CA.

without correction

With correction

At f/5.6 the quality starts to increase rapidly. Sharpness increases to great, but CA is still visible, but a lot less. You won’t be able to see it at normal magnifications, only when you zoom in for small precise adjustments (hey not pixel peeping right?) I would be confident to use this lens for a large print for a paid job at f/5.6.



Bokeh is all right, with busy backgrounds it can be distracting, especially branches. The only solution is to open up your lens, or come closer. But a lot of lenses won’t be able to handle it very well. If the background is a bit smoother the bokeh will be all right.

I bought this lens mostly because I wanted something faster than my 70-210 f/4-5.6 for my walk around wildlife photographs. And this lens does the job all right, it is a good lens but nothing special. It is not as sharp wide open as my 70-210, but this one has a faster aperture. I end up using this lens as a regular 200mm f/5.6 lens with some emergency extra F-stops. The reason I do so is because focus is really critical and I just need the DoF to get sharp images. Especially for wild life because the focus ring has more friction than my Nikkor lenses (but as much friction as my other 3rd party lenses) which makes it a bit less precise. And because the real sharpness of the lens is just better at f/5.6 So in conclusion I do recommend this lens, but don’t pay too much for it. The lens is OK, but nothing more. 

If you want full resolution images, just sent me an email, and I will send them to you. I just don't like to put up full resolution images

2 opmerkingen:

  1. Fijne lens is dit, nog steeds. Ik gebruik hem met een adapter op een Nikon 3100. Met tussenringen en CA correctie in Adobe LR echt een toppertje