70 210MM pentax vs vivitar

George Lazarette

Link Posted 14/02/2007 - 23:02
smc wrote:
johnriley wrote:
The Vivitar is not in the same league as the Pentax, and is much heavier and more unwieldy. Also, some of these old designs may not be ideal for your digital SLR.

You are correct that the 50-200mm will not suit your K1000, but it is superb on the DSLRs.

Not wishing to start a fight but I beg to differ on the Vivitar. Build quality and optice are excellent, depending on which one you buy - they were made under the same label by different manufacturers. I'll check which one I have (the serial number provides the information). I also have a 70-210/f4 - also an excellent optic. They are about the same size and wieght.

This is a rare instance of JR being less than 100% correct. The first three VS1 70-210s were very good lenses indeed. However, JR is right to say that they are heavy and unwieldy.

I don't know why the poster is turning his nose up at the Pentax-F 70-210, which, unlike the A version, will work very well with both his cameras. It is a very fine lens.

Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

Arthur Dent

Link Posted 15/02/2007 - 18:35
When looking for a 70-210 f/4, make sure you get the SMC version. Apparently there were some 70-210's without the coating, and that's a problem.

I use SMC-A 70-210 on both my digital cameras. It's a good lens.


Link Posted 15/02/2007 - 18:57
I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong but . . . I think all of the Pentax branded 70-210's are SMC. It's the 70-200's and Takumar branded that aren't.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream


Link Posted 20/02/2007 - 19:55
Be very wary of the Pentax A 70-200 - it is not SMC and was sold in the mid-80's when Pentax decided they needed a dirt-cheap tele zoom, so rebranded the old Takuma. The A 70-210 f4 is an entirely different prospect - very sharp throughout and the f4 at 210 is very useful. It is however, very heavy at 680g and difficult to hand-hold. I tend to only use it when I've got a huge bag of kit and plenty of time to set up. THe DA50-200 is what I always carry with me, with the DA16-45 on the camera when I need to travel light. I don't think you can beat this combination with older zooms.


Arthur Dent

Link Posted 21/02/2007 - 00:51
Alan673 wrote:
Be very wary of the Pentax A 70-200 - it is not SMC and was sold in the mid-80's when Pentax decided they needed a dirt-cheap tele zoom, so rebranded the old Takuma.

Well, that explains the non-SMC 70-200's floating around. If you get one, make sure it's SMC.

The one I have must be the 70-200. I just know I had to avoid the non-SMC version.


Link Posted 25/02/2007 - 12:56
This is a focal length that would suit my purposes too. Iīve seen some lenses on eBay and discovered that the A 70-210 have a macro feature, how about the F 70-210 ?

And would the FA 70-200 be able to compete with those above?


// Mats


Link Posted 25/02/2007 - 14:51
The A 70-210 is the only one of the three that has a constant f4 aperture through the zoom range. The F and FA are both f4-5.6.


Link Posted 25/02/2007 - 19:37
stevo wrote:
The A 70-210 is the only one of the three that has a constant f4 aperture through the zoom range. The F and FA are both f4-5.6.

Thanks for the heads up, stevo. Iīm aware of the non fixed aperture of thes F and FA lenses from the Bojidar site, but the specīs on his site doesnīt tell about the macro features on the lenses. So thatīs what I was interested in. Anyone?

// Mats

Phil Pearce

Link Posted 01/03/2007 - 23:16
The Vivitar S1 70-210 (version 1,2 or 3) is a superb lens and I would pit it against Pentax any day. It is big (ish) an heavy because it is made of metal and glass. I originally purchased mine new in the mid eighties, first for a Pentax P30, then a Super A. Using it on a DL2 now - beautiful pictures.

Anyway. not the reason I am posting. As we all know the best thing about the Pentax cameras is that we can use our old lenses, and that the ones we could not afford new are now plentiful, but not for much longer, used. My original, and much loved kit, is a Vivitar S1 70-210, Vivitar S1 28-105, a Tamron SP 500 Mirror and a Vivitar 2X Macro converter.
The lenses go down to a 1:25 - 1:3 macro, the converter takes them to larger than 1:1.

After reading posts on Macro lenses ie Pentax 100m v Tamron 90 v Sigma 105 I have been scouring shops in London to see if anybody had anything in Pentax fit. I found two used Tamrons and a Sigma in LCE in the Strand but the prices they were asking were not much less than prices new. even though there aren't any new ones around at the moment. Then I went to Jessops in New Oxford Street asking if they had any Macro lenses in Pentax fit. Nothing on the computer, but the sales person disappeared into the vaults and returned with a Sigma 105 (not the DG), refurbished but otherwise brand new, for half the price of a new one. I grabbed it.

This is a lovely lens. The main reason that I needed a prime 1:1 macro is that I didn't want the hassle of putting a converter on the back of my other lenses. All the same I put the converter on the Sigma - I'm not sure what magnifications I am getting now but you could say this was the Bee's Knees.

Also recently purchased an old Vivitar 28mm f2 on the cheap. Another cracker, which on a digital is equivalent to 42mm. And with the Converter on the back a stunning 84mm Macro lens.

If you want a good 2X macro converter try to find the Vivitar (7 element, not the cheapo one). Many posts on the web say it is the best ever made. It turns any 50mm lens into a 1:1 macro, or into a 100mm telephoto. It also doubles the length of any other lens, and turns them into macro as well. And after years of use I can also say that it improves the quality of any lens, at the loss of two stops. You should see what it does to the Vivitar zooms.
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