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Full Version: Tryout of a .Vivitar 43x Auxillary Lens
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I broke down and bought a Vivitar .43 x auxillary lens on E-bay. The conversion fills a gap for me yielding a 15mm lens equivalent on my 35mm lens. I was surprised how good it is.





I know that many people consider Vivitar equipment to be substandard, which is not true. My old 1977 era Vivitar 220SL SLR and lens was made by Konica. I used it a lot for 30 years until it started leaking light around the back. But it bounced around in a motorcycle saddlebag from coast to coast and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada many times.

The manufacturer of their lenses changed rather often and sometimes the same model lens was made by two or three different manufacturers over the life of the lens. As mentioned, Konica was involved, I'm pretty sure Tokina was in there, I believe Sigma also, but I can't remember some of the others. Sure, they're no Nikon or Ziess lens, but certainly not that bad. I believe Vivitar fell into the same trap as Kodak, selling cheaply made Chinese digital cameras which certainly left a lot to be desired in many cases. So then people think 20th century Vivitar hardware is just as lousy as their 21st century stuff they peddle.
Thanks for the comment, bikinkawboy. This is just an auxillary lens of course. I could never afford the beat stuff so I have been a regular user of Vivitar and other less than optimal stuff, from Spriritone in the 60s and 70s to Vivitar and other off brands today. I do the best I can with it as do many of us.
Yep, I had a 400mm Spiratone "Sharpshooter" as it was called. Not that bad of a lens, although images had a tendency to get dark in the corners. I had a lot of fun with it on my Nikon D40. Then I got one of those $170 500mm lenses you find on ebay (with a T3 mount), except I got a used one that looked absolutely brand new for something like $27. It's a Kalimar made in Korea, although I see the exact same lens under all sorts of other names so I don't know who really builds them. But it's a lot of fun and has better image quality (and less weight) than the Spiratone. In very contrasty situations it produces some purple fringing, but that's only on rare occasions. On my DX Nikons (D40 and D5100) the image it produces is similiar to what a 750mm lens would on a 35mm SLR, so either a fast shutter speed or a tripod/set it on something solid/lean it against a tree is needed. But actually most of my photos have been hand held, so it's not really that difficult. The images are a little flat, but turning up the contrast post-processing fixes that. Minimum focusing distance is something like 30 feet, but the really long focal length opens up a whole new world of photography. It's not a lens that I use a lot, but when I do, I'm really glad I have it. And for what I gave for it, a lot of fun for not much money. Even at the $170 price, it would still be a hoot.
I miss Spiratone!