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Flower Macros with Vivitar 90/2.5

Discussion in 'Macro, Flowers, Insects, and Greenery' started by ccroy, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. This Vivitar 90/2.5 Macro lens has amazing IQ.

    Though I bought it after seeing some incredible macros shot by photogs, I am not sure whether I am able to exploit the capabilities of the legendary lens. I am still shooting hand held, not using tripod, no flash and no artificial backgrounds.

    These are some shots for your criticism. If you don't like the shots it is my fault and certainly not that of the lens.

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  2. Nice work. No. 1 gets my vote.
  3. Thanks Maji for looking
  4. rotxlk82


    Jul 20, 2007
    I like no1 as well, I've not heard of this lens before but it seems to work wonders
    Thanks for sharing
  5. Thanks Robert. The lens is legendary in macro lenses. Lot of information can be acceseed by browsing the http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm site not only about this lens but also several other gems of the bygone era

    Quoting from Big Daddy's very recent post for ready reference.

    " There are at least two old Vivitar Series 1 macros:

    1) Made by Tokina, the Vivitar 90/2.5 Series 1. This can be identified by a serial number that starts with 37. Superb old macro. Its only flaw is that it only goes to 1:2 unless you use a matching 1:1 adapter. The adapter reduces its capabilities so don't attach it unless you need to go past 1:2.

    The lens is available with a significantly different body as a Tokina 90/2.5. Same optical design but different coatings. Focusing ring turns "the Nikon way" and is bigger and easier to grip.

    2) After Vivitar stopped selling the 90/2.5 -- Made by Kiron, the Vivitar 105/2.5 Series 1. This is the same lens as the Lester Dine in this thread. Also sold as non-Series 1 Vivitar 100/2.8. Both are identified by a serial number that starts with "22".

    In addition to the above Series 1 lenses, there's also the non-Series 1 Vivitar 90/2.8 made by Komine. This predates both of the above lenses. Identified by a serial number that starts with "28".

    Finally, there are other Vivitar Series 1 not in this 90mm-105mm macro length. E.g. the 70-210mm had versions made by Kiron, Tokina, Komine, and Cosina! Supposedly the Komine version is the best of the bunch with the Tokina and Kirons being the second best.

    I own the Komine one and it's really good, though not in a league with modern zooms (lots of CA). It goes down to 1:2.5 so I've used it to shoot lspiders at a respectable distance!

    Here's info on the 70-210mm Series 1 zooms:

    http://www.robertstech.com/vivitar.htm "

    You can find an excellent review of this lens by Tao Design on DP Review forum and his stunning pictures shot with this lens
  6. C C,

    Congratulations on getting this terrific lens. As far as your shots go, it's a good first stab. I do recommend going with a tripod as I find it really helps me. The out-of-focus blur in your shots is really nice and shows how the lens (plus the photographer) gives the lens its "Bokina" popular name.

    I currently own the Tokina version, and it is my absolute favorite macro lens. I've fiddled with it for portraiture and loved the results, but my manual focusing skills don't work well with my fast-moving, ever-twitching kids.

    For those not familiar with the Tokina 90/2.5 and its earlier Vivitar 90/2.5 Series 1 variant, this review really says it all about the lens. Todd's (tao.design) skill level and the lens's capabilities really shine through. After I read through this and saw his samples, I knew I had to have it.

  7. bikersam717


    Aug 2, 2008
    Sonora, Ca
    Lovely bokeh.
  8. Thanks Bill

    I am a fan of tao.design and kevin for their excellent macro photographs. After reading the reviews of Tao, I bought the Viv 90/2.5 and the Lester Dine 105/2.8. I also have several Vivitar and Kiron MF lenses, which are excellent for macros and render beautiful bokeh
  9. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    nice series CC
    I have been looking for the Vivitar/Tokina 90 for a while
    not too many around it seems....
  10. Thanks Frank

    They come up on ebay. Right now one is listed but the prices have gone up.
  11. From what I've seen, it's almost impossible to find the Tokina at open auction, in good shape for a Nikon mount, for less than $280 - $300. And if it's in nice shape, it's likely to be significantly higher than that.

    The only chance is a "lucky buy-it-now" (when the seller puts it at a low price, or a price that the Microsoft Live Cashback can be applied against). Or buy the Vivitar version which usually goes for a bit less. Or sometimes there's a non-AI Vivitar that may or may not be convertible to AI.

    Heck, if a Tokina on open auction could be had for $250, I'd buy a second one as a backup -- I think the lens is that good.

    The ones I've seen go for below those prices are usually questionable -- the condition looks rough, or the seller doesn't have excellent feedback.

    These lenses are over 20 years old. So buying them from a seller with strong feedback, or a history of selling good samples, or a return policy, and/or with good photos of the lens and samples from the lens is a must. IMHO.

    I bought a Kiron macro that had quite a bit of dust inside. It was noticeable at 1:1 shots under some moderate magnification -- a lack of contrast. The seller did not post sample shots where it might have been visible (crops are really great for this) Fortunately, the seller did have a return policy.
  12. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    one on ebay just went for $400 or something

    I don't think I'd pay more than $300 , as you stated
    might just have to "settle" for the Tamron 2.8
  13. Enjoying the camera and the lens - and I enjoyed looking at the flower shots. Thanks for letting us see them.
  14. OdDoF


    Sep 12, 2008
    Congratulations on getting the lens, CC. I am sure you will enjoy it and grow on it more and more in the time to come. Please continue to share your results with us.

    I have seen some of the Vivitar's going on eBay lately, catching prices between USD 200 and 250. There was also a Tokina that went for GBP 117 a couple of weeks ago. That is a great value considering the outstanding quality of the optics, IMHO.

    When shooting with the lens wide open you better be careful about what subject or part of the subject that you focus on. This will be crucial for the resulting picture due to the very shallow depth of field.

    You might have seen these already, but here is a link to some pictures I have taken with these lenses.

    A collection of shots with the Bokina
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  16. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    I saw that series Od
    you are the one that has me lusting for this lens
    been looking for one ever since, with no luck
    one on ebay now, 3 days left, I have no patience for auctions..
    but will try

    if either you or CC see one available, I would love to know....:biggrin:

  17. Frank, there is a Elicar 90/2.5 now listed on eBay. But the rates have gone up a lot

  18. Frank there a Lester a Dine is also on eBay with the ring flash but it is 105/2.8 the one made by Kiron which goes to 1:1 without an adaptor

  19. mood


    Jun 27, 2007
    So Fla
    never heard of this one CC, the Elicar
  20. Frank the Elicar is the same lens 90/2.5 macro probably made by Tokina which was producing the lenses to others such as Vivitar, Elicar, Spiratone etc., at that time
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