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Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 Close Focus

    I have a lot of love for the image quality of Nikon's 75-150mm f/3.5 but the build quality leaves something to be desired. I'd heard good things about this old lens, which was apparently made by Kiron (as was the 75-150) but made in a two-ring version so zoom creep would not be an issue as it is on almost all of the Series E 75-150mm lenses. Build quality of this little lens is great. The lens is slightly shorter than the Nikon 75-150mm, and about the same diameter, using 52mm filters. The lens comes complete with a nice built in lens hood, something I miss on the Nikon. Focusing is smooth, as is zooming. Unfortunately it didn't take me too long to find out that optically my copy of the Vivitar 70-150mm f/3.8 is not on par with the Nikon, which is a big shame because I like the build, lens hood, and close focusing ability of the Vivitar.

All images were shot on a Sony NEX-5r, on a tripod with the electronic first curtain shutter on and released with a remote, so no camera shake is happening. Focused at 10x live view.

Welcome to boring, this scene has plenty of bad light and detail to bring out the flaws in a lens.

First off lets look at the bottom right corner, 100% crop with no processing from 70mm wide open.

Ouch, how about f/5.6?

Just to make sure it's not a decentering problem, here are more from 150mm wide open. The Vivitar is both wider and longer than the Nikon.

Top left corner. I wouldn't want to see the Vivitar on a FX camera.