Aftermarket Lenses & Accessories

BrianS Jan 12, 2001

  1. BrianS

    BrianS E-Mail Bounces

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    I'm currently looking at getting some new lenses for my Nikon FM-10. Since I'm on a somewhat limited budget, I've beed looking at lenses from other manufacturers. I was wondering if anyone here had any experience with lenses from Vivitar and Phoenix. Vivitar has a 100/3.5 macro lense for under $150 (compared with $600 for a Nikon lense) and Phoenix has a 19-35/3.5-4.5 that I'm interested in. Does anyone have experience with these two manufacturers? Any comments and/or suggestions would be much appreciated!

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    Brian Schmidt
    railohio@hotmail.com
    ICQ #21630753
    AIM - railohio
     
  2. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Sorry, Brian, but Phoenix I haven't heard of and Vivitar I associate with reasonably priced point and shoots (that's what is generally available here, Downunder). Check the online camera guides - use the Google link below. [​IMG]

    Though probably out of your current budget range, have a look at what Sigma has to offer. Yes, they are pricey but are usually less than the OEM equivalent and of high quality. Tamron may also supply what you are looking for as well. Not quite to Sigma's quality but neither is their price.
    A strong suggestion would be not to shortcut on quality when it comes to lenses.

    Gary.

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    Gary A. Rose [​IMG]
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    TrainBoard Moderator and Member No.377
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  3. kotubyr

    kotubyr TrainBoard Member

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    I have some experience with a borrowed Vivitar zoom. I find them good value. Not as sharp as Nikon or Canon but no where near the cost. Ultimately, your focus, exposure and composition will have more to do with the quality of your shot than the lens will. Only in the hands of the really good ones will you be able to see the difference in the qualtiy of the lenes.

    I have a Chinon zoom, similar to the Vivitar in cost and quality, and I'm happy with it. My shots today don't look as good as the shots I took 20 years ago. The reason? 6-8 rolls a week then versus 6-8 rolls a year now. Quality is a function of the guy (or girl) behind the camera.

    Don't worry about what others think too much. Get what you like and can afford. Later, if you find it doesn't meet your skills, trade it in on a upgrade.

    Don't know anything about Phoenix.

    Keep shooting!
     
  4. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    The Vivitar 100 macro was reviewed in Popular Photography as an excellent value. The quality and sharpness of the photos were excellent almost through the entire range of F stops. I bought and have used this lens and have been very happy with it.

    Also consider the Vivitar 19 - 35 milimeter lens in their Series One production. It isn't excellent value...but it is very good value. For train photography, this is the lens I use the most. This lens was given a good review, you will be happy with it. Of the two lens, I know you will find the wide angle to be much more useful.

    Good luck, and happy shooting.
     
  5. rsn48

    rsn48 TrainBoard Member

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    The phoenix wide angle did not perform as well as the Vivitar Series One wide angle. The cost on the Vivitar was quite reasonable compared to other ones in that category. If I'd had the bucks, I probably would have bought the Tamron zoom wide angle.

    I do many of my shots quite close in to the trains and the wide angle is a blessing. I also shoots lots of photo's in the Fraser Canyon where the wide angle brings out the awesomeness of the canyon - more in veiw.
     
  6. hudsonut1

    hudsonut1 TrainBoard Member

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    I have always had good luck with Vivitar lens but have't bought any in the past few years.
    Ron Morse
     
  7. Gats

    Gats Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Welcome aboard TrainBoard, Ron.

    Brian, keeps us all informed of your decision and you might like to add a review after using the lens/lenses you decided on. [​IMG]

    Gary.

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    Gary A. Rose [​IMG]
    The Unofficial TC&W page
    TrainBoard Moderator and Member No.377
    N to the Nth degree!
     
  8. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Hi Everyone,
    I got a almost new Sony A58. Is there a pinhole lens for it (Sony A Mount)? I have tried to use other lenses, but I don't know if there is a replacement for pinhole lenses in sharp MRR photography. I see where people are putting pinholes in camera body caps (lens-less imagery) but don't know if it would work for MRR photography.
    Thought? Comments? Any info is appreciated.
    Thanks everyone.
     
  9. Ed Slanina

    Ed Slanina TrainBoard Member

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    I have Sigma that I've been very happy with, a lot depends on the f stop you buy. The smaller the number the better quality. 2.8 is a fast better lenses then say 5.6
     
  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I've seen inexpensive screw-on magnifying lenses which apply like a UV filter. I've never used these, so can't vouch for their quality. Perhaps shooting with a tripod with a slow shutter speed, pouring as much light on the subject as you can and cranking the lens down to its smallest aperture might be worth a test. This N Scale shot of my canteen car was done at a casual 1/2 Sec. @ f/5.6, which is an easy setting. With more light, f/16 would have been a cinch. One thing I noticed with shooting my models is that every flaw stands out. (n)

    2015-09-13 Canteen Car DS&N - for upload.jpg
     
    gjslsffan likes this.
  11. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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  12. Doorgunnerjgs

    Doorgunnerjgs TrainBoard Member

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  13. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Thanks Guys,
    Getting close or Macro is not an issue, the issue is depth of field. The CombineZ only led me to several sites that wanted to hijack my browser LOL.
    If anyone comes across a clean download of CombineZ please post.
    Otherwise a Pinhole lens will do just fine if a guy could find one lol.
    thanks again
     
  14. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    I really love Helicon, does wonders.
     
  15. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Thats a pay for software right? Not that I mind. Sometimes you get what you paid for. Do you have a link to that web site Rick?
    I have submitted many images to Walthers with little success, I think that if I used an imaging enhancing software it might get better.
    Having NO luck finding a pinhole lens.
    Thank You!
     
  16. RBrodzinsky

    RBrodzinsky Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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  17. gjslsffan

    gjslsffan Staff Member

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    Thanks Rick!
     
  18. f2shooter

    f2shooter TrainBoard Member

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    Speaking as a Nikon guy for many years and most of that time making a living at it I can say that I have the Phoenix lens you mention and it is surprisingly durable and has an interesting look about it. For an FM10 or other 35mm body it is very wide and I find it to be useful. The Vivitar lenses are pretty decent for their price. I have one or two older ones in manual focus and they give decent results. The Nikon 80-200 f/4 or 4.5 is much better. I'm not sure if I should make this reference here but KEH in Atlanta has a ton of good used equipment at very good prices and they stand behind what they sell. I've been very happy with them. My 80-200/4 was delivered for $120 and it is in near perfect condition. I found an 85-250 there also for just over $100 and couldn't get it ordered fast enough. Both are excellent in quality and value. If you stick to manual focus lenses you will be amazed at what you can find and for how little.

    Rick H.
     

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