AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5. Review from the reader Radozhiva

Overview of the AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5 lens specially for Radozhiva prepared Alexey Ovoshchnikov.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5


Today we will talk about the Vivitar 200 mm F3,5 (manufactured by Tokina). This is a good old fast fixed telephoto. There is practically no information about this model on the Russian-speaking Internet and not much information at all. It so happened that the model celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2019! This is a good reason to review this lens. I say this so that you immediately understand the difference between a review of a new lens and a specific review of old technology. Thank you for understanding.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

Technical Information and Specifications

Manufacturer: Tokina
Date of manufacture: starting in 1969.
Focal Length: 200mm
Aperture Range: F / 3,5 - F / 22
Aperture Type: Auto
Aperture Petals: 8 blades.
Filter Diameter: 67 mm
Minimum Focus Distance: 3 m (10 ft)
Mounts: T-4 (adapters for Canon FL, Exakta, M42, Nikon, Pentax, Minolta SRT)
Elements: 4
Groups: 4
Weight: 708 g
Accessories: integrated retractable hood
Serial number example: 37XXXXX
Original number (s): 3704868

Here link to an English source for technical information.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

On the solid site it is not yet in the database with illustration and characteristics. However, there is a text mention.

Three versions of the lens were produced. Characteristic differences:

  1. Interchangeable tail T4 / TX-mount, tripod mount, manufactured by Tokina. Differs in the greatest sharpness on open.
  2. Interchangeable tail T4 / TX-mount, manufactured by Tokina.
  3. Bayonet mounts, manufactured by Komine.

Here we see that there are two more later versions of the Vivitar T-4 200mm f / 3.5 with a different optical design and with a 62 mm thread for the front filter. According to the information given, they are worse in sharpness. However, they are lighter and have better ergonomics. My version of the lens has large overall dimensions and weight.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

About the cost

I was looking for exactly this version of the lens on e-bay, but I could not find it. There are a lot of late modifications on sale for about $ 50. There are a fairly large number of Soviet lenses with 200 mm focal length and aperture in the area of ​​F 1: 3,5. They are more or less similar in quality and performance. For example, Tele-N 3.5 / 200. Compared to Nikkor lenses, this is the younger brother of the very first 200 NIKKOR-Q Auto 1: 4 f = 200mm.

Use on modern cameras

Vivitar 200 mm T-4 F3,5 has an interchangeable shank. I have a version for the Nikon F mount. You can very easily put the lens, for example, on the Pentax, you only need a T-4 shank for the Pentax K.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

There is also a very similar Soligor, which differs from the Vivitar 200 mm T-4 F3,5 only in cosmetic differences and is also produced by Tokina. Here link for some information on Soligor.

Usually, old AI-type fixes help out by having a connection with the diaphragm rheostat and by turning the ring you automatically change the settings exposure. It is very convenient, but this is not about the Vivitar 200 mm T-4 F3,5. However, this lens is suitable for all Nikon central control centers and does not require rework. Unfortunately, the Vivitar 200 mm T-4 F3,5 lens is not able to transmit the aperture value to the Nikon camera.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

Nevertheless, I was able to fix the aperture values ​​for each shot taken. There are pictures in the gallery and each one has the value F. How it was done ... To the camera Nikon D600 and other advanced models, you can pre-enter information about the manual lens. You specify the lens number, the focal length of the lens, and the maximum possible aperture value. Program the Fn key to select a lens without a chip from the created list of lenses. And in the list in this you have respectively 200 mm F3.5 / 200 mm F5.6 / 200 mm F8 / 200, etc. We change the aperture and select another lens from the list. It may seem a little confusing and complicated, but it really takes a maximum of two minutes to work on the camera’s menu to prepare the lens. Switching through the Fn key + turning the dial takes seconds. By the way, I did the same for shooting with lenses with macro rings.

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5

AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5


I like to shoot on fast telephoto lenses. It is very convenient for shooting distant objects, portrait shooting, landscapes with a blurred foreground, etc. Sometimes for various reasons it can be difficult to bring a zoom like 70-200 mm 2.8, they are always heavy and expensive enough to drive them for any reason. In this case, it is with me that it is the good old fast-fixed fixed telephoto. The Vivitar 200 mm F3,5 lens can be considered fast because it is lighter than the F4 and this is already interesting. I want to note that this Vivitar is quite bulky and heavy for tele-fixation and does not greatly outperform compact lenses of 80-200 mm and 70-200 mm zoom lenses. But it fulfills its role as an optical instrument and it is not so pathetic to scratch it, and it is not easy to break it by dropping it or hitting it.


Fairly accurate color reproduction with a noticeable departure in warm colors and green. Chromatically slightly at F / 3.5 and slightly chromate at F / 5.6. No distortion and very weak vignetting. Sharpness from normal at F / 3.5 to very good at F / 8. Sharpness does not sag much to the edges of the frame. Good smooth bokeh.

Test shots

Target at different aperture values. Target size: 19 x 12,3 cm. In a good way, to test this lens in this way, you need an A3 format target.

How were targets shot and how were frames processed? Focusing distance 3,1 meters. Target at a slight angle with respect to the focal plane. This is even better seen with freezing at different values ​​of F. Crops of the central part of the frame are presented, since for the test we are interested only in that part of the frame that the target occupied.

The initial resolution is 6016x4016 = 24 megapixels. Frame area 36 x 24 mm = 864 square meters. mm

Crop resolution (central part of frames) 3720x2480 = 9 megapixels, F / 3.5-> 5.6-> 8-> 11

100% crop (area of ​​focus in the center of the target) F / 3.5-> 5.6-> 8-> 11

You can buy a target here.

Here are the sharpness indicators from the official source in the table:

Aperture Frame center Frame edge
f / 3.5 48 34
f / 5.6 48 40
f / 8 48 40
f / 11 56 48
f / 16 48 40
f / 22 40 34

I have not tested f / 16 and f / 22 here, so let’s believe the source. In any case, at this focal length, I rarely use the f / 16 and f / 22 values. There is little light excerpt lengthens and shivelek or grease is provided. No one canceled the diffraction by f / 16 and f / 22 either.

In general, everything is very, very good for such an old lens. It resolves the matrix well. Nikon D600but on D800 I don’t see any reason to put it.

It doesn’t interest me to shoot targets, but maybe someone will need it. How many people think that it is better to look at the sharpness of the lines on the table or still need to test the lens more in real conditions? Write about your experience in the comments.

Photo Gallery

100% crop photos

Next comes a few crop of the same photos. Note there are crop from the center and from the edge of the frame.

Survey source materials available at this link.

The review was prepared by Alexey Ovoshchnikov. The link is my lenses and cameras. I read the comments and try to answer your questions.

You will find more reviews from readers of Radozhiva here.

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Comments: 19, on the topic: AUTO Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5. Review from the reader Radozhiva

  • Vladimir

    Thank you very much. So long has been waiting for an overview of this particular lens.

  • Oleg

    Great review. My opinion is that the sharpness of the lens is certainly better seen not in the tables and targets, but in real shots, and I think many will agree with me. Thanks for the interesting and informative review!

  • Anonymous 2.0

    Thanks for the review. Personally, the targets are not very clear to me. I’m not shooting them.

  • B. R. P.

    And what other Soviet lenses with 200 mm focal length and aperture in the region of 3,5, except Telear?

  • Arkady Shapoval

    These typos are intended to be corrected by the author of this review, recently he has access to comment moderation and access to your reviews.

  • Mfіnd

    About, the Vivitar TELEPHOTO 200mm 1: 3.5 active - for the quality of the image (quick, separate building, for the day) and the color balance - on the head of the small, don't look at the CPC.

    • Rodion

      It is definitely better than teleair, but Jupiter-21 is definitely not a couple.

      • Alexey Ovoshchnikov

        Yes, apparently Jupiter is better. Indeed one of the best Soviet lenses. They seem to be still chasing him. Some modifications are quite expensive. It's not about photography, but about collecting. By the way, I bought this rare Vivitar at an exhibition selling photographic equipment and paid 10 euros for it ... but it needs cleaning the lenses.

        • Rodion

          Even the massive 21M is better than this trash and costs only $ 35 ideally.
          As a rule, such near-know-names have a monstrously cheap design (although it looks good at first glance), a low-quality window glass lens unit with strong software and chromatism. The review proves this - even on ff all this is visible. But people buy THIS for crop mainly, because it's cheap!
          Jupiter 21T can sometimes really be bought for a reasonable price, 21A is wound up, of course. These are really very high-quality lenses that allow easy and small pixel crop. 21T mine was sharper than Zonnar 180 / 2.8 on equal terms, ahead of about a stop half.
          It's hard to discover America by consuming the exceptionally dull Asian crafts of the 1970s.

          • Alexey Ovoshchnikov

            Today I shot on Jupiter and was convinced of your correctness once again. I already believed you, but I was only convinced of the quality of the Jupiter 21M lens. A friend of mine recently has such a lens and he uses it on a film camera with an M42 mount. Jupiter 21M is not suitable for Nikon without alteration and there will be difficulties with the diaphragm unlike this Vivitara. As a reviewer, you have a weird approach to writing comments. You are extremely sharply expressed about the old lens, although you yourself constantly review the old far from top-end lenses too. In my review, I showed everything as it is and brought 100% crop and everything is perfectly visible, it has a nice plastic picture and very good colors. Why don't you believe your eyes? The lens is more than sane. Be more positive or it’s not clear how to read your comments.

            • Rodion

              For many, the Japanese label evokes something like a cargo cult, which is why I am warning, based on my experience, amateur photographers (especially with crop cameras), about the possibility of getting a negative impression when working with the lens.
              According to the review, it is not entirely clear how high-quality the lens is: the targets are clearly overexposed (black is gray on them!), They do not show, for example, strong spherochromatism of the lens, which can still be seen in the photo (and this is a photo from a full frame, even not crop 1.5!). There is not a word about contrast in the review, just one photo in contrast with a thick veil - without any comments. Color reproduction is “accurate but noticeably greenish” - is it accurate or not? There is no photo in the light to understand whether this is a camera or a lens.
              It's also hard to find something unique - neither in the picture / bokeh, nor in the design. But MDF 3m is a visiting card of the Japanese know-how, in which the economy is on a helicoid - significantly reduces convenience.
              Therefore, I would not say that this is a sane lens, especially for $ 50. The disadvantages are darkness, which will definitely come out if they really shoot on an inexpensive amateur DSLR with> 18MP.

              • Alexey Ovoshchnikov

                I try to objectively show everything in real photos, but as confused as you are, nothing is possible to prove. The targets are overexposed ... Please look more closely. Here are the targets for example. The resolution of the 9 megapixel crop is also written there. The target of these leaves is smaller than the A5 format (Dimensions: 19 * 12,3 cm). There is a link to it. It cannot be full screen from three meters at a focal length of 200 mm. Where is your photographer's eye? Out of 24 megapixels, I immediately left 9,2 megapixels so that the target was full screen. There is also a print of screenshots from Adobe and it is written under the photo below - 9,2 megapixels.

              • Roman

                Alexei, in my opinion, you didn’t understand what Rodion wanted to write :)

                1. Targets overexposed (fact, by the way)
                2. On overexposed targets, spherochromatism is not noticeable (spherical aberration, softit lens).
                3. The characteristic halo around bright objects is noticeable even in the photo from a full-frame apparatus, in the crop the situation is even worse.

              • Rodion

                A novel, spherochromatism is what is also called fringing. The spherical is still noticeable and so.

              • DM

                And I was just going to buy one at an interesting price. As for noname, it's still not yongnuo. According to the pictures, a normal lens is cheap;). And in Tokina, it seems like people left Nikon at dawn, so the brand did not seem to suck 50 years ago. And our optics are the best and camera number 1 Zenith, and not some kind of Nikon, if you listen to the professionals, I'm not an amateur if anything.

          • Michael

            There is still a question of a limited number of such devices for nikon, although buying even a "wound" 21A makes more sense

            • Rodion

              It's true! However, I have only considered what the legacy of the USSR offers. And then there are the normal proprietary Japanese lenses. For example, the old Nikkoras, made according to the Zonnar scheme, cannot be worse than the same Jupiter-21M. Nikkor-Q 200/4 was like that.
              In one of the articles there was a wonderful idea that the arrival of the Ernostar-like happened because of the desire to reduce the cost of everything that was possible. So that such, then still small, offices could exist. Later, the splitting of lenses into thin ones became justified - with the development of anti-reflection coating in optics and optical design.

  • Anton

    I love you. Visited the whole Maidan. The whole reportage is zniy. On Sony systems, with instant zoom in vidoshokachі - no problems with the development.

  • Zax

    The author for the review has a great respect, everything is clear, accessible, and clear. Targets are overexposed, but many and such have no reviews, but if you say about it, or another cant, so immediately whine and insults))
    So we look, and draw conclusions. I’ve been thinking about such a lens for a long time, now there will be something to think about with my brain.

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