As I’ve updated my camera reviews this year, on my oldest reviews I sometimes find myself returning to my original negative scans. I have better tools and skills now that frequently let me breathe deeper life into the images. Also, I find that in my early days of reviewing I didn’t always upload every usable photo from those rolls to Flickr, as I always do now. It’s been fun to revisit those photographs and share some of them for the first time.
I’m working on an update to my 2011 review of the Olympus OM-1. That camera came to me in a big kit with several lenses, some Olympus and some not. One of them was a hulking Vivitar 70-150 mm f/3.8 Close Focusing Auto Zoom, pictured below.
My dear friend Debbie had come to visit. We’ve known each other since the fifth grade; she’s my oldest friend. We both love the zoo, so we went. The OM-1 had only recently joined my collection and I figured this big, ugly zoom lens would be useful there. I loaded some Fujicolor 200 and off we went.
Eight years is a long time ago but I remember the big Vivitar making the OM-1 heavy and unwieldy. But as these photos attest, it did the job for which it was made.
I’m happy with this lens’s resolving power, but feel that it muted the saturated colors for which Fujicolor 200 is known.
The overcast day could have played into these muted colors, too. Also, in these days I was sending my film off to Snapfish for processing and scanning. Looking back, I think there were better lab choices even then.
You never know what you’re going to get with some third-party lens you get with an old camera. But this Vivitar did a decent job. You can almost count the hairs at the tip of this tiger’s tail.
That said, I’m not sure I’d shoot that lens again. I have a very good long Pentax-branded zoom for my Pentax K-mount bodies that I’d turn to first.
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Last updated on 19 March 2020 by Jim Grey