Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 1:2 Macro from Komine

Vivitar/Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro
Vivitar/Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro
Vivitar/Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro
Vivitar/Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macronext to Pentax DA 50-200

There is so much that people talk about Kiron or Lester A Dine for the 105mm f/2.8 1:1 Macro as one of the better macro lens to get and I have never heard of a Komine135mm with fast aperture f/2.8 that goes with close up at 1:2. Though it is not a 1:1 macro, I get burned from many user errors in 1:1 focusing with Lester A Dine and I need a 1:2 close up to get my confidence back.

The Komine lens is not a big piece of glass and it is well constructed with metal body and it comes with metal cap from Vivitar. When I put it side by side to my Pentax DA 50-200, I then realize that this 135mm is quite small in size. When I I take out the turn focusing ring to its 1:2 end, it is still very comfortable to hold and obtain focus.

picture with Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro

picture with Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro

picture with Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro

picture with Komine 135mm f/2.8 1:2 macro

Impressions & Notes:
  • This is one piece of Komine glass that I am most likely to keep for bugs
  • Minimum focusing distance is about 0.6m or 2.0 feet, ideal for bugs
  • Bokeh is good to excellent in this Komine close focusing prime in 135mm with fast speed at f/2.8.
  • It works well for me as a short tele-prime while shooting wedding for a couple friends of mine behind the hired professional photographers
  • The focusing ring is the best in class for manual focusing and it is close to one complete turn and I actually don't reckon the exact measure but the lens provides me with great ease in shooting tele-photo as well as macro. This is a rare find for Macro lens that allow ease of use for short tele-prime in 135mm for portraits and candid shots needing ease of focusing from a farther distance.
  • This prime excels in ease of focusing.
  • Sharpness is not the best candidate that I have seen. Wide open aperture is a bit on the soft side. I have to say that it works well for portraits when I tried it in wedding. For macro, I find it a bit on the soft side when compared to my Pentax K 100mm f/4.0 but it is much faster and its outstanding color and bokeh make up the minor weak point in sharpness. I have to say that the sharpness problems that I noted might come from my user error in testing the lens hand-holding in JPG snapshot without PP in RAW.
  • I highly recommended this 1:2 close focusing lens. The only caveat that I see is the lacking of 'A' aperture which will prohibit the use of flash in PTTL mode with macro as filled flash. I will ask and learn if external flash in auto mode can be used with trial and error.



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Sheila said...
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Markus said...

Converted my Vivitar 135/2.8 CF from Minolta SR to Canon EF this weekend - and I like the sharpness, even full open. But I use it on the EOS 5D with their bigger pixel size. Probably thats the reason for the difference?

TheCryptOnline said...

Is this a k-mount lens?

Hin Man said...

Yes, my copy mentioned in this blog post is a K mount lens. Please be aware that Vivitar lens also come in other mounts from other brands.

TheCryptOnline said...

Thanks! This lens looks great but in my searches I only found 135mm 2.8 Macro for m42 mount, I will now keep my eyes peeled for one of these lovely lenses in K mount.

robin said...

Five years later and I have finally written my own appreciation of this wonderful lens. Here's part one and part two.

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