Vivitar 19mm : LUSENET : Canon FD : One Thread

I'm considering buying a Vivitar 19mm lens, mainly because it's about quarter of the price of the Canon FD 20/17mm lenses. I know the optical quality won't be as good as a Canon lens but that apart is the lens a decent buy, anyone have any opinions?

-- Mark Dyson (, May 12, 2000


I've just got one second hand. I haven't taken any photos with it under sufficiently controlled circumstances to give an assessment of its quality (assuming I knew enough in the first place to comment). The most obvious potential (though slight) problem is that on manual the aperture ring can only be adjusted in whole stops - don't know if it's the same for the Canon lens. Other than that, and the expected distortions of the image from using such an extreme wide-angle, I can't say there's a marked difference between the pictures I get using the Vivitar 19/3.8 and my Canon 28/2.8, but I only shoot prints and rarely get enlargements. In fact I only bought the lens for fun as it seemed cheap - I can't imagine I'm going to get a lot of use out of it - but if you're considering forking out for the Canon equivalent, you're probably more serious about it than I am, so don't base your decision on anything I've said! If you wanted, I could probably scan a couple of prints for your inspection, although I guess by the time they've been scanned and reproduced on your screen they won't be a true reflection of the original neg anyway.

-- Jeremy (, June 03, 2000.

Jeremy - thanks for your input, my reasons for considering the Vivitar were much the same as yours, I'd love a Canon 17mm butjust cannot justify a Canon lens considering I wouldn't such a wideangle lens that much......Cheers, Mark.

-- Mark Dyson (, June 13, 2000.

I've had this lens for awhile now and I am indeed impressed with it's results... It's definately not FD glass by any means - but the images are sharp and defined! I have had mixed results with vivitar in the past, but, overall I recommend this lens.. Nothing even compares in price, so go for it & grab one while they're still around. I grabbed mine from B&H Photo for about $100.00 .

-- vivitar 19mm lens (, January 29, 2001.

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