VIVITAR 70-210 F/4.5 MC

Together with NIKON 75-150 f/3.5 and SOLIGOR 70-150 f/3.5 I recently purchased this one, which is NIKON F mount VIVITAR 70-210 telephoto lens with constant f/4.5. My main criteria did not change, so it should be reasonably priced and built. I thought that this would be a good one. Now I know that it has some issues. I bought this one with a camera N2000. Unfortunately camera has some issues with leaked batteries, in simple words it was damaged in terms of electronics.


It is a telephoto zoom lens for NIKON F cameras. To be precise it is AI-S lens with mechanical coupling for transmitting aperture to the camera. Such a coupling is missing in NIKON E SERIES lenses. One should notice that on the mouting ring there is written “N/AI-S” which I think it means NIKON/AI-S but I may be wrong. For sure it does not mean non-AI, because it has all the AI specifics and I can easiliy put it on my D200 or event D70s (which certain limitation which is metering).


It is somehow tough piece of metal and glass with little rubber and plastic. It is pull-push design. To get 70mm you push away. To get 210mm you push forward. Zooming rotates front barrel, so no good with grad filter or similar.


There is no zoom creep at all. Zooming and focusing gives proper resistance while rotation is ongoing. As with similar designs, this also wobbles a little bit and outer barrel. Aperture ring rotates smoothly. It has no DOF range markings except for IR one.


My copy has some defect, which is dust and a lot of fungus inside. Effectively I get low contrast pictures with some kind of a mist. It says that this lens is MC, but frankly speaking I cannot see this greenish tint on it. It is rather neutral, so I do not think it remained even SC. It also says that it has MACRO FOCUSING ZOOM which gives 1:1 close-ups only at 210mm. Knowing that I tested it at close ranges. Here are the results.

at 210mm, f/8, 1/100, ISO 100, NIKON D200
at 210mm, f/8, 1/320, ISO 100, NIKON D200
at 210mm, f/5.6, 1/100, ISO 320, NIKON D200
at 210mm, f/4.5, 1/350, ISO 100, NIKON D200

In the middle range it gives a lot of sharpness and contrast. But not every time. You should stronly avoid pointing at the light source or even be at 90 degress (on the ground) to it. All other directions seem to be good enough and even if not, it would be easy to fix later in post processing.

at 135mm, f/8, 1/200, ISO 100, NIKON D200

At the telephoto range shooting landscapes it gives a lot of details and constant contrast which is way better than close or mid range.

at 210mm, f/11, 1/200, ISO 100, NIKON D200
at 210mm, f/4.5, 1/1000, ISO 100, NIKON D200, cropped


It is quite good lens, with some potential. Not sure if it is only because of my copy conditions, but it lacks of proper contrast. When not stopped it is too bright in viewfinder showing some flares. Shooting only with light behind. I find it only useful at 210mm. From 70mm to 100mm it is only okey. At 135mm is quite okey. I think that showing only good shots could possible make a false impression that every shot will be okey. That is not the case. Please remember how many shots are in poor light conditions or simply blurred because of camera movement. In august, in the morning there is good light with proper shading, that is why almost all lenses would give good performance.