5 frames with...

5 Frosty Frames with Vivitar 55mm 2.8 macro – By Kaare Lytsen

February 19, 2019

Finally, I had time to test my macro lens. An old one a Vivitar 55mm, 2.8. The conditions for photographing were perfect. There was hoarfrost all over. So with Robert Capa’s quote in fresh in mind –  “If your photographs aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.” I went out.

Unfortunately, the TMax film I had ordered had not arrived yet, so I had to use my digital camera. A lovely little Olympus with a fantastic IBIS.

I took the car and drove to my favorite place in the local area. I barely got out of the car when I was overwhelmed by things to shoot. I sat up my tripod and started shooting. Since it was the first time I shot macro, it was a bit of a challenge. So with the benefit of hindsight, maybe it was a good thing I hadn’t received the film.

After a few shoots I got to grips with the focus. As someone said all good things come to those how wait. So I did wait for the right light so I could get the crystals illuminated. After a while the light was right, and suddenly one picture took the other. After some time it started to thaw, I packed my things a went home.

When I got home and saw the pictures up on the computer screen I was surprised by the quality. They stood razor-sharp even in the detail. Taken into consideration that this lens is quite old, the quality is amazing. It’s definitely worth the effort to see if it’s possible to pick one up in the local secondhand store.

My website: kaarelytsen.com

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  • Reply
    Terry B
    February 19, 2019 at 11:21 am

    Looks like you’ve got a cracker of a lens with your Vivitar. I love the first image, wonderfully framed. For me you’ve captured the light beautifully and I am sure that by using your tripod you’re getting the best from the lens.

  • Reply
    Roger Beal
    February 19, 2019 at 1:39 pm

    Wonderful images, well-composed, and very evocative of the deep chill that is a northern winter. Your Vivitar has unusual bokeh … very different from the SMC Takumar-M 50mm f4 macro, my favorite glass for close-up work. Thanks for posting this … you’ve demonstrated another legacy lens to try to acquire (:>)

  • Reply
    February 19, 2019 at 11:57 pm

    Ah, the mysterious Komine-made Vivitars. Wish someone would do a bit of digging and write a post about them – I have half a dozen, and they’re all crazy good.

    Excellet shots by the way. Thanks for posting.

  • Reply
    February 20, 2019 at 1:24 am

    Lovely photographs. The Vivitar 55mm f2.8, is a wonderful lens, I own 3, in various mounts. The beauty of it is,
    it gives 1 to 1 without a tube, keep up the good work, and thank you for your post.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2019 at 4:48 am

    Nice! I love the soft mood of the first picture with the mist. Two questions: 1. Is this a Tessar type of lens (4 elements in 3 groups)? The Macro-Takumar 50mm f/4.0 is. 2. Vivitar also sold a 55mm f/2.8 in a non-macro barrel. Is it the same optical formula, but mounted in a more modest barrel? Pentaxforums does not have much information.

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