Auto Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 Chrome Nose

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The Auto Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 Chrome Nose is a fixed-mount lens distributed by Ponder and Best (Vivitar) in the 1960s.


The Auto Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 Chrome Nose is a fixed-mount lens distributed by Ponder and Best (Vivitar) in the 1960s. This is the first fixed-mount Vivitar 135mm lens. Modern collectors refer to the Vivitar lens family which this lens is a part of as the "Chrome Nose" family because of the distinctive chrome band around the front edge of the lens. There is also a bright silver band located near the base of the lens. A later family of lenses based on the same mechanical configuration dropped the chrome nose to make room for a built-in lens hood but retained the lower bright silver band, thus becoming known as the bright band family. Another distinguishing feature of the Chrome Nose family is a lens coating that results in a noticeable blue tint to the lens surfaces. The blue tint is often evident in photos of Chrome Nose lenses. Both families are believed to have been manufactured by Kino Precision.[1] According to a Ponder and Best advertisement, the lens retailed for just under $100 USD in 1967.[2] A 1967 Wall Street Camera Exchange ad lists the street price of a Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 at $57.50. [3]

Marking Variations: The earliest models of this lens have yellow numerals in the meter scale on the focus ring. Later versions had red numerals for the meters scale. See photos below for examples of each. Example serial numbers below are marked y for numbers that have a yellow meter scale and r for numbers with a red meter scale.


  • Badging: Vivitar
  • Manufacturer: Kino Precision
  • Manufacture Date: ca 1967
  • Focal Length: 135mm
  • Aperture Range: f/2.8 - f/22
  • Diaphragm Type: Automatic
  • Diaphragm Blades: 8
  • Filter Diameter: 55mm
  • Minimum Focus: 1.5 m (5 ft)
  • Mounts: Canon FL, M42, Nikon
  • Elements: 4
  • Groups: 3
  • Weight: unknown
  • Accessories: A matching 55mm lens shade was included with each lens, an optional leather case was available
  • Example Serial Numbers: 100261 (y), 100342 (y), 100969 (y), 104215 (r), 104801 (r), 104820 (r), 106682 (r)
  • Original Stock Number(s): 21-430 (Pentax/M42), 21-529 (Canon Pellex, FX, FP, FT, QL), 21-623 (Nikon F)[4]