Vivitar 35mm f/1.9

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The Vivitar 35mm f/1.9 Auto Wide-Angle lens was marketed by Ponder and Best (later Vivitar) in the mid 1970s. Based on what's known about Vivitar serial numbers of this era, it's likely the lens was made by Komine. 35mm f/1.9 lenses were relatively unusual at this time. P&B took out a number of full-page ads in print magazines for the 35mm f/1.9 in 1974 that emphasized the lens as an inexpensive replacement for the normal 50mm lens most photographers used. The primary advantage over a standard 50mm claimed in the ads, was the increased depth of field, allowing the photographer to preset the focus at 7 ft and have everything from 5 ft to 15 ft in perfect focus (at f/11). The increased speed of f/1.9 was considered essential if the lens was to be a replacement for the 50mm in available light photography. A September, 1975 Minifilm ad printed in Popular Photography, lists the Vivitar 35mm f/1.9 lens at $62.95 USD, $9 over the price of the standard f/2.8 lens[1]. The lens is very well known even today and despite being quite common and originally inexpensive, it generally fetches a high price from collectors.


There are two variants of this lens. The first is part of the Komine Black Metal Ridged Ring family of lenses and, as the name implies, is identified by a characteristic black metal focus ring covered in longitudinal ridges. The lens was later updated to match the newer look of the Komine Diamond Rubber Ring family; the metal focus ring was replaced by a smooth one covered with a rubber diamond grip pattern. The internals of the two variations are believed to be almost identical.


  • Badging: Vivitar
  • Manufacturer: Komine
  • Manufacture Date: 1974
  • Focal Length: 35mm
  • Aperture Range: f/1.9 - f/16
  • Diaphragm Type: Automatic
  • Diaphragm Blades: unknown
  • Filter Diameter: 55mm
  • Minimum Focus: 30.5 cm (12 in)
  • Mounts: Canon FL/FD, Nikon F, Pentax M42, Minolta, and Konica
  • Elements: 8
  • Groups: 6
  • Weight: 340 g (12 oz)
  • Accessories: unknown
  • Example Serial Numbers: 28305968, 28407356
  • Original Stock Number(s): unknown