Vivitar 500mm f/6.3 Compatible T System

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The Vivitar 500mm f/6.3 Compatible T System lens was distributed by Ponder and Best (Vivitar) in the 1960s. Ponder and Best designated the family to which this lens belongs as the "Compatible T System". With only one exception, the Compatible T System family consisted of prime lenses, including mostly long telephoto lenses. The 500mm f/6.3 is a large, heavy, preset telephoto lens with integral tripod mounting ring. It included a screw-on hood and screw-on metal lens cap. The lens is marked "Made in Japan" and was manufactured by the company now known as Tokina but known at that time as Tokyo Koki. The lens was also sold under the Tokyo Koki Tele-Tokina badging in other markets. A 1969 Cambridge Camera Exchange ad lists the Vivitar 500mm f/6.3 lens for $94.50[1]


  • Badging: Vivitar
  • Manufacturer: Tokina
  • Manufacture Date: ca 1965?
  • Focal Length: 500mm
  • Aperture Range: f/6.3 - f/32
  • Diaphragm Type: Preset
  • Diaphragm Blades: 18
  • Filter Diameter: 92mm
  • Minimum Focus: 10 m (33 ft)
  • Mounts: T Mount
  • Elements: 3
  • Groups: 2
  • Weight: 1.67 kg (3 lbs, 11 oz)
  • Accessories: Scew-on hood, screw-on metal lens cap, tripod mounting ring, and case were included
  • Example Serial Numbers: 67318, 68814, 69163, 71315
  • Original Stock Number(s): 20-1261