Vivitar Series 1 50th Anniversary Lens Set

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The Vivitar Series 1 50th Anniversary lens set is a rare, gold-plated set of lenses made by Cosina.



Contents

Description

To celebrate their 50th anniversary in 1988, Vivitar commissioned a limited edition set of two Series 1 zoom lenses. The lenses, a 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8 zoom and a 70-210mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom, were manufactured by Cosina, made of gold-plated brass, and delivered in custom-made wood cases lined with black velvet.

The lenses in each set are numbered (e.g., "3 of 50") on the outer edge of the lens barrel and the serial number on the front bezel is the number of the set (e.g., "No.03"). They were never sold to the public but given to Vivitar officials and select dealers. Over the years, some sets have passed from their original owners into the used market where they command high prices from collectors.

Some say a total of 50 sets were made, others say a total of 250 sets were made with 50 sets each for the five major countries in which Vivitar operated at the time. We hope that by documenting the sets below, we will eventually gather enough evidence to say for certain how many sets were made. [However, from the lack of any serial number collisions in the known sets documented below, it does seem likely that there were only 50 sets made.]

In the United States, the sets were marked 'Vivitar Corporation', in Canada they were marked 'Vivitar Canada Ltd./Ltée', in France they were marked 'Hanimex-Vivitar France', in Germany they were marked 'Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland Gmbh', and in the UK they were marked 'Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd'.

Sets containing lenses with Nikon AIS mount, Minolta MD mount, Pentax K mount, and Olympus OM mount have been documented. It is not known if sets with other mounts existed. [Note that there do not seem to be any lenses with Canon mounts, which may likely be due to Canon's replacing of its manual focus FD mount with the autofocus EF mount a year earlier, in 1987.]

Known Sets

  • Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland GMBH (Germany) - set 1 of 50 - Pentax K mount[1]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 4 of 50 - Pentax K mount[2]
  • Vivitar Canada Ltd./Ltée - set 5 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[3]
  • Vivitar Corporation (US) - set 7 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[4]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 10 of 50 - Pentax K mount[5]
  • Vivitar Corporation (US) - set 15 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[6]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 18 of 50 - Pentax K mount[7]
  • Hanimex-Vivitar France - set 23 of 50 - Minolta MD mount[8]
  • Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland GMBH (Germany) - set 24 of 50 - Minolta MD mount[9]
  • Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland GMBH (Germany) - set 25 of 50 - Minolta MD mount[10]
  • Vivitar Corporation (US) - set 29 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[11]
  • Unknown badge - set 30 of 50 - Minolta MD mount (set split up, no box)[12]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 31 of 50 - Pentax K mount[13]
  • Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland GMBH (Germany) - set 33 of 50 - Minolta MD mount[14]
  • Hanimex-Vivitar Deutschland GMBH (Germany) - set 35 of 50 - Olympus OM mount[15]
  • Vivitar Corporation (US) - set 36 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[16]
  • Vivitar Corporation (US) - set 37 of 50 - Nikon AIS mount[17]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 38 of 50 - Pentax K mount[18]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 42 of 50 - Pentax K mount[19][20]
  • Vivitar United Kingdom Ltd. (UK) - set 43 of 50 - Pentax K mount[21]


Photos


References

  1. eBay auction, fq123, September 2012
  2. Rocky Cameras: Gold Vivitar Series 1 50th Anniversary Pentax PKA
  3. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/272034014553
  4. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/322404473723
  5. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/152164820139
  6. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/331522580125
  7. personal set belonging to camera-wiki member fwcetus
  8. Christie's auctions: Vivitar 50th Anniversary lens ste
  9. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/311326193241
  10. eBay auction, photoalps, October 2012
  11. eBay auction, igorcamera, January 2012
  12. Flickr photo by Donny Tam: Golden Optics
  13. Flickr set by user camerawiki: Vivitar 50th Anniversary Set
  14. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/361963379979
  15. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/390428161881
  16. eBay auction, Kevin Cameras, September 2012
  17. Cameraquest: Vivitar Gold 50tth Anniversary Lenses
  18. eBay auction, lisapink09, September 2012
  19. Capes Dunn auction, March 2016
  20. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/291737440373
  21. http://www.ebay.com/itm/-/282515859008
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