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There are Vivitar-branded lenses for which I wish to identify the manufacturer. I have read that Vivitar encoded the manufacturer in the serial number, so in principle, I just need to find a list of applicable manufacturer codes.

What are the manufacturer codes for lenses that have been rebranded Vivitar?

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During the 1970s and early 1990s, Vivitar serial numbers took the following form:

MM Y WW SSS

    MM = manufacturer code
    Y = year; may be ambiguous, for instance 1979 and 1989
    WW = week
    SSS = item-specific serial number

The manufacturer codes used by Vivitar are:

09 - (or 9) Cosina Company, Ltd.
13 - Schneider Kreuznach
22 - Kino Precision
25 - Ozone Optical Co., Ltd.
28 - Komine Co., Ltd.
32 - Makina Optical Co., Ltd
33 - Asanuma & Co., Ltd
37 - Tokina Optical Company, Ltd
42 - Bauer (possibly Bauer trademark holder Robert Bosch GmbH)
44 - Perkin-Elmer
47 - Chinon Industries, Inc.
51 - Tokyo Trading (possibly a corruption of Tokyo Koki, a Tokina predecessor)
56 - Kyoei Shoji Company, Ltd.
61 - Samyang Optics Co., Ltd
75 - Hoya Corporation
77 - Kobori Mfg Co. Ltd
81 - Polar

Of these, a few appear to be highly regarded, such as Kino/Kiron (22) and Komine (28). Others have become household names, such as Tokina (37) and Samyang (61).

See also:

  • Any idea where vivitar lenses sat in the manufacturing line? As in, were a group of lenses pulled at random for branding or did vivitar get the bottom of the barrel so to speak? – Hueco Dec 17 '18 at 3:20
  • Vivitar designed some of their own lenses, so at least those would have had entire manufacturing lines devoted to them. They also had a premium line of lenses called "Series 1", which were likely entrusted only to manufacturers with proven track records. Aside from that, I don't know how manufacturers managed their production lines. – xiota Dec 17 '18 at 4:36

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