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?


1 Answer 1


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


    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:

06 - Olympus
09 - 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:

  • \$\begingroup\$ 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? \$\endgroup\$
    – OnBreak.
    Dec 17, 2018 at 3:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Dec 17, 2018 at 4:36

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.