Vivitar Series 1 28-90 f/2.8-3.5 MF 35mm Zoom

Vivitar Series 1 28-90 f/2.8-3.5 MF 35mm Zoom 

DESCRIPTION

Out-of-production Vivitar premium, manual focus zoom lens.

USER REVIEWS

Showing 1-10 of 15  
[Dec 20, 2018]
shashinka


Strength:

• Construction is solid. It is heavy compared with modern zooms, but still comfortable to use. There is no zoom creep on my copy.

• Fast F2.8 aperture and Goldilocks focal length of 28mm at the wide end. (For me, 18mm is too wide, but 35mm isn't wide enough.)

• One-touch zoom is pleasant to use. Varifocal, but doesn't matter much because focus is likely to shift anyway while zooming.

• Can focus down to just a few inches.

• Veiling glare is moderate. Images retain enough contrast that they are still usable with post processing.

• Image character: Bubble bokeh with mild "glow". Ghosting and purple fringing can be induced.

Weakness:

• Reasonably sharp wide open. Sharpest around F5.6. But doesn't feel quite sharp enough.

• Focus peaking doesn't quite "lock in" (on X-T20 with adapter).

• Would like a bit more zoom.

Conclusion: This is a good lens. It's weaknesses are that it isn't just a bit better. Overall, it's much better than the Vivitar Series-1 28-105/2.8-3.8, but not as good as the Canon FD 35-105/3.5. The more useful 28mm at the wide end makes it a tough choice between this lens and the Canon 35-105/3.5.

Model Year:
1986
OVERALL
RATING
4
[Sep 14, 2013]
Joe Cap
Expert

Strength:

Very well made, decent contrast

Weakness:

Soft wide open, falloff, verifocal design, flair, not well suited for the digital age.

I originally bought this lens in 1983 when I was 19. All of the photo mags (Modern Photography and Popular Photography) had the ads showing the high resolution numbers and describing it as the best wide zoom available. Stopped down to f5.6-16, it performed like a prime with film and slides.
in 2006 I went digital and decided to buy one in Nikon mount along with an Nikon to EF adapter(glass free). When used on a 5D and 10D it was quite bad, a clear reminder of lens progress since 1983. Pass on it..

Customer Service

none needed

Similar Products Used:

Canon 28-105mm, Tamron SP 24-135mm,Canon 35-105 f3.5-4.5,Canon 100-300 f5.6L, Canon 85mm f1.8, Canon Efs 17-85mm, Tamron 11-18mm

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Aug 01, 2010]
Alan Jones
Casual

Used on an Olympus 4/3 DSLR with no major issues. Very good close up lens at wider end but not especially useful for landscape, far too soft at landscape apetures.

Suffers badly from aperture ghosting at big apertures, even pointing it at the moon at midnight wil make it flare.

Not bad fro fringing though, seen worse, seen better.

Good general lens, would make a nice portrait lens I think but wtach out for harsh backlighting or you're going to get problems!

OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
4
[Nov 25, 2007]
Rob Valine
Professional

Strength:

Good Quality lens for price range.
Equal to or better than higher priced lenses.
Solid Construction.
Both Sharp and fast.

Weakness:

No longer in production. You have to buy it used. Ebay is a good place to find one.

I bought this lens used about 7 or 8 years ago. I found it to be a very good all around fast zoom and a useful Macro lens. It has been my workhorse as long as I've had it. I shoot with Contax, Yashica and Nikon Bodies and have a sizeable lens collection. Of all my lenses, this has been the one I've used most often. I keep it on my back up camera when I shoot weddings. I usually use 2 cameras for weddings. I'll use a fast prime lens on my main camera and the Vivitar 28-90 on the 2nd camera. I also have found that it's fast enough to shoot live Rock Bands in low light. Stage lighting can be very difficult and a fast lens is necessary. This lens is perfect for that. I think it was well worth the puchase price. I shot thousands of images with this lens. I've found this to be a very professional and useful lens. I would recommend this lens to anyone from a beginner to professional. To see photos that were taken with this lens, Go to my web site at www.RobValineimages.com and type in the search feature "Vivitar series 1 28-90mm lens". A lot of my photos are tagged with the lens that was used to take them.

Customer Service

Never used.

Similar Products Used:

Tamron 28-105mm F2.8
Zeiss 28-85mm F3.3-4

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Aug 05, 2007]
Bryan Rieth
Intermediate

Strength:

Nice, fast zoom lens
Nice balancing lens with a camera that weighs six pounds
Useful for shooting sports like, skateboarding, BMX, etc.

Weakness:

Weight with other camera...
No depth of field scale
Slow aperture blades
Unstable feel
Etc...

I'm not going to say that this is the best lens I've ever owned...far from it. It's very heavy, some-what unstable, the aperture blades don't work as quickly as they should, and the lens does vignette the image to some degree. But for all its short comings, it is a rather useful lens. It's fast for a zoom (1:2.8-3.5), its quite sharp, and most of all, it's easy to use. I don't really mind the negative points about it. The vignetting I've seen with it is very minor, nothing that couldn't be cropped out. Also, I use a Nikon F2 with an MD-2/MB-1, and that's a HEAVY camera, so the lens's weight actually is quite...balancing. It's not a perfect lens, but it's useful-ness outweighs its downfalls.

Customer Service

None...

Similar Products Used:

Nikkor 43-86mm 1:3.5
Nikkor 35-70mm 1:3.5

OVERALL
RATING
3
VALUE
RATING
5
[Apr 30, 2006]
dan
Intermediate

Strength:

large glass, good aperature range

Weakness:

vignetting, oil, weight, "macro" focusing is over 3 feet.

no thanks, i'll pass.

I am not happy with this lense at all.
The vignetting issue is definately a problem. With that as a fact, I have to question everything about this lense. Why release a lense that does this?
If you are buying the lense used, beware of oil on the blades.

i have a great minolta made 28-700 f3.5-4 macro zoom lense that is awesome, and i was hoping for something similar to it. That lense is light weight, great very close macro focusing, good contrast, small size. oh well.

Similar Products Used:

minolta 28-70 macro zoom
tamron MD 70-210
FD 50mm 1.8
MD 55mm 1.4

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
3
[Nov 29, 2004]
azdustdevil
Professional

Strength:

Fast, versatile, solid, well-made.

Weakness:

Vignetting and weight.

Fast, but heavy. That's just the price you pay. Vignetting at wide angle is bad so I rarely shoot at widest angle and never shoot it wide open. I bought this because of its speed and at the time, I shot K-25 exclusively. Probably would not have bought it if I had known all this.

Customer Service

Never used.

Similar Products Used:

None

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Sep 23, 2003]
dagberg
Intermediate

Strength:

Sharp at middle to high apertures; fast maximum aperture; useful zoom range.

Weakness:

This is a varifocal lens, not a true zoom. You have to refocus each time you zoom. It also vignettes at wider apertures, making it very bad for use with slide film. Surely anyone looking for a zoom lens today can find a newer design that performs better.

This is an outdated design that might appeal to someone looking for a cheap, fast mf zoom lens. The lens' tendency to vignette at wide apertures is a serious flaw. I purchased this during the eighties when it was supposedly state of the art; I never was happy with its performance overall.

Customer Service

This is an old outdated lens mainly of interest to collectors. I am guessing that Vivitar still must provide service, but this is not certain.

Similar Products Used:

Tokina 35-135 zoom for Pentax K mount; Nikon 35-105 f3.5-4.5 zoom; Sigma 28-70 f2.8 zoom; Tamron 28-200 f3.8-5.6 zoom.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
3
[Apr 14, 2003]
shaunlawes2
Intermediate

Strength:

Quick,crisp focussing and solid build quility.

Weakness:

A tad heavy,but the F4 is not exactly a lightwieght piece of kit

I find that this lens is an excellent lens for close up work and for general spur of the moment shots,I have had it attached to my nikon FE2 since i purchased it over a year ago and have had some excellent results,I have just moved up to an F4 and have used this lens on this camera with excellent results also.Excellent value for money

Customer Service

N/A Never had a problem

Similar Products Used:

Nikon 28-70 Sigma 28-200 and an assortment of Hoya lenses

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
[Oct 27, 2002]
joe capobianco
Expert

Strength:

Solid construction, good contrast, low flare

Weakness:

Not at all sharp until f5.6- not up to todays zooms.

I used this lens for about 6years and about 6,000 photos and I can honestly say that modern af lenses are far superior. While contrast and color were well corrected, wide f stops were wretched, bad edges and softness until f5.6 where it became sharp. The current Sigma 28-105 f2.8-4 is far superior. Give this one a pass.

Customer Service

Should have used it because the zoom ring became loose as it does in most of these.

Similar Products Used:

Sigma 28-105af, Canon 35-135ef, vivitar series 1 70-210 f3.5(much better) Canon ef22-55, tamron 28-200 super, canon 100-200ef

OVERALL
RATING
1
VALUE
RATING
1
Showing 1-10 of 15  

(C) Copyright 1996-2018. All Rights Reserved.

photographyreview.com and the ConsumerReview Network are business units of Invenda Corporation

Other Web Sites in the ConsumerReview Network:

mtbr.com | roadbikereview.com | carreview.com | photographyreview.com | audioreview.com