Using a different lens every week (ahmm… well) for 70+ weeks (or more)… ;)

Posts tagged “Vivitar

Vivitar 28mm lenses

Some hidden gems. Great performance for affordable money.

“The Great Vivitar 28mm Bestiary”

Week 9: Vivitar Series 1 2.8-3.8/28-105 VMC Macro Focusing Zoom

Trying to catch up. The holiday season was not really helpful in writing this blog. LOL

This week’s lens is the “Vivitar Series 1 2.8-3.8/28-105 VMC Macro Focusing Zoom”. What a name!
Vivitar put several rather fast zoom lenses on the market that were built by different manufacturers. Especially those lenses made by Kiron or Komine are said to be excellent. I can confirm that and add that those made by Tokina are also very good! “Series 1” lenses were the high-end line of Vivitar, the same way that the “L” labels the top lenses of Canon. So most experts claim that a “Series 1” lens made by Kiron must be the top-of-the-pops. My 28-105 apparently was built by Cosina which is not the worst manufacturer either. Zeiss has their modern ZE lenses built there as well.

With a max aperture of 2.8-3.8 these zoom lenses are some of the fastest universal-zooms around. Apart from the 28-105 there also was a 2.8-3.8/28-90, a 2.8/35-80 and a non-Series 1 2.8-3.8/28-85. The 28-90 is said to be the best model, but I also like my 28-105 a lot.

Here you can find an ongoing discussion about which version might be the best one.

OK, my 28-105 not really a beauty, it’s not downright ugly, but the looks is not all that counts anyway, right? My Flickr-friend Alf Sigaro also owns that lens and also seems to like it. OK, what about it?


– Surprisingly sharp even wide open
– Contrasty (stopped down) and nice color rendition (for a zoom)
– Beautiful bokeh (for a zoom that is very surprising)
– Useful focal range 28-105 on fullframe with a neat f/2.8-3.8
– Solid build


– Heavy copared to today’s zoom lenses (which is not really a “con” for me, personally, though) 😉
– Push pull zoom (you have to get used to it, it can be a good thing, but somtimes it is annoying)
– It’s a varifocus lens, so you have to re-adjust the focus after zooming (bad for filming)
– Some vignetting wide open at 28mm (but hey, it’s a zoom lens after all)
– contrast wide opened