Vivitar 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 Lens Review

As someone who loves to wear manual lenses, I want to try every manual lens I can get my hands on. Just like a bee collects nectar from individual flowers. Using manual lenses gives me a special pleasure. In this article, we reviewed the Vivitar Series1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 MACRO lens. However, I can’t help but enjoy using manual lenses when I switched to mirrorless systems. Mirrorless makes it very easy to use. I did my Vivitar  28-105mm f2.8-3.8 lens review on Sony A7ii and I continue to use it. Let me tell you about my user experience.

vivitar 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8

Vivitar Series1 28-105mm Technical Specifications

Lens name Vivitar Series1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 WMC -67mm filter
Aperture max-min 2.8-3.8 to 22
Weight 615 g
Length 117mm – 151mm
Element 14 optical elements in 12 groups
Minimum focusing distance 17cm at 28mm
Number of diaphragm blades 8
Maximum magnification ?
Anti-shake  no
Filter diameter 67 mm
Made in japanese
vivitar series 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8

As it is known, Vivitar company outsources some of its lenses to manufacturers. It is known that there are 3 versions of the Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm lens, some of which are produced by Kiron and some by Cosina. Both manufacturers have very ambitious products about lenses. Both brands (especially Kiron) are very popular abroad. It is also known in our country; but unfortunately it takes much more time for the generation to learn.
Another thing I would like to point out in particular is that these lenses have 2 versions. The most important difference of these two versions is the filter diameters. One series has a filter diameter of 67mm, while the other has a filter diameter of 62mm. There is also a distinction in the market due to filter diameters. The lens we reviewed is the one with a diameter of 67mm.

Vivitar series1 28-105mm Physical Impression

Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 is a fully manual lens. It does not contain any electronics. The diaphragm has A mode. As far as I know, this letter means that the diaphragm can be controlled from the camera. Of course, with the appropriate makis of the time… Since I have already experienced Sony a7ii, there is no aperture control on the camera. Diaphragm transitions occur from the diaphragm ring close to the bayonet. It has full stop diaphragms. There are no intermediate stops. I wish I had. Let me talk about a negative aspect of the diaphragm ring: It is very thin and sometimes confused with the bayonet locking ring. (Canon fd mounts have locking rings on the lens to fully attach the lens to the camera). When you use it for a while, neither its thinness nor its mixing with the locking ring is a problem. It takes time to get used to it.The focus ring is very large and covered with plastic to facilitate grip. Vivitar Series 1 is written on this plastic, as can be seen from the photos. In addition, mutual reliefs are used on the upper and lower sides of the text, which makes it very comfortable to hold. The focus ring has the option to rotate approximately 120 degrees. It is very comfortable to use.

Pump System Zoom Ring

Changing the focal length on the Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm lens is a little different. Our lens zooms with a pump system (push-pull). In other words, when you push the focus ring forward, it approaches 105mm, and when you pull it back, it approaches 28mm. You are not rotating to change the focal length. The rotation function is only for sharpening. Since I used a few more pump system lenses before, I didn’t feel very inexperienced. But people who have not experienced it yet may find this issue strange. Frankly, I think it is very useful for manual use. The back and forth movement to frame the composition is very, very short and simple; Turning the ring for focusing is already common practice. You don’t have to deal with the double ring. The only disadvantage of the pumped ground system is that you do not know how many millimeters of focal length you use when framing the subject. Of course, there is a band from 28 to 105mm, but it is not known exactly what value it indicates, since the focus ring moves during focusing.
Our lens has a filter diameter of 67mm. Front optic or front element does not rotate while focusing. Polarizing filter is easy to use.

Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 lens consists of 14 elements in 12 groups. Frankly, the fact that it contains so many optical elements is an indicator of its quality. A large amount of optical lenses are used to correct light diffraction. It is possible to see this in today’s lenses as well. Anyway, let me not prolong the technical issues…

Vivitar series 1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 Image Quality

Let’s come to the highly anticipated part: Photo-image quality. I had already made the sub-structure of the subject in the previous paragraph. The thing that surprised me the most about the lens was the photo quality. Sharpness, color contrast, today’s lenses worth thousands of pounds. I must admit I fainted. Center sharpness is acceptable at f2.8. Especially f5,6 has extreme sharpness. Colors are very natural and contrast is on point. I have shared some photos below. You can view it in detail by clicking on it. Sharpness is excellent at wide apertures from 28mm to 80mm. As if 105mm approached, I felt a slight softness. Not obvious though.
We exalted; Let’s drop it a little. The biggest downside is the vignettes. There are obvious vignetting at the widest aperture. I also noticed that it is not equal in every corner. It depends on the focal length. Sometimes it can be more in the lower right corner and sometimes more in the upper left corner. I would like to point out that I am using a full frame camera. Most of the vignettes I mentioned will disappear on crop sensor cameras.

Vivitar Series1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 Macro Feature

vivitar series 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8 at 28mm f2.8

Another thing I should mention is the Macro feature. The largest magnification ratio is 1:25. Vivitar has already ostentatiously written ‘Macro Focusing Zoom’ on this lens. I can honestly say that you got it right. Nobody should expect a 1:1 ratio like in original macro lenses. But our lens comes to the point of almost touching the object at 28 mm. The distance between the windshield and the windshield is 4 cm. There is also a distance of about 19 cm from the machine sensor. As the focal length increases, the minimum distance also increases, and at 105 mm it reaches a distance of approximately 85 cm from the windshield. The distance to the sensor is about 103 cm. There is no macro lens feature in 105mm, but it is possible to shoot different macros with a magnification of 1:25 in 28mm. I say different because wide-angle macro is a little different. Since I always use a macro lens around 100mm, the effect it creates was different at first. But I realized that it was a situation I had not encountered before and I liked it as I shot. A lens that can be used for non-living objects and different effects.

vivitar series 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8. 28mm f4.5

Vivitar Series1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 Bokeh and Backlight Performance

vivitar series 1 28-105mm f/2.8-3.8 whit good flare

Finally, let’s talk about bokeh. It has almost full circular bokeh thanks to its 8-blade diaphragm petals. Their bokeh does not have a characteristic aura like Russian lenses. Portraits can be easily taken at 105mm at the widest aperture. It also has an incredible blur success when shooting macro at 28mm. Frankly, I’m also satisfied with the bokeh.
I can’t help but share my backlight impressions. It does not create ghosts in backlight like simple lenses. The fog haze is as little as possible. However, it creates a direct blue flare in the lights coming from the diagonal. Sometimes it has lost my taste. Most of the time it’s manageable. Honestly, I don’t take pictures unless there’s a sunset etc. in reverse light. But I know that there are those who pay a lot of attention to this issue; So I wanted to add it to my post. The Vivitar Series 1 28-105mm f2.8-3.8 got a passing grade from me, although it wasn’t very good in backlight.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *