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06-21-2007, 06:19 AM   #1
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Vivitar 35-85 F2.8 ??????

I saw this lens in a Pawn brokers today, it is in fairly good condition (no scratches etc) but definetly not mint - asking $175 (Australian).

Has anyone experienced this lens? It seems an absolute monster but the constant F2.8 certainly interests me.

06-21-2007, 05:36 PM   #2
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Oh well, it mustn't be a well known lens then. I'll see if they'll take $50 - I f they do I'll post some pics.
06-22-2007, 09:37 AM   #3
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Is it by chance one of the Series 1 lenses from the late 80's and early 90's? If it is the one I am thinking of it is a very good lens.Please let us know how it works out and if you purchase it post a shot or two please.
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06-22-2007, 10:08 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falcons Quote
Oh well, it mustn't be a well known lens then. I'll see if they'll take $50 - I f they do I'll post some pics.

I've heard of it...it's just that I've never used one. I attended a workshop with a woman who used one as her main lens. Her pics always looked good so I assume the lens was a decent performer.

06-23-2007, 07:36 AM   #5
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Here's what 'Cult Classic' has to say about the lens
Vivitar Series I 35-85mm f/2.8

This Series I lens provides a wide angle to short telephoto capability in a lens only 3.6 inches long that weighs only 26 ounces. Like its cousins, this Series I lens features a short ten inch close focus range providing a 1:3.5 reproduction ratio. What is more important is that the lens is very sharp throughout this range, with excellent contrast too (thanks to VMC multi-coating). Again, the lens is large in diameter, requiring a 72mm filter, but providing a reasonably fast f/2.8 constant aperture throughout its range.

How could Vivitar provide optimal sharpness with such a zoom in the late 1970s that still holds up to the professional standards of the 1990s? The answer lay in abandoning true zoom action, and substituting a vari-focal zoom. With a vari-focal zoom, you have to re-focus the lens every time you change the focal length. But this trick frees the optical designer to maximize the lens sharpness and quality.

This mechanical dual focusing control complexity puts off many users spoiled by true zooms. Consequently, you can often find this sharp zoom selling for surprisingly low prices (Cf. list $400 in 1978). But as its cult status gets better known, those bargains may be harder and harder to find!


I've got one in M42 mount, a beast of a lens, large, sharp, not real contrasty, colors a bit cool. Bokeh pretty good, like that it will close focus to 10". It's fun to play with, the size puts me off for every day use.
06-23-2007, 05:16 PM   #6
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Yes it is the series 1 lens. I haven't had a chance to get back to the pawn brokers yet - the lens looked so different from what I would term a normal lens - sort of stubby with a large front lens and I had never heard of variable focus before.

Hope it is still there when I go back.
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