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Vivitar 28-70mm 1:3.4 or 3.5 -4.8 MC Macro Focusing Zoom Review RSS Feed

Vivitar 28-70mm 1:3.4 or 3.5 -4.8 MC Macro Focusing Zoom

Reviews Views Date of last review
6 49,551 Mon September 21, 2020
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $29.60 8.50
Vivitar 28-70mm 1:3.4 or 3.5 -4.8 MC Macro Focusing Zoom

This is a manual focus standard kit type zoom lens. Can be found as f3.5- (pic) and f3.4- versions. The serial number starting with 9 indicates that it was made by Cosina, in the 1980's, and also for other brand-names like Minolta, Miranda, Praktikar and others.
The Pentax version is typically PKA mount. Specs for f3.4 version, f3.5 version may be different.

Focal length: 28-70mm
Weight: 365g
Optical design: 9 elements in 8 groups
Mount: Pentax K (PK) but can also be found with other mounts.
Aperture: f/3.4-4.8 to f/22, 6 bladed aperure
Covers: Standard 35mm film size (2436 mm negative)
Closest Focus: About 0.35m (1.1ft)
Filter Size: 52mm (rotating)

Cosina also made a constant f4 aperture version with a 62mm filter thread, and in a constantly shifting market there were probably other variants produced under a variety of marques.
Mount Type: Pentax KA
Price History:

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New Member

Registered: September, 2020
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Posts: 2
Lens Review Date: September 21, 2020 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $38.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp, Light Weight, Inexpensive, No zoom creep
Cons: None yet
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

This copy was very close to new. Original box and packing. Maybe why no zoom creep on a lens noted for same.
I use the Fuji X-E1 camera and I was looking for a quality light weight legacy full frame zoom for to use in APS-C format for a light weight carry-around to travel with a (sharp) M42 Zeiss Jena 24mm (155 grams) on Speed Booster. When I don't want to carry a full range of Topcor lenses this arrangement gives me a 26mm plus a 43-105mm focal length. The all up camera/lens weight with this range of focal lengths comes in at 1150 grams (2 lb. 8 oz.). Perfect for light carry.
I tested the 28-70 (as a 43mm to 105mm) out in the garden (first try out). Very close in. f5.6. slight crop in PP.

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 891
Lens Review Date: March 2, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $20.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Surprisingly sharp, K-A mount.
Cons: Zoom creep, not a good looking lens.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K-5   

Having seen an earlier reviewer of this lens post an image of bee and flower that I thought was too good to be true, I saw this lens on Ebay being sold with a Pentax MG.
I succumbed and bid, if the lens was anywhere near as good as it had to be to produce that image, it was going to be a great buy.
The lens is rather sharp! Stopped down a bit.
I have not been impressed by Cosina made zooms before but have to say that I like this one a lot.
A few images taken and compared to other manual zooms I have show it to be well worth having.

The bad points to this lens are perhaps specific to my copy, they are zoom creep, so many older zooms exhibit this so not unexpected, on this zoom it occurs between the 50 and 70mm focal lengths.
On my copy the lens mounts my K-5 with a slightly graunchy feel, this is probably due to the Ricoh pin but it did not give any problem (like locking into the AF drive).

Wide open the bokeh can exhibit some swirly effects with light sources. Not to Helios 44-2 standards but it is a not really ugly. (To me anyway).

Good lens at a good price if you like the older manual lenses. Would I pay more than 30 bucks for it? Probably not but others may be happy paying more.
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Posts: 14
Lens Review Date: September 12, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 6 

Pros: Build, Design, Price, Focal Range
Cons: Zooming is a bit stiff, Color rendition, Sharpness
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 5    Handling: 1    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon EOS 60D with adapter and Pentax P30n   

Definitely good value, but the macro mode is nothing to write home about and can be fiddly sometimes. Design is nice and build quality is as well. Nice and cheap with a good crop sensor focal range.

The zoom is incredibly stiff and is my main complaint with this lens, when you zoom it and out it is jittery and inconsistent in movement when a nice lens would be buttery and constant.

Color rendition is average but nothing of SMC Pentax quality for sure but it is still multicoated so that helps. Sharpness is average, it is what I would expect from an average zoom at this price. And aberrations like this were to be expected.

It's a shame this lens is so mediocre because it is annoyingly my lens in the best condition at the moment until I buy some new shiny primes in a week or two.

Good value for a mediocre zoom I just wouldn't go above $30
Veteran Member

Registered: July, 2014
Location: Nagoya
Posts: 577
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Sharp! Fairly light, easy to use, inexpensive.
Cons: Really can't complain for what it is.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Camera Used: Miranda MS-3, Pentax Me Super, Olympus E-510   

This lens came with a Miranda MS-3 my girlfriend bought in a charity shop to give to me because she knows I like old cameras. An 80s zoom lens with a metal and plastic construction never leaves one expecting much, but when I got to trying the lens I was amazed by its sharpness on both film and digital. A hood is recommended but colours and contrast are generally good and it's almost up there with a good standard prime for IQ. Macro mode is good and certainly allowed me to get close enough to all the dust on my Taron Auto EE...
Very, very impressed by this one.

New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 8
Lens Review Date: February 21, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 10 

Pros: very sharp lens
Cons: very few CA's
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: MZ5,Z20,MZ10,sfx   

nice contrast, very fine colors, really very sharp, even in the corners

suitable for close-ups, too, but not a special extreme macro lens

one of my best wide angle-small tele zooms

very good centered optics

nearly perfect
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 484

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

Pros: Sharp, cheap, compact, A-setting, full metal build
Cons: Zoom creep, not that fast, rotating front element, some barrel distortion at the wide end
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 7   

This lens does not have the reputation of the coveted early Series 1 lenses, but apart from its bad zoom creep, I find it very decent. The A-setting of my copy did not work properly anymore, so I opened it and some superglue did the trick for fixing the stop-down actuator. The lens has eight aperture blades, is sharp, produces a nice and smooth bokeh and renders beautiful colors, so I'm glad I managed to fix it. I did notice some moderate barrel distortion at the wide end on APS-C, so I would not necessarily recommend it for architecture shots. Nevertheless, it was a pleasure to use on my full-frame Pentax MV of old. Now on APS-C, it no longer gives me a wide angle view, but considering it allowed me to take shots like these, I should probably use it more often.

Incoming by Ludger Solbach, on Flickr
Add Review of Vivitar 28-70mm 1:3.4 or 3.5 -4.8 MC Macro Focusing Zoom

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