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Vivitar Macro Focusing Zoom RL Edition 28-80mm F3.5-4.5 Review RSS Feed

Vivitar Macro Focusing Zoom RL Edition 28-80mm F3.5-4.5

Reviews Views Date of last review
1 9,420 Sat February 20, 2021
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $35.00 7.00
Vivitar Macro Focusing Zoom RL Edition 28-80mm F3.5-4.5

Serial number indicates that this was constructed by Kobori. Again indicating by the serial of this particular example, it would come out in '84-'85. Solid lens with a slight weight to it. No automatic setting on aperture ring.
Mount Type: Pentax K

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Registered: July, 2018
Posts: 8
Review Date: February 20, 2021 Recommended | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Value, sharpness, color rendition
Cons: Short focus throw
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 6    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K-70   

This is a two touch zoom with a macro feature available at 80mm. It's an old lens with the large shroud on the base that needs to be altered or removed before it can be mounted on a modern digital camera. Overall, the build quality is impressive. My copy (SN 77502790) is in excellent condition, very clean glass, and appears to be mechanically flawless. It does have an "A" setting on the aperture ring.

For a zoom lens that cost $35 (including shipping), this one is a bit of a pleasant surprise. Sharpnesss is quite good, color rendition is pleasing, and bokeh is satisfying. Chromatic aberrations can be pronounced; but using a simple rubber hood helps mitigate. Performance of the macro focus feature is excellent. There are no problems with vignetting on the K-70. The manual focus throw is limited to a range of about 30 degrees, which can make precise focusing difficult.

I also have a copy of the SMC Pentax A 28-80, and tested against that, the Vivitar RL renders better color and superior sharpness throughout the focal range. The macro feature on the Vivitar also delivers quite acceptable images, unlike the Pentax lens. The Vivitar lens has a solid, hefty build, and is substantially heavier and more robust than the SMC Pentax A 28-80mm. For a manual-focus zoom lens with this focal range, I strongly prefer the Viv RL.

Very little solid information is available online for the Vivitar RL Edition lenses. The most commonly repeated assertion is that the "RL" designation was an 80s Vivitar marketing tactic, with an extended warranty period being the sole difference between the "RL" and the regular Vivitar lenses.

Attached photos are unaltered out-of-camera JPEGs.

Add Review of Vivitar Macro Focusing Zoom RL Edition 28-80mm F3.5-4.5

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