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Vivitar (Komine 28xxxxx) 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus Review RSS Feed

Vivitar (Komine 28xxxxx) 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus

Sharpness 
 8.6
Aberrations 
 8.3
Bokeh 
 8.5
Handling 
 9.4
Value 
 9.6
Reviews Views Date of last review
19 148,223 Mon April 29, 2019
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
95% of reviewers $50.04 8.63
Vivitar (Komine 28xxxxx) 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus
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Description:
Vivitar 28mm wide angle lenses were made primarily initially by Kino Optical (Kiron), and Komine. There is a plethora of different versions see link below. The kiron versions have serials 22xxxxx, the Komines have 28xxxxx serial numbers. This review page is specifically for the f2.8 Komine made PK/PKA versions labelled "close focus".

28mm f2.8 MC Komine version review here.
T4/TX tokina made (37xxxx) 28mm listed here.

Kiron versions, early T-mount versions, later versions by Tokina (37xxxxx) and Cosina (9xxxxxx) need/have a separate listing.


The Kiron ones are known to suffer from oily/sticky iris blades.

Variants are available in both PK and M42 mounts.

There are a large number of vivitar 28mm variants. They are listed in this blog.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



Add Review of Vivitar (Komine 28xxxxx) 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 19
New Member

Registered: April, 2019
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: April 29, 2019 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $28.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Cost, Sharpness, Construction
Cons: None (for a manual focus lens of this era)
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K1000   

My copy is Komine (28xxxxx) Close Focus PKA version marketed as an RL Edition (basically 7 year warranty rather than the usual five... kind of a moot point now). It's a great manual focus lens for this era.

It's a bit soft wide open but really quite sharp as you stop down. Here's two examples, both shot with a k1000 and Kodak Gold 200 film.



For this long exposure of a highway overpass, I had the lens stopped all the way down to f16. You can see 6 pointed sun stars on some of the brighter street lamps. Looking at the lines from the roads, you can see the distortion is pretty minimal.



For this night street shot, I was shooting handheld, so it was wide open at f2.8 at 1/30s. The slight blur around people was due to movement and the slower shutter speed. However, looking at the buildings, they're not bad even wide open.

In sum, I paid less than $30 for the lens and it's easily one of my favorites. A great deal, definitely worth picking up if you see one.
   
Junior Member

Registered: July, 2016
Location: Southern Indiana
Posts: 39

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 13, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $35.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, solid, lightweight
Cons: some flaring (which is a pro for my use), manual
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: K5   

My first PK/A lens, and I love it. Results are sharp, no visible CA, some flaring (see below) but for my use this is a bonus and gives it character.

Solidly built, fast and smooth action, aperture control and other modes work beautifully in my K5, though I tend to prefer manual settings. Works well in dark and daylight, and I suspect thisíll be my go-to manual lens for some time.

Ridiculously affordable, and worth every penny. From other reviews, the PK/A is version to get, and I concur.

   
New Member

Registered: July, 2015
Posts: 1
Lens Review Date: May 8, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, light, nice price.
Cons: n/a
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: Canon/Sony   

Again, this is a manual, old lens and apparently not everyone knows how to use manual controlled lenses.
I did not use it for close up shots much but it is a very nice feature to have.
Even wide open the lens is very decent, stopped down it is very good.
Here is an example how it performs:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/25696639351/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/23743644889/in/dateposted-public/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133606804@N04/21712526035/in/dateposted-public/

It is a very good lens, learn how to shoot manual, do not read DP Review forums and you'll good.

I would recommend this lens.


Thank you.
   
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 285
Lens Review Date: May 7, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Close focus, colours on Pentax, good for extension tubes, 49mm filters for legacy Pentaxians.
Cons: Best used only for close up and macro. Just OK with landscapes.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K30   

My first review here. Mine is the MC screw version and kiron version serial number starting 28........

I bought this as part of a job lot and this was the only useful item and luckily justified the purchase of the other garbage

In quick comparison to a Pentax-A 28mm prime for general purpose mines didn't handle as well or match it for infinity photography such as landscapes. It was also more prone to flare however if you read what it says on the front of the lens, "Close Focus", and use it for that purpose you will be well pleased and especially with the Bokeh but only for close up purposes again.

The photo below is with approx 50mm of extension tubes, all being manual with no facility for the camera to stop down the lens means focusing to-and-fro at f16 (max aperture on this lens). It is very difficult to achieve exacting critical focus with this method, and to get the greenfly (just behind critical focus), grass blade and front section of nectar in one plane was a tall order hand held.

Check out the colours from this little gem straight from the K30 without any PP whatsoever.

1/250, f16, ISO 1600
   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2015
Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
Posts: 4
Lens Review Date: November 19, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $52.61 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: the bokeh, the bokeh and finally the bokeh
Cons: at f2.8 it's not as sharp as I'd like it to be.
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Cannon EOS 1000D   



   
Veteran Member

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Black Isle, Scotland
Posts: 405
Lens Review Date: July 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Close focus, half stop aperture ring, smooth focusing
Cons: Slight CA, long focus ring throw, slow, flare

I picked this up going by previous reviews and would - for the most part - agree with them. It's a good fit for APS-C as a normal lens, and with a nice close focusing ability (1:5 ratio on mine) is pretty versatile. By these virtues it was my lens of choice for most of my last holiday in France, though not as sharp or colourful as my Petri 50mm F2.0, nor of course having the range of my DA 18-55. I've used it to good success for close-up photos of butterflies and flowers, a bit further out for some environmental portraits, and also for a spot of landscape though I never really hit my stride there. Whilst it spent most of its time on the K-30, I also used it on an MX with Velvia 50 slide film, though the latter is yet to be developed.

The sharpness is pretty solid for the most part, though as has been mentioned previously it is noticeably soft wide open. Corner sharpness peaks at F5.6-8, whilst centre sharpness has a slightly wider range at F4-8. This is really to be expected. Vignetting is only really significant wide-open. Chromatic aberrations are often there, even when you're not trying to push the contrast. They're clean and small, so usually easy enough to tidy up in PP, but you can lose some sharpness if you don't look out for them.

The focus and aperture rings both work well, though I found the former to have longer throw than I would have liked. When you're trying to switch from distance work to something close that you've just spotted, you might end up missing it on occasion.

Something that bugged me about this lens, and I don't know if it's just my copy, but I could swear it's dark, as in I actually lose a stop with it. Example: I took a photo of a mountain at F8 with this lens, but felt that it really could have done with being a bit tighter so switched to my 50mm. When chimping that shot I found it to be overexposed where the Vivitar wasn't. I haven't done anything resembling a scientific test of this, so take this anecdote with a pinch of salt.

Overall I'd probably recommend this lens if you're looking for a relatively cheap normal prime for an APS-C body. It hasn't got any spectacular characteristics, but it does have a good focus range and sharpness. If you're so inclined, the out of focus effect can be quite fun to play with as well.

Sample images:





   
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: t'North
Posts: 69
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Crisp, decent IQ, nice to use
Cons: over 30 variants and big price variations
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

Picked up my little Vivitar 28mm a while ago as I was after a cheap manual focus 28mm to tinker with for Panoramas on digital. The ebay pic was fuzzy, I knew it was a Komine but was amazed to get a mint PKA for very little cash

According to the the Robin Parmar listing, my copy is:
A03 "Vivitar | 28MM 1:2.8 | MC | CLOSE FOCUS WIDE ANGLE | NO. 28xxxxxx | ō49MM"

It's great. Really nice to use (just like a Pentax manual focus 'A') works well with my K10D and doesn't seem to have any metering issues. For panoramas and stitched images it works fine (I see no obvious vignetting f4 to f11) and it shows little distortion. It an ugly sort of fella though

Used as a straight 28mm on DSLR (so 42mm equiv) it is a little more limited for me as that isn't a focal length I find useful but it seems capable enough. Pixel peeping there is some CA (easy to fix) and it can be prone to flare outdoors so a hood is a must - being 49mm these are easy to come by, you might already have one

when the opportunity arises I will ad some pics here
   
New Member

Registered: March, 2013
Posts: 3
Lens Review Date: March 16, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $45.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, close focus, k mount
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

A good lens, cool is the close focus. K mount is a plus
   
Inactive Account

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Sofia
Posts: 3

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 5, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Solid build, Close focus, sharpness, CA control
Cons: a little soft at F2.8
Sharpness: 8    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is my favorite lens.Sharp,good colours and bokeh.A little soft wide open,but for me it's not a problem.I agree with stillshunter - "A-version is simply GOLD"!









   
Site Supporter

Registered: November, 2010
Location: California
Posts: 2,223
Lens Review Date: August 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: The only Vivitar lens I have and will keep.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 10    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

I have the Vivitar MC Close Focus Wide Angle Serial#28xxxxxx, Pk-A. A big step above the Pk. I only have two words: Get one.
----------------------

As good as the f2 version.

Will post images later.



Close Focussed Branch with Bokeh by Palenquero, on Flickr



Abutilon (Flowering Maple) by Palenquero, on Flickr


Vivitar28mmf2.8WA-CF-Wineleaves1 by Palenquero, on Flickr
   
Veteran Member

Registered: June, 2011
Location: Near Sydney, NSW
Posts: 331
Lens Review Date: July 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: No | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 6 

 
Pros: VERY light & thus easy to hand hold, auto aperture, macro
Cons: Not the best IQ from a prime, not wide enough for APS-C

Don't get me wrong on not recommending this lens - I don't think it's hopeless, I'm just not sure of it's relevance in the digital age. It's not wide enough to be a proper landscape/wide lens - but of course has no reach either, and because of its f2.8 combined with a not-long 28mm, it doesn't throw backgrounds out particularly easily.
Positives are that it can focus very close, which is nice so I might recommend it to someone for a nice cheap price who is looking to take close shots of something, but I wouldn't recommend it for landscape or just generally 'street photography', as it's IQ isn't actually that amazing for a prime, personally I think you're better off with a kit 18-55 - but if you're going to buy a lens separately, go one way or the other - either really wide like the 16-45 or Sigma 10-20, or a 50 or 55 prime.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: March, 2009
Location: Ohio, USA/ India
Posts: 475
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: good value, build
Cons:

This is a good lens for the money. I have used it reversed for some extreme macros. The build is great. I have not had a chance to use this much after acquiring other lenses in this fl range.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: April, 2010
Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Posts: 805

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: May 11, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $55.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Solid build, Close focus, sharpness, CA control, IQ
Cons: Lens hood mandatory, a little soft at edges when wide open
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9   

According to the Bestiary mine is the K02 version (Komine).

It's a solid 9.
IQ is not as good as K28/3.5, same as A28/2.8 and maybe a smidge better than FA28/2.8 AL.
A lens hood will help increase contrast, and reduce sun glare.
The close focus ability can open the door for some real fun close-up wide shots - especially portraits. I call it the Pinocchio effect.

At F4 and beyond, sharpness and detail is very good.
A great walk-around lens (if you really like an all manual lens).

Jack.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Southern Tablelands NSW
Posts: 406

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 30, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp and Light A-version is simply GOLD.
Cons: I sold it!!!! STUPIDO!!!!

I have suffered LBA for some time, but this is the lens that started off my Seller's Remorse. I scored a mint A-version of this lens and sold it on. Big mistake!!! In the unceasing search for funds to hunt down the best glass, sometimes you should just hold onto some. The grass is not always greener.

The build quality of the Vivitar 28mm f2.8 CF is equal to most Pentax native 'M' lenses and the results in my limited testing far exceeds them. I compared this on a test card against the M50/1.7. The Viv outperformed the 50/1.7 from f2.8 to f8....after that they were neck and neck....though the Viv appeared to control CA much better even at smaller apertures. The Viv is far sharper and exhibited far better contrast to the M50/1.7. The Viv is lighter and the rings had a far more confident feel.

I highly recommend this lens for anyone who wants a utilitarian 28mm walk-around. My only advice is:
1. see if you can't hunt down an A-version, just for added utility, and
2, DON"T SELL IT!!!! (Caveat: or if you do then do so TO ME!)
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Bamaga, QLD
Posts: 3,472
Lens Review Date: May 4, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: size, bokeh, CF ability, angle of view, build quality
Cons: nothing

If I have a single general purpose lens this would be it.
When I raise the camera to my eye the scene appears the same as without the camera so for me this lens is the perfect angle of view.

No further comments to be added on the comments above.
Add Review of Vivitar (Komine 28xxxxx) 28mm f/2.8 Close Focus



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