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Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5 Review RSS Feed

Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5

Sharpness 
 9.1
Aberrations 
 8.2
Bokeh 
 7.9
Handling 
 9.0
Value 
 9.7
Reviews Views Date of last review
13 53,501 Mon July 24, 2017
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $81.83 8.77
Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5

Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5
supersize
Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5
supersize

Description:
Pic 2 shows the earlier MF version of this lens (in Nikon mount)

Filter Size 77mm
Aperture Range 3.5-22
Minimum Focus Distance 1.6'
Magnification 1:6.8
Zoom/Focus Control Two-touch
Angle of View 97 to 63 Degrees
Groups/Elements 11/13

Size:
Length 2.8"
Maximum Diameter 3.2"
Weight 0.69 lb

see also Cosina 19-35mm
Mount Type: Pentax KAF2/KAF (screwdrive AF)
Price History:



Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5
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Junior Member

Registered: June, 2015
Location: Százhalombatta, Hungary
Posts: 37
Lens Review Date: July 24, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $122.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharpness, AF speed, weight
Cons: Plastic build, rotating front element
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K10D   

I just got this lens recently in good condition. Although a lens hood was absent, it clearly can take one, as indicated by the bayonet-type mount.
This lens is quite sharp for a zoom lens, especially considering the price. It won't beat primes of course, but it's a perfect lens to take with you when you travel. Lens flare is a serious issue when using the lens in bright sunlight or when facing the sun, so using either the included hood, or a third-party one from ebay is highly recommended. It makes a huge difference!
It hands down beats the kit lens, be it the older 18-55, or the 18-55 WR, since those are optimized for APS-C and therefore you don't get the best part of the glass, but all of it. On the other hand, when you put this lens on an APS-C camera, you get the best part of the glass, meaning you get better optical performance in the corners, as well as better resolution all the way.

This lens is a little-bit bulky, especially with a hood, but it's not really heavy by all means.

The lens has 8 aperture blades, which is uncommon in this price range, bit is welcome. Mine has an electrical flaw however, which means that when I set the aperture from the camera body, the diaphragm doesn't follow accordingly, but lags behind about one stop. This means that when I set f/8, it's still stuck around f/5.6, however the camera calculates shutter speeds according to f/8, which results in overexposed images. There is a solution however: either compensate by adding some more stops to the setting (like if you desire f/8, set it to f/11-13) and apply a -1 EV compensation, to prevent overexposure, or use the aperture ring in M mode, which sets the aperture properly. I used this lens on my Pentax MX as well (beside the K10D). On that camera (and full frame for that matter) this lens is ULTRA WIDE ANGLE. I haven't got those developed yet, but will post them later. The aperture-problem is non-existent there.

AF is fast and snappy, but hunts sometimes. Guess it depends on the camera.
The build is almost all plastic and glass, but with a metal mount fortunately.

Color rendition is nice. Contrast's isn't bad either, especially when you don't have back-lightning.

I would like to give this lens an overall 9 for price-performance, but the all plastic build doesn't let me to. So it'll be an 8.


Erzsébet kilátó by Zsigmond Szabó, on Flickr
   
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2014
Posts: 165

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 22, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Wow, for the money it is a steal.
Cons: None really, considering the cost.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: K200 and K1   

I got to say I was really skeptical, but after reading the reviews here on this I had to give it a try. Mine is an all black version. The lens is auto focus, auto aperture. Unbelievably light weight and the plastic loose feel to it was the first reaction when opening it. The lens itself is fairly small, especially by modern lens standards, but the 77mm business end of it is large. Put it on your camera and all that goes away.

Of course, on the K200 and cropped ones like it, it becomes a 28-50 or so and photos from it appear perfect. Sharp, saturated, and actually looks like the typical Pentax photo look of film cameras. Outstanding. Get this lens and put your typical 18-55 kit lens away. This is lighter and the photos look better.

The K1 is maybe a little harder on it both in cropped and in full frame. Certainly a little different look to them than the K200 produces. Looks more like a modern lens look to the photos. But on the K1 in FF, wow, what a wide angle shot you get for the money. The edges are slightly soft at 19mm on the K1 under f8 or so, but not really noticeable all that much unless you try to shoot it wide open. Again, for the price though, excellent for an outdoor scenery lens. At this price point, how can you beat that?

I gave it 9s across the board and 10 on value, not because it is in the same league as a lens you'd pay big bucks for, but because I don't see how you can get as good a wide angle shot from anything else in its price range, especially FF.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: March, 2014
Posts: 38

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 31, 2015 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, minimal linear distortion
Cons: within reason, none, but a bit slow for interior work
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K100D, K10, Yashica SLR   

This bargain lens is well on it's way to becoming cult glass. Outrageous performance for the money. On a DSLR its roughly a 28-50mm, covering the wide to normal spectrum with aplomb. You get the central area of the lens covering the sensor, so the resolution is very good indeed. The color rendition is warm and lovely. The lens is a touch slow for a lot of indoor work, but with a tripod, it'll do in a pinch. Its lack of linear distortion is excellent, better than a lot of lenses that cost a lot more.

I gave my Pentax copy to a friend when I bought a 17mm Tamron Adaptall-2, and a Sigma 10-20 f4-5.6. But I thought so highly of it that when a copy came up for a Yashica mount cheap, I bought it. I collect cameras and use film for black and white, and it's a permanent resident on my X7.

You're not going to go wrong with this lens. If you see one, grab it. Here's an early digital image I made with this camera on my K100D, before I learned how to process properly. The full file is much better than this 600dpi optimized frame. I didn't even know what unsharp mask was in these days, but it gives you an idea of its outstanding color resolution and pictorial qualities.

   
New Member

Registered: November, 2013
Posts: 6

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 30, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: very sharp at f 8-11,very nice bokeh, excellent colors
Cons: some CA's, sometimes visible
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: k-x,k200d,sfx,mz5,mz50,z-20p   

stopped down to f 8-11 very sharp

good colors

for this low price very highly recomended
   
Pentaxian

Registered: March, 2014
Location: Dallas, TX
Posts: 890

4 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 17, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $85.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Fairly Wide, Light, Good color and contrast, Relatively sharp
Cons: Feels a little cheap. A bit Noisy when focusing.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: K500   

I have the Phoenix version of this lens. It's is practically identical to the Series 1 , but due to the name, can be found a bit cheaper. Mine was a NIB lens and it was at what I think is truly a good price given the resulting images. I was looking for a little better wide angle performance than the kit Pentax DA 18-55, and while it is not as wide, it is considerably sharper edge-to-edge and has less barrel and chromatic distortion than the 18-55. Almost as sharp across the board as my A28/2.8 prime, but I get a moderate zoom capability, too. Wish it had a bit more reach (perhaps to 50mm), but I'm sure that would come with trade-off's that would add distortion or considerable cost; however, the lens is sharp enough where 100% crops still maintain a very nice level of sharpness, so lack of reach can be compensated in PP. Contrast and color are very good -- not as good as SMC Pentax, but good none-the-less. Surprisingly, it is also reasonably flare resistant. A very nice budget addition to the lens bag, if one wants a moderate wide angle lens that just does most everything very well.

For the price, I highly recommend it -- whatever flavor you happen to find (Vivitar, Phoenix, Tokina, etc).

IMGP1584 by Ripper2860, on Flickr

IMGP1569 by Ripper2860, on Flickr

IMGP1761 by Ripper2860, on Flickr
   
Junior Member

Registered: December, 2012
Location: Southwest Colorado
Posts: 39

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 8, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Sharp, crisp photo's
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

This is a very good lens overall. It is better quality than many overpriced lenses. I don't think you can go wrong with it.
   
New Member

Registered: April, 2012
Posts: 23

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 26, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $65.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Lightweight, Excellent Sharpness to Price Ratio, Inexpensive, Good IQ
Cons: Plasticky build a little uninspiring, Large filter size, Noisy AF
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 7    Value: 10   

I actually possess the Promaster version of this lens. Despite is plastic construction, I was pleasantly surprised by it's sharpness and color rendition. Despite losing a little on the wide end when compared to a 18-55mm kit lens (or in my case a Sigma DC 18-50), i would rather sacrifice a little focal length for overall image sharpness, at least for what I shoot. For the price, the lens is an excellent performer. Will it compared to lens that are 5-10 times it's price? probably not. But if you are looking a for a decent wide angle zoom for a decent price, give this lens( or it's various counterparts) a try.
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2012
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: October 21, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $75.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, 19mm wide angle, relatively lightweight
Cons: somewhat plasticky build quality
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

if you can forgive the **somewhat** plasticky build quality of this lens, you will LOVE it. this lens is very sharp, contrasty and quick to focus. strictly manual focus users may not like to so much as the focusing barrel isn't that big. i love the lens, and although i don't use it all the time, when i DO need a wide-angle, i always pull this lens out. GREAT value for the money!
   
Inactive Account

Registered: May, 2010
Location: ohio
Posts: 218

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 27, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $89.95 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: small, light weight,sharp focus,great prices
Cons: has tendencyto vingnette at 19 mm
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 10    Value: 10   

i found this lens on ebay for " buy now" 89.95 usd. i jumped all over it. it was brand new. still in box with instructions. i waited for ever to get the right price.
for a lens this size you can't ask for any more. plus it's a vivitar series 1.as much as i've had it on my cameras and looked through it. i've yet to shoot a picture with it. but i love this lens and believe it should be in every ones arsenal of lenses.the time will come.
mine is manual focus and it does it rather handily.
   
Forum Member

Registered: April, 2011
Location: Gwynedd
Posts: 93

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 7, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Useful range
Cons: Poor contrast, minimum focus distance, build quality.

There are 2 versions of this lens, (all are Cosina, NOT Tokina), The Original MF and the Later AF version. I have the MF PK/A version. It was purchsed secondhand very cheaply, and was soon found that the A setting electronics do not work, and that the aperture would not open up beyond f5.6, no great loss, by all accounts it's prettysoft wide open anyhow.

It is a 2 touch design, with a small zoom ring sandwiched between aperture and focus, the focus ring also houses the front element, which rotates. It's smooth, but feels cheap and plasticky. There is no DOF scale.

Results aren't terrible, they are not amazing either. There is a lot of perspective distortion, and I mean a lot, my 19mm prime (also cosina) looks like a 50mm in that respect. There is some barrel distortion too. There is no CA noticeable, however I expect there would be wide open.

Contrast is poor, and colour is also a bit flat, although not disastrously so. Flare is fairly well controlled, better than the 19mm prime I mentioned.

P series filter can just baout be used on this lens, provided you hack the holder up a little or it may vignette at 19mm wne turned 45 degrees.

If you get it cheap enough a useful little lens, however it's not worth spending a great deal on.

Samples:

F11 on XP2
F11 on Xp2
f5.6 on XP2

(sorry no colour samples yet!)
   
Veteran Member

Registered: December, 2007
Location: Prague
Posts: 1,199

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 24, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $90.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharp, quick AF
Cons: plastc feel, loses contrast when pointed towards bright light, color rendition

I was surprised that this cheap lens outperforms the 18-55 kit so easily on sharpness. Despite the filter size it is not too much lerger either. If you are ready to compromise the minimum focus distance and the zoom range, it might be a good cheap replacement of your kit zoom.

On film camera it represents even better value.
   


1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: September 9, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Cheap sharp
Cons: Not convenient On APSC

This lens was designed as a Ultra wide angle with the distortions on the lower end of the zoom range , so putting it on a DSLR is a non sense as a standard kit lens is wider and good quality. Where it really shines it is on a film camera, great quick AF on a MZ-6. I think this lens was not done for APS-C and its usage on the APS-C is very limited so if you like this lens two choices either you go Full Frame or keep taking picture on a Film camera i am using the latter option.
   
Pentaxian
Moderator Emeritus

Registered: May, 2007
Location: Edmonton Alberta, Canada
Posts: 10,644

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: December 8, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $130.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: FF, Fast focus, sharp, light
Cons: 77mm filter size can be pricey

This is the same lens as the Tokina 19-35mm. It performs the same. Sharp, fast focus, reasonable weight. An upgrade from the kit lens in terms of sharpness.

The only difference I can see with the Tokina, is the front element in this lens rotates during focus. Not sure why but I've owned both lenses and they perform equally. IMO it's more an 8.5 lens. if it were a little longer, it would be a solid 9.

A good lens for the money.
Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 19-35mm F3.5-4.5



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