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Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5 Review RSS Feed

Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5

Sharpness 
 9.0
Aberrations 
 8.2
Bokeh 
 8.7
Handling 
 8.2
Value 
 9.5
Reviews Views Date of last review
16 77,897 Thu August 2, 2018
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Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $56.50 9.13
Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5
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Description:
This classic Komine made original series 1 is often referred to as the "stovepipe" because of its distinctive long profile with wide front end. Close focus "Macro" capabilities at 28 mm.
One thing to be aware of is that this lens is known to suffer from sticky aperture (oily iris blades).

Focal range: 28-90mm
Construction: 14 elements in 12 groups.
Aperture: f2.8 - 3.5
Iris:
Filter thread: 67mm
Focus:
CFD: 23cm/9" at 28mm.
Length: 11.2cm/4.5" at infinity focus
Weight: 680g/24oz

Can be found in M42, PK and (uncommon) PKA mounts as well as other camera mounts of the era.
Mount Type: Pentax K
Price History:



Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5
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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-15 of 16
Senior Member

Registered: July, 2008
Location: Sammamish, WA
Posts: 161

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 2, 2018 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, color
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I've had this lens for over 20years, don't use it much any more but it is still a very sharp lens.
   
Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2013
Posts: 47

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $30.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: sharpness, bokeh, price, colors
Cons: none
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: Pentax K3   

I don't have much to add to other reviews -- this lens is as sharp as almost any prime lens I've used. I haven't had it too long and haven't used it much, but took some photos today and made a flickr album. Highly recommended for lovers of old manual lenses.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/anna_peterson/albums/72157684908025514
   
New Member

Registered: January, 2017
Posts: 1

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 27, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: Sharp, focus distance, nice Bokeh, robust
Cons: Heavy,
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 7    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: Canon 100D/SL1   

Got the Vivitar Series 1 to replace my Pentax SMC Pentax-A 35-105mm F3.5 for the 2.8 and crazy short focus distance.
I`m using it on Canon 100D (APS-C)
I have it for couple of month now, and i`m loving it!! It is very capable leans, macro, portrait, landscape...

IQ is great, excellent optics, sharp all the way from 28 to 90.
Macro capable with very short focusing distance, some time i found myself bumping the leans hood on the subject

Using it on the Canon 100D small body, is something need to get used to duo to the leans wight.
Also when walking with the camera point down (strap) some time the lens (throw zoom) may extend.

Overall if you are a vintage leans lover looking for wide-angle short zoom, look for bargain deal on one of this.









With extension tube


You can find me on Instagram
   
Site Supporter

Registered: December, 2014
Location: Colorado
Posts: 421

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 25, 2017 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, bright, build quality
Cons: Heavy
Sharpness: 9    Handling: 7    Value: 9    Camera Used: K20D, K5IIs   

I have the uncommon "A" version, which has made this lens much more of a joy to use. I've also used the non-"A" version before but decided to sell, because it is difficult to find the green button while keeping this heavy lens steady. "A" version is much better.

Optically, I tested this lens side by side with A35-105/3.5 and this lens wins in sharpness in the two lenses' common 35-90 range. A35-105/3.5, however, is better in color rendition and anti-flare quality.

This lens is heavy, but balances well on a big camera.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: January, 2011
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 866

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: June 14, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $40.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, great color and contrast, handy one-lens outfit
Cons: slight vignetting on the corners at 28mm wide open at f/2.8

I carried one of these lenses back in my salad days of shooting slides back in the 80s and 90s. This lens almost never came off my camera. Usually I would have a camera dedicated just for it so I didn't have to waste time swapping lenses. I used it for all sorts of photography, from scenics to motorsports to fashion. A very flexible lens with outstanding sharpness and contrast. These days I still use it on my film cameras and also with my NEX 7. And I find it as useful now as I did all those years ago. In short, this is the best wide angle to short tele zoom I've ever used.





   
New Member

Registered: June, 2014
Location: Moscow
Posts: 4

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 9, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Good bokeh, very well suited for portrait photography.
Cons: Along the edges are not sharp with noticeable chromatic aberration. Not for landscapes.
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 10    Handling: 9    Value: 9    Camera Used: Pentax K-50   

This lens is not by chance stayed in my collection. Pretty sharp in the center. Not much around the edges. Nevertheless, it allows to obtain a fairly good artistic images blurred background. I must say - this lens is not for everyone ...
In my opinion very well suited for portrait photography.
When you purchase is necessary to pay special attention to the work of the diaphragm. Many instances of this lens that passed through my hands a diaphragm has been glued remnants of old grease.



F8 diaphragm
by Alexandr Noskov, on Flickr




by Alexandr Noskov, on Flickr

   
New Member

Registered: January, 2016
Posts: 2

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 9, 2016 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: focal range, macro, aperture
Cons: chromatic abberations, lens flare
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 10    Value: 10    Camera Used: k7   

I LOVE this lens. You cannot get any better for the price range, I think. On my camera about 30% of the time. It gets a good amount of lens flare anywhere near direct sunlight be warned. Chromatic aberrations in certain lighting needs to be removed and is most often blue. However the pics are warm and often dreamy. Sharpness is very nice when you catch it right. The focal range, IQ, and macro functionality are what makes this lens truly a go-to-lens. F/2.8 allows for pretty low light/indoor pictures. The way it handles is very comfortable and intuitive. When this lens shines it is a beautiful thing. Get one, you won't be disappointed
   
Pentaxian

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

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: July 3, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $80.00 | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Rugged build. Extremely sharp. True color rendition. Fast. PKA available
Cons: A bit heavy. Push-Pull Zoom. Zoom can be a bit stiff
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10    Camera Used: K500   

Bought this lens a few weeks ago and finally got to go give it a few clicks this past weekend I was fortunate to find a mint PKA version and decided this would be my first Series 1....

Wow. Just Wow. This lens certainly has made the transition from film to the realm of digital photography in a prodigious manner. It is fast at 2.8-3.5 and it is also sharp across virtually all focal lengths, with only a slight softness at 28mm when wide open. A couple of clicks to stop it down a bit and it remains sharp from 28mm all the way to 90. Contrast and colors render a true to life image without exaggerated contrast or saturation. The 28-90mm zoom makes it a truly versatile lens giving you a nice range from wide to telephoto and even gives you macro to 1:3 with close focus ability. This lens is the perfect "walk-around" lens to conquer virtually any scenario if you can tolerate its heft.

If the thought of a fully manual Kiron or Tokina Series 1 lens is just not your cup of tea, and the PKA Gen 4's bad wrap has you staying away -- seek out the Vivitar Series 1 28-90mm Komine. They are still an excellent value and you will not be disappointed!!


IMGP1056 by Ripper2860, on Flickr

IMGP1307 by Ripper2860, on Flickr

IMGP1311 by Ripper2860, on Flickr
   
New Member

Registered: December, 2012
Posts: 13

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 29, 2014 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $100.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Well built, Faster than some of the newer consumer level zooms
Cons:
Sharpness: 9    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I agree with most of the other reviewers about this lens. It is built by Komine. Apparently it is available with and without the A setting. Mine has the A setting so it was a little more expensive. It is worth it to pay more for the A setting. Unlike the adaptall lenses with the PK A adapter, the A setting always seems to work flawlessly. It pairs very nicely with the Vivitar series one 70-210mm (f2.8-f4.0) which is also available with the A setting. If you like a manual focus zoom then this lens is a good choice. Vivitar also made a 19mm f3.8 and it too has the A setting. So if you put the three together you cover everything from 19mm to 210mm. Actually the 19mm is wider the the supposedly 18mm kit lens. All three of these lenses are better built and will last longer than the modern zooms. Since they are all available with the A setting you retain most of your camera's functions. In performance they are all comparable to the consumer level zooms (like the Pentax 18-135mm) except that they don't connect to the in-camera software to make automatic corrections and of course they don't have automatic focus. I don't find it difficult to focus any of these lenses but if you are in a hurry to get a shot then the automatic focus is very useful.
   
New Member

Registered: November, 2012
Location: Southern California
Posts: 7

3 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: August 12, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $25.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: heavy and built to last
Cons: not as sharp as I hoped
Sharpness: 7    Aberrations: 7    Bokeh: 8    Handling: 8    Value: 9   

I shot a video with this lens and it turned out great: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1Qle-FrhpY

It's heavy and built, the focus and zoom are well balanced.




   
Site Supporter

Registered: August, 2008
Location: Southern New Mexico
Posts: 68

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 29, 2013 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: 2.8 aperture, 42-135 on APS-C sensor
Cons: none
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 9    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 8    Value: 10   

I grew up with everything on the camera being manual: focus, f stop, speed. This lens was built to last and the change to digital has not altered the excellent optical qualities that persuaded me to purchase it many years ago. I like the ability to set up my photo manually and envision what the photo will be. Unlike shooting with film, digital cameras give me instant feedback to make adjustments. This lens works fine for me. I will not be selling it.
   
Junior Member

Registered: November, 2009
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 37

2 users found this helpful
Lens Review Date: February 11, 2012 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Great build and image quality.
Cons: None
Sharpness: 10    Aberrations: 8    Bokeh: 9    Handling: 9    Value: 10   

My all-time favorite lens.
   
Pentaxian

Registered: September, 2010
Location: Northeast Philadelphia
Posts: 1,132

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: January 1, 2011 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $60.00 | Rating: 8 

 
Pros: resolution, contrast, close focus, pretty fast
Cons: soft at f/2.8, CA & loss of edge detail at 28mm

I wanted a lens with appropriate speed and focal length range for indoor use, and this one fits the bill. I used it a lot this past Christmas for candid family photos. Though I like the lens - it feels sturdy, has good color and contrast, and the close-focus is handy, it's not as sharp as I would like, particularly around the edges at wide apertures. And at f/2.8, it's nearly as soft as my JC Penney 28mm f/2.8.

Here are some shots:







   
Veteran Member

Registered: September, 2010
Posts: 1,536

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: November 22, 2010 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Great IQ for it's vintage, Built like a tank
Cons: Heavy CA wide open, Heavy!!

I bought this lens new in 1986. I still have it. I also still use it occasionally but with the caveat that the stop down metering isn't that accurate with this lens on my K20D. If it was auto Aperture it would get tons more use

The CA is easily fixable in Lightroom.
   
Veteran Member

Registered: February, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 1,711

1 user found this helpful
Lens Review Date: March 5, 2009 I can recommend this lens: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Sharp, Contrasty, Built like a Tank
Cons: Heavy, CA

I bought this Komine made Vivitar Legend, two years back and it came with oily blades which I later understood to be somewhat of a common issue for this lens...and because of its complex design, I didn't want to risk it at the shop....so a year later, I ebayed another one (the older Kiron made non series 1 variant...just in case. XD)

Anyways, the blades still closed ok, just a lil' slower but not enough to hamper operation and quickly became my standard lens until I got my DA16-45.

The IQ is very nice. Sharp and contrasty right from f2.8. The f3.5 at 90mm surprisingly works well for portraits. The lens also has a decent close focus macro capability at the wide setting.

This lens is easily the "main tank" of my collection. Its heavy, feels solid, focus is smooth. It's been smashed into a boulder as I was climbing river reinforcements leaving with only small scratches on the rim. Just yesterday, it rolled off table as I was changing lenses during a shoot and hit the ground with a resounding thud. A quick inspection and again the lens was ok. Its not to say you should toss this lens around but take this as a testament to its build quality.

If you are reading this, you probably have one in your sights. Bear witness to one of the greatest lenses designed and made in Vivitar's history, a lens that has rightfully earned its nickname, 'The Stovepipe.'
Add Review of Vivitar Series 1 (Komine) 28-90mm F2.8-3.5



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