Vivitar 35-105/3.5

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by Andy Collins, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. The last time I had a question about a lens, it was the Pentax 28-135 beast of a lens that seemed to have so much promise. Unfortunately for me, my example had issues and did not focus properly, and did not focus to infinity. As a result, my pictures turned out not to be very sharp at all and I ended up selling it to someone who seemed to think they could fix it. This time I have acquired a black Minolta XD11 with a hefty and very nice looking Vivitar 35-105/3.5 lens. I have never used this lens, but it seems to be quite popular on eBay. Has anyone used this lens before and if so, what do you think of it? Who made it and is it a quality lens, or just another generic, cheap lens? I would appreciate any information I can get about it.
  2. Even today the variation from one sample to another in lenses is more than most would prefer to believe (see Lens Rentals site).
    Older zoom lenses were still evolving and earlier examples tend to be more "compromised" by the need to cover a broader range.

    That being said, I have never had a Vivitar in that range, but I have several examples of the Vivitar 70-210mm Series 1 lenses. They were and are still pretty good "objectively".

    Of course the present-day Vivitars have no connection except the name to the old Ponder & Best lenses.
  3. m42dave

    m42dave Dave E.

    Andy, I believe your 35-105 is made by Tokina (if the serial number begins with 37). Many Vivitar lenses from the 1970s were made by quality manufacturers such as Kino Precision (Kiron), Komine, etc. and tend to be heavy and well-built, competitive with some of the best products from the major camera manufacturers. I haven't used the 35-105, but do have the Vivitar Series 1 35-85/2.8 which is quite sharp, even by today's standards. I have a couple of samples from it in this week's "Film Camera Week" thread.

    This article has several links to reviews of the 35-105:

    Vivitar 35-105mm f/3.5 Close Range zoom - - The free camera encyclopedia
  4. Dave, thanks for the links and the info! I thought that it was quite likely a Tokina, but wasn't sure. JDM, I've had the Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 and found it to be a wonderful lens. I'll probably find one for the XD11.

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