This Old Lens: Vivitar 17-28mm: Vintage love, but there are rules…

I did not want to pay a lot for a wide angle lens. I like them a lot, but I do not use them enough to justify a great outlay. The newly released constant aperture factory option zoom was off the table. Worth it? Yes. Willing to pay that much? No. Next up the Rokinon 14mm manual focus wide angle. I have no issues with manual focus, the price was right, but I am a sucker for vintage glass so after a google fit I found the film era Vivitar 17-28mm zoom. Done. Received the lens and it is quite the looker.

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But as I have found in the past with a Vivitar film lens on digital (A7) there are some rules. Here are the rules for this Vivitar:

  • Find what your infinity is. Like the 19mm Vivitar I used before infinity was not infinity. After some quick testing I found that infinity on this lens was between 7 and 10 feet.
  • That is about it.

Now some thoughts and some sample shots below and here is a gallery I plan to add photos to here.

  • Locating infinity handles far away focusing. Up close works well with the viewfinder, but Live View with tilt screen offers high and low perspectives, electronic level, focus peaking, and zoom framing and focus aids.
  • Like many wide angle lenses this lens exhibits barrel distortion and vignetting. Both easily dealt with in Lightroom.
  • It only cost $120 on ebay.
  • Vintage lenses looks cool.
  • That is about it.

I really like this lens. More specifically the results. Here are some sample shots.

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