Vivitar 28-200mm F3.5-5.6 A-mount lens review by javieralbe

reviewer#9530 date: Oct-24-2011
sharpness: 4.5
color: 4
build: 5
distortion: 4
flare control: 3
overall: 4.1
tested on:
  • film camera:Film camera
  • APS-C: 6MP6 MP; 10MP10 MP; 12MP12 MP; 14MP14 MP; 16MP16 MP; 20MP20 MP; 24MP24 MP
  • full frame: 12MP12 MP24MP24 MP36MP36 MP42MP42 MP
ownership:I own this lens
compared to:Minolta 70-210 F4 (beercan)
Minolta 35-105 F3.5-4.5 N
Promaster 60-300 F4-5.6
price paid:50 USD (used)
positive:Reasonably sharp at all focal lengths
Convenient focal range
Clunky AF
8 ft minimun focus distance
Zoom creep.
comment:I have the Kalimar version of this lens. I am satisfied that it is identical to the Vivitar reviewed here.
I bought this on eBay based on the previous review by paulevans of 2009. That review is exactly right.
I was hoping that this lens would be as sharp as my Promaster 60-300. (A lens reviewed on this site under the name, cosina 60-300). Unfortunately it wasn't. These two lenses (the 60-300 and the 28-200) were obviously made by the same manufacturer (apparently Koboron) -- they look almost identical. Still, the Kalimar 28-200 is quite sharp when stopped down a couple of stops; it is then as sharp as the Promaster 60-300 and comes within the sharpness range of the beercan. (The beercan is still sharper than both the Promaster 60-300 and the 28-200).
I find the focal range of the 28-200 very convenient, and have started using it as my walkaround lens.
It is quite heavy; perhaps a tiny bit less so than the beercan, but whatever difference in weight is negligeable. Also, the lens creeps. Personally, I find neither the weight nor the zoom creep annoying. What is a bit annoying is the mininum focus distance (2.5 m, approx. 8 feet).

rating summary

lens image
  • total reviews: 6
  • sharpness: 3.92
  • color: 3.83
  • build: 4.83
  • distortion: 4.00
  • flare control: 3.67
  • overall: 4.05 - Home of the alpha system photographer
In memory of Cameron Hill - brettania