The Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 MC macro lens is my every day ‘walking around’ lens. It has some of my more commonly used focal lengths available with a nice wide angle at 28mm all the way to a satisfying portrait length of 85mm. The lens is not particularly fast at f/3.5-4.5, but I haven’t been able to find much in this focal length range that has a better aperature. The exception is the vivitar series 1 28-90mm f/2.8-3.5, one of which I would love to acquire some day. I digress.
The lens is reasonably sized and has a bit of heft to it, but not to much (weight to be added), its about 3 3/4″ in overall length at its minimum length. The quality of the optics are decent, but nothing amazing. Overall it is what I would describe as adaquete or possibly good. It is a push/pull type zoom lens and as the full title of the lens indicates it is a multicoated lens and has a ‘macro’ feature. If you rack the lens out to the full 85mm focal length you can rotate the lens barrel past the normal minimum focal length to get something approaching 1:6 reproduction (I haven’t actually measured it). Otherwise the minimum focal length is at best adaquete as it has a minimum focusing distance of about 4.5ft at all focal lengths except 85mm where it has its macro feature where it can focus down to 2ft. The lens accepts a 62mm filter and it has a minimum aperature of f/16.
I purchased the lens on Ebay for about $50 and it has been well worth the money spent.
Below is a sample picture taken at the wider end of the zoom somewhere between 28 and 35mm.
Below is an example taken at 85mm using the macro feature
Here is a size comparison of the 28-85mm large