To start this article, I consider any zoom that runs from wide angle to portrait a standard zoom (28mm at the shortest to 90mm at the longest). Anything wider and I consider it a wideangle zoom and anything longer it is either a telephoto zoom or a “walking around” lens such as a 28-200mm.
Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, Vivitar 35-70mm f/3.5 and Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5
I am comparing 3 different standard zooms that I have or have had, for additional information about each lens view each lens’s page, The Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5, the Vivitar 35-70mm f/3.5 and the Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5.
Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 Length: 3.75″, Weight: ~16-20oz, Zoom factor: x3
Vivitar 35-70mm f/3.5 Length: 3″, Weight: 16oz, Zoom factor: x2
Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5 Length: 2.3″, Weight: 11.6oz, Zoom factor: x2
The Tamron lens is by far the smallest and lightest of the three different lenses. It also differs in that it is a two touch zoom instead of a one touch zoom. The Tamron lens ended up being about as expensive as the Vivitar 28-85mm lens when you include the adapter that I needed to purchase for the lens. The Tamron lens also focuses the closest out of the three lenses (9.6in compared to 2ft on the vivitar 28-85mm and 2.5ft for the Vivitar 35-70mm).
The Vivitar and Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5 lenses appear the perform close to on par optically as distortion, resolution and vignetting all appear good. The Vivitar 28-85mm lens has some slight, but noticable vignetting at 28mm and wide open, but it disappears by f/5.6, otherwise its performance seems to be good.
Overall I would consider the Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5 lens the best of the three, but if you need wider or longer reach then the Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 is a decent enough lens, however The Tamron 28mm f/2.5 and Tamron 35-70mm f/3.5 are almost the same combined length and weight as the Vivitar 28-85mm f/3.5-4.5 on its own. I wouldn’t consider the Vivitar 35-70mm f/3.5 worth consideration if either of these other two lenses are available.