Budget zooms: Vivitar (Komine) 35-70mm f/2.8-3.8 Macro Focusing Zoom and Sigma Zoom Master 35-70mm f

Discussion in 'Adapted Lenses' started by TonyTurley, Jun 19, 2013.

  1. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    I recently purchased two budget zooms, a Vivitar 35-70mm f/2.8-3.8 Macro Focusing Zoom, and a Sigma Zoom Master 35-70mm f/2.8-4. I've compiled a series of photos to compare them at certain settings. I basically did this comparison to satisfy my own curiosity, as these are lenses that probably not a lot of people will be sticking on a Nex. For the mildly curious, they are available on eBay for $15-30 if you are patient. I certainly didn’t undertake a rigorous scientific study; these are casual observations based on a few dozen photos. The one thing I did to maintain consistency is I used a tripod, and neither lens had a hood or filter. Crop areas are indicated by red rectangles on the full size pics.

    There were times I could not readily tell a difference between photos taken by each lens; in other samples, the Vivitar had a clear advantage in sharpness and contrast. I didn't include all the samples here, but the Sigma definitely flares worse than the Vivitar when facing a strong light. Another advantage for the Vivitar is that it focuses about 1 foot (.3m) closer. This is made clear in photos 17 and 18. I set the tripod as close to the flowers as the Vivitar would focus. After composing and shooting, I swapped lenses. I had to move the tripod back to get the Sigma to focus, and I also had to change the shutter speed from 1/60 to 1/100 to get the same EV.

    Based on the samples, I'd give the edge to the Vivitar. Although I have gotten some good photos from the Sigma, the flare and longer focusing distance will relegate it to backup duty.


  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Real Name:
    Boy, those seem really close on my iPad. Shown random samples I couldn't tell them apart I don't think. Which one feels better in the hand?
  3. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
    Jim, they are virtually identical in size, weight, and form. Only the labels are different. I'm guessing the optical components are slightly different, due to the slight difference in focusing distance and the flare from the Sigma. When I took the Sigma hiking last week, I got some pretty good photos. However, in two samples I didn't include here, I shot a tree in my front yard, looking toward the west in late afternoon. The Vivitar had some flare, but the Sigma had so much the photo was washed out badly. I don't think the Sigma is a bad lens, I just think the Vivitar is slightly better.

  4. Jaf-Photo

    Jaf-Photo TalkEmount Veteran

    Mar 25, 2013
    The Vivitar seems to be a bit sharper and cleaner. I would also use that one.
  5. TonyTurley

    TonyTurley TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Apr 24, 2013
    West Virginia, USA
  6. dsiglin

    dsiglin TalkEmount Veteran

    Apr 23, 2013
    Greenville, SC
    Thanks for taking the time to make the comparisons, Vivitar definitely seems like the *slightly* better option.