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Standard zoom with non-rotating front element?
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:07 pm    Post subject: Standard zoom with non-rotating front element? Reply with quote

I been looking for a standard zoom (anywhere between 28 to 80) with non-rotating front element. It seems most lenses of this type like the common 35-70mm (or 28-50mm) rotates on focusing. Any recommendations?


PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick look through the dozen or so short zooms I've got only produces two lenses with a non rotating front end. One is the autofocus kit zoom Pentax 18-55 that came with my old Pentax K10 - which is a very good kit lens. But, for a manual focus lens the superb Vivitar Series 1 VMC 28-90 / 2.8 3.5 is everything you want, it's a superb lens.

( and I happen to have a Canon FD mount one for sale because I've got three of them Rolling Eyes )


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a C/Y Vivitar S1 28-90 like Lloydy. I need a proper adapter for mine.
It seems that a rotating front was a very popular cost savings measure employed by nearly all manufacturers, it's generally one of my least liked features in lens design.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A bit wider range than a "standard" zoom, the Tamron Adaptall-2 28-200mm type 171A (NOT the more common 71A) has a non-rotating front element and should come with a "flower petal" type lens hood. The only down-side, the filter thread is 72mm. Nevertheless, a very fine lens!


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 12:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lightshow wrote:
I have a C/Y Vivitar S1 28-90 like Lloydy. I need a proper adapter for mine.
It seems that a rotating front was a very popular cost savings measure employed by nearly all manufacturers, it's generally one of my least liked features in lens design.


I looked at the Vivitar 28-90mm, it's huge! Not exactly ergonomic (or walkable for a long time) on a small mirrorless body. I'm hoping to find a small zoom like the nikkor 28-50mm but it also has a front rotating element Sad


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just took a look at all the zooms I own in that focal range and I found three:

The aforementioned Vivitar S1 28-90
The Vivitar S1 28-105 (replaced the 28-90 in the late '80s and not quite as good)
The Tamron SP 24-48 (an excellent lens -- compact, but with a limited focal range)

I can highly recommend the Vivitar 28-90 and the Tamron 24-48. The Vivitar 28-105 is a good lens, just not as good as the 28-90. But if you're looking for something small, relatively lightweight and compact, you might want to seriously consider that Tamron.

The Vivitar 28-90 was my walking around lens for years. That was back when I shot film and used old (and heavy) manual, mechanical SLRs. I didn't even think about how much it all weighed -- and I still try not to when I'm out shooting with the old stuff.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pureaxis, I'm not a huge fan of zooms because they tend to be big compared to primes, or they have short ranges that are barely any more convenient than a prime.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Makinon 28-80mm f/3.5. This lens is unusual by having the zoom ring on the top ring and the focus ring down by the mount.

On fullframe 28mm has heavy vignetting. 80mm is nice: https://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2403588625/download/3403489


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an Olympus zuiko 35-70/3.6 that has a non-rotating front element. It was the second best standard zoom lens by Olympus next to the rare and much more expensive 35-80/2.8.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you don't mind something a little more wide-angle, look out for the Sigma 21-35mm. It's got a built-in lens hood, so swapping filters and using a polariser is a little more fiddly, but it's a nice piece of glass!


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

blotafton wrote:
Makinon 28-80mm f/3.5. This lens is unusual by having the zoom ring on the top ring and the focus ring down by the mount.

On fullframe 28mm has heavy vignetting. 80mm is nice: https://www.dpreview.com/galleries/2403588625/download/3403489


I looked up this lens and it seems there are several versions of it. Do you know the specs of this one, is there a macro mode? what is the minimum focusing distance. It looks like its varifocal too?


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This one, it's constant aperture unlike other versions.

0.23m mfd, 1:4 macro. Don't remember if it's varifocal but I have found that most lenses have to be refocused anyway.


PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably too bulky/heavy for you, but very interesting though. And affordable.
The Vivitar Series 1, 35-85mm, constant f2.8.
The front element rotates a little on zooming, but not on focusing. Definitely front heavy on m4/3.
Short focus throw, 90 degrees from infinity to closeup.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have the Vivitar S1 35-85 f/2.8. Sharpness is better described as softness when wide open. Stopped down to about f/8 or so and it's pretty decent. But it is a rather large and bulky lens because of its constant f/2.8 aperture.

I have two more lenses to add to your list of lenses to consider. They're both AF lenses, though. The Tamron 28-105mm f/4-5.6 AF (IF) and the SMC Pentax FA 28-80mm f/3.5-5.6 -AL-. The Pentax came with a ZX-7 camera I picked up recently, and I suspect the two sold as an outfit, since the lens is a brushed chrome finish, same as the camera. The Tamron has the Pentax PK-A mount. If I had to guess, I'd date it from the early to mid-90s because it looks very similar to a Tamron 24-70mm zoom I bought back in 1994. Both lenses have large zoom collars but rather narrow focusing rings, but they can still be used as MF lenses without too much difficulty.


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My Pentax M 40-80 (2.8-4.0) is non-rotating to zoom. It does however rotate to focus.

Last edited by Sciolist on Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:43 am; edited 1 time in total


PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kievuser wrote:
I have an Olympus zuiko 35-70/3.6 that has a non-rotating front element. It was the second best standard zoom lens by Olympus next to the rare and much more expensive 35-80/2.8.


I have the 3.6 version as well, in my point of view, this is a very good lens, still affordable, not that complicate to found.

I have the Sun Wide 24-40mm 3.5, which was a good suprise, very cheap.

Last week I bought the SUN 38-90 macro, whew, built quality is amazing. Will test it soon.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sciolist wrote:
My Pentax M 40-80 (2.8-4.0) is non-rotating.


So it doesn't rotate when zooming and focusing, I read that most push-pull zoom will rotate?


PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is safe to say the most zooms, regardless of whether they're two-ring or push-pull have rotating front elements. Non-rotating ones are the exception, it would appear.


PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2017 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pureaxis wrote:
Sciolist wrote:
My Pentax M 40-80 (2.8-4.0) is non-rotating.


So it doesn't rotate when zooming and focusing, I read that most push-pull zoom will rotate?


It's not a push-pull zoom pureaxis. Perhaps you're thinking of another 40-80 that does. It does however rotate to focus. I've edited my original post accordingly.