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Vintage Vivitar 28-70 macro Zoom help Needed

Discussion in 'Lens Matters' started by johnyjf, May 31, 2021.

  1. johnyjf

    johnyjf Member

    Hopefully this is the right forum for this question and someone will have an answer. I have a vintage (film era) Vivitar 28-70 F3.5-4,8 macro zoom lens which I can't get to zoom properly. The zoom ring will not move outside the 28-40 area no matter what I do. Pressing the macro button doesn't help, it does not appear to do anything. I have tried both on and off the body of my ME Super. The lens is in pretty good nick otherwise and I would like to make use of it. Does anyone have any ideas as to how to free it that won't involve professional help costing 2-3X what the lens is worth.
  2. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I looked this one up on the ever-helpful PentaxForums website - one owner reports 'zoom creep' and another a very stiff zoom action, so I suspect that in yours any lubrication on the moving parts may have dried up in storage, or that some fungus has developed in them (other members may know more about problems like this). If it looks clean, and the only alternative is to throw it away, I might be tempted to see if anything happens if it is allowed to warm up a little on a sunny window sill (in case this also warms up any lubrication).


    If yours is beyond repair, the LCE website has Pentax mount Tokina 28-70 for £30, which may be this one (non-macro, F3.5-4.5 and 52 mm filter thread). This website lists more than one type of Tokina 28-70.



    Also, I used a Tamron 18-200 'Adaptall' (interchangeable lens mount) zoom with Pentax MX for about 15 years, and still have some Cibachrome prints (as large as 24 x 36inches ) from colour slides taken with it. If your 28-70 is beyond repair, it might be worth looking for one of these in good condition.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Sorry, for some reason I missed this. As said it is probably lack of lubrication. I’ve had a couple of old lenses that got really stiff. Short of a strip down all you can do is see if you can work it loose slowly by gently rocking the mechanism at the sticking point and see if in time it gives. A higher temperature may help, but if it’s dry and seized ....
  4. johnyjf

    johnyjf Member

    Thanks to you both for your suggestions. I shall try warming and rocking, will report back over the week end. I know there are plenty of other alternatives from Tokina etc.. but had hoped that this one could be freed up. One thing that does puzzle me is the the focus ring works perfectly, why hasn't its lubricant dried up and seized the ring?
  5. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I have a much newer Nikon 24-70 f2.8 with a sticky zoom action, I have a good idea what is worn, not that I could fix it. Sufficient to say that it isn’t a lubrication problem, I suspect your lens is the same. Nikon will fix it, or give me a discount off a new lens, but the cost could be up to £650! A used replacement may be cheaper, I haven’t decided what to do yet.
  6. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I used to have a zoom which had a focus limiter - would only let you out of zooming/focussing if you were in the long end of the zoom. Or something like that.
    Only used the thing once or twice, so memory may be playing tricks

  7. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Usually on long lenses and and limits the focus range not the zoom. Some zooms do have a lock to stop the lens extending when carried but this usually locks the mechanism completely rather than limiting the zoom travel.
  8. GeoffR

    GeoffR Well-Known Member

    I recall at least one lens which wouldn’t allow access to “macro” focusing unless the zoom was set appropriately (carefully language because I can’t remember the details).
  9. johnyjf

    johnyjf Member

    I have tried various settings for focus and focal length and even aperture without being able to set a focal length longer than 40mm. I suspect some kind of interlock has been damaged but repairing it is beyond my skills. I suspect the lens could be fixed for about £70- but it's only worth about £30. I shall look around for another example, no hurry. Also I don't have a manual for it and can't locate one on the web which is rather unusual, I guess not many of these about??
  10. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Might we ask with what camera is the lens being used. If the lens is dead then we might be able to suggest suitable low cost alternatives.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    See #1
  12. johnyjf

    johnyjf Member

    A Pentax ME Super, I am bidding for a Tamron equivalent on EBay. Not after a super lens, just something light and decently flexible. I would prefer something with a little mor range at the telephoto end than the Tamron but if it comes at the right price I'll make do!
  13. johnyjf

    johnyjf Member

    The Tamron 28-70 mm F3.5-4.5 arrived this morning. Seems in decent nick and has a sort of macro function at 70 mm focal length. Will load a reel of film and play for a bit. Thanks for all the help, much appreciated. Not sure what to do with the Vivitar? May get my Jewellers screwdriver set out and play!

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