The Ultimate Vivitar 24mm F2.8 Review!

As our website gets bigger and bigger we have noticed more and more people reaching out about the old school vintage style camera lenses. A while back we decided to start slowly reviewing a number of vintage lenses and today is the turn of our Vivitar 24mm f2.8 review.

Now, with the Vivitar 24mm f2.8 being a vintage lens, we just want to quickly point out that much of what we mention in this article is going to depend on the quality of the particular lens that you are able to source. We would always recommend you purchase a fully refurbished lens (Click here to check for product prices and availability) where possible over picking up a random one in a second-hand store. This will help to ensure you are getting a fully serviceable camera lens that should be able to perform well for you.

On the flipside of this though, Vivitar really did manage to do a great job of producting extremely robust lenses back in the day. This has definitely worked to the Vivitar 24mm f2.8’s advantage with many of the lenses still being fully serviceable even today even if they have not been appropriately taken care of over the years.

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Also, as usual, we always like to share our favorite photograph captured with the featured lens of the article before really getting into any of our reviews. It shows the image quality that you are able to capture with it. We feel the photograph below captured in Almería in Spain does an excellent job of showcasing the image quality the Vivitar 24mm can provide.


Performance And Functionality

An example photography captured using the Vivitar 24mm F2.8 lens showing how sharp and clear it can be.
An example photograph captured using the Vivitar 24mm F2.8 lens showing how sharp and clear it can be.

wide angle

As we mentioned at the start of the article, the performance and the available functions of the Vivitar 24mm is going to depend on the condition of the lens that you are able to source. A common issue with the lens is that dust can build up below the manual focus ring and make it less responsive. Thankfully, this can usually be cleaned easily by using a simple air blower, if not then you can get the lens stripped down and cleaned professionally at many photography stores.

Anyway, provided that your manual focus ring is fully serviceable on your Vivitar 24mm then it is extremely easy to use. It is smooth to rotate and has a nice level of resistance to allow you to easily stop yourself from accidentally over rotating. The manual focus ring is also texturized to make it easier to locate while looking through your viewfinder without having to look at the lens.

The image quality of the Vivitar 24mm tends to be very sharp considering the age of the lens. We have plenty of example photographs throughout this article captured using the lens that does a great job of showcasing this. The f/2.8 aperture on the lens also provides it with some decent low light and variable light capabilities as shown in the photograph below.

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Another example photograph that was captured using the Vivitar 24mm F2.8 showing its low light performance and how much detail it can still capture.
Another example photograph that was captured using the Vivitar 24mm F2.8 showing its low light performance and how much detail it can still capture.

With the lens having a 24mm focal length it makes it a great little wide angle lens and in our opinion, one of, if not the best vintage wide angle lens still in common circulation. Its small size and robust build make it ideal for travel photography or for taking with you on hikes to capture some of the breathtaking views you may see.

Additionally, its sharp image quality and great color perception is able to accurately capture a large number of views like the photograph below of the Worthing pier in England.

Worthing Pier Winter Sunset

Build Quality

As we have mentioned a few times throughout the article now, the build quality of the lens really is excellent, the Vivitar lenses were really built to last and last many of them have. As we touched on, the only real common fault with the lenses is the build-up of dust or rust under the manual focus ring but this is an easy fix.

The Glass in the lens elements have stood up to the test of time well and if you are looking to pick the Vivitar 24mm up from a local second-hand store you can easily look over the lens elements for damage anyway. That said, there have been a small number of reports from people who have picked the lens up and found dust to have managed to get to the inside of the lens element and get on the sensor path. Again, this can be a relatively easy fix and will often be corrected by using a cheap air blower to dislodge the dust and return the image quality back to the way it should be.

The lens mount on the Vivitar 24mm is made from a fully cast metal alloy that was built to stand the test of time no matter what. We doubt that the lens mounts will have taken much damage over the years while leaving the rest of the lens body in working order anyway. The shape of the lens mount should not have warped over the years easier ensuring that you are able to easily get yourself a solid and seamless mounting connection between your lens and camera body but just keep in mind, you will often need a suitable adaptor in between.

Our Verdict

This concludes our Vivitar 24mm f2.8 review and we are actually big fans of this vintage wide angle photography. It provides an excellent level of image quality that has stood up very well over the years and can allow you to capture some excellent photographs.

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The video below offers an additional third-party, independent review for the Vivitar 24mm f2.8 to offer our readers an independent opinion of the product.

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Image Licensing

Shared under Creative Commons –

John Brighenti – Return to the Capitol at Night –

David Wright – The Old Vicarage, Whitton –

David Wright – The Tree –