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Nikon 28-200mm AF-D
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Nikon 28-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-D. enlarge. get it here used

Introduction

This lens is far better than you think. Selling for $500 it covers an enormous range of focal lengths, and works far better that it has any right to.

Also see the newer, smaller and less expensive 28-200G. which replaced it.

I think this has been discontinued in 2006. The 28-200 AF-D was introduced in March of 1998. See its press release.

For digital cameras get the 18 - 200 VR instead.

Specifications

It takes 72mm filters in its plastic threaded front.

Here's the catch: it only focuses to about 6 feet at any focal length. Therefore you just can't get as close as you will want to for many potential images.

Performance

The lens is sharp, not what you wanted to hear me say. It's just fine. I had problems getting a sharp image at 200mm because the slow f/5.6 aperture made me use long shutter speeds, so I'm unsure if it's the lens or me hand-holding such a light lens at 1/60 of a second.

Lo and behold, the focus is very accurate and I had no problem with AF system errors. That's better than many recent zooms.

It's pretty sharp all over at other focal lengths.

The AF action is relatively slow because there is a lot of reduction in the mechanical gear drive. One full turn of the AF screw focuses the lens from infinity to 30.'

Sharpness and light falloff

28mm:
f/3.5: dark corners; soft last 5mm of image height
f/5.6: sharp, last few mm of image height dark and fuzzy
f/8: OK, last few mm of image height fuzzy

50mm
f/4.2: light falloff; kind of fuzzy
f/5.6: light falloff, sharp all over
f/8: sharp all over, no light falloff

100-200mm
f/5.6: light falloff

Distortion:

28mm: Barrel
35mm: Slight Barrel
40mm: None, use this focal length when you need the lines kept straight
50mm: Slight Pincushion
70-85mm: Severe Pincushion
105-200mm: Pincushion

Close-Up

Forget it. Minimum focus is about six feet at any focal length.

Recommendations

I'd try the newer, smaller and less expensive 28-200G first for the general fun applications most people buy this lens.

If you want it, go for it! It works quite respectably for just about anything at least 6 feet away. It is also the best made lens you can get for your Nikon. Forget the discount competition (Tamron, Sigma etc.) which are plastic puppy poops.

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