Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D
Nikon AF-NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 D ($265, 52mm filters, 7.3oz/206.1g). enlarge. I'd get it at Adorama, Amazon, J&R or Calumet. It helps me keep adding to this site when you get yours from those links, too. Thanks! Ken.
July 2010 More Nikon Reviews
Not for: I wouldn't bother with this on a DX camera. I'd use any DX lens, like the 18-55mm kit lens, instead. This lens will not autofocus with the cheapest D40, D40x, D60, D3000 or D5000; get an AF-S lens, like the kit lens, instead for those cameras.
This 28mm f/2.8 AF-D lens is a lightweight wide-angle lens for all Nikon digital, AF and manual-focus film cameras.
It sells for about $265 brand-new.
I wouldn't buy this lens. I'd get the optically far superior, slightly heavier and slightly more expensive 24mm f/2.8 AF-D instead. They look similar, but are completely different inside.
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D. enlarge.
The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D works great with almost every film and digital Nikon camera made since 1977. If you have a coupling prong added to the diaphragm ring, it's perfect with every Nikon back to the original Nikon F of 1959.
The only incompatibility is that it will not autofocus with the cheapest D40, D40x, D60, D3000 or D5000, but if you focus manually, everything else works great. These cameras have in-finder focus confirmation dots to help you.
See Nikon Lens Compatibility for details on your camera. Read down the "AF, AF-D (screw)" column for this lens.
Nikon made 28mm f/3.5 for its S-series rangefinder cameras. It's not very good, but it is tiny.
Nikon made the 28mm f/2.8 AI, which had 7 elements in 7 groups.
It lacks CRC and focuses to only 1 foot, and is a great lens. It is better optically than this AF-D lens today.
Nikon made an optically inferior 5-element 28mm f/2.8 lens that was sold as the Series E, and also as the first two iterations of non-D AF lenses.
Today's manual-focus 8-element 28mm f/2.8 AI-s lens came out in 1981, and has been sold unchanged ever since.
The manual-focus lens has superior optics and mechanics to this plastic-barreled AF-D lens.
This lens looks the same on the outside as the first 28mm f/2.8 AF of 1986, however this AF-D lens has better optics, redesigned in 1994.
Nikon has made about 80,000 of these AF-D lenses since 1994.
Specifications with commentary top
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D. enlarge.
Nikon calls this the Nikon AF-NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 D. The "D" means this lens tells the camera the distance to the subject, which helps the exposure meter, especially with on-camera flash.
6 elements in 6 groups.
It's multicoated, which Nikon calls Nikon Integrated Coating.
Nikon 28/2.8 AFD at f/5.6. enlarge.
7 straight blades.
Stops down to f/22.
0.8 feet (0.25m).
Maximum Reproduction Ratio
Hard Infinity Focus Stop?
This is great for astronomy; just turn to the stop and you have fixed laboratory-perfect focus all night.
Infra-Red Focus Index
Yes, white dot in depth-of-field scale.
Does not rotate.
Nikon specifies 44.5 mm extension from flange (54 mm overall) by 65 mm diameter.
7.270 oz. (206.1g), as measured by me.
Nikon specifies 7.2 oz. (205g).
HN-2 metal screw-in, not included.
Optional CL-30S, No.61, CL-34A, or CL-S1.
TC-200/201 and TC-14A, but why on Earth would you want to convert this to a manual-focus 40mm f/4 or 55mm f/5.6 lens when it's less expensive, lighter, less expensive, faster, better and easier to carry a dedicated 50mm f/1.8 lens instead?
Nikon Product Number
$265, USA, July 2010.
$275, USA, November 2009.
The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D is one of Nikon's cheapest lenses, and unfortunately, not that good a performer if you're counting all your pixels.
Used properly (stopped down to f/8), it can give excellent results; just don't look in the corners with a microscope on a D3X at f/2.8. Stop it down to f/11 for the best results in the corners.
You have to move the switch on the camera to get Auto or Manual focus.
In AF, the manual focus ring moves. Keep your fingers off of it, because if you don't, the lens won't focus.
One full turn (two half-turns) of the AF screw pulls focus from infinity down to 3 feet, which is fast AF performance.
AF is always right-on.
Manual focus is easy, once you've moved the switch on your camera.
This lens works great on all manual focus and film cameras.
The 28mm f/2.8 AF-D has a moderate amount of barrel distortion.
This can be corrected for critical use at infinity by plugging +2.0 into Photoshop's lens distortion filter. Use +1.0 at about 5 feet (1.5m).
Even when this is done, the distortion is slightly complex and is still a little wavy after this simple correction. For better correction, you'll need a higher-order correction tool, like a plug-in for DxO.
Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D. enlarge.
Ergonomics are great, except for having to fiddle with a switch on the camera to go between auto and manual focus.
For use on manual-focus cameras, it is almost as good as a dedicated manual focus lens.
Falloff on FX is no big deal.
There is a little at f/2.8, and almost none at f/4. It's gone by f/5.6.
You won't see this in photography of anything except blank walls.
There is no problem with vignetting. Use any 52mm filter.
Two filters at the same time would be pushing it.
The filter ring does not rotate.
There are no lateral color fringes on the D3, which would correct them if the lens had any.
Rear, Nikon 28mm f/2.8D AF . enlarge.
Barrel Exterior: Plastic.
Filter Threads: Plastic.
Focus Ring: Plastic; rubber covered.
Focus Helicoids: Feel like plastic.
Depth-of-Field Scale: Yes.
Internals: Seem like metal and plastic.
Aperture Ring: Plastic with painted numbers.
Focus Geartrain: Metal.
Mount: Dull-chromed brass.
Serial Number: Laser engraved onto bottom rear of aperture ring.
Ass-Gasket (dust seal at mount): No.
Noises When Shaken: Mild clunking from the sloppy AF helicoid.
Made in: Japan, at least the one I show here from about 1998.
With those caveats, the 28mm f/2.8 AF-D is always sharp in the center, and softer in the corners on FX at larger apertures. Compared to a Tokina 28-70mm f/2.8 ATX, this Nikon lens is much sharper in the center at f/2.8.
Stop down to f/11 for the sharpest corners.
At f/2.8: Sharp center and sides, blurry corners.
At f/4: Sharp center and sides, slightly blurry corners.
At f/5.6: Sharp center and sides, decent corners, but still a little blurry in the farthest corner if you're looking way too closely.
At f/8: Just about optimum.
At f/11: Optimum from corner-to-corner.
At f/16: Diffraction limits performance.
At f/22: Diffraction limits performance.
With its straight 7-bladed diaphragm, the 28/2.8 should make magnificent Nikon-hallmark fourteen-pointed sunstars on bright points of light.
The Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AF-D is not a stellar performer, but used properly, can create extraordinary images.
This 6-element AF-D lens (1994-present) is much better optically than the Series E (1979-1985) and original AF (1986-1994) 28mm f/2.8 lenses, both of which used the same awful 5-element amateur design.
This 6-element AF-D lens isn't that great if you're counting your pixels. If you are, use the superior 8-element 28mm f/2.8 AI-s, any of the pro zooms like the 24-70mm f/2.8 AF-S, or the scaldingly expensive 28mm f/1.4 AF-D.
In this case, Nikon got cheap with all its 28mm f/2.8 autofocus lenses because it thought, and rightly so, that they are mostly bought by price-conscious amateurs. Thus Nikon made this lens affordable, not spectacular.
All in all, this 28mm f/2.8 AF-D lens works on the newest D3X, D3 and D700 cameras, and it makes a perfect lens to use with Nikon's lightweight full-frame cameras like the N75.
I wouldn't bother with a hood, but don't let me stop you.
If I was working in nasty, dirty areas, I'd forget the cap, and use an uncoated 52mm Tiffen UV filter instead. Uncoated filters are much easier to clean, but more prone to ghosting.
More Information: Nikon, Japan.
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