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Nikon 28mm f/2 AI, AIS

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31 replies to this topic

Poll: Rate this lens (57 member(s) have cast votes)

Rate this lens

  1. 1 Star (appalling) (0 votes [0.00%])

    Percentage of vote: 0.00%

  2. 2 Stars (below par) (1 votes [1.72%])

    Percentage of vote: 1.72%

  3. Voted 3 Stars (average) (3 votes [5.17%])

    Percentage of vote: 5.17%

  4. Voted 4 Stars (above average) (21 votes [36.21%])

    Percentage of vote: 36.21%

  5. 5 Stars (outstanding) (33 votes [56.90%])

    Percentage of vote: 56.90%

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#21 Andrew


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Posted 01 July 2010 - 14:35

Got this lens a few days ago, AI-d it, some results....
Looks like I am not able to focus properly at f2, maybe my old age, 2.8 looks OK.

#22 stenrasmussen


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Posted 01 July 2010 - 14:50

As I haven't tried my AIS version on DX I can't comment towards my own pics but it looks good Andrew...the fourth one in particular!
The focus is tricky sometimes and if you rely on the focus indicator dot try to focus in from both the far and near end to see what gives the best result. There is some slack in the accuracy of that dot indicator.
I actually prefer to shot at 2.8. f/2 is a little bit more nervous wrt. bokeh if the lighting is not "perfect".

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#23 addieleman



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Posted 22 July 2010 - 19:33

I had this lens only briefly, sold it because I didn't like it at all neither on the F3 nor on the D200. It was soft at f/2 and only got acceptable but not great at f/5.6; it must have been a lemon as most other people like this lens a lot. I replaced it by a Vivitar 28mm f/1.9 that was flary but sharp at f/1.9 and very good at f/2.8.
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#24 Pouncer



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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:27

I bought this lens (Ai), to a large degree, based upon the recommendations of others on Nikon Gear. What a great lens. It quickly became one of my favorites. I primarily use it on a D700, and also on a D300.

Edited by Pouncer, 01 July 2011 - 02:28 .


#25 tony_a



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Posted 02 September 2011 - 21:15

This is one of those rare lenses whose images you feel you can just fall into. It makes a natural pair with the old 85mm f/1.8 Ai. Both are slightly low in contrast when wide open but they are both superior just one click down.

When I received mine it had an incorrectly adjusted infinity focus stop which was taken care of at a non-Nikon service house for $40. Now I can trust the focus limit even at f/2.

I use it starting at f/2.8 due to some loss of contrast wide open. At f/4 it's amazing, at 5.6-8 it's stunning, easily out-resolving the D90 sensor. However I use it on a D700 to get the full angular coverage. The extreme corners are a little soft on FX at f/5.6 and wider. The center and all borders (minus those farthest bits of corner) always look good. It is extremely resistant to ghosting.

I feel that it is a privilege to shoot with this lens.

#26 smhese


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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:23

Bought the lens (AIS version) out of curiosity and have to say: I wasn't disappointed.
The lens is a bit softer at @f2 but switching to f2.8 makes a big difference. The lens is wonderful sharp and contrast is great @f2.8 and it doesn't get much better if you close down to f4. Corner performance on DX is great. At f2.0 the lens creates a very nice bokeh.
I will definitely keep the lens for these macro&background out-of-focus concepts. The picture below shows bokeh balls from two different f2.0 shots that were merged using layers in PS.



#27 Vilk

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Posted 25 February 2012 - 00:17

This is one magical lens. I had had the "good" 2.8 for a decade and a half before switching to 2 last summer. Not only did I use the 2.8 once a year--if that--I even developed a whole I'm-not-a-28-guy-and-it's-a-lousy-length-anyway theory. Since the swap, the 28/2 has not left my camera for five minutes, becoming my "standard" lens and giving me some of the best frames in my oeuvre.

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Brzezina by Acheiropoietes, on Flickr

#28 afoton


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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:24

I have mixed feelings for this lens. Stopped down its great. Opened up, its soft and dot-shaped lights (like stars) looks horrible. So it doesnt works for asto-usage.

Because of the bigger aperture, this lens has been my winter-28mm. And the AIS 28mm/2.8 with its close-up capabilities, has been my summer -28mm

#29 simato73


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Posted 20 April 2012 - 16:34

Yes, coma is pretty terrible, as it is in the 35/1.4 and probably others I don't know.
For the rest it is a great little lens, I agree with the numerous comments on its peculiar "drawing" capabilities.

#30 davepaterson



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Posted 20 April 2012 - 19:35

I agree with everything positive which has been said about this lens; a little soft at f2, sharp by 2.8 and bitingly sharp and detailed from there up to f8 at least with f11 quite ok and 16 still just usable.
Dave Paterson

#31 Airee


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 04:00

Same here. The muddy corners at f/2 somewhat limit the usefulness at that aperture (good for close-ups though). From 2.8, sharpness is OK for most usages, but at 5.6, the extreme corners remain mushy (with a rather sharp transition from sharp to mushy by the way). Flare resistance is indeed amazing and does solve the troubles encountered when shooting organs in churches (against bright windows). Distortion is noticeable and often needs correction (for my favourite subjects) in post processing. No real problem (on a trip I'd use rawtherapee as a portable app on a USB key for that purpose).


Night shots are OK from f/4 and stopping down further. At f/2, the coma is terrible and spot lights tend to 'bleed'.


For available (i.e. low) light shooting, this is not necessarily the best lens: the conjuction of relatively low contrast wide open, plus sensor noise due to high ISO, tends to provide so-so images. For such kind of usage, I'd rather recommend such lenses as Zeiss 35/2 (I have not experienced the 28/2 so far), delivering high contrast and decent corners even wide open. Paradoxically it is in bright settings that the fast 28/2 Nikkor shines. An interesting study would be to look where the optimum lies: assuming that speed is set to the slowest possible given the circumstances, and that DOF does not matter (flat subject), which ISO/f-stop combination would deliver maximum IQ? no scientific answer is expected since IQ is largely subjective and camera-dependent, but test for yourself.


Again, I'd complain about the difficulty to properly focus WA with current FF bodies. I am currently using the D800 and, in darker scenes, neither the viewfinder nor the AF confirmation dot will provide sufficient accuracy; only LV would but that's really cumbersome. Fortunately the infinite stop remains usable :)

Edited by Airy, 03 December 2013 - 21:02 .

#32 FrankF


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 07:34

I used the 2.0/28mm as an Aid version of the full metal "berg-und-tal"






It is a great formula like the 1.8/85mm or the famous 2.0/50mm

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