Manual Focus 28mm Nikkors


In any 35mm system, the 28mm lens has always proven popular as the wide angle choice. It provides a good middle ground between the wide coverage of the 24mm and the relatively natural perspective of the 35mm. Through the F-mount history, Nikon has made numerous lenses at this focal length.

28mm angle.Gif

The Standard Wide Angle

Most photographic lenses are designed to give rectilinear projections (the fisheye lenses being the exceptions). Put simply put, they keep straight lines straight. In practice, most lenses have some level of distortion that bends these lines, but it is relatively minor. The effect of this projection on lenses or shorter focal lengths is that the peripheries of the image captured by the film appear stretched out. This is often mistakenly referred to as distortion. The wider the lens, the more apparent this effect is.

The range between 35mm and 24mm is often referred to as “wide angle”. This fits between the 50mm dominated “standard” focal lengths and the sub 21mm “ultra-wide angle”. This range is characterised by a noticeably wider field of view compared to normal lenses, but lacking the strikingly stretched corners of the ultra-wide angles.

Angle of View - 24mm, 28mm, 35mm

















Within the range, the 28mm provides a wide field of view all while limiting the stretched corners in all but extreme cases. This property makes this range especially suitable for PR/events photography and photojournalism. The photographer is able to move close to the subject and filling the frame in a natural manner all while showing a broad view of the surroundings. Similarly, natural group portraits could be captured in tight spaces. Furthermore, the field of view is covered (or almost) covered by most electronic flashes, making on camera flash photography easy.

Nikon 28mm lineup

The first Nikon 28mm lens was designed for the S mount rangefinders. The W-Nikkor.C 2.8cm f/3.5 was released in 1952. In 1959, with the introduction of the Nikon F and the F mount, Nikon introduces a line of retro-focal 28mm lenses. In the manual focus era that followed, this line was expanded in include lenses of three speeds, plus two shift capable, Perspective Correction versions. All these lenses had a reputation for high performance, while the varying maximum aperture allowed them to be tailored to all price/weight points. Impressively, other than the PC versions, all the 28mm MF lenses shared a standard 52mm filter size.

Nikkor 28mm f/2.0

The impressively fast f/2.0 was the fasted lens in its class at the time of its release in 1971. It featured a sophisticated design featuring Close Range Correction (CRC) and the then newly developed Nikon Integrated Coating. Along with the 24mm f/2.8 of 1967 and 35mm f/1.4 of 1971, the trio comprised of the top end wide angle lenses offered for the F-mount. The design ensures that spherical aberrations and coma are well corrected, leading to high contrast and sharpness even wide open. This design remained relatively unchanged until its discontinuation in 2005.
  Nikkor 28mm f/2.8

The middle speed lens was introduces around 1975. For many, it represented the best value in the line up. In its AIS form, the optical design was formidable, featuring CRC and a minimum focus distance of 0.2m. It is reputed to be one of the sharpest wide angle Nikkors, and remains in production as of 2008, along with its less impressive AF successor. The lens also excels in macro photography when reversed, providing for up to 9x magnification.
  Nikkor 28mm f/3.5

The slowest (and original) 28mm was introduced alongside the Nikon F in 1959. The simple design and conservative maximum aperture allowed relatively high performance at a low price point. The design remained relatively unchanged throughout its life time until discontinuation around 1983.

    Legacy in AF era

As the F-Mount moved into the auto focus age in 1985, the 28mm focal length was only represented by a Series E based f/2.8 lens. This lens was rather under whelming both in terms of physical construction and optical quality. The situation dramatically improved in 1994 with a new design, incorporating both CRC and D functionality. Optically, this was a marked improvement on the first AF attempt, but is still shadowed by the superior AIS version. The real breakthrough, however, was the aspherical AF Nikkor 28mm f/1.4D. This exotic high speed prime earned a sizable reputation in its relatively short production run, being discontinued in 2006. As of late 2008, the 28mm focal length is represented by the f/2.8 models in AIS and AF-D form.

Nikkor 28mm f/3.5

The slowest (and original) 28mm was introduced alongside the Nikon F in 1959. The simple design and conservative maximum aperture allowed relatively high performance at a low price point. The design remained relatively unchanged throughout its life time until discontinuation around 1983.


PC-Nikkor 28mm f/4.0 and f/3.5

In 1975, the 28mm PC-Nikkors joined their 35mm counterpart in the perspective correction line. These long serving lenses are covered in their own section.


Manual Focus 28mm Nikkors: Introduction | Nikkor 28mm f/2.0 | Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 | Nikkor 28mm f/3.5
Nikon 28mm f/2.8E | PC-Nikkor 28mm f/4.0 | PC-Nikkor 28mm f/3.5
Auto Focus 28mm Nikkors:- AF-Nikkor 28mm f/2.8 | AF-Nikkor 28mm f/2.8D | AF-Nikkor f/1.4D

Nikon F-Mount Manual Focus System

Nikon F Mount Boddies

Nikon F | Nikon F2 | Nikon F3 | Nikon F4 | Nikon F5 | Nikon F6 | Nikkormat/Nikomat | Nikon FM Series | Nikon FE Series | Nikon FA | Nikon EM | Nikon FG | Nikon FG20 | Nikon Digital SLR | Other Models

MF Nikkor Primes

Ultra Wide Angle: 13mm | 15mm | 18mm | 20mm
Wide Angle:
24mm | 28mm | 35mm
45mm | 50mm | 58mm
85mm | 105mm | 135mm | 180mm & 200mm
Super Telephoto:
300mm | 400mm | 500mm | 600mm | 800mm | 1200mm
500mm | 1000mm | 2000mm
55mm | 105mm | 200mm

MF Nikkor Zooms

Wide Angle Zoom: 25-50mm | 28-45mm | 28-50mm
Mid Range Zoom:
28-85mm | 35-70mm | 35-85mm | 35-105mm | 35-135mm | 35-200mm | 43-86mm
Telephoto Zoom:
50-135mm | 50-300mm | 80-200mm | 85-250mm | 100-300mm
Super Telephoto Zoom:
180-600mm | 200-400mm | 360-1200mm | 1200-1700mm

Speciality Nikkors

Fisheye-Nikkor | PC-Nikkor | Medical-Nikkor | UV-Nikkor | Bellows-Nikkor

Series E

Primes: 28mm | 35mm | 50mm | 100mm | 135mm
36-72mm | 70-210mm | 75-150mm

MF Tele-Converters

1.4x: TC-14 | TC-14A |TC-14B | TC-14C
TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301

Photography in Malaysia

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