zondag 25 maart 2012

Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 (pre-ai)

Why would you buy an manual focus lens within the range of your kit lens in the first place, and why on earth would you want to have one with an aperture that your kit lens is able to give you as well? First of all, I like primes, I like the way you always get the same kind of perspective. When you have a zoom, the perspective changes with every time you use another focal length. Primes give you a better idea how things will look like before you look through the viewfinder because the way they render what they see does not change. This makes you work faster, or at least when you’re used to using primes.

But for me the most important reason to have this lens is that it has hyper focal markings on its body. I like to use this lens for landscapes, and the hyperfocus markings are very useful. The reason I find the ability to use hyperfocus distances so important is that by closing your lens too far down diffraction occurs. Diffraction causes your lens to be less sharp than at the middle apertures, and because of that it is useful to use hyperfocus distances.

Handling the lens
The focus is very light on this lens, you need little pressure to turn the ring. But it is not so light you “overshoot”, you can focus this lens very precise. Besides the perfect focus mechanism this lens is fairly wide, even on DX sensors, this means your DoF is larger than with telephoto lenses. Because of that you maintain focus much longer, making it even easier to focus this lens.

Another reason I love this lens for my landscape shots is that the front element does not turn when you focus. It only extends a bit, but that doesn’t matter. This allows you to mount filters on this lens without the focus affecting it. Imagine using a polarizer on a lens which front element turns when you focus, almost impossible to use. With this lens it is much easier to use a polarizer, or a graduated neutral density filter.

Besides that there is little to mention about the lens, it is quite small and light. It makes the ideal travel companion on a DX camera. This lens decreases the size of your DSLR significantly compared to a zoom lens, because this lens is so short it takes up less space.

The results are just amazing. This lens isn’t very fast, nor is it very wide. Nikon didn’t need  to make compromises to build this lens, resulting in a very good lens. Pointed at the sun it is hard to get a flare, and sharpness is already very good wide open. There is little CA. It is sad, but there’s just nothing more to say about the results, except that it is just a very good lens.

As I said, this is a very good lens. You will get great results from this lens, even wide open. In that perspective it is sad that its focal length falls within the reach of the kit lens. This lens isn’t significantly faster than your average 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. However I am convinced that this lens was able to maintain its value, especially because of the hyper focus markings. These are really huge to me, and I prefer this lens over my kit lens because of that, and because its front element does not rotate during focusing.

Because this lens isn’t exceptionally fast or wide this lens can be found for little money, which is another great quality.

(I don't like to put up full resolution files, if you're interested in this lens you can leave a comment / sent an email for larger files)

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