Nikkor AF 28mm f/2.8D - Review / Test Report - Analysis
Lens Reviews - Nikon / Nikkor (APS-C)
Article Index
Introduction
Analysis

Distortion

The AF 28mm f/2.8D exhibits relatively pronounced barrel distortion (1.2%) which is a little more than desirable for a fix-focal lens.

The chart above has a real-world size of about 120x80cm.

Vignetting

The AF 28mm f/2.8D is a full frame lens thus enjoying a sweet spot advantage on APS-C DSLRs. Nonetheless it still produces very pronounced vignetting of one full stop at wide-open aperture (f/2.8) - a little disappointing. However, from f/4 and up the issue is not field-relevant anymore.

MTF (resolution)

The Nikkor produced very decent resolution figures in the MTF lab. The center performance is already very high at wide-open aperture and it even reaches the resolution limits of the D200 by f/5.6. The border quality is very good but doesn't really improve when stopping down (as opposed to the depth-of-field naturally).

Similar to the Nikkor AF 24mm f/2.8 D the lens suffers from residual spherical aberrations (focus shifts when stopping down) - a fate shared by a couple of lenses of that design era. The lens also exhibits a quite high degree of field curvature.

Below is a simplified summary of the formal findings. The chart shows line widths per picture height (LW/PH) which can be taken as a measure for sharpness. If you want to know more about the MTF50 figures you may check out the corresponding Imatest Explanations

Chromatic Aberrations (CAs)

Chromatic aberrations (color shadows at harsh contrast transitions) are relatively low at wide-open aperture but they increase when stopping down. At f/8 CAs peak at around 1.6 pixels on the average at the image borders - this is too high for a fix-focal lens. Please note that the issue can be corrected via several imaging applications or tools.

Verdict

The principal design of the Nikkor AF 28mm f/2.8D is obviously closely related to the AF 24mm f/2.8D so it shares some of its characteristics. The resolution figures are very good but otherwise the lens left something to be desired for a fix-focal. The lens exhibits relatively high barrel distortions, very high vignetting at f/2.8 and pronounced CAs. Spherical aberrations (focus shifts when stopping down) and high field curvature on top don't make things any better. Compared to modern lenses the Nikkor seems to be a little dated but naturally it still remains a very good lens with a few bugs.

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