nikonafs28mmf18g-01

Nikon AFS 28mm f/1.8G Quick Impression Review

After the recent AFS 50mm f/1.8G and AFS 85mm f/1.4G, the AFS 28mm f/1.8G is the latest addition to the Nikon prime lens lineup.
Since announced, a lot of Nikon users especially full frame DSLR users are very interested in this lens as it gives us an affordable choice when it comes to wide angle prime lens.

So we had a chance to play with the new Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G at Nikon NZ recently. And here is our quick impression review.

First, the specifications:

Nikon AF-S Nikkor 28mm F/1.8 G

Lens type    Prime lens
Max Format size    35mm FF
Focal length    28 mm
Image stabilisation    No
Lens mount    Nikon F (FX)
Maximum aperture    F1.8
Minimum aperture    F16.0
Aperture ring    No
Number of diaphragm blades    7
Elements    11
Groups    9
Special elements / coatings    2 aspherical lens elements and lens elements with Nano Crystal Coat
Minimum focus    0.25 m (9.84″)
Maximum magnification    0.22 x
Autofocus    Yes
Motor type    Ring-type ultrasonic
Full time manual    Yes
Focus method    Internal
Distance scale    Yes
Weight    330 g (0.73 lb)
Diameter    73 mm (2.87″)
Length    81 mm (3.17″)
Sealing    No
Colour    Black
Filter thread    67 mm
Hood supplied    Yes
Hood product code    HB-64
Tripod collar    No

The Nikkor AFS 28mm f/1.8G is really quite small and light! I’m not saying 50mm f/1.8 kind of small. But it’s not really that much bigger or heavier than a AFS 50mm f/1.4G. Consider it’s a wide angle lens with 11 elements, it’s lighter and smaller than I thought it would be. Without looking at the actual figures, the AFS 24mm f/1.4G or AFS 35mm f/1.4G feel a lot heavier when you hold it in hand.

The build quality is great and the lens feel and look very similar to the recent Nikon prime lens. When I mount the 28 1.8 on my D800, it feels really well balanced and it would be a very good combo that you will be happy to carry around whole day.

The big golden “N” on the lens tells you this lens has Nano coating. Nano coating helps minimise internal reflection that cause lens flare and lower contrast especially when you shooting towards a strong light source. This is the only f/1.8 lens that has Nano coating so far. This lens also has 2 aspherical elements and Super Integrated Coating. It uses rear focusing design so the lens length doesn’t change during focusing. It has a metal lens mount and comes with a lens hood.

So how’s the image quality?
We have only played with the lens for a short amount of time so didn’t have the chance to do any extensive testing. But from our quick testing, we found the sharpness is really quite good even at wide open. There is a bit of chromatic aberration but it is not any worse than most fast prime lenses. Bokeh while not melting smooth like some of the traditional portrait lens, is quite pleasing especially at wide open.

Here are some photos we took at different aperture setting:


f/1.8


f/2.8


f/4


f/5.6


f/8

At f/1.8, vignetting is quite noticable but acceptable. Stop it down to f/2.8 and vignetting is not really noticable anymore.

Autofocus speed is similar to most of the latest Nikon prime lenses, i.e. not very fast. But I guess there are not many people going to use the 28mm f/1.8G to shoot sports or flying birds so the autofocus speed should be fast enough for most of us. And by reviewing the sample photos we took, I found the focus accuracy very good.

So we only had a quick play with the lens but we are already pretty happy with what we have seen. With the release of D4,D800, D800E and the upcoming entry model full frame DSLR that shouldn’t be too far way, there will be more and more demand for good quality FX lenses. While Nikon has alerady released a good number of great full frame lenses since the release of D3, most of them are high end lenses with huge price tag. So it’s good to see Nikon is releasing some great quality lenses that won’t break our bank. And looking at the photos I took with this lens, I’m pretty sure the AFS 28mm f/1.8 will be a very popular lens!