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Lens Review, Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D, Most Affordable

Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back
A retro look at a very affordable standard zoom lens from Nikon, the 1995 Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80mm.

The all-plastic and rather flimsy-looking Nikon AF Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6DD, covers the classic 28mm wide-angle to the moderate portrait range of 80mm. The lens is a plastic-mount full-frame 7-element lens made from 1995 through 1999, introduced as an option to photo enthusiasts who were using the equally lightweight Nikon N70, N50, and N6006 35mm SLR film cameras.

The lens was replaced in 1999 by an 8-element version with a broader manual focus ring, in production from 1999 to 2201, before it was again replaced by the 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6G.

The later version of the lens is 8 elements in 8 groups construction with spherical, multi-coated optics, comes with a broad manual focusing ring, an aperture ring but no focusing scale, 7 blades rounded diaphragm stopping down to f/22 @ 28mm to f/36 @ 80mm, minimum focusing distance of 0.4 meters, and tips the scale at less than 250 grams.

Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D

The lens was among the most affordable zoom lenses for Nikon FX series 35mm SLR film cameras. Zooming and manual focus are plastic smooth, in AF mode the focus ring jerks slightly, and though the autofocus was fast, zooming with the screw-drive motor does incur the noise penalty. The advantage the lens has, however, is that it is a true lightweight.

Nikon D200, Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D

The lens did not enjoy much exposure across the ripple of reviews found across the Net, with some written with brickbats on the all-plastic mount and construction of the lens itself. On the upside, there were accolades from users who were appreciative of the lens being an excellent midrange zoom, a warming comment from a returning user, and the capability of the lens being extended into a macro zoom as seen in the video below.



Test Images

These test images were shot on the 10MP CCD Nikon D200, as part of the 'Re-Living the CCD Sensor' series.

Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 01
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 02

The D200 is a well-built and robust DSLR camera with a magnesium alloy chassis, environmental seals, an excellent user interface, an exceptional feature set, and superior performance.

Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 03
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 04
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 05
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 06
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 07

The D200 can also be used with AI manual focus and essentially all other Nikkor lenses manufactured from 1977 onward. The D200 is also fitted with an intervalometer for time-lapse photography.

Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 08
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back 09
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back10
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back11
Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D,  A Look Back12

On the APS-C sensor D200, the lens is equivalent to a 42-120mm short telephoto lens on a 35mm full-frame camera.

Nikon D200, Nikon AF-Nikkor 28-80mm 1:3.5~5.6 D

Cheerio!



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