Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Lens

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This Lens Can be Judged Solely for Its Outstanding Optical Quality

Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom Nikkor LensThis AF-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED is a standard zoom lens designed for photojournalism and general photography. A built-in Silent Wave Motor, a Nikon exclusive, enables ultra fast and hushed auto-focus operation, and boosts the performance of Focus Tracking, qualities this lens an indispensible tool for fast-action photography.

Ideal mid-range zoom lens for architecture and portraiture / ED Lens Design offers Extra Definition with virtually no distortion. For its limited range of focal settings, the new AFS 28-70 might seem a tremendous overkill. It's very expensive, heavy and surprisingly bulky. Add its huge scalloped lens hood and people think you are the proverbial paparazzo.

This lens can be judged solely for its outstanding optical quality. Having non-rotating filter threads is a plus too. The stunning results delivered by this lens are as expected from its sophisticated optical design that employs several aspherical and ED elements, and IF focusing. Its silent-wave motor gives blindingly fast AF focusing with D1, F5 or F100 bodies.

Compared to the vast majority of wide-angle zooms (and most wide primes too), the AFS 28-70 convinces by its extreme sharpness, total lack of color fringing (an effect due to residual chromatic aberration and coma, the bugaboo of retro-focus-designed wide lenses), low vignetting even used wide open, and nice rendition of out-of-focus areas thanks to its nine-bladed aperture.

It is among the few modern zooms that match the 25-50/4 for landscape photography. However, flare can be a serious problem when shooting into the sun, much more so than with the 20-35 f/2.8 Nikkor, and there occasionally is some ghosting too when scene contrast is high, but the latter can be largely avoided by stopping the lens down.

Sharp images are produced even when the lens is shot wide open, and this holds true even when extension tubes are added. Stopping the lens down to f/5.6 yields sharp pictures corner-to-corner and there is negligible field curvature as well. It shows only a small degree of barrel distortion. An outstanding lens if it suits your shooting habits.


• AF-S Autofocus lens featuring a Silent wave, coreless, integrated, focus motor (unwrapped in 1996). Basically an updated AF-I Autofocus-Silent sporting a "Silent Wave Motor" (ultrasonic) to focus near silently and fast.

• AS - Aspherical lens elements - Nikon unveiled the first lens in 1968 featuring aspherical camera lens elements. What makes them different? Aspherical lenses all but eliminates the issues of coma and related kinds of lens aberrations even when employed at the maximum aperture.

• ED- (Extra-low Dispersion Glass Elements)
a necessary element of the Nikon telephoto lens Nikon engineered Extra-low Dispersion optical glass to facilitate the manufacture of lenses that provide superior color correction and sharpness by diminishing chromatic aberrations

• IF- Internal Focusing
The ability to have a lens focus while it's size remains unchanged. Nikon’s IF engineering allows that to happen. All internal optical travel is contained within the inside of the non-extension lens container.

• M/A mode
AF-S Nikon lenses include the exclusive Nikon M/A focus function, that permits switching from auto to manual focus virtually without time lag - even while the AF servo is in operation regardless of the AF mode in play.

RD- Rounded 9 Blade Diaphragm
Soft-focus images of point light resources create accepted polygonal shapes that mirror the form of the cavity produced by the diaphragm blades.

• SIC - Nikon Super Integrated Coating
Nikon uses an elite multilayer lens coating to augment the operation of its lens elements which also helps diminish ghosting and flare to minute levels. Nikon Super Integrated Coat also accomplishes several purposes,

• SWM- Silent Wave Motor
Nikon AF-S engineering is yet one more rationale why professional photographers like Nikon telephoto optical lenses.

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Lens styleZoom lens
Max Format Size 35mm FF  
Lens focal length28 – 70 mm  
Image stabilization No  
Camera mount Nikon F (FX)  
Aperture (lens diaphragm)
Largest aperture opening F2.8  
Smallest aperture opening F22.0  
Includes aperture ring Yes  
Total diaphragm blades 9  
Aperture annotations rounded blades  
Total Elements 15  
Number of Groups 11  
Coatings / special elements 2 ED glass elements and 1 molded-glass aspherical lens  
Minimum focus distance 0.70 m (27.56")  
Autofocus type Yes  
Full time manual focus Yes  
Focusing method Internal  
Lens distance scale Yes  
Depth of field scale Yes  
Physical features
Overall weight935 g (2.06 lb)  
Lens diameter 89 mm (3.48")  
Overall length 122 mm (4.78")  
Construction materials metal mount  
Sealing No  
class="label">Lens ColorLight Grey or Black  
Zooming method Rotary (extending)  
Filter thread size 77 mm  
Lens hood included Yes  
Lens hood code HB-19  
Tripod collar included No


I don't understand anything less than a 5 star review for this lens., November 17, 2008

By Kate Stokes (Atlanta, GA)

I'm sorry, I just can't understand ratings that aren't 5/5 for this lens. It flat out rocks. Let me just get a few things straight regarding this lens vs. the newer 24-70mm lens that replaced it:

1. This lens is more stout than the 24-70mm, yes, but it is also noticeably shorter which to me is preferable. This means it has a nearer/lower center of gravity and is easier to manage for long periods of time. The 24-70mm is basically like handling a telephoto zoom (i.e. 70-200mm or 80-200mm) with its center of gravity further out, harder to handle for long periods and easier to knock into people with.

2. The 24-70mm is a very sharp lens. I understand that. This lens is at least as sharp, however, and in my opinion slightly sharper. This becomes important in point number 3 below.

3. This lens can be picked up for roughly 2/3 the price of the 24-70mm. To me that settles the issue. Now, if the 24-70mm had VR then maybe it would be a different story but it doesn't. Again the 24-70mm is harder to handle, longer, no sharper and costs at least 50% more ($1,000-ish vs $1,5000-ish)

I hope I have made a good case for getting one of these over the newer 24-70. This is a top notch solid professional battle ready piece of equipment here. Don't listen to the talk of it being "too big" or "too heavy." First of all, as I said it's much easier to maneuver than the longer 24-70, and second of all the heaviness of this lens is overrated. If you are coming from a kit lens yes you will find it heavy. If you are used to shooting with pro glass this will not seem extraordinary heavy. It is in line with professional Canon and Nikon glass I have used over the years in terms of weight. Unless they decide to put VR on the 24-70mm I am not going to take another look at it while I can still find these for 2/3 the price.

The perfect wedding & portrait lens for DX, July 28, 2008

By Carl E. Feather "cfeather" (KINGSVILLE, OH USA)

Ancient by the standards set with the 24-70 and 14-24, this lens was once the standard mid-range zoom in the Nikon line. I got mine in 2003 when it was the only constant aperture lens available in the Nikon line in this range. Compared to the 14-24, it's not as sharp, colors are more muted and flare is worse. Neverthless, it remains the lens I use for my engagement and portrait sessions on my D300.

The lens has a look that I can only describe as more "organic" than the new lenses. The subtle softness is actually a benefit for portraits. It has wonderful bokeh, as well. The lens is well built -- mine fell onto concrete and survived to complete a wedding -- nevertheless, $400 in repairs were necessary due to damaged internal drive parts.

If you shoot portraits on DX you should look at this lens. The range is perfect -- 42mm for full length to 105mm for close facial shots. If you shoot nature and landscapes, the 24-70 is a better choice.


Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8D Lens

Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8D ED-IF AF-S Zoom Nikkor Lens

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