Nikon 28mm f/1.8 G

Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
edited September 2014 in Nikon Lenses
I rented this lens for the weekend for a couple of gigs, and was going to add some impressions but no thread existed on the new forum.

If anyone has any experiences to share please do so.
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From Nikon:

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Specifications:
Focal length: 28mm
Maximum aperture: f/1.8
Minimum aperture: f/16
Lens construction: 1 elements in 9 groups (including 2 aspherical lens elements and lens elements with Nano Crystal Coat)
Angle of view: 75° (53° with Nikon DX format)
Minimum focus distance: 0.25 m/0.82 ft (from focal plane)
Maximum reproduction ratio: 0.22x
No. of diaphragm blades: 7 (rounded)
Filter-attachment size: 67mm
Diameter x length: (distance from camera lens mount flange): Approximately 73 x 80.5 mm/2.9 x 3.2 in.
Weight: Approximately 330 g/11.6 oz

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Post edited by Bokeh_Hunter on
•Formerly TTJ•
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Comments

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    I have been considering this .. I am interested to read up on any info on this lense.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • nek4lifenek4life Posts: 123Member
    Please do share. I'm interested in this lens as well.
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited September 2014
    Not sure if this helps but I thought I could put down why I am considering this lense and the alternatives I am looking at.
    The 28mm lense has been a focal length that is unique in several ways.
    1) In the old film days it was the wider than wide(35mm) option. or the first Focal length that was truly considered wide ie the 35mm was a wide angle lense but many considered a wide normal. Thus it was the first "speciality" lense a photographer would get for his kit. The old classic and still extremely expensive 28mmF1.4 only added to the Lense lust and unobtainability of the focal lenght! and now we have the F1.8 !!
    2) On DX its equivalent to 42mm ie close to a 40mm, a very special and under appreciated FOV for lovely cozy/intimate family gatherings the F1.8 for low light just adds to this functionality. Yes I am still a DX shooter at heart ! ( D400 sob! )
    3) 28mm is the classic Focal length for Cinematography !!! Imagine the classic views of old B&W movies of the train stations ? most were taken with the 28mm FOV !!
    4) for me it is one of the 3 FOV I used to use most when I evaluated my FOV usage on my 18-200 kit lense accounting for 20% of my shots. I find that I can just about frame a shot at 28mm FOV without even looking through the camera !!
    5) I am looking for a low light indoor lense for churches and temples and other low light buildings that dont allow tripod. the F1.8 would help but .. may not be enough..
    6) 28mm is wide but not so wide that it obviously distorts faces. great for group photos ! and scenaries
    7) Widangle - poor mans 24mm ? 24mm is the most used photojournalists FOV by a mile!

    Alternative?
    1) I often find 28mm just that little bit not wide enough. 24mm seems just about perfect as i can crop it a bit if needed but we dont have a 24mmF1.8 do we? So I am considering the 24-70 Tamron VC as my wideangle lowlight travel lense to make it a 2 lense kit with my 70-200 F4.
    2) coolpixA has a 28mm lense! but at F2.8 hmm .. wont fit my intended use case of lowlight in-building travel lense. but may be useful for someone else.
    3) Fuji X with their F2.8 18-55 OIS lense. that Xtrans sensor in lowlight rivals FX. carrying this second camera in the bag is a nice option so that I dont need to change lenses and can leave the 70-200 on the main camera and whip this FujiX out when needed for wide and/or indoor dark.
    4) 16-35 F4 VR - seems like a very nice option. Not as good as the 24-70 F2.8 tamron in terms of Lowlight but gives wider FOV so its better for indoor dark buildings! could work well for me as I already have 35-70 F2.8.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    edited October 2014
    I guess I opened this thread, about time I got back to here with what I found from this weekend shooting it. Reason I grabbed this lens: So I rented the 28 and the DF for a combo gig for a 50th wedding anniversary and at the same time many family group photos (high end- not just snapshots.) So originally I planned on having my D800 with the 28mm (wide angle on high MP that allows for huge crops) and my 24-120 f4 and probably a 85mm on the DF (longer length, higher shutter speed, better high iso.) So that was my rationale for the night. Outside of that, I wanted to see how it focused (lock to subject), and also as just a standard walk around lens. All my plans went 180° (all room set-ups changed, timeframe, and everything else) and I didn't get to use but for a few shots. Because of the focus ring, it went back into my bag quickly. (more below) Way too wide for the venue and needed the 24-120 for the night. I did shoot it in the back yard the next day though.

    •Build - type impressions: Light, not real durable feeling - I would be worried about daily use, long for a prime, (about 85mm 1.8 size - I like the old 2.8 sizes), huge focus ring with a lot of play (this became an issue.)

    •Focusing: Hunted more than I expected. Had a tendency to grab background objects. That is a bit normal for wide angles, but on my D800 even at f/4 it was quite surprising how much it did. The focus ring is fat, pretty much the whole barrel where the lens is held, and is full time focus override. This was a huge problem and why I stopped using it almost immediately. Just casual holding, the focus ring easily moves (more so than any other lens I own) and it changed focus too easily while shooting. This really needs a lock or something to stop from this happening. The lightest touch moved the ring and focus.

    •Sharpness: F/1.8 was soft, f/2 sharpened considerably, 2.8 was very usable and it got sharper with each click up to f/4 where it was very sharp and remained that way to F11. F16 was very usable but diffraction crept in. F/2 was good enough with high ISOs (above iso 800) which at those ISOs, the ISO drops sharpness more than the lens could affect it. (I did the testing and fine-tuned the lens as well. Mine was -15 back focused.)

    If you shoot landscapes, city scapes, street-type photos (where the importance of composition over shadows sharpness) this is a good lens. F/4 and above was very sharp - I was surprised by how sharp it was. At higher f-stops, it certainly an option instead of the 24 1.4. Below that though, it is not too bad at f/2 & usable at f/2.8 but no where near any of the 1.4s out there. I would say f1.8-2.5 is for when there is no other option.

    For me, because I wanted this to be at f/2-2.8 all the time, I wanted it much sharper. And that is from the guy to criticizes others for complaining about sharpness. (From my tests though, the Nikon 24mm 1.4 at f2 is a bit softer than I like as well (especially considering the price and size)- but it is much better in the center than the 28 at these f-stops.) The lack of a focus ring lock and just how easily it moved focus, makes it an absolute no-go for me.

    From my experience, this lens is really made for a light-weight tripod mounted landscape shooter who is at F/4+.

    As many have experienced, the 28mm f/2.8 suffered from sharpness issues as well and many called it one of Nikon's worst AFD lenses. This lens seems destined to continue the Nikon 28mm curse. It is not a bad lens at all but for $800, it seems just not to that type of quality compared to $800 lenses from other companies. If the focus ring had a lock and it was $450, then I would be really tempted to pick one up. As it exists now, I won't again consider it for me.

    Just because I kind of feel bad about kind of slamming this lens a bit, I looked over at Photographylife for his review - Here. For the most part I would agree with almost everything he wrote.
    Post edited by Bokeh_Hunter on
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    @Bokeh_Hunter, Nasim indicated that the lens tended to back-focus as it was stopped down. Did you determine your fine-focus setting wide open or stopped down a bit?
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    I checked it from f/1.8 to f/4 at 7ft. That is what I was going to be shooting at, so that is where I adjusted it for. It did have some focus shift but not too bad, and usually a second focus would snap it into place.

    I saw that and it actually confused me a bit by his comment. Generally focus shift happens around 5-6ft. What is odd how stopping down would shift focus. Not that I question what he saw as he had a few lenses to test, but that is odd. I saw the lens grab back objects more often, I kind of wonder if that is actually it missing focus - like it jumping. Not sure - I don't have it any more so I really can't say.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • haroldpharoldp Posts: 984Member
    It is my totally unscientific observation that focus shift is more common in lenses with a spherical elements.
    Symmetrical double gauss designs seem not to have this.

    If somebody has some real science to add, I would appreciate enlightenment.

    When fine tuning lenses with a spherical elements, I often tune 1 stop down.

    ... H
    D810, D3x, 14-24/2.8, 50/1.4D, 24-70/2.8, 24-120/4 VR, 70-200/2.8 VR1, 80-400 G, 200-400/4 VR1, 400/2.8 ED VR G, 105/2 DC, 17-55/2.8.
    Nikon N90s, F100, F, lots of Leica M digital and film stuff.

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    It doesn't make sense to me that changing aperture changes focus....
    I don't know any other lenses that have had reported focus shift with aperture change. which ones have you seen this occurring ?

    If focus shift really occurs on aperture change then its pointless trying to focus at maximum aperture cos when the shutter clicks and the aperture closes down the focus would be out.
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    http://photographylife.com/what-is-focus-shift

    You are essentially correct hearty, it just sucks. And it is much more common with lenses that are prone to spherical aberrations. Every lens exhibits focus shift to greater or lesser degrees.
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    edited October 2014
    @Ironheart - That is a good write up by Nasim.

    @haroldp - Aspherical elements actually help reduce it. I think what you are actually observing is that lenses with aspherical elements are generally more expensive thus, are purchased by better photographers who are more attentive to fine details and being able to pick it out. Not unusual for that to happen. We saw that with the Nikon 58mm 1.4. Only better/more serious photographers would spend $1,600 for a single prime and are familiar with some of the best glass available to compare it too. They also have much higher standards for particular aspects thus the severe bashing on the lens when it wasn't much better than the 50mm 1.4g wide open. This is also why most "consumer" lenses like this, don't get much interest - few pros would be using this.


    I have been thinking about the "focus shift" on stopping down, and I can envision maybe how it is happening. (You will want to read Ironheart's link first.)
    With a mix of the wide angle (which would deepen the focus plane in the camera) and large aperture, it will create essentially multiple focus planes where various color light rays intersect. We are talking nano meters here, but because it is a wide angle, nano meters on the backside equals many centimeters on the front side (image.) Depending on the lens's elements, it is feasible that for example, the reds and blues intersect in front of the plane wide open creating one focus plane, and the greens and most blues intersect in behind of that. So if an element is in the red/blue spectrum, the focus spot is there, and if it is in the green/blue spectrum, it focuses there. The camera's focus system goes to the strongest element when focusing. Red is the easiest color for a system to grab focus on so wide open it selects it. As the lens is stopped down the colors converge and the reds and blues converge further back creating the back shift seen.

    That makes sense in my head - how about anyone else? I'm not sure if I explained it well.
    Post edited by Bokeh_Hunter on
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    That makes perfect sense to me.
  • EmceeEmcee Posts: 48Member
    edited October 2014
    Found this thread so I thought I'd chip in my two cents...

    When I bought my D800, I of course needed a lens so I started with the kittish 24-85 f/3.5-4.5G VR. While this lens is decent enough I found myself really working at the 24 end a lot. So why not get a lighter 24mm and just make that my walk about lens. I drooled at the 24 f/1.4G but knew that this would be financial suicide, so I looked at the 28 f/1.8G, which had actually just been released to my luck. Also I was impressed with the 24D and 28D lenses...I found one on ebay (which I tend to do when I get bored) at $500 and thought, "that's a decent price, and if I don't like it I'm sure I can get most of my money back."

    I was in Paris, NYC and Chicago earlier this year and guess what was on my camera all the time? Yep, the 28mm. It has that great wide feeling without being too wide. I mostly shoot it at f/8 during the day and it just has that crispness (at least to me, and it's damn light too) in the image but when the light gets low I'm not afraid to open the aperture and let a little more light in. The lens stay sharp and even has a nice bokeh.
    image

    I would tell anyone that is even thinking of the 24 f/1.4G, have a gander at the 28 f/1.8G. Probably can get one for 1/3 the price and I would think 100% of the image quality.

    My copy doesn't seem to backfocus and I guess the subjects I shoot do not really show the mustache distortion.
    Post edited by Emcee on
    D800 | 14-24 2.8G, 28 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 58 1.4G, 85 1.4D, 24-85G VR
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    edited October 2014
    @Emcee: Glad you are happy with the performance of the 28 1.8G. You may want to also consider the 20 1.8G that has just been released as well. Personally should I ever have a need for a prime with a wider angle, I would not hesitate in getting the 20 1.8G.

    But know this: neither one of these lenses...20 or the 28, is equal to the 24 1.4G..it is in its own class, both in optics and aperture speed.

    We should all be very pleased that Nikon has delivered us all such a nice line of wide prime angle lenses.
    Post edited by Golf007sd on
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    The 24mm f/1.4 is in a class of its own, demonstrated by the MTF chart as well. Between it and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 I have a couple of super walk around lenses.

    However, in realistic terms, unless one is going to prints in the 30" x 45" size, I doubt if any real differences can be seen with the 28mm f/1.8 and the 24/1.4.
    Msmoto, mod
  • EmceeEmcee Posts: 48Member
    edited October 2014
    I don't want to start a $&*@ measuring contest between the 24 and the 28, but you are right the 24 is ultra sharp in the center... but I think the 28 might get it in the corners ;)
    However, in realistic terms, unless one is going to prints in the 30" x 45" size, I doubt if any real differences can be seen with the 28mm f/1.8 and the 24/1.4.
    Could not say it any better myself, happy shooting :)

    @Golf007sd no need for the 20 f/1.8G, I got the 14-24 f/2.8G :D
    Post edited by Emcee on
    D800 | 14-24 2.8G, 28 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 58 1.4G, 85 1.4D, 24-85G VR
  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    +1
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • WestEndBoyWestEndBoy Posts: 1,456Member
    I don't want to start a $&*@ measuring contest between the 24 and the 28, but you are right the 24 is ultra sharp in the center... but I think the 28 might get it in the corners ;)
    However, in realistic terms, unless one is going to prints in the 30" x 45" size, I doubt if any real differences can be seen with the 28mm f/1.8 and the 24/1.4.
    Could not say it any better myself, happy shooting :)

    @Golf007sd no need for the 20 f/1.8G, I got the 14-24 f/2.8G :D
    I thought the same too. Until you want to use ND filters for landscapes and gind out that for $1,000 you still don't get glass. I bought my 20 and 28 for a notch over $1,000 and all my filters fit.

    But than I spent another $1,000 on three really nice Singh Ray NDs. Hmmmm....,not sure if I am ahead or behind on this?
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    The 24mm f/1.4 is in a class of its own, demonstrated by the MTF chart as well. Between it and the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 I have a couple of super walk around lenses.

    However, in realistic terms, unless one is going to prints in the 30" x 45" size, I doubt if any real differences can be seen with the 28mm f/1.8 and the 24/1.4.
    Not to make waves but below f5.6 the 28mm 1.8 did not fair well on prints I made from using it. I printed a couple of 14x17 and some 8x10s that were shot between F/1.8- F/2.8 - I didn't deliver them to the client. They were soft on the screen even after sharpening but I didn't think too bad, I knew the focus was spot on. On their own, lay people wouldn't notice but against the stack of other images taken with the 85 1.8D, 50 1.4G and 24-120 F4 VR, they were noticeably softer. I cringed when I saw the order for larger prints. I had hoped they would have left those images to a book print (8") or under which would have been fine for it. F5.6 and above (as every other lens) it was more than fine. Large prints bring out flaws very quickly. If you aren't getting paid for your work, it is a great lens. When you are though, it's output would normally be seen stacked next to prints made by sharper lenses in your bag. If you can see a difference, that is not a good thing.

    The 28mm will make many happy with it, but it is not close to the 24mm wide open. I really wish I still had a 24mm f2.8 to stack it against. I always thought that was sharp but that was before the D800 and some other lenses.
    •Formerly TTJ•
  • MsmotoMsmoto Posts: 5,396Moderator
    @Bokeh_Hunter

    I think you have made a good point. The acceptable quality will vary person to person. some folks find any degree of softness unacceptable...... Like me for instance.... :)
    Msmoto, mod
  • Bokeh_HunterBokeh_Hunter Posts: 234Member
    @Bokeh_Hunter

    I think you have made a good point. The acceptable quality will vary person to person. some folks find any degree of softness unacceptable...... Like me for instance.... :)
    Very very true. As with everything, there are always tradeoffs. Few choose to afford the $1,700 premium for the 24mm, then $600 for this is not a bad deal.

    Discerning photographers (especially those who put a high value sharpness) this lens just doesn't perform as close to it's pro version or as well like the 50mm 1.8g or the 85mm 1.8g lenses do.

    I would like to try the 20mm 1.8 & the 35mm 1.8 (FX) as well.

    •Formerly TTJ•
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited November 2014
    As I mentioned previously, I have been looking at a companion for my 70-200 F4 as a 2 lense kit. I have decided on getting this 28mm!! Will be grabbing a lightly used one tomorrow !! at $450, I don't think it can go wrong. If I dont like it, I can always resell it at the same price. Though I think I will like it. Will wonder around the city and take some "street" and cityscape after I get it, should be fun !! Finally I have a good lense for astro too, the F1.8 will help. Next is my D7200 for a simple 2 lense 2 camera kit for just about anything !
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited November 2014
    Man! last min. there is a 24-70 tamron VC that has come available.. decisions A or B or both A and B.
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

  • Golf007sdGolf007sd Posts: 2,840Moderator
    If you find that for the type of images you will be taking does not need the faster lens then the 24-70 would be the path to take. However, if funding is not an issue, get both.
    D4 & D7000 | Nikon Holy Trinity Set + 105 2.8 Mico + 200 F2 VR II | 300 2.8G VR II, 10.5 Fish-eye, 24 & 50 1.4G, 35 & 85 1.8G, 18-200 3.5-5.6 VR I SB-400 & 700 | TC 1.4E III, 1.7 & 2.0E III, 1.7 | Sigma 35 & 50 1.4 DG HSM | RRS Ballhead & Tripods Gear | Gitzo Monopod | Lowepro Gear | HDR via Promote Control System |
  • heartyfisherheartyfisher Posts: 3,181Member
    edited November 2014
    24-70 Tamron. Now where is the thread for it. :-)
    Post edited by heartyfisher on
    Moments of Light - D610 D7K S5pro 70-200f4 18-200 150f2.8 12-24 18-70 35-70f2.8 : C&C very welcome!
    Being a photographer is a lot like being a Christian: Some people look at you funny but do not see the amazing beauty all around them - heartyfisher.

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