Author Topic: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm  (Read 994 times)

sythanh14

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[HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« on: September 03, 2022, 03:09:20 »
Hello guys, I'm a new member. I will try to make it simple but if it's not appropriate, don't hesitate to point it out to me.

I'm currently looking to equip myself with a used 28mm lens for my travel and landscape as well as some selfie shots.

I have found some good candidates that I would love to buy, but as there are a few of them, I'm not currently set out to get any of them at all.
Could you give me some help with your experience, which one do you suggest me buy ?
Here are the candidates :

- 16-35mm F4 G ED VR - 499 euros - 680g
This one is not the lightest in the list but will do fine as I have been okay using a 500g lens so weight is a okay. Price is the steepest in the list but if it's exceptional and enough of you guys recommend, I'm down for it. This one covers a wide range of focal, including my target 28mm, which is awesome. It also has VR so I can do a lot of work without tripod.

- 28-70 f2.8 D - 320 euros - 935g
This thing has been reported to be exceptional, and at this price, I think it excels really well. What sets it back though is the lack of VR, but I don't mind that much cause I will be using tripod anyway if needed. The biggest question mark is about the weight. I'm not very sure I will be happy carrying this around for a week (more like 5 days), compared to others. FYI I'm still very happy with my 50mm 1.8G so I don't know what will happen if I carry something 5 times as heavy. But if you guys think this is exceptional compared to the rest, I'm also down for training myself some more muscle.

- 28-300 - 379 euros - 800g
This thing has VR built in which is awesome. Price wise not very steep. Funny thing it is lighter than the 28-70, and for the focal I can do some telephoto if needed. Again for me this is of the same rank as the 28-70. If enough of you say that this is worth more than the above zoom lens, and also compared to the rest, it's fine for me.

- 28mm f2.8 ais - 245 euros - 250g
This has been reported to be a legendary lens. Price wise it's acceptable. Weight wise it's just a bit heavier than my 50mm 1.8G, I won't mind it. The only thing sets this back is the lack of AF. So it will be tricky to do selfie with it (I already have some ideas in mind on how to do it), so I will have to spend time changing settings. I will be using A priority most of the time so I don't think it's a big matter, but autofocus is still a big factor. What do you think ? Does the image quality make up for the lack of AF compared to the rest in the list ? Plus, this lens is light.

- 28mm f1.8 g - 300 euros - 330g
So it's an upgrade from the ais, a bit heavier but not by much. Decent AF built-in. I have heard of excellent image quality. For average shooters (like me), I'm not sure I can tell if this is worse than the ais. Do you think the AF-S is worth it over the image quality on the ais ? Price is also a bit steeper than the ais.


Above are some very early judgements from myself. I'm not a very big expert and I've made this purely from a lot of information gathering from the internet.
I know this will be a tough decision and will also be difficult for you to give me an idea. So I will greatly appreciate any insight from you.
I'm pretty sleepy now after hours of researching. It's already 3 am.
Goodnight to anybody in CET timezone.

Chulster

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2022, 03:16:06 »
I've used the 28-70mm and both of the primes. To me, the 28mm f/1.8G has the best image quality by a substantial margin. Some folks complain of field curvature. There is some, but nothing that can't be fixed by stopping down to f/5.6, and the other two lenses have it too.

Bruno Schroder

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2022, 08:20:01 »
Have you checked Thom Hogan’s reviews? They are quite thorough. Start here then dig in the right category: https://dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/ .
I can’t help with personal experience of your preselection, I’m not using them, only a 28/2.0 AI which I find excellent.
Bruno Schröder

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2022, 16:07:08 »
The 28/1.8G is excellent, especially on a high resolution body.  It doesn't weigh much but it's kinda large.  AF is fast, accurate...about all you could ask for. 

While not as sharp, I use the 28/2.8D more often simply because it's smaller.  Sharpness improves at middle apertures, not great wide open.  It's more than adequate for my uses.  If you're shooting landscapes stopped down for DOF, it might be a choice.  Makes for a good travel lens due to size/weight. 

Just to throw a couple more lenses out there, you might want to consider the 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR Nikkor.  It's relatively small and lightweight and it has VR.  Image quality is quite good but it has awful distortion--something easily remedied with post processing.  Another is the 28-105/3.5-4.5D Nikkor.  It's inexpensive these days, small and light with a useful "macro" feature.  I mainly use primes but both of these zooms are favorites of mine.
"If it's more than a hundred feet from the car, it's not photogenic."--Edward Weston

sythanh14

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2022, 17:17:16 »
I've used the 28-70mm and both of the primes. To me, the 28mm f/1.8G has the best image quality by a substantial margin. Some folks complain of field curvature. There is some, but nothing that can't be fixed by stopping down to f/5.6, and the other two lenses have it too.

Yes I have read PL review and it seems that the field curvature is quite pronounced, alongside with focus shift. But I think I'm gonna shoot probably f8 and somewhere f2.8 or f4 depending on cases.

Have you checked Thom Hogan’s reviews? They are quite thorough. Start here then dig in the right category: https://dslrbodies.com/lenses/nikon-lens-reviews/ .
I can’t help with personal experience of your preselection, I’m not using them, only a 28/2.0 AI which I find excellent.

No I haven't heard of him, nor his site. Thanks for the recommendation. It looks filled with information, which is both good and quite less so, in the sense that the more information available, the more I have to process them. But I will try using it to my favor.
I have heard of the 28mm f2, so it seems it's a decent choice. Unfortunate for me, I haven't found any listing for the f2... only f2.8 and f3.5.

The 28/1.8G is excellent, especially on a high resolution body.  It doesn't weigh much but it's kinda large.  AF is fast, accurate...about all you could ask for. 

Yes, I don't mind the shape though, as long as it's rather light weight and does it job. So I will weigh carefully the shortcomings and my readiness to bring it home.
Oh and I forgot to mention in my original post that I'm shooting on a D700, so anything related to high res can be greatly mitigated on my body.

Quote
While not as sharp, I use the 28/2.8D more often simply because it's smaller.  Sharpness improves at middle apertures, not great wide open.  It's more than adequate for my uses.  If you're shooting landscapes stopped down for DOF, it might be a choice.  Makes for a good travel lens due to size/weight.

I do have seen good words for the AF D version, while the non D seems to have worse rep. Anyhow, while both the AF D and the 1.8 G are available, I'm really thinking of taking one over the other.
We have forgot to mention better finish on the 1.8 G with weather shield, much more recent as well. Do you think these two points make it much more worthy than the AF D ?

Quote
Just to throw a couple more lenses out there, you might want to consider the 24-85/3.5-4.5G VR Nikkor.  It's relatively small and lightweight and it has VR.  Image quality is quite good but it has awful distortion--something easily remedied with post processing.  Another is the 28-105/3.5-4.5D Nikkor.  It's inexpensive these days, small and light with a useful "macro" feature.  I mainly use primes but both of these zooms are favorites of mine.

Yes I have found listings for the 24-85 as well, though it doesn't receive as much praise as the 28-70, or the later 24-70 f2.8. Do you rank the 24-85 the same as the 28-70 D ?
Oh and yeah you mentioned they're your favorite. I will put them in the equation.

MEPER

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2022, 17:36:15 »
I think for the 28/2.8 it is important to get the AIS (and not the AI) as AIS version has an improved optical design (as far as I remember).

It seems you don't care about that it could be a zoom. Then maybe the old AFS 17-35/2.8 could be an option. It is quite good at 28mm and if you don't care much about AF (and size) then you may be able to get a cheap one where AF does not work or work badly.

Fons Baerken

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2022, 18:17:07 »
If you happy with manual focus go for 28mm f/2.8ais, if you need af go for 28mm f/1.8g.
Of course there are more options if you like zeiss rendering the zf 28mm f/2 is nice.
See Ming Thein reviews

https://blog.mingthein.com/2012/07/04/nikon2818g/

MEPER

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2022, 20:03:18 »
The 28/2 AIS is very nice. I have one of those.
I have many of the 28/3.5 and they are not bad either.
I guess they are very cheap on the used marked. A very compact lens. Best to get a lens that has had a filter on as the front element is quite "exposed".
A classic Nikkor:
https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0012/index.htm

If you don't need a large aperture......then why not?
You should be able to get a nice one at about 50 USD?

Ian Watson

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2022, 20:37:08 »
Since you use and like the 50mm f/1.8g then the 28mm f/1.8g would be an excellent match. It gives you some optical consistency when using both lenses together. I can also vouch for the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR. It accompanied me on many a trip and was responsible for me selling my 20-35mm f/2.8.

Matthew Currie

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2022, 21:24:46 »
I never really liked 28 on full frame, but love it on crop frame, and the ancient (and cheap) 28/3.5 is lovely on DX, though it seemed a little soft on the corners in full frame.  If you get the really old style, it will not contact the AI feeler, and in order to modify it for AI you have to add a piece.  I think Richard Haw has something on this.

sythanh14

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2022, 00:10:42 »
I think for the 28/2.8 it is important to get the AIS (and not the AI) as AIS version has an improved optical design (as far as I remember).

It seems you don't care about that it could be a zoom. Then maybe the old AFS 17-35/2.8 could be an option. It is quite good at 28mm and if you don't care much about AF (and size) then you may be able to get a cheap one where AF does not work or work badly.

Thank you for your recommendation. I have read quite a lot about the AI and AIS version, I would say the AIS is said to have better close up performance, and definitely has closer minimum focus range (.2m vs .3m on the AI), so yes definitely within my spending limit, I will get the AIS over the AI unless I find an AI version for dirt cheap.
I did consier the 17-35 as well. Unlucky for me I haven't found any available listings. The ones listed in my original post are all available and quite recently posted.

If you happy with manual focus go for 28mm f/2.8ais, if you need af go for 28mm f/1.8g.
Of course there are more options if you like zeiss rendering the zf 28mm f/2 is nice.
See Ming Thein reviews

https://blog.mingthein.com/2012/07/04/nikon2818g/

Thank you, yet another review source I haven't heard of. That is quite interesting.
No not really, if I have time to set up my shot and composition, I will take MF over AF all day. But as mentioned earlier, this is for travelling so at some point, you might just want to point and shoot. I'm also planning on selfie with my friends, with the help of remote control, so having AF is a big plus. The reason why I still include the MF lens in my equation is to see, if the MF lens outperform the AF lens by a large margin, then I will sacrifice my convenience for the quality.

The 28/2 AIS is very nice. I have one of those.
I have many of the 28/3.5 and they are not bad either.
I guess they are very cheap on the used marked. A very compact lens. Best to get a lens that has had a filter on as the front element is quite "exposed".
A classic Nikkor:
https://imaging.nikon.com/history/story/0012/index.htm

If you don't need a large aperture......then why not?
You should be able to get a nice one at about 50 USD?

Yes I do completely agree on the Nikkor-H and the AIS. I suppose they make up for the best vintage lenses out there. I do have seen some listing for the Nikkor-H as well.
Only thing is to make sure the physical state of the lens before taking it.
I will try to grab both if I decide to get MF lenses in the end. Will be interesting to test them out both.
About the aperture, no I don't mind having a lens with narrower minimum aperture. It's just if you have many options available and if they perform similarly, then I would opt for the faster one, nothing more.

Since you use and like the 50mm f/1.8g then the 28mm f/1.8g would be an excellent match. It gives you some optical consistency when using both lenses together. I can also vouch for the 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 VR. It accompanied me on many a trip and was responsible for me selling my 20-35mm f/2.8.

You definitely have a point, having two lenses of the same family can actually be quite great. I will also consider if I will take the zoom lens or not, have to see how much I'm willing not to have a prime lens. The zoom can actually replace both my primes and give an option for semi tele. I don't know how much I will shoot animals in my trip but lately I found myself quite locked up when shooting animals with my 50mm lens. It's not comfortable having to lean closer to them. Certain animals will not stay for me to shoot.

I never really liked 28 on full frame, but love it on crop frame, and the ancient (and cheap) 28/3.5 is lovely on DX, though it seemed a little soft on the corners in full frame.  If you get the really old style, it will not contact the AI feeler, and in order to modify it for AI you have to add a piece.  I think Richard Haw has something on this.

That still has to be testified for me. I'm not saying that your point isn't valid but I find myself in many situations unable to capture a shot in a way I want to.
Last time I took a portrait album, we had to get really far away from the church, in order to get both the subjects and the building in the shot. That's what made me think, if I want to take such photos for me and my friends during the trip, a wide angle lens is inevitable.
Then came the research, I agree there are many options, ranging from 20 to 24 and then 28, even ultra wide at 14. But it seems that the 28mm seems to be the most common, as it defines the semi wide angle, as opposed to the 50mm for the normal lens.
I wouldn't mind taking a 24 or 20mm lens but they seem less common as I'm looking, and generally they cost more than the 28mm counterparts.

Matthew Currie

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2022, 04:02:17 »
My dislike of the 28 on full frame was entirely a matter of taste, and I just never warmed to it photographically.  That's not to say it wasn't a useful field of view and so forth.  If it suits you, by all means, go for it.  I do think the old 28/3.5 has some kind of inner magic that you can't put your finger on, and its main flaw of being a bit soft at the edges disappears in DX.  Horses for courses and all, but if I ever go to Antarctica again, I'll take that lens again! 


Ian Watson

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2022, 04:32:04 »
I will also consider if I will take the zoom lens or not, have to see how much I'm willing not to have a prime lens. The zoom can actually replace both my primes and give an option for semi tele.

For what it is worth, the 24-85mm zoom might be considered part of the same family as the f/1.8g primes. Whether the zoom or a pair of primes suits you is a question, ultimately, for you. I prefer primes and generally never used the zoom except when travelling. Then the zoom came in handy.

My advice is to use lenses within the same family.

Quote from: sythanh14
If I want to take such photos for me and my friends during the trip, a wide angle lens is inevitable.
But it seems that the 28mm seems to be the most common, as it defines the semi wide angle, as opposed to the 50mm for the normal lens.

28mm became common, historically, because it was easier to design than wider focal lengths. These days it tends to be overlooked, perhaps unfairly. If you are used to a 50mm lens then 28mm is a good step. It is very noticeably wider without being too difficult to use. As much as I love 24mm, I could never make it work as a general-purpose focal length. I could do that with a 28mm.

You might be interested in this review of the Nikon 28mm f/1.8g. The author used an 85mm f/1.8g on the same outing and there is a link to his results.

https://neilvn.com/tangents/review-nikon-af-s-28mm-f1-8g-lens/

sythanh14

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2022, 21:21:25 »
I'm back...
So I made a very first move when I saw an AF 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 D for 100 euros. I bargained it for 80 with a condition of return within a week. The dude was so friendly.
The optical quality was okay, I didn't have much time to experiment as well as to fully see through the quality, but it's somewhere there.
The macro ability was sort of spot on. I got some decent shot along the way home.

However... I don't know why the camera won't read the correct focal length. At minimum it reads 75 instead of 20, making me impossible to shoot wide open, and stuck at 4.5
At maximum it reads 80 instead of 105 (which is less annoying but will be problematic if I read image lens info later on.
Finally no VR so I was quite jiggy at low ISO.
I decided to return it later in the day.

I think I've set my mind. I still need AF for casually going around and shoot, so I will leave the last contest go between the 28mm f/1.8 G and the 24-85mm VR. There's more chances that I take the prime one.
I will update more tomorrow or later in the week once I gather it.

P/S: It's the first time I hit some macro shot (though it's out of topic in this thread), I'm so blown away with this. I will definitely invest in some macro glass down the road.

Matthew Currie

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Re: [HELP] Lens recommendation for 28mm
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2022, 00:41:52 »
I have a 28-105D (which was my wife's favorite carry-around lens on the F100).  ON the D7100 it performs quite nicely,  with no stuck apertures, and it reports the correct focal length too.  If your camera is not malfunctioning with other lenses, I suspect you were right to send that one back, but would not necessarily eliminate the lens from your search if another bargain shows up.  Even if you go for a more dedicated prime 28, this is a pretty decent walking-around lens, especially with the 1:2 closeup.  My least favorite thing about it is the huge pie-plate of a hood.