Eric L. Woods

This Old Lens: Nikon NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 Series E AIS

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Trying to hijack my mind with activities not directly dealing with current events to try and give myself a measure of peace through distraction for some moments. Here we go.

Recently wrote a piece on the Nikon FG and the 50mm f/1.8 AIS.

Nikon FG

I had previously been infatuated with the FE

Nikon FE

…then F3

Nikon F3

…with more prestigious lenses like the 50mm f/1.4.

Nikon F3

For my third visit to Nikon land I went with the FG. I wanted to see how much I lost by going lower tier. In my opinion I lost little or nothing. As far as lenses go I gladly traded the brighter 50mm f/1.4 for the much smaller and solid performing near pancake Series E 50mm f/1.8.

Nikon FG

The Series E f/1.8 was far better than I expected. When I like a film camera and score a good 50mm lens for it I sometimes follow this up with a good portrait lens. Previously I had gone with the Nikon 85mm f/1.8.

Nikon FE

Great lens and great results. With the 50mm being so good I decided to go for a Series E portrait lens next. More specifically the 100mm f/2.8. A pancake 50mm was a surprise. A 100mm lens the size of a typical 50mm was also a surprise. Just like the 50mm this is a good looking lens that pairs perfectly with the small silver and black FG as pointed out in this blog post.

Nikon Nikkor 100mm F/2.8 Series E AIS

Next up? A Series E 28mm to round out a wide, normal, and porttrait prime lens trio.

Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Next up are the typical This Old Lens topics followed by samples.

Asking Price

Less than or around $100. I snagged a significantly less expensive copy by picking up an engraved copy that is otherwise in perfectly good condition.

Value

For reference you can still buy a brand new Nikon 28mm f/2.8 manual focus lens for $539… My copy was $60. Series E performs just fine so this is a great value.

Why I Bought It

Unlike the 50mm and 100mm I have had this lens before when I had the FE so I had no qualms about picking up one again. I bought it by accident since I did not know that Series E notated a lower spec lens. I just jumped at the low price and thought I might return it. But once I received it I was pleasantly surprised with its performance.

Image Quality

Great image quality.

  • Flare
    • Have not witnessed any significant flare with this lens.
  • Sharpness
    • Acceptably sharp with film and digital even when wide open.
  • Colors
    • Pleasing color rendering..
  • Bokeh
    • While this is not why one purchases a 28mm typically it does a fine job if you get right up on your subject. A bit more can be achieved with a helicoid adapter on mirrorless.

Samples With Film

Nikon F3 w/ Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford HP5
Nikon F3 w/ Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford HP5
Nikon F3 w/ Ilford HP5 Plus
Ilford HP5
Nikon FE
Nikon FE
Nikon FE
Nikon FE

Samples With Digital  (with TECHART AF adapter.)

Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8
Nikon Series E 28mm f/2.8

I really like this lens and highly recommend it. Here is an ongoing gallery.

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