Preliminary draft, 1st Edition 29.08.2007
A Misty Dawn at the lake front
Credit: Image courtesy of MICHAEL VOLINSKY®, whose online PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5~5.6G wide-telephoto Zoom lens
Year Introduced: March, 2002; Discontinued: 2006
Just to name a few popular series such as AF Zoom Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5S (1986), AF Zoom Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5~4.5S/D (1991/1992) (along with a fast speed AF Zoom Nikkor 28-70mm f/2.8D IF-ED (1998) and other popular series like the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5~5.6D (1995); AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D (1998) and AF Zoom Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5~5.6D IF (1998) around - with so many available options in different lens spec and configurations for the 28-XXX zoom range, it was quite surprised to see Nikon has added another 28-100mm in the AF Zoom Nikkor lens group back in 2002.
Well, I wouldn't like to conclude Nikon didn't realized the congestion within this category which actually may confuse consumers as some of the said versions had been either phased out or reaching a state at the end of their product cycle. But I guess it has a lot to do with the stiff competition in the market place as well as changes occurred at the Nikon camera development. First of all, from the Nikon F5 onwards, Nikon SLR bodies were following the path of adopting fingers control of aperture via the Sub-Command dial. This has significantly changed the course of conventional way how to take pictures with a Nikon SLR camera. As the market has also matured for autofocus orientated photographers, manual adjustment of aperture via traditional way of on lens aperture control has been relegated to less often use state as compared to old days.
But the underlying factor was the keen competition in the market where Nikon requires some budget AF zoom lenses to lure in first time users with a practical and exciting zoom lens for their models as rivaling labels such as Canon and others were beginning producing lenses with budget construction such as using plastic mount as anticipating less often change of lenses as a zoom lens has minimize possibilities of multiple lenses for any entry photographers. For an instance, didn't this Nikon zoom lens was specifically tailored designed to offset Canon's budget EF 28-90mm f/4.0~5.6 USM ? It has a slightly brighter aperture of f/3.5 versus f/4.0, the focal length has been extended to 100mm instead of 90mm etc. and both have a plastic mount . At the point of sales, the AF Nikkor zoom lens which may present a slight advantage when couples with a budget Nikon as compared to an entry level Canon. So, I would think this is a zoom lens that was created for the market rather than being introduced with the sole purpose for photographers.
For those who can still recalled the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-80mm f/4.5~5.6D (1995) , it was among the early series of AF Nikkor zoom lenses which had deployed with the plastic rear lens mount citing the fact it was developed as a companion zoom for the many entry level Nikon AF bodies. It was more than half a decade since the use of harden plastic rear lens mount and adoption of this weak link in the AF28-100G lens seemingly had the consumers adapted to the swift and/or reduction in mechanical built quality on some of the consumer class zoom lenses. So, actually few people had any complaint. Well, the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G had gone a level further with the aim to reduce production cost further by eliminating the traditional aperture ring too. Although in generally, the move had made many Nikon purists or owners of previous Nikon bodies felt being betrayed as the aperture-ringless zoom lens practically has indirectly limiting many camera exposure functions. But as I said, Nikon has their own agenda by bring a practical zoom lens coupling with the Nikon body to make them more appealing, so probably this is not entirely an all ideal perspective to serve only the serious group of users. However, personally I think the question of whether is is a good zoom lens for the photographer is probably more important than making such a conclusive remark amidst the changes in the market. So, the following section will only be centered on the lens itself, presuming you has a compatible Nikon AF SLR body.
For Manual Focus Nikon users and/or owners of previous generation of AF Nikon SLR cameras which does not support Sub-Command Dial control for aperture setting, this is probably NOT the best option for you guys. Besides, as there are a few really good alternatives to work with your older Nikon cameras such as the excellently crafted AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF MACRO or even the older (non-D version, but cheaper) AF Zoom Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~5.6S.
Credit: Image courtesy of timofej® from Sweden, whose online PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
# Ultra-compact and lightweight (245g) for your Nikon and makes it an excellent traveling companion with its wide-angle to telephoto flexibility in a compact, lightweight fashion.
# Hybrid-type aspherical lens element used in its optical composition for higher optical performance
# Seven-blades rounded diaphragm blades achieves a natural blur for out-of-focus elements
# G-Type design (aperture control exclusively from camera body) - not all Nikon can benefit from this.
# Super Integrated Coating technology for minimized flare and ghost, providing good color balance
# Available in all black or silver version to match the respective Nikon colored Bodies.
If you buy the idea, technically, the G-design of this 28-100 AF Nikkor zoom lens facilitates lens handling, adjust exposure and quickly shoot their pictures and helps photographers keep a more positive grip on the camera as they use their right index finger to adjust aperture. With a compatible Nikon SLR model (which support Sub-Command Dial, such as Nikon F6, F5, N50/55, N60/65, N80, F100 and most Nikon Digital Still SLR models which includes Fuji S1/S2/S3 Pro and Kodak DCS-7xx series bodies etc.), the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G has its own elements which might appeal to certain group of users. The AF Zoom-Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5-5.6G is a compact, lightweight standard zoom lens featuring Nikon famed optical knowledge, delivered in an more affordable lens package. This zoom lens was developed as a standard zoom lens offering enhanced telephoto capabilities from some of the shorter budget zoom lenses available earlier. The lens affords a greater degree of operational simplicity for Nikon users as even first-time SLR users who want to be able to easily take high-quality pictures as well as making mistakes less possible due to fewer steps in shooting setup processes (for an instance, you need not have to set the aperture ring to minimum aperture for certain exposure modes). The optical structure comprised of a 8 elements in 6 groups design, with an aspherical lens element (1E/G), and further enhanced with Nikon next generation Super Integrated Coating (SIC) process, the SIC ensures performance of specific lens to be enhanced within the system and each lens' flare characteristics minimize, and this G-Spec Zoom lens was also employed with a rounded 7-blades diaphragm opening that makes out-of-focus objects appear more natural.
As some of the Nikon AF-SLR bodies were being sold with either matte black and silver versions, similarly, Nikon offered consumers with an option to acquire all black or silvery gray color for this zoom lens. Generally, I felt the silver colored version looks appealing as it has a metal look, diluting the fact its is an all polycarbonate structure. Visually, it matches the respective of choice of color on the camera body too. This is not an important issue as it is only more confine to individual preferences. But there are a few points that you need to take note as an imaging tool.
The picture angles with its 28-100mm offers an approx. 74° - 34° 20' for 135mm format SLR (approx. 53° - 16° for Nikon DX format Digital SLR cameras). So, it serves more useful to film based users than digital as the conversion may transform the lens wideangle setting to approx. a standard lens configuration which delivers "normal" perspective as to human vision. Technically, this is not important too but as the figures shown, it has its weakness as a zoom lens to digital SLR users.
Monkies at play in Borneo Island by my friend, Michael Patrick Wong.
Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing image to replace this.
The lens has a very rather wide which actually occupies the majority portion of the lens tube. It does provides a comfortable to use for zooming in rotating form. But a disappointment is the thinly ridged and very awkward to use manual focus ring at the front is its main weakness, probably Nikon assumes chances/ratio between AF and MF is 90:10 and it serves as only a backup feature rather than an important operational feature. But personally, HOW MUCH SAVING WOULD THAT COST Nikon by just providing a wider MF ring ? The rotational force for zooming is just about right and AF responses smooth, precise and very fast with my Nikon F5 and focus subjects almost instantly snap into focus. I have also tried to use it on the older Nikon F4 without the SCD control on Programmed AE mode, it exhibits slight focus hunting, so I am not sure if the AF Module and circuitry on the respective generations made the differences. Well as I said, this zoom lens was made for the newer series of Nikon AF SLRs as well as most of the DSLRs (Some new Nikon Digital Still SLR models such as D40(X) only compatible fully with AF-S Nikkor lenses) so, I would assume other compatible bodies would deliver the same AF performance. Optically, unless you are very fussy and intend to blow up to maximum to verify any differences, the lens actually delivers decent results. Both spherical and barrel distortion at the 28mm is not very obvious or should I say well compressed. Images taken generally has high contrast except until f/5.6 between 80-100 range which shows a little softness but it is rated as an above average performer to me. The attachment size is 62mm for this G-Spec zoom lens - considered to be quite strange after so many features have been omitted. Another small issue is, the filter thread actually rotates and or zoom. For those who often uses front mounting special filters and/or accessory may require a small step to re-adjust after the desired focus or zoom setting is achieved. I guess it is not too fair to use this lens to compare with some of the top notch optic as it was here to serve a different market segment of users. Although the zoom lens may not be entirely compatible with most of the previous generation of AF/MF based bodies, But technically, a G-spec AF Nikkor is an AF-D native. Distance Technology (included in D-type and G-type Nikkor) provides precision distance information from the lens. This information is incorporated into exposure calculations for both ambient light, flash illumination, and combinations of both, as in fill-flash photography. The distance information enables more precise calculations, leading to improved exposure control and those Nikon bodies which offer 3D Matrix Metering for ambient and flash exposure will be fully compatible. Probably I think the restrictive lens speed of f/3.5 and gradual stopping down towards f/5.6 at 100mm is one area that users should think of ways/means to counter this issue during shooting, unless the light is idea and or using flash, this will often interpret drop in shutter speed which makes handheld photography a little less easy to use. One way is to use good support and/or using a faster film types (or adjusting the ASA in your digital SLR to either AUTO or manually se to higher value). Well, one way or another, you will be having less control over wider degree of depth of field too. For an instance, shooting a head and shoulder portrait at 100mm with only a starting aperture of f/5.6, if you wish to achieve an effect of total background blur may not be the most ideal option you can use with this zoom lens. Anyway, in a perfect simulated scenario, we do expect a f/2.8 lens that offers at the cost of a budget zoom lens but you do know it is not going to happen. To me, this is just an optical solutio for the budget concious consumers as well as a marketing tool for Nikon for market shares. However, I do witnessed many exccelent images being taken by photographers. So I guess it has also has to do with individual how to make the best out of your budget spending. Photography is not entirely based on cost of hardware you owned, huh ?
Overall, despite these - I would still think this can be an excellent zoom lens as its zoom range from 28mm to medium telephoto range offers a very practical usage for general photography (in particularly with a built in or mount-on Nikon speedlight where the flash coverage should be able to cover most of the zoom range). In terms of operational ease which is one of its advantage as well as another strength in portability. This lens may be used for many situations such as business/leisure travel, street/family candid, indoor/outdoor portraiture, scenic, PR functions as well as a little close-up should you need such possibility there (the lens does not offered MACRO focusing, but magnification ratio is a more than acceptable range of 1:4.8X). Lastly, similar to the popular AF Zoom Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.5~5.6N/D/G series - this AF-G 28-100mm Nikkor zoom lens was produced in Nikon optical plant in Thailand. For those who may have negative feeling towards this, don't be. The Thai didn't design/decided the basic lens specifications, Nikon did. They only swift the assembly facilities to another location in a third world country with cheaper labor cost to enable lenses to be produced more affordable to consumers.
<<<--- Anyway, Nikon has never hidden the fact this AF -G Zoom lens was produced in Thailand.
Credit: Image courtesy of MICHAEL VOLINSKY®, whose online PORTFOLIO can be accessed at PBase. Image copyright © 2007. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer. User's Feedback:- " ... Re. AF Nikkor 28-100 F/3.5-5.6G. Unless my copy of this lens was unusually good, it's a largely underrated product. I didn't know how good it was, until i gave it away. It was replaced by AFS 24-85 3.5-4.5G, as i needed that little bit extra on the wide end. I never got a chance to compare them side by side, but i'm somewhat dissatisfied with the results i get from 24-85 AFS, which, if you believe the reviews, is supposed to be a far superior lens. In short, AF Nikkor 28-100 F/3.5-5.6G is an incredible value. The only complaint i ever had was about the rotating front element / filter tread...." - Michael -
Technical Specification for Nikon Autofocus (AF) Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G wide-telephoto zoom lens:-
Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor wide-telephoto zoom lens with built-in CPU and a hybrid metal cum hardened PLASTIC rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 28mm to 100mm; (Magnifies approx. as a 42-150mm zoom lens for Nikon DX format Digital SLRs)
Maximum / Minimum aperture: f/3.5 / f/22
Lens construction: 8 elements in 6 groups; with an aspherical lens element at 1E/G
Picture angle: 74° - 34° 20' for 135mm format SLR; 53° - 16° for Nikon DX format Digital SLR cameras
Focal length scale: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 100mm printed circularly around the zoom ring
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus control: Autofocus. Camera driven autofocus. Manual focusing possible, via the thinly ridged MF ring at the front end
Zoom control: Via rotating zoom ring
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 0.56m (2ft) at normal focus to infinity (OO)
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system is FULLY FUNCTIONAL with the AF-D models for 3D Matrix / TTL 3D Matrix flash; manual focus confirmation via finder as there is no distance scales provided
Non-US market may has a different box/packing.
Credit: Image courtesy of Mr. Elle of www.PhoneBusta.co.uk®, U.K.. The Company also maintains an active Ebay Store, trading many photo equipment of various labels. The last image of the box courtesy of HELIX camera and Video, USA Image(s) copyright © 2005. All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the contributing photographer.
Aperture scale: via camera control, in finder; NO aperture-direct-readout (ADR) scales
Mount: harden plastic with metal Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Attachment size: 52mm (P=0.75mm); Rotating when zoom and/or focusing
Meter Coupling Prong: NONE: ADR Scales: NONE; Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Infra compensation index: NONE; Minimum aperture lock: NONE
Reproduction ratio: Maximum 1:4.8; MACRO Focusing: NONE; Focus Lock: NONE
Lens Coating: SIC (Nikon Super Integrated lens (SIC) Coating)
Filter attachment Size: 62mm, rotates when focusing
Exposure measurement: Via full-aperture method with Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system
Standard accessories: 62mm Snap-On front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1
Optional Accessories: 62mm screw-in filters; lens case CL-52, Lens hood HB-27; No. 62, CP 9 may also be possible
Dimensions: approx. 68mm dia. x 80mm (approx. 2.7" x 3.1")
Weight: Approx. 245g (approx. 8.6oz)
Usable Tele-Converters: -not advisable; Circular polarizing filter: Usable. Filter frame rotates according to lens AF operation. Circular polarizing filter II: Usable, even with dedicated Lens Hood HB-27. Filter frame rotates according to lens AF operation. AF-3:- Usable. (0); AF-4:- Usable. (0): ( ) Indicates maximum number of usable hoods (HN-36 for AF-3/HN-37 for AF-4).
Reflection of urban life. Near a mining pond in Kuala Lumpur.
Interim photo ONLY. Looking for contributing image to replace this.
<<<--- Nikon published MTF graph for public to evaluate the performance of the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G zoom lens. Shown are WIDEANGLE (left) and TELEPHOTO end at the right. The far left illustration is the optical construction used for the zoom lens, with aspheric lens element illustrated at the location.
* Other information: This lens cannot be used with AF Finder DX-1 attached to the Nikon F3AF camera.
Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G ersion lens may have been started from:
AF 28-100/3.5-5.6 G plastic mount, Thailand 3+ 2000001 < 2010311 - 2290234 > Feb02 - 2006 290234 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.
EXTERNAL LINKS for a second opinion: A general users' review of the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G at photographyreviews.com; An excellent general overview on budget lenses found at Pictureline, Popular Photography review on PDF file. Another opinion expressed by Dphoto.usa. Used prices of this AF Zoom Nikkor 28-100mm f/3.5~5.6G lens at EBAY
| NEXT | Comparing this AF-G zoom lens with others, such as the Nikon autofocus AF-S Zoom Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5~5.6D IF wide-telephoto zoom lens
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Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
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Others: Noct Nikkor | OP-Nikkor | UV Nikkor 55mm 105mm | Focusing Units | Bellows-Nikkor 105mm 135mm
Nikon Series E Lenses: 28mm35mm50mm100mm135mm | E-Series Zoom lenses: 36~72mm75~150mm70~210mm
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Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number:
http://rick_oleson.tripod.com/index-153.html by: my friend, Rick Oleson
http://www.zi.ku.dk/personal/lhhansen/photo/fmount.htm by: Hansen, Lars Holst
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