2nd draft 27.07.2007 needs further editing.
Nikon's AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF MACRO wideangle-telephoto zoom lens
Year introduced: November, 1998; Discontinued: 1990/1991
After the officially release of the Nikon F5, Nikon has seemed awakening from their traditionally conservative approach for their cameras and lens design. In fact they have actually turned quite aggressive from here onwards. The Company has also adopted a change in conventional approach in how to integrate products that has commercial potential. Amidst the change, one area that made me felt a little uncomfortable was the backward compatibility issue as well as durability issue of the new series of product they launched from here onwards. Basically, I would conclude Nikon still produced good lenses but you may have to pay extra-high premium in exchange for a "quality" factor for them now. Anything in between, you may experience some compromises and this phenomenon were more common with mid range or entry level camera/lenses they made. On and off, there were exceptions, seemingly the AF Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF was one of them. Well, It has taken the first 10 years for the AF evolution to stabilize. Most people probably were more accustomed to the general specification and behavior in a modern autofocus SLR/lenses offered by the respective manufacturers now. Overall, development in the autofocus Nikkor lens group was seemingly more excited than the Nikon camera section as more varieties and types were being offered. This AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF may be rightfully can claimed as one exciting zoom lens that appeared during the early F5 era. It has a very practical and versatile zoom range, a reasonably good built quality but more importantly, it was offered as an affordable original AF-D Nikkor telephoto zoom lens. Genetically it is an AF-D Nikkor zoom lens, this enables seamless compatibility with many of the new and older Nikon AF/MF SLR bodies. The zoom lens actually has quite a similar physical appearance with other AF Nikkor zoom lenses that were introduced during the same period, one example is the AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/2.8D where secondary lens features such as built-in MACRO mode is offered but this AF-D zoom even has an IF (Internal Focus) design to make it compact and help the camera focuses faster. It doesn't has a conventional focus distance window, meter coupling prong, nor depth of field scales now - features that traditionally commonly found on older Nikkor lenses. Its exterior appearance actually looks like an manual focus zoom from a distance but with the autofocus function stealth beneath. But once it is attached to an autofocus Nikon, autofocus takes over but there is provision for manual focus should you need it. Its versatile wide-tele zoom range of 28mm to 105mm can be easily regarded as one of the most frequently used focal lengths for general photography. Combining usability and operation ease, this is good zoom lens for those who may be owning both older MF and current AF Nikon SLRs.
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Reception / entrance to Petronas Twin towers / KLCC Tower One, headquarters of Petronas Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Always work-in close with an ultrawide to get a relation between the subjects.
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The AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D was officially introduced in November 1998 and it has a rotating zoom design. I remembered prior to its debut, Nikon has also announced availability of another AF Zoom Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5~5.6D IF with a n amazing 7.1X zoom ratio as well as another tele-zoom lens AF Zoom Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.0~5.6D ED. All the three zoom lenses were representation of how modern Nikkor Zoom lenses appeared during this period of time. Over the years, there were probably 18 zoom types being designed that has a starting focal length of 28mm. Actually, this particular Nikkor AF tele-zoom lens can be ranked second in its 3.75X zoom ratio (only behind the AF-D 28-200 IF). You may treat this as a "Standard Zoom" for your Nikon. Some photographers often like to compare this with the 28/200 but personally, I feel this zoom has enough good elements to stand on its own. The greatest strength offers with this lens is its practical focal length range, portability and versatility. Measuring just 73 x 81.5mm, it was significantly smaller than the comparing 28-200mm which measures 78 x 86.5mm. It has a 62mm filter attachment size and makes sharing of other system accessories easier (28/200mm uses 72mm filters). It focuses down to a marked distance of 0.5m (approx. 19.7") with magnification ratio of approx. 1:5 but when MACRO mode is activated, it reaches a true MACRO status at a ratio of 1:2 @ 105mm. The magnification ratio reaches its maximum at 105mm, minimizes perspective distortion for close-ups pictures. There is a NORMAL / MACRO selection switch for such purpose when using autofocus and visually assists via an orange macro index line that marked for 50mm to 105mm (with another orange index line printed after the closest focusing distance of 0.5m at the distance scales). The zoom lens probably has the best illustrations of its various lens features among the mid price Nikkor Zoom lens category. In comparison, AF-D 28-200mm's MACRO capability only offers a so so 1/9.9 magnification ratio. So, when you combines all these good factors in a far more compact dimension, isn't it a better consideration than 28-200 ? Nikon actually has another AF zoom Nikkor 24-85mm which delivers comparable performance in its close-up performance. But as the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D has a extended telephoto reach to 105mm, I would rather choose this over the comparing 24-85mm.
NOTE:- We generally refer the focal length of 50mm as the standard lens during those days. And due to versatility and demand, zoom lenses have emerged as Standard Zoom during eh mid' 80. Personally, I would use affordability and overall performance to measure if a lens qualifies to be a standard zoom. In general, the startup focal length of the wideangle as well as the focal length at telephoto kept extending at both ends. Here are some references:- Manual Focus Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5S 1986~1987; AF Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.3~4.5S 1986~1995; AF Zoom Nikkor 28-70mm f/3.5~4.5D 1991~1999; AF Zoom Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5~5.6D IF 1996~2002. The 1998 AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF lens has all the good elements within as an alternate standard zoom for any Nikon.
How Nikon managed to bring us a zoom lens that can offer so much more in such a lightweight and compact design ? Internally, the lens has a rather complex 16 elements in 12 groups optical design. A HYBRID aspherical lens element (4th element) was used for maximum correction of various possible optical aberration. It even has an Internal Focusing (IF) design which helps to deliver faster and more accurate AF operation so as to optimize power efficiency in the camera driven AF system. Besides, the built-in Close Range Correction helps to deliver an impressive close focus capability. Other secondary features such as use of a 9-blades rounded diaphragm and SIC that provides excellent colour accuracy, contrast and image sharpness. All these have made the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF a worthy consideration if someone is looking for an affordable, practical all round zoom lens.
<<<--- As compared to two other hot sellers in the 72mm AF Nikkor Zoom (24/120mm & 35/200mm); this lens only carries a smaller 62mm filter diameter. It fits comfortably in anybody hand and fittingly onto a Nikon SLR.
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As far as the Nikkor lens group is concerned, the 28-105mm is a newly created zoom range. Which means it was a new lens all together as previously, Nikon has no such option for this zoom range. As a dedicated autofocus zoom, manual focusing is inevitably being relegated as secondary feature.
However, by learning all the negative aspect from market reaction from the early stage of the AF Nikkor lenses; Nikon has designed the lens with a purposeful and practical manual focusing ring for those who may require to use it often. Externally, the lens shares many typical physical appearance of a modern Nikkor zoom lens design. The rear lens mount has a combination of metal and plastic but regardless how, it is still a metal mount and looks rigid enough. The rotating zoom ring is equally comfortable to hold and operate via the extra wide, hard rubberized covered grip patterns. Popular focal length of 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm are clearly illustrated along the zoom ring for easy visual reference. As for its MACRO features, you can refer to earlier sections.
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Along with its release, Nikon has also designed a dedicated HB-18 lens hood. Although Nikon claimed the supplied accessory is an integral part of the lens but it does adds some dimension when it is mounted onto lens. NOTE:- this AF-D Zoom lens actually rotates during zooming and rotating front element may require further adjustment of certain filters or close-up attachment after the desired focusing is achieved (front filter ring doesn't rotate when focusing in and out but when you rotate the zoom ring and begin zoom, it does).
The MACRO index line extends beyond 0.5m
Dual indexes for 28 / 105mm zoom
The minimum aperture lock
Slide switch for NORMAL / MACRO
<<<-- Versatile for travel, journalism, scenic, nature, street photos to crystal-clear macro details, the wide-tele range of 28-105mm can be used for a wide varieties of picture topics.
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If you are observant enough, during this stage, Nikon has seemingly strike a winning formula with some highly successful Nikon bodies such as the Nikon F80QD; other than this AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF, there was another immensely popular AF Zoom Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5~5.6D IF where many of the Nikon F80QD folks liked to pair it along.
Further, the f/3.5~f4.5 lens speed could cause a dimmer projection inside the finder. For Nikon bodies that permits interchangeable focusing screens check is there other alternatives. As for MF Nikon users, the split rangefinder of a typical standard K screen will usually darken at one end; you can change to Type B or E or H screens that may help to counter this problem.
Overall, the AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF can be summarized as an excellent zoom lens for photographers who enjoys light and practical companion zoom lens for assignment or for leisure photography. Probably the only issue you may need to counter is the moderate maximum lens speed where it also changes when focal length extends. This may not be the most desirable lens for low available light photography but you can compensate this via use of film types with higher ASA rating. My suggestion is, if you like to explore creative photography, always bring along a tripod. For digital SLR users, you may adjust the ASA manually by shirting away from AUTO film speed setting. Seemingly Nikon also expects owners of this zoom lens to use flash to offset lack of lens speed.
Despite these minor issues, overall I would still conclude this is a lovely zoom. As Nikon has discontinued this model now, so it has indirectly created a way for those who may not has an opportunity to own an affordable, good all round original Nikkor zoom lens yet. If you are convinced, why don't take a look at the used equipment market to hunt down one for your personal photography. MAY BE HERE CAN BE A GOOD LEAD FOR YOU.
NOTE: For close-up enthusiasts, Nikon warned slight vignetting may occur when operating the lens at MACRO mode near the maximum reproduction ratio of 1:2 at the telephoto setting.
Technical Specification for Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF MACRO wide-tele zoom lens:-
Type of lense: Autofocus Nikkor wide-telephoto zoom lens with built-in CPU and a metal rear Nikon bayonet mount
Focal length: 28mm to 105mm; Maximum aperture: f/3.5; (28mm=1:3.5; 105mm=1:4.5) Minimum Aperture: f/22/f/28
Lens construction: 16 elements in 12 groups with x 1 aspherical lens element; with close focus Design
Picture angle: 74° - 23° 20'; 53° - 15° 20' for Nikon DX format digital sensor SLRs)
Focal length scale: 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 70mm, 85mm and 105mm
Diaphragm: Fully automatic,
Focus control: Via focusing ring
Zoom control: Via rotating zoom ring manually
Distance scale: Graduated in meters and feet/inches from 0.5m (1.7') at normal focus to infinity (OO); close focuses at its nearest distance at 0.22m (0.7") at MACRO mode @ 105mm macro setting* Note: Slight vignetting may occur when macro shooting near the maximum 1/2 reproduction ratio at telephoto setting.
Distance information: Output into camera body with CPU interface system IS FULLY FUNCTIONAL with this lens; Option for manual focus provided
Aperture scale: f/3.5/f/4.5, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16 and 22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scales
Mount: Nikon bayonet mount with CPU contacts;
Attachment size: 62mm (P=0.75mm);
Number of Diaphragm: 9 blades
External front filter attachment frame:-Rotates when zooming
Meter Coupling Prong: NONE
Depth of Field Scales: NONE
Reproduction ratio: 1:5.2; 1:2 (half life size) at tele-range from 50mm onwards, maximum at 105mm at MACRO setting
Minimum aperture lock: Provided. Via slide switch
Lens Coating: SIC (Nikon Super Integrated lens Coating)
Exposure measurement: Via full-aperture method with Ai cameras or cameras with CPU interface system; via stop-down method for other cameras
Infrared compensation index: 28mm setting
Standard accessories: 62mm front lens cap; Rear lens cap LF-1
Optional Accessories: 62mm screw-in filters; Bayonet hood HB-18; Hard lens case CL-49; Flexible lens pouch No.62 possible
Dimensions: Approx. 73mm dia. x 81.5mm
Weight: Approx. 455g (1 Ib)
Usable Tele-Converters: - TC-201S; TC-14A (lens speed will decrease accordingly with types of TC). Circular polarizing filter:- Usable. but vignetting may occur at wide or macro setting. Filter frame rotates according to lensí AF operation. Circular polarizing filter II:- May also usable, even with de:- Usable. (1): Indicates maximum number of usable hoods (HN-36 for AF-3/HN-37 for AF-4). Dedicated Lens Hood HB-18. Slight vignetting may occur at i (infinity) setting. Filter frame rotates according to lensí AF operation. AF-3:- Usable. (0); AF-4
* Other information: Serial Number for the Nikon AF Zoom Nikkor 28-105mm f/3.5~4.5D IF lens may have been began from: AF 28-105/3.5-4.5 D IF 4+ 200001 < 202005 - 595013 > Dec98 - 2006 395013 Reference: Roland Vink's lens data sheet.
Relative: AF Zoom Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5~5.6D IF with 5X Zoom Ratio; AF Zoom Nikkor 28-200mm f/3.5~5.6 IF with 3.74X Zoom Ratio
Silhouette of a few busy ants... Another likely colony behind the tree trunk.
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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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