Additional Information on
Manual Focus Nikkor Zoom 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO lense


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Zoom Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s MACRO

All three previous MF Nikkor wideangle zoom lenses introduced between 1975 -1984 provided a good wideangle setting started from a 25-28mm focal length but their longest setting at normal focal length of 45mm/50mm were rather restrictive in many real life applications.

Credit: Image of this Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5 lense courtesy of Mr Ken Knezick <>. Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved.

More importantly, sandwiched between an era where autofocus technologies that has just took shape in the fiercely competed market place and commitment to further development of both MF/AF lenses at the same time, Nikon revised their 28mm wideangle zoom lense in December, 1985 that finally has an equaling technical specification that can seriously take on aggression of Minolta, Canon and other third party lense manufacturers. However, although the Nikkor lense was a commentary effort but it was still considered to be quite "conservative" if measured by popular wideangle zoom range at that time have extended beyond focal length of 85mm to a longer 105mm or even 135mm.

Whatever it is, the lense's angle of view from a wideangle 74° (28mm) to tighter angle at 28° (85mm) covers some of the most popular focal length and it was the best spec Nikkor 28mm wideangle lense designed thus far. Unlike the Zoom-Nikkor 28-50mm f/3.5s that introduced a year earlier in 1984, focusing/zooming control of this lense has reverted back to multi separate Control Rings design (with a macro setting dial, it has four rings in total). It can close focus to 0.8m (2.6ft) with its physical helical focusing but when shifted to a MACRO setting, it can close focus down to 0.23m at 28mm, at such closest focusing distance an impressive reproduction ratio of 1:3.4 is reached - making it the best performer among the four Nikkor MF wideangle zoom lenses.

Credit: Image of this Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5 lense courtesy of Mr ALEX<> of Image copyright © 2002 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the photographer.

One of the main difference as compared to other within the Nikkor wideangle zoom series is he use of a variable aperture in its design. This lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.5 when operates at wideangle and the maximum aperture will shift to smaller setting as focal length increases - at 80mm the maximum aperture is f/4.5. This was a common compromised way that still practices today in order to reduce the dimension of the lens. This lense uses 62mm.filter attachment instead of 72mm. At 510g, this lense was not the lightest Nikkor MF wideangle zoom. The complexity in its 15 elements in 11 groups design could be the main reason contributes to its overall weight. It has colourful lens indicative imprinted data to outlined various lens function (except the depth of field scales have been weakly displayed). The chrome lens mounting ring has two indexes for 28mm (green) and 85mm (orange) while the infrared index was very similar to the display used on the Zoom-Nikkor 25-50mm f/4.0s. Although the lens' has an impressive overall technical spec sheet but it lacks the traditional robust Nikkor feel. The design and material used of the three rings at the rear section of the lense was the its weakest link to project such negative thought. Anyway, since most mid-price Nikkor zoom lenses have adopted similar appearance, the look and feel of an old Nikkor lense has been phased out slowly from most people's memory as well.

Main strength of this MF Nikkor wideangle zoom is its useful and practical zoom range which makes it in particularly a great lens for general photography. Further, since most commercially readily available electronic flash models usually have 24/28mm wide adapter and/or tele-extender up to 105mm supplied and this has made this lense a particularly ideal lens for PR photography such as wedding, travel etc.. I would assume wideangle zoom lenses that started with wideangle focal length of 28mm should be in great demand, why ? Haven't you realize Nikon has introduced ELEVEN (11) 28mm AF-zoom lenses thus far ? If you include the MF series, there makes FIFTEEN (15) in total. Hmmm.....

2885ais.jpg from Roland Wink website
K 28-45/4.5 Zoom-Nikkor first wide zoom, can be AI'd 5+ 174011 - 174389 - 186167 - ? 04/75 - 1977 11/7
28-45/4.5 Zoom-Nikkor 5+ 210001 - 210567 - ? 1977 - 08/78 11/7
28-50/3.5 Zoom-Nikkor 5+ 188021 - 188084 - 201883 - ? 01/84 - ? 9/7
AF 28-70/3.5-4.5 first hybrid aspheric Nikkor 2000001 - 2065915 - ? 06/91 - 09/92 8/7
AF 28-70/3.5-4.5 D 3000001 - 3001358 - 3321765 - ? 09/92 - 1999 8/7
AF-S 28-70/2.8 D IF-ED 5+ 200001 - 200261 - 245370* - 1998 - 15/11
AF 28-80/3.5-5.6 D plastic mount, thin focus ring 200001 - 201292 - 312554 - ? 09/95 - 1999 7/7
AF 28-80/3.5-5.6 D plastic mount, wide focus ring 2000001 - 2016172 - 2158209* - ? 1999 - 04/01 8/8
AF 28-80/3.3-5.6 G plastic mount, Thailand ? - 02/01 - 6/6
AF 28-100/3.3-5.6 G plastic mount, Thailand 2000001 - 2010311* - 2011881* - 02/02 - 8/6
28-85/3.5-4.5 Zoom-Nikkor 3+ 200001 - 209314 - 286018 - 12/85 - 15/11
AF 28-85/3.5-4.5 plastic focus ring ? - ? 09/86 - 08/90 15/11
AF 28-85/3.5-4.5 N rubber focus ring 4+ ? - 303745 - 350xxx - ? 09/90 - 1999 15/11
AF 28-105/3.5-4.5 D IF 4+ 200001 - 250378 - 454251 - 12/98 - 16/12
AF 28-200/3.5-5.6 D IF 200001 - 03/98 - 16/13

Credit: Information shown at tables as at 18th January, 2003. Please help and/or contribute yours to Roland to enlarged his Library for Serial Numbers on Nikkor Lenses. Image of the above Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5 lense was downloaded from a contributing image at Roland Wink's website. It has been retouch and scaled slightly for broadcasting use in this website. The Original image can be accessed by clicking here.

Technical Specification for Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s :

Focal length/Aperture:
28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s
Lens construction:
15 elements in 11 groups
Picture angle:
74°' - 28° 30'; Diaphragm: Automatic
Aperture scale:
f/3.5~ f/22 on both standard and aperture-direct-readout scale

Focusing/Zooming Control: Via separate Control Rings (Focusing, Zooming and Aperture settings)
Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 1:3.4 at closest focusing distance 0.23m at 28mm

<<< --Optical construction of the Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s.


2885mmDS2.jpg 2885mmDS.jpg
Credit: Image of this Ai-S Zoom-Nikkor 28-85mm f/3.5~4.5s lense and case courtesy of Darryl<>. Darryl also operates an Ebay Store sections where he sells many used photo equipment. Image copyright © 2003 All rights reserved. Please respect the visual property of the photographer.

Dimensions: 67mm dia. x long (overall) 97.5mm extension from lens flange; Weight: 510g
Attachment size: 62mm (P = 0.75); Front lens cap: Screw-in
Lens hood:
HK-16 slip-on type; Lens case: CL-33S hard leatherette, No. 62 soft pouch
Usable Nikon Teleconverter(s):
TC-200*, TC-201. TC-14A * Certain exposure modes may not work efficiently with selective Nikon SLRs. Note: Serial numbers for this Nikkor zoom lense may have been started with 200001 for this Ai-S ONLY lense.

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Micro-Nikkor Lenses - 50mm~55mm -60mm 85mm -105mm 200mm Micro-Zoom 70-180mm
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Dedicated Lenses for Nikon F3AF: AF 80mm f/2.8 | AF 200mm f/3.5 EDIF
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Medical Nikkor: 120mm 200mm
Reflex-Nikkor Lenses - 500mm 1000mm 2000mm
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

MF Zoom-Nikkor Lenses: 25~50mm | 28~45mm | 28~50mm | 28~85mm | 35~70mm | 36~72mm E | 35~85mm | 35~105mm | 35~135mm | 35~200mm | 43~86mm | 50~135mm | 50~300mm | 70~210mm E | 75~150mm E | 80~200mm | 85~250mm | 100~300mm | 180~600mm | 200~400mm | 200~600mm | 360~1200mm | 1200~1700mm

Tele-Converters: TC-1 | TC-2 | TC-200 | TC-201 | TC-300 | TC-301 | TC-14 | TC-14A | TC-14B | TC-14C | TC-14E | TC-16 | TC-16A | TC-20E

Recommended links to understand more technical details related to the Nikkor F-mount and production Serial Number: by: my friend, Rick Oleson by: Hansen, Lars Holst

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Credit: MCLau®, who has helped to rewrite some of the content appeared this site. Chuck Hester® who has been helping me all along with the development of all these Nikon websites; Lars Holst Hansen, 'Hawkeye' who shares the same passion I have; Ms Rissa, Sales manager from Nikon Corporation Malaysia for granting permission to use some of the official content; Ted Wengelaar, Holland who has helped to provide many useful input relating to older Nikkor lenses; Some of the references on production serial numbers used in this site were extracted from Roland Vink's website; Hiura Shinsaku from Nikomat Club Japan. Lastly, to all the good people who has contributed their own expeience, resources or kind enough granted permission to use their images of their respective optic in this site. It is also a site to remember a long lost friend on the Net. Note:certain content and images appeared in this site were either scanned from official marketing leaflets & brochures published by Nikon and/or contribution from surfers who claimed originality of their work for educational purposes. The creator of the site will not be responsible for may discrepancies arise from such dispute except rectifying them after verification. "Nikon", "Nikkormat", "Nippon Kokagu KK" & "Nikkor" are registered tradename of Nikon Corporation Inc., Japan. Site made with an Apple IMac.