Ai-S Nikkor 28/2.8

The Ai-S Nikkor 28/2.8 is a great example of the final version of Nikon's manual focus lens technology. Optical performance and mechanical construction are both excellent. The reasonable f/2.8 maximum aperture keeps size and weight (245g) down, and is a good compromise between the discontinued 28/3.5 and 28/2 versions. I find that the Ai-S 28/2.8 is a great lens to use as a single wide-angle travel lens when you are willing to work around any limited ultra-wide situations that may come up. In fact, I sometimes travel with nothing but the Ai-S 28/2.8 and a Nikon FM2n or FE-2 if I want to travel light and am expecting primarily cityscape or interior shots. The 28/2.8 takes classic Nikon standard 52mm filters. I use a fairly wide B+W F-Pro filter without fear of vignetting. The lens is still manufactured and available new in 2013. The Ai-S version added CRC technology, which was missing from the earlier Ai version. The Ai-S version is said to be have a different design and slightly better performance than even the AF-D 28/2.8, which is also in current production. The Nikon HN-2 screw-on metal hood is designed for this lens. The HN-2 is quite thin, so it fits nicely into a pocket of the camera bag when removed from the lens. Although this Ai-S lens was originally designed for manual focus cameras, it also works great with Nikon auto focus film and FX digital bodies. The 28mm focal length is a lens where you need to consider what you primary application will be. You may want to go with the AF-D version if you will often want auto-focus, or this Ai-S version if you will be mostly shooting stationary or slower moving targets, use only manual focus cameras, or just want the more robust build quality of Ai-S lenses. Of course, this Ai-S version of the lens is slightly more desirable than the Ai version in the used market.

Copyright © 2014 Timothy A. Rogers. All rights reserved.