Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 K

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by iansgallery, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. On Saturday, I was given at an absolute rock-bottom price a Nikkor 28mm f/3.5 K lens. This is the type http://www.destoutz.ch/lens_28mm_f3.5_198040.html and to say I am impressed is an understatement. There looks to have been plenty made, but I have never seen one for sale.
    It has the (very sharp) early small rear element design, excellent multi-coating, f/22 minimum aperture with seven blades, 0.3 meters close focus and the slickest focus feel you could wish for. It also has all the most wonderful flare resisistance and colour you could wish for.
    I have never seen it mentioned here, nor seen it for sale before as I said. So, does anyone else here own and use this lens? What do you think of it?
     
  2. I use to have it. On my old d200 I was never impressed with it, but I found it much better on the D700. Not a star, but a reliable workhorse.
     
  3. Francesco, was that the early design Ai'd or the later Ai/AiS type? I find the Ai is just an average performer, but that may be sample variation.
     
  4. I also owned an Ai'd version of that very same K series lens.
    I thoroughly agree with your observations as to the anti flare properties of the lens. I found it equally as sharp in centre and corners as my 17-35mm f/2.8 zoom at 28mm (on a D700)
    I'm happy to carry my 17-35mm zoom as part of my travel lens kit as well as having it as my everyday wide zoom as I'm yet to find (affordable) primes wider than 24mm that are the equal to the zoom's IQ.... so I have sold this lens now. anyway I digress.......
    Francesco's "reliable workhorse" is a fair comment, it's level of build is indeed exemplary, I'm 38 years old and I expect the 28mm f/3.5 ai'd K lens I had will outlast me easily.
     
  5. I have this K series lens for shooting into the sun and for IR photography. For these applications it is superb, but there are better 28mm lenses for general use.
     
  6. I had the AIS and loved to use it mostly reverse actually. But also in normal mode, it is a very nice lens on FX.
    As a note, it was my dad's lens ...... and he took it back :-( Otherwise, I would have never get rid of it. But I plan to get it back.
     
  7. I've owned three samples of this lens over the years, one the same version Ian has. I found the middle version to be the best, though with digi screens, they are devilishly hard to focus in anything other than strong light levels. I like the IQ of these lenses a lot. And yes, they work quite well reversed.
    Read Bjorn Rorslett's review of this lens.
     
  8. My work-horse IR lens, Ian. Written about it everywhere - how could you possibly miss that :)
    You are absolutely correct in your analysis. A remarkable performer if "speed" is not important and you can tolerate some corner vignetting (not seen on a DX camera, though). It does very well on the D3X, too.
    It should be noted that the next versions after the "K" had a slightly altered optical design, probably to get more evenly distributed light over the imaged frame. Unfortunately, some of the sparkle of the "K" got lost during that development.
     
  9. Glad it has not gone unnoticed. Bjorn, I remembered that you enjoy this lens too, but did not realise that you have the exact same one that I just purchaced! Just read what you have to say on your website and I agree exactly. You mention sparkle - that word describes it very well.
     
  10. I've owned the K version, Ai-converted multicoated version with hill-and-dale metal focus ring and non-Ai single-coated version. The multicoated versions showed no difference in image quality. For IR, all three performed equally well on my (unmodified) D40.
     
  11. pge

    pge

    I own this lens. I always enjoyed it on film cameras (fe) but felt that it was a modest performer once I switched to a D200. I recall that CA was quite an issue. Given the comments here, and now that I have switched to a D700, I am going to give it another go. Thanks for the heads up.
    Phil
     
  12. Phil, I am only using it on film bodies, but do tell how it does on the D700 - that would be interesting.
     
  13. This is the lens that has what I call the "enhanced apparent depth of field" effect....now perhaps popularly referred to as 'smooth bokeh'. The rendering of the out of focus details has a certain charm. It belongs to a style of design in which the sharpness of fine details is already good wide open, doesn't change dramatically as you stop it down, including all the way to f/16 or so, but at the cost of lower overall contrast. The lower contrast was great on Kodachrome 25. I prefer it to the successor design(on a D3).
     
  14. Does anybody know if the aperture ring from the Ai model will fit this lens?
     
  15. I use the AI version, of which I bought a sample in excellent condition for a rather low price. A very good lens with unbeaten value and I like the focal length on DX. Works well on both D300 and D700. In practice, it should be used at something like f8; the performance wide open is nothing to write home about. I'll probably buy a Zeiss 28/2 someday, but until that I see this as my 28 mm lens.
     
  16. Does anybody know if the aperture ring from the Ai model will fit this lens?​
    Mine has a factory AI conversion, you may be able to locate conversion kit.
     
  17. pge

    pge

    Ian
    I took a few very ordinary shots with the d700/28mm f3.5 combo today. As I recall my d200 and this lens would have exhibited fairly dramatic CA under similiar circumstances but this appears not to be the case with the d700. I will definitely try the combo out more. I am quite pleased initially anyways. Have a look and decide for yourself. This ordinary photo is right out of the camera straight from the card reader and it is full size so beware if you have a slow connection.
     
  18. pge

    pge

    2nd try for the image
    All I get is internal server errors, sorry.
     
  19. OK, I managed to find an Ai ring - amazing or what!
    All fitted and ready to go now.
     
  20. Outfitted with that particular lens, you no longer have any excuse to avoid [digital] IR photography :)
    Nice to learn that AI kits still are obtainable for such a common lens.
    Next step up the modification ladder is putting a CPU in your 28 then ....
     
  21. pge

    pge

    Ian
    I have two photos for you both taken with a D700 and this lens. Have a look and decide for yourself but to me the lens did a very nice job. The night shot was taken at 11:30 pm in the virtual dark, that is the CN Tower in the distance, not the second tallest building in the world. The day time shot was taken at Bathurst and Bloor in Toronto, Canada for those who know or care where that is.

    I have used this lens quite a bit since your post, nice to become aquainted with it again.
    Night
    Day

    Phil
     
  22. pge

    pge

    sorry, here is the correct Day link
    Day
     
  23. Bjorn - I have a tatty D70 awaiting IR conversion. I am looking forward to trying it after seeing some lovely examples here on P.net.
    Thank you Phil - good to see it performing strongly on the FX format.
     

Share This Page