Sunday 8 July 2012

1986 vintage 28-85mm AF Nikkor

nevard_120708_BQ_DSC_6792 by nevardmedia
nevard_120708_BQ_DSC_6792, a photo by nevardmedia on Flickr.
Dusk at Brewhouse Quay.

Earlier today I was going through some of old lenses that rarely see the light of day too often, and came across this 1986 vintage 28-85mm AF Nikkor zoom in the bottom of my kit drawer.

AS a bit of fun I popped it onto my Nikon D700 to see how it performed on a full frame body, especially due to the very close focusing 'macro' at the 28mm end which goes right down to around 5cm.

To be honest I was expecting it to perform like a dog, but was very pleasantly surprised so find that it's pretty good. Admittedly there is quite a bit of flare from the point light sources as one would expect from a complex optic when photographing scenes like the above, but not too unpleasant. in fact there's even a filter in Photoshop to produce just such an effect, this is the real thing though!

Compared to more expensive pro-spec Nikkor zooms and primes, there is quite a bit of colour fringing (chromatic aberration) towards the edge of the field, but that can been totally eliminated in Adobe RAW, thus making the lens a better performer on digital capture than it ever would have been on film. With the small f-stops I shoot with, it's also very sharp right through to the corners, this is something which really surprised me for such an elderly zoom design.  Barrel distortion, which most mid-range and wide angle zoom will exhibit to a certain degree at their widest settings is pretty well controlled too. As with the chromatic aberration, such is easily addressed at the RAW conversion stage.

I'm so impressed with it, that I'll have to find some extra room in my kit bag, with miniature photography it's often useful to have a wide lens with good close-up.

Nikon D700, 20 sec f22, 400 iso

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