Exploring & Adventuring – schaab.com

Travel Tips From an Adventurous Couple

Nikon 28-70mm f/2.8 lens (non-DX)

A review of the all-pro 28-70mm f/2.8 ED-IF AF-S Zoom-Nikkor Lens. 


Best. Mid-zoom. ever. 
That sums up my feelings on this lens. Before it I used the 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S DX and was quite disappointed in it’s sharpness. This lens is only a little more money but is a world above in quality. It seems that Nikon may be building the DX lenses to a lower specification with the assumption that professionals are going to keep going for full frame glass. 


Specifications 
Lens Construction: 15 elements in 11 groups (2 ED-2 Aspheric) 
Min Focus Distance: 2.3 ft 
Filter Size: The Nikon Pro standard 77mm 
Weight: A quite heavy 31.1 oz 


This lens shouts pro from the minute you open the box. It comes packed inside it’s well built hard case that looks like it would have no problem surviving the airline gorillas. It’s heavy mostly metal construction with a metal mounting ring. Both the focus and zoom rings are rubberized for easy handling and there is no noticeable slippage in either at any angle. The markings are all clear and easy to see (In fact the “70” in the picture on the header of this site is taken from my 28-70mm with my 60mm Micro lens. Speaking of the micro/macro lens, this is one area that the 28-70 falls short. It’s closest focus is several feet away so any hope of extreme depth of field effects or close up work is gone with this lens. (If you look at the same 60mm micro article above you can see the closest focusing distance on a Christmas bulb, compared to the closest with the 60mm micro lens)

This is the lens I use for most of my portrait work. I usually use it at f/8 with an umbrella and SB-800 camera mounted flash for fill. I find this gives excellent on location shots and is pretty easy to move about. You can get similar results with a much cheaper 50mm f/1.8 lens or 85mm f/1.8 lens, but I find the zoom range really increases my ability to compose and fill the frame without worrying about tripping over things (I often go to clients houses to shoot). 

Pros 
Everything great in a lens, very fast focusing via it’s AF-S motor even on slower focusers like the D50/D70. Almost as sharp as a prime throughout it’s range.  

Cons 
This lens is heavy, you can expect to feel it if it’s around your neck all day. Pricey, this is also the most expensive lens in it’s class. Doesn’t focus very close.

 Bottom Line 

This lens is tack sharp throughout it’s range. Amazingly different compared to lesser zoom lenses. I’m hard pressed to tell a sharpness difference between this lens and a prime unless looking at some made up test chart, in the real world this is an A+ sharp lens. If you can afford it you will find no better lens in the range.

Please consider buying this lens from the Amazon link below, a small percentage of your purchase will help out this website. I put up Amazon because I trust them, beware other photosites who list “price grabber” or other “too good to be true” listings, because they probably are.