Nikon 28-105 mm f3.5-4.5 Lens Review

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Back in the film days, the Nikon 28-105mm f/3.5-4.5 lens was very popular. It covers a great range and is a little faster than the typical “kit” lens. The 28-105 was often attached to my F100 or Sherree’s N65.

On October 7, 1999, I wrote a short review of the lens of Photography Review:

A quality optic at a reasonable price. I bought this lens to replace my 35-80mm f4-5.6, with the intention of getting a faster lens with a larger focal range. This lens fit the bill well.

If you stack filters (UV and polarizer, for instance) there will be serious vignetting if used wide open. Even at f8 or so, vignetting is noticeable.

Unfortunately, it is not as sharp as my primes or 80-200 f2.8, but that is to be expected.

Strengths:

  • Useful range
  • Reasonably fast
  • Convenient size (to carry around)

Weaknesses:

  • Aperture ring is not as easily accessible as on some other lenses.

It’s worth noting that the 28-105 has a macro mode available from the 50-105 mm range that allows for 1:2 reproduction (1/2 life size). What’s surprising is just how well this mode works — the field of view isn’t completely flat but it’s very good, and adequate for any enthusiast work or quick close-ups.

This lens works fine on digital bodies, too (well, those that can work with screwdriver-focus lenses), though the DX format changes the effective focal length to 42-157 mm. That lost 28-42 mm range is exceptionally useful and tough to go without (at least, for me). On the other hand, I’ve found that (roughly) the 50-125 mm range is my most-used focal range.

The 28-105 has fallen out of favor in recent years; newer lenses get the attention. It’s still a great lens, of course, and considering how inexpensive they can be found for on eBay, it’s still a solid pick!

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