Nikon AF-S 28mm f/1.8G Full Frame Lens Announcement

NOTE: A full review of this lens can be found in our Nikon 28mm f/1.8G Review article.

Along with the Nikon D3200, Nikon also announced the new AF-S Nikkor 28mm f/1.8G lens today. Contrary to how it usually happens, however, this piece of equipment is likely to receive the most attention this time. We at Mansurovs.com are very happy to see such a lens announced – the biggest complaint throughout the years directed towards Nikon was the lack of modern fast, high quality prime lenses. During the last couple of years, however, Nikon seems to have been extremely persistent in making sure their prime lens lineup is as broad in choice as possible, offering insanely good, yet very expensive f/1.4 lenses, such as the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G (read the review) and Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (read the review), and much more affordable and featuring a much better price/performance ration f/1.8G lenses. First, it was the fantastic Nikon 50mm f/1.8G (read the review), then, very recently, the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G lens was announced. Considering how good the latest f/1.8 lenses have been, this new alternative to the exotic Nikon 24mm f/1.4G prime (read the review) should deliver superb performance at a relatively low price of $699.95.

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G

Lets face it, the rather specialized Nikon 24mm f/1.4G lens is not for everyone – impressive as it is, not that many people use or even know how to use such a lens well, it requires a lot of skill to deliver all of its potential. At that price, then, it makes a very difficult decision: who would want to own a $2000 lens and not use it that much because it is too wide? With the new 28mm f/1.8G not only do you pay only about a third of that price, it is also not as wide, and thus suitable for more general photography on both Full Frame and DX sensor cameras. That is not to say it is less demanding, but more mainstream for sure. The best thing is, however, the choice Nikon is giving us. All that’s really missing is an inexpensive 35mm f/2G and 135mm/105mm f/2G lenses, but I’m sure we can expect those to come pretty soon, too.

Here are some lens specifications from NikonUSA:

  1. Mount Type: Nikon F-Bayonet
  2. Focal Length: 28mm
  3. Maximum Aperture: f/1.8
  4. Minimum Aperture: f/16
  5. Format: FX/35mm, DX
  6. Maximum Angle of View (DX-format): 53°
  7. Maximum Angle of View (FX-format): 75°
  8. Maximum Reproduction Ratio: 0.22x
  9. Lens Elements: 11 (including 2 aspherical lens elements and lens elements with Nano Crystal Coat)
  10. Lens Groups: 9
  11. Compatible Format(s): FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
  12. Diaphragm Blades: 7 (rounded)
  13. Distance Information: Yes
  14. Nano Crystal Coat: Yes
  15. Autofocus: Yes
  16. AF-S (Silent Wave Motor): Yes
  17. Internal Focusing: Yes
  18. Minimum Focus Distance: 0.25 m/0.82 ft
  19. Focus Mode: Auto, Manual
  20. G-type: Yes
  21. Filter Size: 67mm
  22. Accepts Filter Type: Screw-on
  23. Dimensions (Approx.): 2.9 x 3.2 in. (Diameter x Length), 73 x 80.5 mm (Diameter x Length)
  24. Weight (Approx.): 330 g/11.6 oz
  25. Supplied Accessories: 67 mm snap-on Front Lens Cap LC-67, Rear Lens Cap LF-4, Bayonet Hood HB-64, Flexible Lens Pouch CL-0915

You should expect the Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G lens to be available on May 24th this year – we will review it as soon as we can!

Here is the Nikon 28mm f/1.8G MTF chart (left), compared to the Nikon 24mm f/1.4G MTF (right):

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G MTF
Nikon 24mm f/1.4G MTF

Pre-order Information

Nikon 28mm f/1.8G Pre-order links:

  1. B&H Photo Video – Nikon 28mm f/1.8G $699.95

We project that this lens will be out of stock for a while, given its price and performance compared to the 24mm f/1.4G.

Comments

  1. 1
    ) Amit
    April 18, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    What are the budget wide angle lens options for DX shooters? 35mm 1.8G and 50mm 1.8G are very good options for normal and short telephoto on DX but for wide angle I don’t see any option other than to use the 18mm end of the kit lens. Everyone says that tokina 11-16 is very good but 16mm is too wide for my purpose (primarily group photographs).

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      3
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      April 19, 2012 at 12:33 am

      You can always take a look at the 12-24 f/4 – a great lens, both Nikon and Tokina versions. Also, there’s the 17-55 Nikkor and third party alternatives – I believe Bob uses and loves the Sigma. The 35mm f/1.8G is a great lens for group portraits as well!

      • 15
        ) Corné
        April 21, 2012 at 7:42 am

        Firstly, thanks for the great reviews and feedback, I don’t even consider buying before I read the reviews on this site!
        My question is this: Do you think it would be unwise to invest in the nikkor 17-55 f2.8 Dx lens for my D300s as I can get a second hand in great condition at half the price of the new? I am def upgrading to full frame in future but not within say the next 3 years since I just recently upgraded from the D200 and I am planning on keeping my D300s as a second/backup body.

        I currently own a 50mm f1.8g which I love and the 18-200vr that I don’t. I find the 50 a bit long for studio and pre-bridal shots so I need something with wider angle but want it to be pin sharp, (not getting it with the 18-200). I prefer nikon and can’t afford the 24mm, should I wait for the 28mm? Before I saw this announcement I was about to get the zoom, now my thougts are just scrambled!

        • 16
          ) Allan
          April 22, 2012 at 1:23 am

          Have you checked out the 35mm f/1.8g DX for your 300s Corné? With the crop factor it would be equal to a 52mm or so field of view. It’s quite affordable at around $200 US and I find it to be very sharp. I am currently using it as my general walk around lens and I have no issue with it. It’s much sharper than the 18-55 kit lens and the 18-200 that you have. Since you are not planning on upgrading to a full frame for at least 3 years having a DX only lens should not be an issue especially if you keep the D300S as a backup.

        • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
          17
          ) Romanas Naryškin
          April 22, 2012 at 3:37 pm

          Hello, Corné!

          Allan has given you a valid point in his comment – the 35mm f/1.8 DX is a great lens on a crop camera such as D300s, and it’s cheap! You would also likely find the angle of view much more versatile than that of the 50mm on a crop-sensor camera.

          As for the Nikon 17-55, I have one and use it on a d300. It’s heavy and very tough, very good performer indeed! But only if you can get a good price, which from the looks of it, you can! I think you should have a zoom purely for safety sake (and I am a prime-lens guy myself), and the 18-200 is not exactly one of the best, although quite good for an all-rounder, casual photography tool.

          • 19
            ) Corné
            April 22, 2012 at 4:09 pm

            Thanks for the great replies, I think the 35mm wil still be too long on my D300s though as I am looking for a great wide angle that can handle even small spaces for pre bridals etc.

            Roman, do you find the 17-55 to be sharp enough, that’s my only real concern as I have decided to never buy anything that is not sharp. Another thing, it doesn’t have vr that I have come to appreciate on the 18-200, do you think it would make a huge difference since the 17-55 has the f2.8?

            • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
              20
              ) Romanas Naryškin
              April 23, 2012 at 2:35 am

              I haven’t missed VR on that lens, and it’s very sharp, although that’s the last thing I ever worry about :)

            • April 24, 2012 at 11:29 am

              I have shot for 5 years with my 17-55 and it has fantastic sharpness, colour rendition, and contrast. VR is not necessary for the lens at all. Highly recommended, although it is pricey and the biggest drawback is that it does not allow for FX usage. For me, it was well worth the money.

              It’s just such a great lens! Most of the work on my website is taken with it, if you were curious for a wide variety of sample images.

              I also have the 11-16mm Tokina, for maybe 3 years now? I got mine in the first shipment to Canada when it was released. It is far too wide for group shots, the distortion will give you way too many problems. Honestly speaking, it’s a fairly specialized lens.

              Compositionally, it’s challenging to use for portraits. For landscapes, it’s much easier and common to use.

            • 22
              ) Corné
              April 24, 2012 at 4:36 pm

              Thanks for all the terrific input, I appreciate and respect all your opinions and thus my mind’s made up, going for the 17-55!

  2. 2
    ) Srini
    April 19, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Roman, this is good news. I hope they continue to produce full-frame lenses in these affordable ranges.

    If someone like me looking to build lenses from scratch, would you choose AF-S 28mm f/1.8G or AF-S 16-35 or would you recommend both? If both, would we then need another primie AF-S 50mm 1.8 or 1.4?

    thanks

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      4
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      April 19, 2012 at 12:40 am

      During weddings, I’d go with a AF-S 28mm f/1.8G on one camera, and 85mm or 50mm prime on another. That would be my pick for almost any situation. I would think about the zoom, too, if I had other kinds of applications, such as photo journalism – it’s a great lens and I’m quite sure I will buy it someday. I’d still use the primes more, though – I find they suit my style of shooting much better.

      But your choice is yours, Srini :) See what works best for you, if you like primes or zooms better, there’s the weight factor, as well as the aperture speed – if you don’t need f/1.8, the zoom may be a great choice, especially with that VR! Read the review – http://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-16-35mm-f4g-vr

      Some people prefer to work with primes, like me, others love zooms. Neither is the better choice, but there is a better choice for a specific person. :)

      • 7
        ) Srini
        April 19, 2012 at 1:20 am

        Thank you Roman for helpful advice.

        I would take one step at a time…..I would certainly go for AF-S 50mm 1.8 as it is just a third of 28mm in the UK. I am looking to buy D800 (when stocks available). So, I am not sure if AF-S 28mm would be a better choice than 50mm (ignoring the price though), while awaiting a shootout review of 28mm vs other primes. The former gives a better range, while with the latter, I can always go a few steps back to compensate the 28mm. I would love another prime though, may be 105 or wait for 135 f/2.0. I would buy zoom some day, which may be the full frame 70-200mm or 16-35 mm. The question is: if I own a 28mm or 50mm, why would I need a 16-35. I know 16 would be great for landscapes.

        • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
          8
          ) Romanas Naryškin
          April 19, 2012 at 1:23 am

          You would find 16mm end useful for sure, but other than that the prime lens would replace the rest of the zoom range of the 16-35. Again, it’s best if you could try it out, maybe rent?

          • 10
            ) Srini
            April 19, 2012 at 2:31 am

            Thanks you Roman. Trying out a rented lens is a good idea.

  3. 5
    ) David B
    April 19, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Yep, exactly what I said today when I saw the announcement. When I took my Canon 135L F/2 out today, probably the sharpest Canon prime, my wife asked me, what about Nikon’s equivalent? I said, 135 F/2 DC is a decent lens, but very old design, no ring autofocusing, and very much due to for refreshment. The 28 1.8G is a welcome news, the cheapest Gold Ring Nikon Lens yet. 35 1.8G for FX would probably be ever more useful. Bottom line, I would be very happy with 135 F/2

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      6
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      April 19, 2012 at 12:42 am

      I’m looking forward to seeing the 135 f/2 announced, too, but then the older lens is a beauty and still just as great as it was, if not modern.

      I use the older AF-D 85mm f/1.4 and I love it despite the lack of modern features.

  4. 9
    ) Srini
    April 19, 2012 at 1:31 am

    There you go…another great British rip-off….£620 for this lens in the UK after the nasty price hike of D800 to £2599.

    http://www.photographyblog.com/news/nikon_af-s_nikkor_28mm_f_1.8g/

    As usual, gears purchased in the US would not get a warranty in the UK.

    :-(

  5. 11
    ) Flo
    April 19, 2012 at 4:24 am

    well, in my opinion, the only lens i’m really missing in nikon’s lineup right now is a AFS 50mm 1.2G.

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      12
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      April 19, 2012 at 5:21 am

      That is quite true, Flo, I think many would agree with you.

  6. 13
    ) Matt
    April 19, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    This is a very welcome lens for the f/1.8G line! Still, I’d really love to see Nikon release a new AF-S prime lens in the 14-20mm range. My dream lens is a 20mm f/1.4G but it would likely be prohibitively large, heavy, and expensive. Realistically, a 16mm f/2.8 or faster would be terrific for both FX and DX (24mm equivalent).

    • 14
      ) Frederick
      April 19, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      I’m with you Matt. Wide, fast DX primes have been neglected by Nikon as well as the third party lens mfrs. With the popularity of wide angle zooms, you would think someone would come out with a small, fast prime (that takes a filter) in the 14 to 16 mm range. Is that asking too much?

      • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
        18
        ) Romanas Naryškin
        April 22, 2012 at 3:47 pm

        It’s not too much to ask, and would be rather welcome, yes. Still, manufacturers likely think they have the range covered with (moderately) fast zoom lenses, which is a mistake.

  7. 23
    ) Corné
    April 24, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Thanks for all the input. I appreciate and respect your opinions and thus have made up my mind, 17-55 it will be!

  8. 24
    ) Adnan Khan
    April 25, 2012 at 2:44 am

    Great news ! but ,I’m surprised that a $700 “N” lens with no ED glass! though Nikon has produced very nice sharp non ED glasses in AF-D class over the years and some G lenses too.

    Let’s see the pictures and distortion level but I don’t think I’ll be buying this glass as I already have very nice 24 2.8 D ,16-35 F4 VR and the extraordinary 28 2.8 AI-s.

    IMO ,people who don’t have motorized cameras and want a fast G lens this could be a nice 42mm on DX cams like D5100 and D3200 but the cheaper and very sharp 35 F1.8 DX = 50mm 0n DX is much better choice just 4 steps back and one is at 40mm :) ,not to mention the slight cropping on D5100 and a great space to crop on D3200 (for the group photos) and if somebody on budget upgrading to FX getting a used D700 and a 50mm 1.4 AF-D,I’ll suggest this lens for landscapes and group photos :) ,for Macro add a $100 25mm Kenko AF tube with your 50mm and all set ! :)

    And the Tokina 11-16 for DX rules in wide DX class IMO ,it’s cheaper and sharper than Nikon’s lenses with exception of not Auto Focusing on cheaper cameras i.e D5100 and below but works wonders on D7000,D300s and D90 :)

    cheers!

    • 25
      ) John McMurdo
      May 16, 2012 at 8:11 pm

      I also have the 28mm f/2.8 AIS, and I’m hoping when it comes time for Nasim to review the 28mm F/1.8 G that he will compare the two.

  9. 26
    ) chris Zeller
    June 21, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    Great website. Thanks for all the expert advice. What do you think about the 28mm focal length? My current set of primes is the 24mm 2.8, the 35mm f2 and the 50mm f1.8. I’m surrently shooting DX but may upgrade to FX at some point. I use the 35mm and 24mm for indoor shots of the family at special occasions. The 28mm sees like a good option to replace both the 24mm and the 35mm and go with a lighter total kit. With the 14-24mm the 24mm f2.8 is clearly not that useful. Perhaps the 28mm makes a better pairing with the 50mm than 24, 35, 50mm?

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      27
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      June 24, 2012 at 12:59 pm

      I would surely switch the 24 and 35 for 28 f/1.8G, Chris, both for the speed of it and lightness. While it’s not exactly wide on a DX camera, it might just be enough on FX – even then, for me, the aperture is worth the loss of those 4 mm of wide angle, especially if you own a 14-24.

  10. 28
    ) YuJin
    July 2, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Roman i almost pull the trigger today on the 28mm 1.8G however i held back the purchase as i was still a little hesistent. Currently using a D7000 camera (DX) been shooting street with my 50mm 1.4G and 35mm 1.8G. Question is it worth spending the money to upgrade the 35mm 1.8G to this? I know it will give me a the extra width but its like taking 3-4 steps back on my 35mm 1.8G. What is your advice and how much advantage it will be for me since i shoot street? Thanks YuJin

    • Profile photo of Romanas Naryškin
      29
      ) Romanas Naryškin
      July 2, 2012 at 1:17 am

      Unless you plan to purchase an FX camera in the near future (even a cheaper one, like the upcoming D600 or current D700), I wouldn’t, personally – simply because it will still not be wide enough for street (at least not for my style of photography) on DX and costs a lot while being possibly very similar optically.

      However, if you do get the D600 – and it will likely be a very similar camera to your D7000 except for the sensor, and thus great for street photography due to size/weight factors – 28mm f/1.8G should be a great lens. Can’t say for sure, we’ll just have to wait for Nasim to review it.

      Good luck, YuJin!

  11. 30
    ) YuJin
    July 2, 2012 at 3:17 am

    Hi Roman thanks for the reply. Yea I had the same thought as well. Actually at this stage of my photography journey, I dont really need any more new gear unless the 28mm 1.8G is much cheaper (I still find it a little steep which I almost pulled the trigger for it during my lunch break) or say a new affortable range of 24mm 1.8G then i’ll definitely jump on it. I do want to upgrade to FX (i.e. D800 at least) however not in the near future for the next 1-2 years. Thanks so much for you insight :)

    Cheers!

    YuJin

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