Nikon NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Nikon NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S

Lens Summary

Brand: Nikon

Also Known As: Nikon 28mm f/2.8 AIS

Lens Type: Prime Lens

Format: Full Frame / FX

Focus: Manual Focus

Lens Mount: Nikon F

Release Date: 1975-09-01

MSRP Price: $539.95

Made in: Japan

Infrared Rating: Good

Production Status: In Production

Lens Description: Standard manual focus wide-angle lens for landscapes and general photography.

Nikon NIKKOR 28mm f/2.8 Ai-S Specifications

Lens Specifications
* Supplied accessories may differ depending on country or area 
Lens TypePrime Lens
Focal Length28mm
Mount TypeNikon F
FormatFull Frame / FX
Compatible Format(s)FX, DX, FX in DX Crop Mode, 35mm Film
Compatible with TeleconvertersNo
Vibration Reduction (Image Stabilization)No
Aperture Information
Aperture RingYes
Maximim Aperturef/2.8
Minimum Aperturef/22
Maximum Angle of View (Full frame or larger format)74°
Optical Information
Lens Elements8
Lens Groups8
Focus Information
FocusManual Focus
Built-in Focus MotorNo
Minimum Focus Distance0.7 ft. (0.21m)
Filter Information
Filter Size52mm
Accepts Filter TypeScrew-on
Physical Characteristics
Weather / Dust SealingYes
Mount MaterialMetal
Dimensions(Approx.) 2.5x1.8 in. (Diameter x Length) 63.5x45.7mm (Diameter x Length)
Weight(Approx.) 8.8 oz. (249g)
Other Information
Available in ColorsBlack
Supplied Accessories52mm front lens cap, rear lens cap

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Dave S

I’ve had some questions from a couple friends about comparing this lens vs. the 28mm 1.8G, since I have owned both (and still have the AI-S). I figured others might have similar questions, which is why I’m posting. I don’t think either lens is “better”, they just have different strengths. This is based on my copy of each, so some of what I found may be sample variation. For reference, I primarily use a Nikon D610.

– The AI-S is substantially lighter, cheaper on eBay, and smaller.
– The AI-S appeared to be sharper focused at close/medium distances, especially in the area between the center and the edges. The G appeared sharper at long distances to infinity, especially at the edges and corners.
– The AI-S captures subtle variations in contrast and color a bit better. The G deals with high contrast situations a bit better.
– The AI-S produces better sunstars, but is a bit more prone to flare under very adverse conditions.
– The AI-S has a greater maximum magnification, focuses closer, and has less distortion.
– In some cases, these lenses render images somewhat differently. I can’t quantify it, and what you like better will be a matter of personal taste.

When using 28mm primarily focused at short to medium distances, I think the AI-S is more versatile and produces better, more pleasing images. I found the G produced better images focused at long distances to infinity. Don’t get me wrong – the G still takes fine images close up, and the the AI-S still takes fine images at infinity. It’s just that each performs a little better than the other in different circumstances. I kept the AI-S and sold the G because I mostly use 28mm focused at shorter distances.

If you get the AI-S and you’re not using filters, I highly recommend the HN-3 hood. It does a significantly better job than the HN-2 with stray light, without causing vignetting.


Getting a 28/2.8 AIS delivered this week. Getting it to go along with my 20/2.8 AIS, Zeiss Planar T 50/1.4, and 105/2.5 AIS. Using them on my Z7, F3, and F100.

Stewart Waller

I just got a used copy of this lens under $300. The focus cuff was stiff, so I sent it back for free repairs rather than a refund, and now it works great. I took it out downtown yesterday, and I was very happy with the results. This is for me the perfect lens for street photography, and will work perfectly on my FM3a as well. The close focus and bokeh are wonderful, and at a distance, everything looks sharp at pretty much any aperture. I didn’t notice significant barrel distortion, either. The color rendition and resolution were outstanding.


After failure to calibrate no less than four examples of the highly regarded 1.8G, I gave up and went with the 2.8 Ai-S…I run it on an 810…(with a Hoya Pro Dig. UV filter)
Build quality is superb…
Close up product pics, focused through live view are outstanding…
Landscapes beyond xx feet focused @ infinity are excellent…
I bought this gem for approx. 500$ new, and have never regretted it…
I would very much like to see you do a revue of this great lens as there is very little technical data available.
**** & 1/2


Hallo, please. Whst do you think about the need to use UV filter for this lens? Respect the noSIC treatment? Thank you.

Larry Miller

In my 40+ years of shooting landscapes, I passed on this lens. I went for the Nikkor 28/F2 An outstanding lens from close up to infinity!!!!


“In my 40+ years of shooting landscapes, I passed on this lens. I went for the Nikkor 28/F2 An outstanding lens from close up to infinity!!!!”

So did I, and it was a wonderful lens. Then my 28/2 was stolen. I decided to try the 28/2.8 AIS. It arrives tomorrow.

Hank Taylor

If I were looking for one lens for any of my Nikon’s I wouldn’t hesitate to rate this one right up there. Although its a manual focus lens but what a lens! Smooth, sharp beautifully made. Quality you don’t find in the more modern design plastic lenses. It focus closer them most 28mm. It’s my go to lens when traveling and shooting street scenes . Just per-focus and adjust for lighting you can’t lose. I ‘m little disappointed when I hear someone complains he needs an automatic. Hell, when I was a Marine Photographer in the 50’s we used 4×5 Speed Graphics (nothing automatic and changing films with a sheet film holder wasn’t automatic.) By all means if you are looking for a top 28mm you really have to go far to beat this beauty.